Summer’s three-day weekend finale is notorious for debauchery, and this one hit hard. After 18 months of lockdown, loss and longing, festival goers and music lovers gathered for a party worth remembering.
What a way to lose your head. East London’s Victoria Park was filled with smoking chaos this August Bank Holiday as All Points East and Field Day exploded to life.
A marathon, not a sprint. All Points East opened with a strong line up on Friday with Lapsley crushing an early afternoon set with songs from her stunning 2020 LP ‘Through Water’. Promising new act Sad Night Dynamite made their festival debut with a standout set on the BMW Play Next Stage.
Friday’s female-fronted headline bill was a refreshing change. Jorja Smith debuted emotional songs from her most recent ‘Be Right Back’ LP, before launching into a medley of underground funky house and UKG classics such as T2’s UK Top 5 smash ‘Heartbroken’. London Grammar shined bright with a convincing headline performance where story-telling songs from ‘California Soil’ were flawlessly translated live.
I can admit that I have been right here beforeLondon Grammar – Lord It’s A Feeling
But on that morning when you’re proud
You said I fucked somebody of course
On Saturday afternoon, Fred Gibson AKA Fred Again.. drew the biggest crowd of his career so far at All Points East. Packing out the huge ‘North Stage’ tent, Fred proved his status as a future festival headliner.
Speaking on his set-opener ‘Kyle (I Found You),’ Fred explained: “Kyle was this guy who I found at an open mic poetry night and he did this unbelievably beautiful thing about meeting this girl for the first time. Describing the bar as though it was like a war zone of like absolute chaos. The line ‘in this smoking chaos our shoulder blades kissed’ is as close to perfection as 8 words can get.”
T-shirt weather took over Victoria Park just before sunset, as East London icon Kano solidified his status as King. When the sun went in, on came All Points East headliner Jamie xx who played a colourful and flawless set, bringing out Popcaan for ‘I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)’.
What came next was Field Day, and Sunday was the turn of The Blessed Madonna to bring her impeccable vibe to the decks. Thousands of people raving to ‘Relight My Fire’ was the high of the weekend.
Elsewhere at Field Day, George Fitzgerald and DJ Seinfeld played a tasteful B2B set on the Main Stage, mixing dance-floor favourites from their respective back catalogues. For their long-awaited live show, Field Day headliners Bicep drew in one of the biggest crowds Victoria Park has seen.
Fulled by White Claw, the die-hard drink of summer 2021, those who made it through to Monday ended the weekend on a nostalgic trip with closing sets from Bombay Bicycle Club and Foals.
All Points East will return in 2022. Official dates, line up news and ticket information to follow.