The London festival’s tenth outing offered its most accomplished hospitality package yet
There’s one shoe on my left foot, but the other’s sinking fast about two metres behind me. It’s day two of Field Day and Saturday’s onslaught of rain has turned east London’s Victoria Park into a sea of mud. As I ease my sodden sock back into its newly retrieved Doc Marten, it feels like a good time to repair to the VIP area for a breather.
This is Field Day’s 10th edition and, from a hospitality perspective, it’s most definitely the best yet. In recent years, the festival’s expanded from a single dayer into an entire weekend, and upped its food-and-drink game. Street Feast and Venn Street Market are partners, and this year sees the introduction of the London Brewers’ Market.
Directly behind the main stage, the hospitality offer is more welcoming than ever. Unable to lounge around on the grass between bands, picnic tables and covered seating are godsends after an afternoon in the sludge. So too are the loos with no queues and fast-track entry to the festival, plus the mountains of fried chicken from Mother Clucker and drinks from the excellently named Wino Forever.
Back on the other side of the main stage, we’re front and centre for performances by Parquet Courts, John Grant, The Avalanches, and then the grand finale – billed as PJ Harvey’s only London appearance of the year. It’s a sophisticated line-up that’s drawn a grown-up crowd: no denim hot-pants, no flower crowns and strictly no under-18s whatsoever.
Anyone chasing their own lost youth heads to the Village Green for school sports day games. Watching them attempt tug-o-war and sack races in the omnipresent mire is a rich source of alternative entertainment.
It might be mucky, but the weather doesn’t put a dampener on the day. And, as PJ blows her sax for the final time, it’s nice to think I’ll be crawling into my own bed, not a waterlogged tent.
Field Day will take place on 3-4 June 2017. Day tickets start at £35pp.