Pixies proved the key to Field Day expansion

Tom Baker - founder of Eat Your Own Ears and Field Day

Tom Baker - founder of Eat Your Own Ears and Field Day - Credit: Archant

Ahead of this year’s Field Day festival at Victoria Park, the festival’s founder Tom Baker explains why it’s the most ambitious yet

We’ve always wanted to tread carefully when expanding Field Day and do it at the right moment. This year is the first time we’ve run the festival over two days and although we maybe could have tried it a couple of years ago, it was only when the Pixies came along that we felt the time was right.

Like many people, I’ve been a huge fan of the group since I was 16, when a friend gave me a cassette tape with Surfer Rosa on one side and Doolittle on the other. In the past, they’ve influenced everyone from Radiohead to Nirvana to David Bowie, but with the release of their new album, they’ve shown they’re not just a heritage act either.

We’re honoured to have such a legendary band close Field Day on the Sunday and with groups such as the Horrors, Drenge, Future Islands and Temples, we thought we could build a great bill around them across two live spaces. Saturday, on the other hand, has a bit more of a party atmosphere – there are six stages and people like Jon Hopkins and Warpaint who, while not indie or techno, certainly have a crossover dance sound.

In that spirit, it’s amazing to have a band Eat Your Own Ears (the promotion company behind Field Day) has grown up with headlining the Saturday. Two years ago, when Metronomy last played here, I saw them pull one of the biggest crowds alongside Beirut and Franz Ferdinand. They have great, danceable pop songs, but as a live act, their attention to detail is just so carefully choreographed and thought out – it’s going to be an incredible show.

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The days of greasy burger vans at festivals are long gone, but this year we’re really proud to have Street Feast, who for the last two years have united London’s best street food traders, chefs and restaurants. We’ve paired them up with Tim Peak’s Coffee and London Brewer’s Market, who will bring their own selection of London ale and even brew fresh lager on the day.

In its first year, back in 2007, Field Day attracted about 10,000 people. The next year it expanded to 20,000 and for the last few years it’s grown to about 30,000. Now it feels about the perfect size – it’s still intimate and retains the festival’s original feeling. Our ethos was to create a village fete atmosphere and meet this with a collection of great music. We’ve always maintained that over the last seven years and this year will be no different.

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