Reviewed: Field Day London 2019
Running into its 12th year, Field Day London 2019 made the transition from a debaucherous day out at a park, to a rave at an industrial-feeling site, The Drumsheds. Moving to Tottenham Hale, on the outskirts of London made sense. I mean, give the people what they want; louder music, dancing until the early hours of the morning, in big fucking warehouses. But could they deliver this, whilst at a new venue, with the somewhat varied programming?
Making the journey on Friday after work was fine. No different from the regular pilgrimage to Warm Up in my mind. Quite pleasant actually walking through Tottenham marshes in daylight hours with a tinny. Upon arrival no problems with queues, unlike some festivals I had been shocked watching on social media recently. I hit up Blue Tit London right away who did my hair up purdy good. Need some sparkle in my life, especially when the weather’s grey and miserable like it was that evening. The salon marquee DJ was a nice touch.
Myself and Siobhan aka Jenny from da block bee-lined straight to the Printworks warehouse to see George Fitzgerald. He started the evening nice and cosmically with ‘Full Circle’. Bonobo was next on the agenda playing some of my favourites like ‘Kerala’ and ‘Break Apart’.
To contrast the electronic, me and Jenny went to catch local boy Skepta performing the first live show of his new ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ album which was off the chain. We couldn’t help getting swept up in it…literally…moving with the ram packed crowds. Watching the self-assured Skepta jumping out of orange smoke and spitting tracks like ‘It Ain’t Safe’. Needless to say, it got rowdy. Nothing like a grime mosh pit to make you feel like a young one. Surprise guests Boy Better Know, JME and J Hus were the icing on the cake. Definitely the highlight performance on Friday.
We end the evening with two-thirds of Moderat, Modeselektor who provide a high-octane set that gets the crowd pumping nicely into the early hours.
The next day feeling fresher than expected I head back for round 2 with rave partner in crime Antonia. The sun is smiling down on the Bulldog Gin Yard where DJ Seinfeld and Denis Sulta take the reins for 2 hours straight killing us with tracks like Dead Or Alive ‘You Spin Me Round’ and Steffi feat. Virginia ‘Yours’.
The balcony is the spot whilst the sun is setting and we end up bumping into several friends of ours haphazardly. Coincidental human convergence at festivals is the best ay? Jorja Smith looks incredible and closes the main stage beautifully, but the production is subpar in comparison to the Printworks warehouse which makes the performance come across lack-lustre. Something for the organisers to sort out next year. Her renditions of ‘Egypt – In The Morning’ and ‘Sister Nancy – Bam Bam’ are standouts in my mind. We end the festival flying through the air on a fairground ride and dancing nebulously to HAAi and Tiga in the Printworks warehouse before heading back to our friends flat in Hackney for afters.
Whilst I did have a great weekend at Field Day London there are definitely some tweaks that would make it more enjoyable for everyone. Firstly, the site felt too small in comparison to what it has been in previous years at Brockwell and Victoria Park. Expanding into Tottenham marshes would alleviate this, provide a nice contrast to the horrible backdrop of Ikea and the engulfing pebbles underfoot and circumvent noise issues by having the stages and warehouses more spread apart. Secondly, commit the programming to electronic music which is clearly Field Day’s forte. Better to service a smaller audience really well, than cater to all audiences diffusely.
To end on a high note, Field Day London 2019 truly showed promise of what it could be and I genuinely look forward to seeing it blossom next year which I’m sure it will.
Until next year!