Celebrating the tenth anniversary of Field Day, the crowds descended upon Victoria Park in East London and, undeterred by the weather and determined to party, were treated to a wide selection of acts, from festival veterans to brand new bands.
It was near impossible to avoid the rain on each day, but everyone took it in their stoically-British stride and that giddy feeling of joy when the sun came out, as the waterproofs were peeled off and the sunglasses went on, was infectious throughout the crowds. The joy of day festivals is that a shower is never too far away so the rain becomes part of the fun of it all.
Wandering through the Village Green we watched space hopper and three-legged races brighten the gloomy afternoons; presided over by a sign saying “it’s sunny somewhere in Europe”, the same humour spread throughout the festival: light-hearted, self-deprecating, happy. The crowds truly make a festival and there was a buoyant charm about everyone we met, which the bands echoed to their adoring fans.
Other highlights on Saturday included fresh young things, Happy Meal Ltd, who packed out the tiny Jägerhaus stage early in the afternoon. A performance filled with energy, passion, and sexy moans into the mics. They were mesmerising as they clattered into each other on stage, glittering together in their metallics.
Skepta had a mosh pit from the word go, the crowd simply loved him. They chanted back to him in a frenzy, going wild when the hits were pumped out from the main stage. Ata Kak brought the dance party to the Moth Club stage. Spitting quick lyrics, it was like being transported back to the good part of 90s music, as the crowd swayed and shimmied their evening away.
Sunday brought more rain, but it didn’t deter. Fat White Family’s raucous and sweaty performance drew the crowds to the overflowing Shacklewell Arms tent. Ferocious and energetic, the pure passion and enthusiasm from this band is incredible to watch, it made for a memorable performance, especially when frontman Lias Saoudi stripped to his pants and climbed over the barrier to his screaming fans.
After a week of miserable news from around the world, where terrible acts make us take a dim view of humanity, there is a special fondness reserved for the simple joy of watching live music in the (sporadic) sunshine, with your friends, and a warming can of Red Stripe in your hand. Long may it continue.