entertainment music

All Point East 2023 – Field Day review

Beast's man about East London, Will Turner looks back at this year's All Point's East Field Day and gives us the lowdown...

All Points East Field Day East London

Field Day was always the cool festival, for people too cool to worry about being cool. Now, after many years and several location changes, Field Day is essentially an electronic festival spread across two weekends. What’s stayed the same is the alternative, arty slant of the acts, and the alternative arty slant of the crowd. Field Day is the home of the scene. But the scene is hard to pin down. In the eighties you had the New Romantics versus the Punks, versus the Goths who all self-defined as a capital S Subculture. Labels aren’t cool now, so we just have this blob of trendy scene-kids with no name. The only way to pin down the scene is to see how it has changed…

All Points East Field Day East London

OUT: Black bum bags strapped around the chest
IN: The Uniqlo Banana Bag

OUT: Hawaiian Shirts
IN: Berlin-style black leather vests

OUT: 808 centred electro
IN: Breakbeat centred breakbeats

All Points East Field Day East London

OUT: Desperately trying to find your friend at Aphex Twin
IN: Thinking a laser beam flashing is their phone light, following it, getting lost, making new friends

OUT: A set progressively speeding up in tempo
IN: A set progressively slowing down in tempo

OUT: A contemptuous feeling at seeing anyone north of forty
IN: A horrified feeling at just how young 18-year-olds look and the inevitable passage of time that one day we will all be nothing

All Points East Field Day East London

OUT: Chanting
IN: Singing along to music without any words

OUT: Bucket hats
IN: Babushka shawls

OUT: Dubstep
IN: Dubstep

East London All Points East 2023 Field Day

OUT: Everyone chatting through the headliner because the music is just a touch too quiet
IN: The headliner being Aphex Twin

OUT: The omnipresent tarry smell of roll-ups
IN: The omnipresent sugary sweet smell of vape liquid

OUT: Barging through to get to the front under the pretence of “looking for your friend”
IN: Barging through to get to the front for no reason whatsoever

OUT: Short shorts
IN: Black leather trousers (the Berlin pink vibe very strong)

OUT: Acts slumped anonymously behind DJ decks
IN: Bonobo playing guitar, Sudan Archives on the fiddle, Fever Ray and band looking like the Adams Family

Field Day at All Points East 2023

OUT: The BBC 6 Music stage being the most underrated but obviously best stage
IN: The BBC 6 Music Stage being understood as the superlative home of cutting edge underground music it is and as such being intolerably slammed

OUT: Any understanding by the festival organisers of how to get people into the festival quickly
IN: A nice security guy secretly explaining the priority queue and normal queue are the same

OUT: The sun
IN: The vibes

All in all, Field Day 2023 was the best edition yet imvho. Aphex Twin was absolutely insane and it was great to turn round and watch the crowd try and attune their bodies to the crazy and unpredictable syncopation, falling in and out of the rhythm like water from an old tap. Jon Hopkins and then Bonobo as the sun was going down, was pretty special also. Some of the earlier Main Stage acts were a bit too “bandy” and I think would have benefited from a different crowd, apart from Sudan Archives, who was fantastic. Can’t wait to check in on the scene next year. My prediction is glitter will be back – but I’ve been wrong before.



Tag us with your copy of Beast magazine @beastmag_london on Instagram

Leave a Reply