Afrocubism Field Day
Afrocu­bism on the Vil­lage Men­tal­i­ty stage

I’ve been to a num­ber of Wire­less and assort­ed day fes­ti­vals in Hyde Park but gen­er­al­ly not been won over. Pre­fer to wan­der around the are­na know­ing my tent, a cup of tea and a snooze on a musty sleep­ing bag are only a stroll away. But Field Day in east Lon­don’s Vic­to­ria Park was a very pleas­ant expe­ri­ence with more of a prop­er ‘camp­ing fes­ti­val’ feel to it, and with a copi­ous amount of good music.

My son, a FD vet­er­an, told me the sound sys­tem had been a prob­lem but they seem to have sort­ed it out for this year. Queues at tick­et pick­up were long with two-hour waits for some, except for our agents WeGotTick­ets, where inex­plic­a­bly there was no-one at their counter. Through to bag search where the secu­ri­ty guy was unhap­py with my two 500ml water bot­tles as we were only allowed one litre.  Once in, the site was impres­sive, with food areas, plen­ti­ful bars and loos in evi­dence as you wind your way through the park, with stages dot­ted here and there. We squashed into the Vil­lage Men­tal­i­ty tent for Djan­go Djan­go who unsur­pris­ing­ly attract­ed a huge crowd. Sec­ond on the must-see list were Afrocu­bism, with their huge line-up of vet­er­an musi­cians. The band saun­tered on in their own time, chat­ting and tun­ing up, even­tu­al­ly kick­ing off around 25 min­utes late which must have been a headache for the organ­is­ers. Their set was just beau­ti­ful, with their seam­less afro-cuban rhythms bring­ing a dif­fer­ent sound to the festival.


Field Day Festival 2012
Chill­ing at Field Day

Beirut were as good as I had imag­ined they would be, Zach Con­don’s emo­tive, vul­ner­a­ble vocal style set against the band’s mari­achi, folky sound, but the ris­ing din of peo­ple chat­ting and the leak­age of sound from a near­by tent became too intru­sive. For a bet­ter sound expe­ri­ence we moved for­ward at which point I could­n’t see them. It’s a trade-off. Mazzy Star were awe­some, see my post Mazzy Star Ate my Ears.

All in all, Field Day pro­vid­ed a good fes­ti­val expe­ri­ence. The num­ber of stages was impres­sive. The bars were on the expen­sive side with a bot­tle of cider and a bot­tle of lager at £9.60. The food stalls could have been more imag­i­na­tive, more eth­nic choic­es, and less sandwiches/wraps. But these are all nig­gles real­ly, the fes­ti­val is about the music and Field Day, with sev­en stages, offers an abundance.


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