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The “Glastonbury of Tower Hamlets”

Hanan Abdel-Khalek previews this year’s music festival.

Field Day festival, founded by Tom Baker (Eat Your Own Ears) and Marcus Weedon, has been expanding every year since 2007 – and has been unstoppable every since, with its eighth annual event fast approaching.

Each year, Field Day, in East London’s Victoria Park, is the place to be. Ticket allocation has sold out each year, and it isn’t hard to understand why The Guardian brands it “Hackney’s annual hive of hipsters and, priding itself on the most cutting-edge line-up of the festival calendar, a change to gauge the health of the alternative nation.” Of course, we regard Victoria Park as Tower Hamlets’ own: but you get the point!

Festival-goers are getting hyped up for the action packed alternative weekend which is set to storm the whole of East London. Expect electric combinations of alternative and not so alternative bands and hot newcomers – vibes heralding from Los Angeles, New York, Africa and many more.

The fresh fusions of a modern punch from East India Youth are supported by legends of offbeat electronics and sly hooks Metronomy and Boston rock classics The Pixies.

The artists making appearances give alternatively eclectic a whole new meaning. It’s an impressive line up, from the stuff of myths – Metronome – headlining on Saturday to a massive favourite – The Pixies – headlining on Sunday (the guys who brought you the infamous soundtrack to Brad Pitt and Edward Norton’s 1999 fierce film Fight Club).

The Pixies unleashed a flood of inspiration through the veins of legends Nirvana, Arctic Monkeys and many more. They formed in Boston in 1986 spewing impeccable records Pilgrim (1987) and Trompe Le Monde (1991). With their classic records they turned rock music on its head with elements of classic music, ultimately contributing to the forming of the blueprint for Nirvana’s grunge revolution.

At the other end of the spectrum we are blown away by new comer East India Youth, promoting a whole other “slippery production” which gives his work character and has drawn enviable gushing reviews from NME, The Guardian and Time Out. He breaks boundaries and expectations with ‘laptop performances’, enlightening with a creative completely unpredictable and exciting show.

The Woman’s Hour have had an incredible last few months, being the sixth most blogged about artist of 2013, supporting Anna Calvi. Volcano Choir are both grandiose and mighty in performance: it would take an incredible act, one of the most talked about artists of New York and LA in 2014, to support them.

This is not all. The festival will be hosting the ultimate soup of gritty but revived echoes of ethnic and sound cohesion. Pop hooks, new crop British guitars, bluesy sounds with electro hip hop and skittish beats for the next generation are embodied in music. Childhood, Future Islands, Lovepark, Nguzunguzu, Eclaire Fifi, Ghostpoet, The Bohicas and many more all spill flecks of what the festival prides itself on: musical diversity.

Mickey Lightfoot is one to watch being the son of Vivienne Westwood’s seamstress. A proud South London Brit, he is the child of Comfort Akuse, and his father is Alex Amponsah, a pioneering West African political radical.  He is a member of the Akan Diaspora, a people known for their rhythm, poetry, fabrics, gold, and fighting spirit. His great grandfather is known to have survived being a prisoner during WWII. He makes the kind of music that entrances and captivates from a whole other age, dating back to the 12th century.

SBTRKT exploded on stage at Field day 2011 and have whet the appetite for what to expect this year. Back then their eponymously titled debut record on Young Turks was well on its way to becoming the sleeper hit of the summer.

This was followed by the flawless tunes Pharoahs, Wildfire and rising cuts with star Sampha. Since 2011, SBTRK has continued to spread and make its way high up any self-respecting 2011 lists. From West Africa we go to Syria, as Field Day invites well known Syrian singer Omar Sulayman to bring the stage aflame. His live shows are often characterised by energy and party festivity – festival goers will be in for a nice Arabian surprise. I cannot lie: the line up this year is undoubtedly set to blow us away with a nice injection of tribal inspired talent as well as a ferocious flair of newcomers.

The nearest station is Mile End and there is no parking near the park. No food or drink will be allowed inside the festival, so make sure to fill up your tank beforehand, so that the focus can home in on less mess and more music.

Find out more how to purchase tickets on the website http://fielddayfestivals.com/tickets/

Saturday: 11.30am – 11pm Sunday: 1pm – 10.30pm

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