What I love most about smaller festivals like Field Day is the intimacy. Despite the event’s continual expansion, it remains considerably more manageable than festival behemoths like Glastonbury.
The venue at Victoria Park was just the right size as it was spacious enough to bask in the sun without feeling cramped. Similarly, moving between the stages simply took a comfortable stroll (with beer and chips in hand, of course).
Despite a lack of maps and clear directions, the intimacy of Field Day gave me a sense of control. I was still aware of the random occurrences between the performances, from the absurd games on the Village Green to the massive rides scattered around the area. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to find a brass band materialize out of nowhere as I was on my way to one of the tent stages.
With so many good acts lined up, choosing between performances required a strategic approach. James Holden’s hypnotising live set kicked off Saturday’s acts, which also included cool pop princess Sky Ferreira. Syrian wedding-singer-turned-rockstar Omar Souleyman was delayed for a few minutes by technical problems, but immediately satisfied the crowd with his chants and quirky claps once he got started.
Jamie XX was another highlight; the beat architect added a dose of future garage, creating a dramatically different vibe from his new album Sleep Sound. While the highly anticipated SBTRKT was unfocused and disappointing, their headlining rivals Metronomy delivered a worthy main stage performance, feeding people’s hunger to dance.
Sunday’s line-up included groups like Temples, The Wytches, and The Horrors. Crammed in the middle of the rock-heavy line-up was Baltimore’s synth trio Future Islands. Frontman Samuel T Herring charismatically roared into the crowd with his impeccably dense voice while delighting the crowd with his awkward dance moves.
After a series of fresh acts, the day ended with rock veterans Pixies as the main course. Their only London show in 2014 was straight to the point with minimal audience interaction. Regardless, they succeeded in shaking the ground with a combination of old numbers along with songs from the new album. An epic singalong of Pixies’ evergreen number “Here Comes Your Man” proved to be a moving closure to Field Day’s weekend festivities.