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The Field Report #8: From the city streets to the wilderness…

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.

Sometimes festival line ups can begin to merge into each other. When it slowly dawns on you that the big money artists are actually playing any and every festival in Europe, and the same DJs are performing together on the same stages, it can get a little tiresome. So when a festival really throws something special out there, it makes you sit up and pay attention. This week all kudos must be given to London’s Lovebox festival, who have announced legendary hip hop artist Nas as their headliner for the Sunday of the event. However, they have also netted an exclusive by announcing that he will be playing his greatest ever album, Illmatic, in full. The festival itself has an extremely tasty line up featuring MIA, Chase & Status, A$AP Rocky, Sub Focus and many others over the two days in Victoria Park.

The idea of a city festival not floating your boat? Well, this summer we’re all invited to enter the wilderness as its namesake festival has announced a hefty list of additions to its bill. Joan As A Policewoman heads up the list, with Slow Club and Chet Faker following closely behind. Wilderness Festival is pretty unique in its remit, combining a love of nature and the environment with beautiful music, as well as talks, debates and literary events spread across the weekend in early August. It’s a great place to let out your ‘wild’ side, especially if that wild side is partial to a bit of intellectual fun.

It’s quite easy to become submerged in this festival world, and as potential ticket buyers, knowing where to drop your wage packet can be a tricky decision. With new festivals being announced left right and centre, one can be left at a bit of a cross roads. This week One Day festival announced it’s arrival and is already looking like a special event. Taking place on summer solstice in deepest darkest Hertfordshire, festival organisers want you to forget your life, plans and work in the city and loose yourself in a heady mix of dreamy music, BBQs and cocktails. Sounds like a fair trade to me! The event aims to evoke memories of the pop-up raves that characterised the British countryside in the 80s and 90s. Maybe One Day is a little more establishment than face paint, bags of Es and wheelie bin subwoofers, but it looks damn close. And with only 500 tickets on sale, this is one event that will feel extremely exclusive. Get to know your neighbours…

Ever wondered how things go down in Finland? Well if their number one festival, Flow, is anything to go by, things go down pretty well! This week Flow HQ announced The Horrors, Real Estate and electronica’s newest wunderkind, FKA Twigs, to top off the already mighty fine line up that features Outkast as headliners. Flow festival joins a long list of impressive Scandinavian line ups this summer, maybe we should beginning to look north for our festival getaways…


Finally, Grace Jones has been announced for Hop Farm festival taking place in Kent later this summer. This festival has fallen under new management and promises to be totally different from previous years. And with a headliner as unique as Grace Jones, ‘different’ will definitely be in the remit.

- Liz Ward



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