field day

Field Day relocates to Brockwell Park

Field Day 2017Field Day 2017, held in June at Victoria Park. Photo by John Lubbock

Promoter Eat Your Own Ears has held a consultation with residents of Brockwell Park, in south London, Access has learnt. The meeting, held on Monday (20 November) confirms rumours about  Field Day 2018 moving to the south of the river.

Brockwell Park is a 50.8 hectare (125.53 acres) park located between Brixton, Herne Hill and Tulse Hill in South London.

Local residents have been sent letters by the Field Day organisers inviting them to meet and “discuss arrangements for the festival”.

The letter read: “The award-winning event has taken place in Victoria Park every year since 2007, with the 2018 edition being planned for its new home at Brockwell Park.”

The two-day music festival had been held in Victoria Park for the past 11 years. Field Day 2017 attracted 20,000 revellers.

The 2018 outing of Field Day was forced to relocate following AEG’s contract win with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, which will see AEG’s Goldenvoice launch the All Points East festival.

Brockwell Park has been on the promoter’s radar since the announcement of the new festival by AEG in Victoria Park.

Established in 2007, Field Day had attracted world-class artists to Victoria Park, including Patti Smith, Air, Ride, Slowdive, Bat For Lashes, and Disclosure.

This year, Field Day debuted The Barn, a hanger-style indoor arena that staged Aphex Twin’s first live show in five years.

Exclusive contract

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets signed a four-year exclusive contract with AEG. The company also manages the British Summer Time in Hyde Park and live venues including the O2 Arena. The launch of All Points East is lead by its child company Goldenvoice.

The team behind AEG’s Goldenvoice is the same that works for US festivals Coachella and FYF Fest in California, and Panorama in New York.

AEG’s Victoria Park exclusivity has also prompted the relocation of Live Nation/Mama’s Lovebox and Citadel festivals. Access understands these events might also be moving to Brockwell Park next year.

Field Day 2018 will take place on 2-3 June.

Winterville brings alternative experience to Clapham

The organiser of the pop-up town Winterville is full steam ahead with the finishing touches of the opening of the 40-day event on 23 November.

Deemed London’s alternative festive experience, Winterville 2017 is brought to life by the teams behind Field Day and Street Feast. The project also boasts key partners including Backyard Cinema, Plonk Golf, Clapham’s first-ever Ice Rink, Twisted Wheels Roller Disco and Wasted Chic Christmas Market.

There will be free and ticketed performances staged at the Spiegeltent. The lineup includes Sink The Pink, Mexican Wrestling, Guilty Pleasures, South London Soul Train, to name but a few.

Specialist in children events have also come on board Winterville 2017:

  • Big Fish Little Fish: a creative and exciting music and dance party for the post-rave generation of parents and kids.
  • Skewbald: arts colective that makes vibrant and playful  theatre that seeks to inspire, engage and challenge the imaginations of our audience, presents a live adaptation of Mimi & The Snow Dragon from War Horse creator Michael Morpurgo. The show has beend esceribed as a musical puppetry adventure for anyone who loves snow, dragons and stories.
  • Tea Dance for Little People: a social enterprise providing exciting, creative play experiences for families with young children will stage an immersive experience called World Beyond The Wardrobe.
  • Winterville’s in-house events team will stage a Santa’s Workshop.

Outdoor entertainment

The Street Feast area comprises some of London’s best street food traders including Up In My Grill, Mother Clucker, Petare, and SE Cakery.

The Spiegeltent will host free entertainment including an opening weekend set from Norman Jay MBE and free shows from Guilty Pleasures, Ultimate Power, South London Soul Train, R&She with All Saint Mel Blatt, Gin & Juice, Indeedy Musical Bingo and the Winterville Orchestra & Choir.

Yoga On Ice is making its Winterville debut this year. The organiser explained that the new addition provides “a unique yoga experience featuring an hour of fun, heart-warming flow, goodie bags and an experience you’ll never forget!”

Yoga On Ice is a collaboration between Winterville and Aux Alpes, a pop-up yoga company from the French Alps.

Field Day announces change of location

The organiser of Field Day has announced that the festival will be moving to a new site for 2018.

While the new London location is yet to be announced, the organiser has confirmed that the event will be taking place on 2 June 2018.

This news follows unconfirmed reports that AEG Presents – the company responsible for British Summer Time in Hyde Park – has signed an exclusive contract with London’s Victoria Park – a move set to shake up the capital’s festival scene.

If true, the news may mean that other festivals which have historically take place in the park, such as LoveBox and Citadel, may also need to relocate.

Access has reached out to AEG but the company has declined to comment at this time.

We will keep an eye on this story as it develops.

In the pub with…Paul Bedford

Access joins Edition Capital’s non-executive chairman for a look back on his career navigating hurricanes and economic recessions in the independent festivals sector.

I worked at independent investment firm Ingenious for 14 years. In the early days it was the maddest place and the best place to work. As the business grew, and it grew to maybe 300 people, it lost its culture and its style and I got a bit frustrated.

I left independently and then the team set up Edition Capital. I’ve come in as non-exec chairman to help them. I was also finance director for the Impresario Festivals Group, which we sold in October.

At Ingenious we invested in two companies. One was Simon Fuller’s 19 Group and the other was Cream, with a guy called James Barton. We went on a rollercoaster — let’s be honest — we went on a 10-year rollercoaster. It was an amazing journey.

My background is music; I’d done a lot of touring but had never really been involved with festivals. Cream had Creamfields, and as soon as we invested, around 2002-2003, electronic music took a real nosedive. It fell off a cliff.

In 2005-2006, it took a turn for the better. One of the things I learnt in that period is that sometimes you just have to survive. You’re never going have a perfect progression of being successful. Dealing with that is just as important as dealing with success.

I feel sorry for T in the Park. I think they’ve been incredibly unlucky. They’ve obviously got something wrong as well but they’ve been incredibly unlucky with the way things have played out for them.

In 2011, my team and I created Impresario, which became the biggest independent festival operator in the UK, very quietly and under the radar. We were doing our thing and created some incredibly successful festival brands. We got external investment of £9m and bought Rewind, and bought into SW4, Boardmasters and then Field Day.

I’ve always been brought up in the independent sector. Even when I worked in music I never worked for the major record labels. I love working in independent festivals. I think we’re a bit more fleet of foot; I think we put a bit more thought into our product and how we deliver it.

Sometimes you can get lucky and just be in the right place at the right time. Investing in a successful festival more than once hopefully shows that you’ve got a bit of ability.

People often ask, particularly investors, what happens if it rains. Firstly, audiences are incredibly hardy and can put up with all sorts of sh*t, and secondly we’ve now had two events that have lost a day, and it was the hardest time I’ve had at a festival, but the audience was there the next year.

One was Boardmasters a few years ago. A hurricane blew in and we were standing watching bits of stage flying past. Ironically, the surfing that day was fantastic.

Blog: How Field Day embraced #MusicWithoutBarriers

Attitude Is Everything’s founder Suzanne Bull MBE ignited a meaningful industry movement through #MusicWithoutBarriers, and Field Day 2015 is another recent success story.

I started at Attitude is Everything as project manager; advising on the access facilities, liaising with production, being present for the site build and supporting customers onsite.

Now that we have Paul Hawkins as our festival project manager and Gideon Feldman as our senior project manager, my role at festivals is to have my photograph taken with artists holding up our #MusicWithoutBarriers sign.  Yep, that really is a real job.

#MusicWithoutBarriers – our campaign that highlighted music industry support for millions of Deaf and disabled fans to gain equal access to live music – was launched in July 2014.  Stevie Wonder, The Cure, Chvrches and Belle & Sebastian were amongst major artists to give their backing.  Our online initiative also won support from the Featured Artist Coalition, the Music Managers Forum, the Musicians’ Union, and more than 100 UK festivals and venues who had already signed the Charter.

At the same time, thousands of fans from around the also pledged their support at and on social media, highlighting the campaign’s four key messages:

•          Improving access does not have to be costly
•          There is a strong business case for improving access
•          It is crucial to have access information in advance of an event
•          Not all disabled people are wheelchair users

#MusicWithoutBarriers was first big success in campaigning. In its first week, it attracted 4,500 unique visitors to our website the equivalent to three months’ traffic in one week, 1,350+ tweets with a potential reach of 4.5m people, Facebook posts with reach of 35,000, plus global media coverage (including Rolling Stone – thanks to The Cure’s tour in South America, NME and BBC News).

Using artists to influence and reach the general public about any issue is a powerful way to campaign for social change and raise awareness, but I love how interested artists become when they realise that there is a campaign directly linked to their passion – live music.  Many artists that I’ve spoken to go on to get further involved, such as becoming Patrons (Robert Wyatt, Blaine Harrison) and playing Club Attitude (Slow Club, Toy).

I took the opportunity at Field Day to doorstep more artists and wave the #MusicWithoutBarriers sign in their faces (in a friendly way, of course!).

Attitude is Everything have been working with Eat Your Own Ears and Field Day since 2010, when we partnered on a project with Tower Hamlets Arts and Events Team.

This was to sign all festivals that take place on Victoria Park adhere to our Charter of Best Practice and improve access for Deaf and disabled audiences by making it part of their contracts.

For five years, Field Day has consistently built upon their access facilities which include increasing the size and number of viewing platforms, producing advance information and maps and having dedicated parking.

In addition, they have a superb access coordinator, Scott Kennedy, who goes out of his way to make disabled customers feel really comfortable and included at the festival; for me, this attention to “customer experience” is what makes Field Day stand out from a lot of other festivals.  I always love going there because I know that I’m welcome and supported.  It’s not just about the toilets and platforms!

I was given a VIP wristband to make meeting artists easier, demonstrating that Eat Your Own Ears is very supportive in helping us to further our message.  Their VIP area is also quite small and informal which makes it very easy to meet artists and engage them in friendly conversation.

I took up my usual position of hanging out by the media tent, knowing that sooner or later, an artist would stop by for the official photo or interview.  This time I was lucky enough to meet artists including Andy Bell (Ride), Zibrazibrazibra and Lenny Kaye who all pledged their support for Attitude is Everything’s work.