K E Y P O I N T S
- The first ever All Points East is taking place over three days at London’s Victoria Park
- Its organisers, AEG, also run the popular British Summer Festival in Hyde Park
- Day tickets were priced from £65 with discounts being offered to fans attending on multiple days
- LCD Soundsystem were Friday’s headliners with Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Young Fathers, Chromeo and Phoenix joining them on the bill
- The xx, Bjork, Father John Misty, Lorde and Friendly Fires are among the acts performing Saturday and Sunday.
S N A P V E R D I C T
In recent years, city-based festivals have taken over the UK and from late May to September, London’s parks host the bulk of them. So when US-based promoters AEG announced that they’d be launching a new festival, we were understandably skeptical. Why throw another into the mix? What could it possible offer that isn’t already out there?
Enter All Points East, which taps into a previously unidentified gap in the market and combines the best bits of many other events. Late afternoon sets on the smaller stages come from the sort of cool, up-and-coming bands you might see at Field Day. The headliners are huge and would all earn a top spot on Glastonbury’s Other Stage, but they’re not commercial enough for AEG’s other London event, BST.
Organisers managed to lure in the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who performed their first London gig in five years on Friday night. The band brought with them a typically energetic set, as frontwoman Karen O bounded across the stage, pausing to fit the top of the microphone into her mouth a couple of times (Only Karen O could do this and look cool).
YYYs performed hits including ‘Sacrilege’, ‘Zero’ and ‘Heads Will Roll’ but it was everyone’s favourite indie love song, ‘Maps’, that provided the best moment of the day.
Headliners LCD Soundsystem were also on fine form, with James Murphy making the (correct) choice to barely pause for breath between songs or engage in idle chatter, telling the crowd he’d rather perform as many tracks as possible.
But while a stellar line-up obviously helps sell tickets - and with Young Fathers, Chromeo and Glass Animals also on the bill, there’s no denying APE had that - the infrastructure is incredibly important when it comes to keeping fans coming back year after year.
APE had the basics covered and encouraged fans to pay by card, installing every single bar and food outlet with multiple contactless machines - making the dreaded cashpoint queues and carrying lots of cash a thing of the past.
There were a few first day teething problems as the bar staff got used to the new system, but for the most part, it worked just fine. And the toilet queues weren’t too bad either, as long as you headed to ones further away from the stages. And when it came to the stages themselves, the sound was LOUD - which isn’t easy to engineer when your event is in a residential area.
APE’s organisers also worked to make sure the festival was as accessible as possible, with well-placed viewing platforms for people with disabilities and British Sign Language interpreters side-of-stage for the big acts.
H I G H L I G H T S
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs performing Maps
- Young Fathers’ late-afternoon set
- LCD Soundsystem closing the day with ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ into ‘All My Friends’.