Field Day returned for another year on a gloriously sunny weekend. Set out on a new more compact site in Brockwell Park, Field Day delivered a stellar line-up combined with a crowd well up for a weekend of festivities
Friday was dominated by bands. With the Total Refreshment Stage serving a strong helping of energetic jazz. Sons of Kemet took to the stage and performed an at times flight of bumblebees-esque set with a frantic leading tuba. Keeping energy levels high as the crowd bounced around.
Soul legend, Lee Fields took to the stage with a full band set up and a silvery glittery jacket to complete the old school soul look. As he launched into a passionate rendition of Wish you were here you couldn’t help but feel you were in a barn in America somewhere rather than in Brixton.
The highlight of the Friday though was Erykah Badu, who after keeping the crowd waiting played experimental almost avant-garde set that felt and sounded more like Little Dragon than a Hip-hop legend. That’s not to say the set wasn’t enjoyable, complete with a light and humorous interlude catching the audience up on the 21 years of her touring career. She seemed to only be hitting her stride when the plug was pulled after barely an hour. It seemed cruel and sad part of stricter noise controls imposed on festivals across London.
As Saturday rolled around, it was time for electronic music to dominate the line-up. Ross from Friends eased early revellers into the day with a smooth melodic set. The live sax and guitar an excellent addition, fleshing out their set.
As the festival crowd grew London favourites Kurrupt FM, laid down a set capturing everything that’s made them famous. Full of heavy garage beats alongside masterfully MC’d with lyrics written by the world’s hardest 8-year-old. The crowd was moshing to every beat and singing to every disparate line they knew the words to.
The bigger DJ’s presided over the Barn stage. Daphni and Floating Points both playing to enthusiastic packed out crowds. As the day progressed the crush became too much, with many people unable to force their way into the stage. By the time Four Tet took to the stage as the last act, access to the stage was blocked to prevent further overcrowding. With many stages finishing early at 9pm, revellers streamed to what few stages that were still open, eager to keep the day going.
As the day drew to a close and crowd shuffled out, Field Day has continued to get a lot right. With an amazing line-up showcasing talent both old and new, all with a great crowd ready to get loose. But with the festival clearly suffering under local sound restrictions and overcrowding, it’s hard to see how sustainable the relocation to Brockwell Park is.