Sat 6 Aug – Field Day 2011
Although my planned schedule quickly became useless, the bands on offer were great, and despite a few sound issues, a select few performances were some of the redeeming points of this festival.
S.C.U.M put their best foot forward and delivered a short but excellent set to a packed tent (which in my opinion should have been bigger). New song 'Whitechapel' was particularly good, and gave us a taster of their upcoming album. In the same tent were Creep, who i wasn't a fan of until their set, which was coupled with some interesting visuals that made their performance stand out amongst some of the smaller bands.
Zola Jesus gave arguably the most powerful performance of the day. Her vocals were faultless, the sound quality was decent, and her new material sounded even better live, particularly on set closer 'Vessel'. She writhed around the stage and into the audience like a demon possessed, and it only added to the tone of the set.
A dark and blue-tinted night sky was the ideal backdrop for headliners Wild Beasts, who continue to impress live with a phenomenal run of songs from each of their three albums. The time of night suited the intimacy of the material from new album 'Smother' perfectly, bringing the festival to a positive end.
Now for the negatives. As a young person whose only festival experiences have been at the sister Underage Festivals, i was particularly looking forward to a more 'mature' festival atmosphere from the 18+ age restrictions. Sadly i was wrong, and festival etiquette was completely thrown out of the window.
People would be selfishly barging through the already packed crowds to get to the middle, only to talk non-stop through most of the sets, most of the people being either drunk or high. This wasn't helped by the complete overcrowdedness at the more popular sets (Warpaint, The Horrors, etc) that made it very difficult to have a pleasant experience.
On the other hand, one thing the Festival had right was the food stands; pretty much anything you could think of was there, though a tad overpriced in some cases (£7 for an ostrich!? burger). I don't really eat much at festivals but the amount and variety of stalls meant smaller queues, though the same can't be said for the toilets, which were ridiculous.
But at the end of the day, for £40-odd i feel like i got my money's worth, however i don't think i'll be going again.