London Festival: Field Day


Field Day

This one’s for those of you who like the festival atmosphere, but can’t be doing with all the getting to an out-of-town site, sleeping under canvas and going three days without a shower.

Field Day is back. If you’re in or near London, it’s probably the best chance you’ll get to see a clutch of up-and-coming alternative-indie bands without having to stray too far from your home comforts.

Set in East London’s Victoria Park and happening on 31 July, Field Day has an enviable record of booking acts that go on to garner greater recognition. Foals, Mystery Jets and Laura Marling were some of the highlights of 2008. Last year saw The Horrors, Little Boots and Santigold grace the stage, among others.

This summer’s event is shaping up into an intriguing mix: part critically-acclaimed-yet-under-appreciated bands (French rockers Phoenix lead the way there); part genres you never knew existed (look no further than trumpet-hip-hop collective Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, pictured); and part they-might-be-big-in-a-few-months talent like Chapel Club and Memory Tapes.

So, musically, Field Day has a lot to recommend it. You should be able to find something of interest across the six stages. And if you really can’t, the self-confessed “village green mentality” might keep you entertained. Try splat the rat, or relive the humiliation of school sports days with an egg-and-spoon race. Failing that, there’s always the meringueathon. No, I don’t know what that is either.

Field Day happens in Victoria Park on 31 July. Tickets are available now. For great places to stay or other things to do, in and around London, why not check out


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