After suffering more than its fair share of teething problems in its fledgling years, east London’s hippest one dayer returns for its fourth outing.
Punters venturing down to Victoria Park for the inaugural Field Day, back in 2007, faced hour-long bar and toilet queues, and years two and three were cursed with the mother of all downpours. But those brave it enough to give it another go will be rewarded with the most eclectic Field Day to date.
The brainchild of London promoters Eat Your Own Ears, it taps into their contacts and expertise at booking some of the brightest young things in the capital. As their empire has grown, so too has Field Day, and this year sees it expand to six stages, as well as the return of the now legendary village fete area.
The main Eat Your Own Ears stage features DJ sets from the likes of Gilles Peterson, The Invisible and Andrew Weatherall. Other acts set to light up the stage include Caribou, who will be delving the soothing, warm electronica of his recent album Swim, local rock-folksters Erland And The Carnival, and American singer Holly Miranda who will bring her dreamy, ethereal balladry to a hopefully well-watered, dry crowd.
Lightspeed Champion will be putting in an appearance, alongside the band organisers seem most excited about – feel-good French electro-pop outifit Phoenix. This year’s most intriguing inclusion must be The Fall. With more years in the business than those on the Eat Your Own Ears stage put together, Mark E Smith’s antics are likely to perturb and thrill the young crowd in equal measure.
The smaller Adventures In The Beetroot Field stage features the likes of Atlas Sound, Chapel Club, Egyptian Hip Hop and The Kissaway Trail, as well as Welsh singer/songwriter and Neon Neon guest vocalist Cate Le Bon, Sub Pop signings No Age, and art rockers These New Puritans.
Highlights from the Bugged Out! stage line-up include Memory Tapes, James Holden and a DJ set from Simian Mobile Disco, while over on the Bloggers Delight stage Gold Panda will be trying to prove he was worthy of the hype that surrounded his BBC Sound Of 2010 long-listing earlier this year.
The Village Mentality area will feature cult favourites Archie Bronson Outfit, psychedelic duo Silver Apples, goth-influenced Esben And The Witch, and Super Furry Animals legend Gruff Rhys will continue his musical schizophrenia, this time teaming up with Brazilian guitarist Tony Da Gatorra to get stuck into some psychedelic rock jams.
The XOYO/Lock Tavern tent plays host to DJ sets throughout the day, as well as pearly voiced pop princess in waiting Sunday Girl and pop-punks Yuck, which includes former members of Cajun Dance Party.
If that all leaves you feeling a bit dazed, there’s plenty of other things going on. The cabaret tent is well worth a peek – as well as the usual burlesque, there’s plenty of tongue-in-cheek entertainment to make your eyes water. It also boasts an operetta and vintage clothes stall, while those craving some more wholesome pursuits can head to the village fete area, where egg and spoon racing, a scone throwing contest and a tea drinking relay race will all be underway.
It might have its sights firmly on its target audience, and you can bet the vast majority of attendees won’t have far to travel home, but it’s an eccentric little festival that’s staying true to its roots… even if the world and its weather seems to conspire against it. Fourth time lucky? Here’s hoping so.