REVIEW: Field Day Festival 2013

Gloriously, but blistering heat and a slew of incredible artists and music populated Sydney’s The Domain on new years day for FIELD DAY, proving once again why it is the premium Sydney music festival.

As a location for Field Day The Domain is pretty perfect for the festival, not only do all four stages comfortably fit in the area, but there are also huge areas of grass, tress proving shade and lots and lots of room for lots and lots of bars. When first walking into the festival the first place I want was one of the near line-less bars, because what better way to cure a new years eve hangover than with a new years day binge (drink responsibly kids), but anyway because this is a review and not AA I’ll just get to the music.

First up for me was AraabMUZIK who played with more non-stop energy than anyone I saw all day. For about the first 30 or so minutes of this show the audience where going beyond mental. I spent a little bit of time at the back of the crowd being treated to some Circus De Soleil worthy dancing. That is until every body just got exhausted, everybody except AraabMUZIK. The guy has come to be known as a near unmatchable wiz of the drum machine touch pads and he spend his entire show pounding away at them that in the end no one could keep up with him. No matter what you think about his actual music, you can’t help but want to applaud his audaciousness.

Next was to the main stage for Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs who opened the show by having his two dancers shoot confetti into the audience proving that confetti, like bacon, just makes everything better. From there the dancers remained on stage as the sexy bread to the Orlando Higginbottom sandwich, only leaving to change costumes after every few songs.

Even though Higginbottom mostly remained behind his mixing station, he sang all his vocals and exhibited a surprising level of energy and sass. In the end, for the punters I spoke with, TEED was the one most singled out as the biggest highlight of the day, a view hard to argue with.

The Island stage was my next destination to see Django Django, who were as adorable and charming as people would expect from a proto-pop neo-psyche art school drop-out band. Interestingly I ran into Adrian, one half of Bondi Hipsters (The Island stage’s MC’s) and while he was really enjoying Django Django he happen to suggest a few things to the band, for example, ‘I was speaking to them earlier and I said it would be mad if they got like a Stephen Hawkins solo.

Like, they do a few of their songs with Stephen Hawkins dropping the mad fucking verse, you know. He’s so cutting edge, he doesn’t even use his mouth to talk for fuck sake. The most cutting edge guy I have ever seen.’ So all in all The Island stage was a fairly interesting stage to be at.

By the time Hudson Mohawke hit the small Left Field stage at 9 o’clock we were right into the night and cooling off from the heat. However, this was not time to relax as Hudson Mohawke was intent on playing a dance heavy set mixing in his original tracks, his tracks from the TNGT EP and remixes all together into a brilliant dance-blend. This was a set I knew I was enjoying until, well, until he dropped none of other than:

I’m not even exaggerating, when Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Backseat Freestyle’ weaseled its way out of those speakers the excitement completely ricocheted throughout the 200 or so audience huddled in front of the stage.

Other highlights of the day include: Two Door Cinema Club, Breakbot and Hot Chip, who due to technical difficulties didn’t get to play until 11 pm, although this meant that they inadvertently got to headline the festival, so good for them. But for me, the undisputed highlight of my entire New Years day was without a doubt SBTRK, who prior to the day I couldn’t have cared either way about, but is now all I care to listen to.

Accompanied by the forever-soulful Sampa, who is also a mean cowbell-er, SBTRKT played a set full of soul and heart while pumping out every track with as much zest and enthusiasm as the last. For their final track SBTRKT and Sampa also welcomed to the stage the Disclosure boys for a really fun encore. It was the perfect end to a really great day.

See you next year Field Day!

Words by Luke Letourenau


Sydney kid contributing and interning at Purple Sneakers. I love singing along to music, but I rarely consider getting the words right or even close, I instead let my dancing interpret the music. Keenly interested in art, music and culture, great distractions from the nightmare of partaking in a creative arts uni degree.