Recap: Field Day 2018
For those unfamiliar with the outdoor delights of South London, Brockwell Park is a community institution and a place of pride for local residents. Best known for Lambeth Country Show, the family-friendly event held annually, which boasts live music, good food and fun all round, it came as a surprise that Field Day, the music festival previously held in East London's Victoria Park would rock up to SE24 for its eleventh year. With bustling crowds, day-long dancing and singing, the party only ends when the plug is pulled on Erykah Badu's set at gone 10pm: a true South London finish.
With live acts kicking off at 2pm, early arrivals are treated to the sounds of emerging talent, from soul upcomer Yazmin Lacey's dulcet tones, to the vibrant rap set by Aaron Unknown, whose electric guitarist, Santino Le Saint, riles up the crowd with his accompanying riffs. New-wave artists Mahalia and IAMDDB prove firm favourites with tents filled to the brim, cameraphones waving in the air, and audiences singing anthems 'Sober' and 'Shade' word-for-word. Nao, perhaps most famous for her Firefly collaboration with electronic producer, Mura Masa, starts the party, treating the crowds to her most popular tracks from Inhale Exhale to Get to Know Ya, and to the delight of fans, new, soon-to-be-released music.
Soul singer, Jordan Rakei sets the feel-good mood with Add The Baseline, whilst 'trap house jazz' star, Masego, brings the house down with sing-along favourite 'Navajo'. Loyle Carner comes out to screams of applause, with his signature bookshelf and football shirt set and accompanying football shirt emblazoned with 'CARNER', and proceeds to perform a set bursting with energy, passion and a melodic flow throughout. When Tom Misch takes to the stage with his guitar for a cameo appearance on collab Damselfly, it's South London vibing at its finest.
Despite the eclectic and inspiring talent from a host of musicians, bands and singer-songwriters spanning across a wave of genres, there's one artist everyone is waiting for - Erykah Badu. When the queen of soul comes out in her signature oversized suit, large hat, and voluminous hair, with a wry smile and the same youthful energy that propelled her into the spotlight in the 90s, she captures the crowd instantly. Playing favourites from Tyrone and Next Lifetime to On and On and Hello, the enigmatic artist leaves to chants of Badu and outstretched arms.
With the crowds dispersing, dazed festival-goers await buses on diversion, pile onto available trains at Herne Hill (most are delayed or cancelled in true Southeastern/Thameslink fashion), or watch the world go by whilst they await their Morleys and kebabs. It doesn't get more South than this.
Words by Mireille Harper. Photos by Garry Jones & Ellie Ramsden