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Field Report #5: Techno Troops, Tasty Morsels and the Extrordinary Tony Benn

Festival season, like an impending wave of low pressure threatening to burst our river banks, is upon us. And to get our taste buds tingling, organisers have been chomping at the bit to let you know of their exclusive headline acts ready to define our summers. These days, the great line-up announcement has become a bit of a furore in itself, with countdowns a-plenty smattering Twitter feeds and Facebook pages alike, battling for your precious £65.95 + booking fee.

Let’s start with one for the ‘heads’. This week Dekmantel, situated in Amsterdam Forest, announced its line up and it’s enough to make any analogue appreciator squirm with excitement. Choosing the best underground electronic acts around at the moment, Dekmantel will play host to the likes of Detroit heavyweights 3 Chairs and British lovelies Mount Kimbie, as well as showcasing the most interesting collaborations from techno troops Trade (Blawan & Surgeon) to much more melodic Talaboman (Jon Talabot & Axel Boman). The most exciting announcement is the Moritz Van Oswald Trio ft. Max Loderbauer & Tony Allen. The Afro jazz legend Allen will make that show extremely special. Occurring at the start the august, it’s no doubt going to kick off one heavy month of festival madness.

August really is the pick of the festival season, with each weekend enticing you with a new hedonistic holiday. On the 14th to the 16th, Belgium’s Pukklepop festival should be pencilled in to your diaries. Announcing its line-up this week, the European fest is quickly proving itself it be one of the big boys, with headliners ranging from Calvin Harris and Editors, to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. With previous years being plighted by storms and tragedy, here’s hoping for a safe 2014.

If festivals just had music it would still be great, but those tasty food stands can often make things that little bit sweeter, or greasier, but in a really good way. Not one to join in line with the £4.50 lukewarm hot dogs, Field Day London this week announced their food partners for the event. Come June, Street Feast, Meantime Brewery, London Brewers Market and Venn Street Market will be provided, the great and the good will all types of gourmet sandwiches and flavoured coffees with more artisan food producers to be announced in the coming weeks. This will make seeing the likes of The Pixies, Metronomy and Funkineven that teeny bit tastier.

A festival that’s quickly gaining respect in the UK is Eastern Electrics. This week the team at EE announced a change of venue, moving from Knebworth park to the grounds of Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. The space is only 20 minutes outside of London and will play host to the likes of Art Department, Kerri Chandler and Route 94 come August. With tickets starting at the teeny tiny sum of £29.50 it would be rude not to.

Sad news surfaced last week. The great politician, orator and all around formidable character, Tony Benn, passed away. His colourful, exuberant speeches had become a prime event at the Left Field stage at Glastonbury Festival, who, amongst others, have been paying their tributes to the great man. Whether you agreed with his politics or not, he was a fighter for his beliefs, and that can never be trivialised.

- Liz Ward

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