Looking Forward to Field Day: How to Cram as Much Live Music as Possible Into a Single Day

Looking Forward to Field Day: How to Cram as Much Live Music as Possible Into a Single Day

Something that interests me as a voracious consumer of new music is the rise of multi-venue festivals where you can try and cram as many acts into your day as possible. The SXSW festival in Austin, Texas is the best example of this, but this year already many UK events have taken this as their lead, with the likes of Brighton's Great Escape, Liverpool's Sound City and the long established Camden Crawl booking a huge range of bands over a variety of venues.

With literally hundreds of music festivals competing for space and attention over the summer months, this seems to be a succesful model. This year larger events such as Sonisphere have been cancelled, whilst even legendary ones like Glastonbury have taken a year off.

One event that has moved from its normal slot in the festival calendar is London's Field Day; a one day outdoor event that has steadily been building an audience in Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets since 2007. This multi-stage music festival traditionally takes place in August, but this year it has been pushed forward to the first Saturday in June due to the huge presence of the Olympics taking over that area in August.

Field Day always boasts a cutting edge line-up of both established and breakthrough acts, and as it is all compressed into one day, you don't have to camp or bring anything with you. For me, it works brilliantly as a showcase; an excellent way to see quite a few new bands in one day as you can cover the ground between each stage in a few minutes.

With a capacity of 20,000, last year's festival was the largest yet and there were some issues with overcrowding. This year the layout has been changed to help the flow between stages, although the capacity remains the same.

The close proximity of the stages gives the organisers another headache, specifically how to reduce the bleed-through of sound between venues. Over the years they have taken various steps to address this and with some clever positioning of each PA plus a capacity crowd in each tent, the colouration is negligible.

There are around 60 acts on the bill, so I thought I would try and pick out some highlights. There are inevitable clashes of course, but I reckon on a carefully planned day you get to see around eight or nine acts. A 'clashfinder' such as this is essential to help you plan, but in an ideal world here are the ten acts I would try to see.

Grimes - one of the breakthrough acts of 2012, Grimes is the alias of Claire Boucher, a young prolific talent from Canada, who manages to straddle the genres of dance music, lo-fi indie and witch house with ease

Peaking Lights - a husband and wife duo who make a lo-fi mix of dub, krautrock and psychedelic pop

R. Stevie Moore - a prolific but wilfully obscure DIY musician who has been making music since the mid-70s but is only just coming to a wider audience now thanks to the likes of Ariel Pink

The Men - high octane punk rock, noisy and brash, which sounds like it was recorded with all the needles on red

Summer Camp- duo Jeremy Walmsley and Elizabeth Sankey are building their indie-pop origins into something very special,as last year's Welcome to Condale album showed.

Fennesz - legendary Austrian guitarist now firmly established in the world of ambient electronica, he makes some lovely noises

Andrew Bird - an amazing talent who plays superb violin, writes great songs and does clever things with loops. He is also a fantastic whistler!

Tortoise - the guys who brought dub, jazz and krautrock to the world of American indie-rock in a rescheduled show from last year

Mazzy Star - newly reformed,this duo made three classic albums in the 1990s, featuring the distinctive voice of Hope Sandoval and the psychedelic fuzz guitar of David Roback.

Liars - one of the finest experimental rock groups of the last 10 years, showcasing their new album WIXIW.

For a playlist and some other preview information,this post is continued at www.slowthrills.com


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