Festival Preview: Field Day 2008

Field Day

Field Day

You live, you learn. The mantra will almost certainly hold true for Field Day. A wealthy mix of indie, electro and folk proved a big draw when the all dayer in London’s Victoria Park debuted last August, only to be marred by a well documented set of teething problems. This term should hopefully see the mistakes of past corrected, as an enticing day of music and fete activities beckons once more.

Five stages are set to play host to the likes of Foals, Laura Marling, Of Montreal, Simian Mobile Disco, Dan Deacon, Alasdair Roberts, Fionn Regan, Lightspeed Champion, Richie Hawtin, Brodinski, Crookers, Caspar C and Skull Juice.

We caught up with organiser Tom Baker for his thoughts ahead of Field Day:

Hi Tom, how are preparations going for Field Day?

“Really good – we are all having lots of production meetings, sending out advances and info to the bands and of course making sure posters and flyers are everywhere and mail outs are going out, so lots of hard work and lots of fete things like bunting, ribbons and aprons arriving and stacking up the office!”

How do you see this year picking up from the festival’s debut last year?

“After many discussions following our first Field Day last year we felt we had to do it again and make it better. We have been planning ever since, in fact it feels very much like a new festival.”

The bar queues, toilet queues and sound levels were quite an issue last year. How will this year be different?

“This year we have brought in specialist events agency Ear To TheGround to ensure this year’s exciting line up is matched with full event management. Ear To The Ground was recently responsible for launching this year’s Liverpool European Capital of Culture.

“Using Ear To The Ground’s experience of providing for large events, we’re going to make sure that the number of toilets is more than adequate to service the site this year and this provision will be significantly above the recommended level.

“One of the biggest challenges that any promoter faces working in an urban park is getting the sound levels from the stages right. Every local authority has rules about the amount of noise you can make to ensure that people living nearby aren’t unnecessarily disturbed. We’ve been working with the local authority since November last year and have employed a specialist noise consultancy, Vanguardia, to redesign the site and calculate what levels we need to put on a great show.

“Vanguardia have worked across live music from Wembley Stadium gigs to the Download festival and are very well regarded within the business.We are confident that with the conditions we have negotiated for our entertainment license and the day to day management from Vanguardia, we will achieve a significant volume increase throughout the site to complement the exciting line up we have secured this year.

“In terms of eating and drinking we have over 100 metres of bars this year provided by Peppermint, who are behind the bars at some of theUK’s most innovative and exciting festivals including Bestival, The Glade and The Secret Garden Party to name a few.”

The lineup this year has another tasty looking selection of bands and DJs. Who are you most looking forward to seeing?

“I am excited to see a fair few bands and DJs, and will try my best to catch Richie Hawtin, Fionn Regan, Dan Deacon, Foals and as much asI can really.”

Where do you think Field Day fits into the UK festival calendar and what sets it apart from the rest?

“It’s a central London event, I don’t see it as a festival really, but hopefully more of a good day out for a very reasonable ticket price for the five stages and amount of acts you can get to see.

“Also new to Field Day this year is a dedicated village green area.Inspired by summer sports days and country fetes – Village Mentality will host side-stalls and activities throughout the daytime, ranging from sack-racing to splat-the-rat to the ‘eat as many carrots as you can’ contest and the Tug O’ War.”

How about a Field Day weekender? Are there any plans to extend the festival to run over a weekend like Lovebox or the Metro weekender?

“Let’s see how FD 2008 goes and take it from there.”

If there is one thing you recommend punters to try to do this year what should it be?”

“Carrot eating in the Village Mentality area and make sure you see Fionn Regan, he is really good performer and has some great, great songs”

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