In spite of an embarrassment of cultural riches in Hackney at the weekend, with events such as the Hackney WickED Art Festival and the Abney Park Music Festival taking place, it was the Visions Festival in London Fields on Saturday that caught the eye of EastLondonLines .
The second year of the event was completely sold out and, as ELL predicted, it provided an eclectic mix of artists. The event started at 9pm with a pre-party at The Laundry on Friday, opened by the tunes of XXYYXX, DãM-FunK and Visions DJs, but the kick-off really happened at 2pm on Saturday with an hour session of Wave Pictures at the Oval Space.
The crowd on bikes, skates, rollers and bare feet, had to make a crucial pit stop at Netil360 for a drink or a quick nap in London Fields’ grass to take a break from the loud beats. The line-up of 28 bands playing over four venues was curated by a group of young tastemakers and promoters. Rockfeedback Concerts, Sexbeat and Bird On the Wire had the idea of combining bands that could collaborate with each other instead of competing. The selection resulted in music which was “more leftfield and quirky pop, forward-thinking electronic and hip-hop sounds”, in the words of the festival’s organisers. One of the most anticipated band was Dirty Beaches.
A large crowd waited for the arrival of the Taiwan-Canadian DJ and singer, Alex Zhang Huntai, who delighted with his electric body movements and new material from the “two last album’s worth of experimental lonerism”, according to Pitchfork. One of the comments on the festival’s Facebook about the main highlights of the event was: “Dirty Beaches [was my favourite], also The Range and Uncle Acid. Great venues! But very expensive beer, £5 – shame that most of the bands I wanted to see pulled out but had a great time anyway”. The absences were very few. But, for example, Fat White Family cancelled at last minute due to the singer’s illness. Nevertheless, Joanna Gruesome replaced them and played at the same scheduled time.
The Range, at the London Fields Brewhouse, and “one man party machine” Andrew WK, in The Laundry, were also two bands that provoked a large amount of energy. Late at night, the vibe between bands and venues became even more deconstructed and improvised, which resulted in a constant transit between rooftops, terraces and clubs until midnight, when most troops headed to several after-parties in New Empowering Church or London Fields Brewhouse.