I hate music festivals and usually don’t go to any. They are wacky concentration camps for people who wear stupid hats. If I had to go to a music festival it would need to be a short walk from my house and last less than ten hours. Both of my friends would have to go so I could moan at them about how I don’t like camping or music festivals (I am great company) and there would be actual good bands and not just Florence and the Machine on every stage, every ten minutes.
Now in its fourth year Field Day is a one day festival in Hackney’s Victoria Park. It was set up by Eat Your Own Ears and tents and stages are curated by inventive promoters like Adventures in the Beetroot Field, Bugged Out! and Blogger’s Delight. Somehow, it meets my stringent, joyless criteria, so last Saturday I dragged my miserable bones down to the park.
The spirit of Field Day can be distilled down to one solid gold moment when, at about five o’clock on the main stage, Ramadanman handed over to The Fall. It’s this kind of WTF scheduling that makes Field Day so much fun. I wandered away from Mark E Smith’s caustic still-got-it turn to catch the end of No Age’s epic performance. Then I saw a bit of Hudson Mohawke’s weirdo funk, some sweet yearning from young heroes Yuck, and the beginning of a blazing set from Night Slugs. Yuck were one of a few bands playing we’ve featured on Dollars To Pounds. Egyptian Hip Hop and Mount Kimbie were there too. And I bumped into Gold Panda giving an enthusiastic interview about dildos.
As is the way with these things I missed Atlas Sound and Joker and Toro Y Moi and Factory Floor. Then I smoked something strange watching Caribou and went a bit odd for a couple of hours. But Phoenix were headlining and everyone likes Phoenix. Even I have to admit that a field of people singing along to “Lisztomania” is a pretty great spectacle.
And that is Field Day. A festival even the grumpiest of idiots (hi) can enjoy. I might even go again next year. As long as it’s not raining and I like the bands and I’m not too tired and and and etc.