Some new years resolutions we made at Field Day 2018
Having a one day festival on New Year’s Day is risky business. Not only because it’s the biggest concentration of hungover people using the tried and true “hair of the dog” method of curing themselves, but also because it sets the standard for festivals for the next 365 days. It’s a daunting task, but, once again, the legends at FIELD DAY and FUZZY AUSTRALIA stepped up to the challenge and pulled it off – almost – without a hitch.
In that spirit, we learned a few things from this year’s Field Day that are worth taking into the new year – and none of them involve the gym.
DANCE MORE, LIKE GEORGE MAPLE
In an all-silver get up that made Sydney’s own George Maple look like she was truly from the future, her gleaming afternoon set could make anyone believe that she was indeed of another time. With electricity running through every member of the crowd, Maple commanded her audience with belting notes and gorgeous melodies. But, more than anything, her dance moves were truly of another planet. Dancing like the rent was due tomorrow, the energy that her and her two dancers exerted was more powerful and more invigorating than any of the other acts at the festival combined. Her freedom, her liberation and her sexuality expressed through bangers like ‘Hero’, ‘Gemini’ and the all-conquering ‘Talk Talk’ were almost tangible. It was truly something to behold.
PERSIST MORE, LIKE MURA MASA
Mura Masa may have copped the absolute worst luck of the day. Being a pre-festival must-see for most punters due to his colossal 2017 and Field Day housing one of his very first Australian shows, the hype was strong and, where he could, he delivered. Opening with ‘Nuggets’, complete with on-stage vocals from Bonzai, he entranced the crowd with his unique and trademark approach to electronic music. But then his sound cut out. NOT TO WORRY! As it was soon back on and he managed to belt out his Charli XCX collaboration ‘1 Night’ with help from vocalist Fliss…only for the sound to cut out once again. As he sat on the front of stage with frustration and dismay, some of the eager crowd began to leave. A heartbreaking scene to witness.
But, the sound had managed to pull together for one last hurrah, and Mura Masa remained unaffected and made sure this last bang was worth it for those loyal fans still standing. And as people from all over flocked back upon hearing the opening notes of ‘Love$ick’, his tenacity, ambition and persistence proved more than worth it.
REALISE THAT WOMEN WANT TO PLAY FESTIVALS TOO
We shouldn’t be able to count on one hand the amount of women that played Field Day, but here we are. Do better.
BE MORE GRATEFUL, LIKE STORMZY
There’s a reason that Stormzy is widely considered one of the nicest men in rap. With a beaming smile that completely illuminated the festival’s main stage, and in between his massive hits ‘Big For Your Boots’, ‘Cold’ and his ‘Shape Of You’ remix, the grime legend did not, for one second, stop thanking his Australian fans who have consistently shown him so much love. He reminisced about his iconic Splendour in the Grass set and kept pushing about how we – not he – were going to make 2018 great. Shedding a tear just thinking about it.
SHOW MORE LOVE TO YOUR FRIENDS, LIKE FLUME
We don’t need to talk about just how good Flume‘s headlining set was – he’s not our most successful modern music export for nothing. But, one thing to be admired about Flume is that his love for his colleagues, collaborators and, most importantly, friends never goes un-showcased. Given the fact that both KUČKA and VINCE STAPLES were playing the festival already, it seemed inevitable that a live, on-stage rendition of Flume‘s smash ‘Smoke & Retribution’ would go ahead – and it did to a thunderous roar from the infinite crowd. The chemistry that all three artists – from seemingly different worlds – shared was almost palpable and was truly a glorious way to bring the massive day to an end.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF MORE, LIKE VINCE STAPLES
With little more to his set than a vivid, orange background and his energetic silhouette, Vince Staples simply was doing what he does best – commanding any crowd and proving why he’s one of the greatest. As the crowd danced, jumped and screamed through ‘BagBak’, ‘Big Fish’, ‘Norf Norf’ and ‘Señorita’, Staples didn’t let his energy go for a second. He didn’t have crazy theatrics, his light show was minimal and he was up there completely by himself – but that didn’t matter. His enthusiasm, explosiveness and unrelenting presence was all he needed to make sure his set was, quite simply, the best of the day.
Words by JACKSON LANGFORD
Photo by GABRIELLE CLEMENT