REVIEW: A Day at Field Day (London)

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Field Day 2019 was soul-shaking good time!

The UK has so many music festivals, TimeOut made an issue’s worth of content, with plenty of London options for spoiled brats, I mean Brits, to choose from. There’s one that’s got a loyal following for its East London ethos and generally chilled vibe despite not so chilled programming. We’re talking thumping bass next door to hard-hitting grime. No flower crowns here, gang. This one is for music lovers over and above hyper-curated Instagram content. Mostly homegrown talent, too!

Field Day 2019 – The Scene

For those of us that couldn’t skip work Friday, we missed out on Skepta. Heard logistics were as messy as the muddy grounds stifling crowds’ entry. Saturday, however, was a breeze. The trains toward Tottenham Hale (home of many a vibey night venue) were a combination of festival-goers and families oblivious to the event just trying to pick up a Billy bookcase at IKEA. Avert your eyes, no tinnies to see here.

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Upon entering the grounds at Meridian Water, we were greeted by screams from those enjoying fairground rides; some would say they were having a field day. It was great to see the proximity across stages, quickly familiarizing ourselves with the path to take between a container park for Bulldog Gin, the main stage, the cavernous corner worthy of its Printworks moniker and Boiler Room’s grime warehouse. Genuinely feasible to bop across undercover and open air acts booked simultaneously, the layout let crowds explore sounds they’d have missed out on if the site was much more spread out. No sound bleed somehow, impressive! There were also plenty of bars, all serving swiftly to prevent queues from piling up, always appreciated on a warm summer’s day. Port-a-loo queues could’ve been better, but they can almost always be better.

Field Day – The Acts

Quality beats by Mall Grab and the consistently incredible Black Madonna, but live act standouts were definitely the MCs, with Flohio and JPEG MAFIA commanding the crowd. We had to step out to meet up with mates, knowing as we snaked our way out of the packed crowd there would be no chance of returning in time for Octavian’s Boiler Room moment. Instead, seeing the incredibly talented Jorja Smith’s sunset serenade was a refreshing respite from bombastic bass beats. Record scratch moment: realizing we could still make our way toward Todd Terje. We left the mellow vibe behind for the overflowing hoard of disco fiends grooving, serendipitously nearby in time to hear the beginnings of fan-favourite “Inspector Norse.” Jubilant, though we bet these East Londoners downplayed it over flat whites the next morning. ‘Til next year, cheers!

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