Field Day 2014 - The Best Way To Start Your Summer

With summer festival season approaching us quickly and the sun already beginning to show its rays across the UK, excitement is beginning to kick in with thoughts of dancing in the sunshine. One highlight of the summer revelry calendar, surely, is Field Day – set in the lovely surroundings of East London’s Victoria Park, the festival radiates laid back summer vibes while maintaining a local village carnival type of feel (think hay bales, coconut shys, potentially, and gallivanting performers).

For the first time in its history, Field Day will take place over two days (its more of a Field Weekend). Field Day has always been linked to a strong, cutting-edge lineup that has seen a rise in the festival’s popularity – contrary to beliefs, Field Day doesn’t just focus on electronic music, with this year’s double header being headlined by Metronomy and Pixies (the band’s only London date announced thus far). The Eat Your Own Ears curated event abstains from the rubbish found in many commercialized festivals and stays loyal to its title – a ‘music festival’. Along with its small site (who wants to walk around 80km² of neon green stands anyway?), an advantage of Field Day is its niche appeal now commonly linked to inner city festivals, which span multiple venues, but all in one field. The green trees of Victoria Park and Field Day’s fun, british branding make it feel like a real summers day outing – and let’s not forget the outstanding food and drink on offer.

Taking place on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th of June, like previous years, the Saturday remains the heart of the festival which boasts a larger, more diverse lineup and associated higher ticket price. The Devonshire electronic quartet, Metronomy, will finish off the first night of the festival this year, providing attractive and dance-able hits to the backdrop of a twilight sky. Although not highly regarded headliners, Metronomy have a powerful, extensive back catalogue full of hits and with an adored newly released album (‘Love Letters’), they sure will get the party going. The Saturday, further, boasts plenty of UK acts such as the likes of Jamie XX, SBTRKT, Tim Burgess and George Fitzgerald. Overseas inclusions vary from the returning Warpaint, Aussies Jagwar Ma and even Syrian electronic musician Omar Souleyman. Field Day’s ability to bring a variety of performers to one event is undoubtedly fitting, with additions to the lineup such as Danny Brown – who’s unique (read: mad) live show provides a suitable injection of rap into the mix. This complements the more sombre hip-hop from the likes of Ghostpoet, the new-era pop music from Sky Ferreira, Swedish bizarre from Neneh Cherry, and eclectic rhythms from Blood Orange.  Other notable performers include the Mercury Prize nominated Jon Hopkins, legendary Thurston Moore and singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett.

Saturday may be the money-shot for most punters, but Sunday’s lineup is not to be easily ignored – with it seemingly being centered around guitar music. Pixies will headline with their renowned alternative rock; despite lacking the notable absence of Kim Deal, the Boston band will be sure to provide all the soundtracks to end a great weekend. Everyone’s favourite psychedelic, sulk rockers The Horrors accompany Pixies on the Sunday, alongside the infectious Shy Nature, riff shredding duo Drenge, Australian psych-rockers Pond and the ever-improving Temples (plus many more).

Field Day 2014 Line-Up (only selected acts from the bill. Access website for full line-up)

(Note: Temper Trap are not included on this year's bill anymore - who knows why)

With such a strong bill, you may think it'd be hard to choose who to see. Besides the big guns like Pixies, Metronomy, The Horrors, Jamie XX and Warpaint; and the 'hype' artists such as Danny Brown, George Fitzgerald and SBTRKT - here is my top 13 artists to catch over the weekend (who you necessarily wouldn't have thought about). If you ask 'why 13?', I couldn't narrow it down to 10. In no particular order:

1. Blood Orange - catch Dev Hynes showcase his jazzy hits from 'Cupid Deluxe' (this is one not to be missed).

2. Courtney Barnett - one of the best lyricists around today, with her songs full of funny, touching and surprising moments. Tipped by Pitchfork and NME, she is soon to make the 'big time'.

3. Only Real - laidback, hazy pop music from West Londoner Niall Galvin along the same lineage of offbeat British music-makers like King Krule or Tom Vek. His tunes are sure to put you in a summer vibe.

4. Sohn - one of the breakout sensations of the last 6 months; his LP 'Tremors' is sure to be floating around
some people's albums of the year.

5. Todd Terje - If the sun is out, this is the set you have to go see. Being responsible for some of music's most magical moments, Todd delivers sultry disco tunes and will instantly hit whatever part of your brain controls happiness and joy (the limbic system, if you would like to know).

6. The Wytches - "bratty, brooding surf rock" that is sure to take you somewhere exciting and refreshing - recently supporting Pulled Apart By Horses on tour, they have developed a raucous live show.

7. Jagwar Ma - trippy tones, smart dance music textures, hedonistic pop music.

8. Childhood - imagine listening to the likes of 'Blue Velvet' and 'Solemn Skies' in 25 degrees sipping on a pint of cider. No more needs to be said.

9. Erol Alkan b2b Daniel Avery - Phantasy duo will spin records back to back, and with the likes of 'Drone Logic' in their arsenal, this set is one which won't fail to get your feet moving.

10. Simian Mobile Disco - James Ford and Jas Shaw return to  Field Day with a unique, never seen before live show.

11. Pawws - Young starlet will bring her stately, ethereally music to a festival for one of the first times. As a rising star, her tunes are soon to become household staples.

12. Sky Ferreira - With her long-time coming debut 'Nighttime, My Time' now under her belt, Sky Ferreira is taking pop music to the next level. Having collaborated with Dev Hynes, she has a few new summer anthems to introduce into her livewire, exciting happenings. Expect nothing less at Field Day.

13. Tourist - "Tourist is a producer/songwriter who makes warm sounding club-pop" - in reality he is something much better. I don't want to get ahead of myself, but Tourist could find his way into the mainstream very soon similar to that of Disclosure.

Be sure to pencil this in to your summer plans, and get a ticket before it sells out. The line-up alone is worth the price, let alone the artistic surroundings of the festival and the enthusiastic population.

Check out the [WEBSITE] for further updates and the full line-up.

Saturday tickets are £49.50, while the Sunday is £38.50. Personally, the price of £78 for the whole weekend is the one to go for (absolute bargain). Tickets can be bought at the likes of Ticketweb, Ticketmaster, Gigantic, Songkick, Resident Advisor and Stargreen, along with other respected ticket outlets. Many venues/shops are also selling tickets, so be sure to pop along to any of these (more stores can be found on the website) if you don’t fancy paying the online fees – The Abbey Tavern, Lock Tavern, Phonica, Rough Trade East, Shacklewell Arms.

Be sure to check out my essential Field Day 2014 playlist including tracks by Childhood, Only Real and Sohn among many others.
I would also recommend picking up Rough Trade’s special Field Day compilation CD in preparation.

Hope to see you all there!

Written by – Richard Maver