Field Day Festival - The Domain, Sydney

Written by Alex Langlands

Field Day Festival - The Domain, Sydney

Now in its 11th year, Field Day has long been the solution to many individuals’ New Year’s Day confusion, and this year’s was no different. Armed with numerous hangovers and other regrets of the night passed, punters filed in quickly to the unique setting of Sydney’s Domain, eager to kick off the new year with a bang, and with Fuzzy Entertainment at the helm, there was no better way to do it. With the forecast indicating not only impeccable weather but a vast array of indie-dance hybrids with a sprinkle of pop, it was clear from the outset that the 2013 installation of Field Day would be one to remember.

Since his 1995 release of single Gangsters Paradise, Coolio became somewhat of a one-hit wonder. However, this notion was blown completely out of the water as he stormed the Island stage with his young nephew. Smashing through his back catalogue, the American rapper was quick to crack open a bottle of Grey Goose and invited two ladies backstage not shortly after. He may not have made any notable achievements in the past few years, but Coolio proved that he is still in the game.

Some were unsure of how a midday act could top the likes of Coolio; however, it was the likes of Krafty Kuts & A-Skillz who took on the challenge. Mashing up tracks from all walks of life, the two DJs had everyone hooked from the ouset. If it’d been a sizable hit in the past fifteen years, it was in there somewhere. From Red Hot Chilli Peppers to Run DMC, the duo had no boundaries. Over on the Island stage, Breakbot was infecting the ears of punters with the sounds of his musical funk, making dancing compulsory for all in attendance.

The afternoon sun began to move closer to the horizon as Booka Shade, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Icona Pop brought their own individual touch to the festival. However, it was the unlikely Swedish popsters Icona Pop who brought the roof down. Known best for their single I Love It, the European Duo pulled all stops throughout their performance; however, it was the aforementioned single that caused absolute mayhem. They performed an alternative and extended version, and the crowd responded, quickly becoming a sea of bodies.

As fans eagerly awaited the arrival of Hot Chip, stage MC Shantan announced that there had been a mix-up with flights, and that Hot Chip would perform a DJ set as opposed to a live one. With some fans left gutted, the DJ set did help heal the wounds; however, some were still left distraught.

The arrival of Adrian Lux saw one of the biggest audiences of the day, and justifiably so. Opening with a remix of Lana Del Rey’s Blue Jeans, Adrian Lux was quick to turn up the heat. Blasting into the summer dance anthem, Swedish House Mafia’s Don’t You Worry Child, it was clear that the DJ had every idea about songs that worked and those that didn’t, resulting in a consistently amazing set.

Django Django filled the indie criteria of the 6:30 slot with their alternative rock vibes. Closing with an experimental rendition of Defualt, the British outfit proved that they were on par with the rest.

Following from Django Django were one of the more-anticipated acts of the day, The Vaccines. Last here as part of the Big Day Out tour, the British rockers played to a much more impressive and responsive crowd then they did at their last Sydney performance. Playing a set that consisted of tracks from both albums, it was clear that they are set to become favourites amongst the Australian festival circuit. Although they experienced notable technical difficulties, with stage hands failing to comply with the band’s requests, they still put on one hell of a show.

After moving their set forward by ten minutes, Two Door Cinema Club stepped on stage quite calmly, opening with new track Sleep Alone off their sophomore album. A distinct sense of euphoria was evident within the audience as all watched a sensational performance as the group ripped through tracks from both albums, playing everyone’s favourites. Yet it was the opening sequence of Something Good Can Work that received the most enthusiastic response. The delightfully short track was accompanied by an impressive light display, only adding to the experience. Closing with What You Know, it was clear that Two Door Cinema Club may not have topped the list in best Field Day performances (thank you Justice) but it’s sure as hell up there.

Although the headliners had bid The Domain adieu, the day was not over. After several no shows on the Australian festival circuit, Mark Ronson finally made an appearance on Australian shores, bringing along a group of friends, which included Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt. The indie vocalist accompanied Ronson, supplying the lyrics to his hits Valerie and Somebody to Love. However, as Wyatt left the stage, lyrical duties were left in the hands of the audience, who knew every word to the songs yet to come.

With the day coming to a close, Hot Chip were yet to take the stage. The group would deliver an extremely memorable set, regardless of the fact that it only ran for 30 minutes, and closed the festival in the most fantastic way possible.

Something that needs to be noted is that there is one element that differentiates Field Day from the rest of our summer festivals. I confess, I’m not entirely sure why it happens. Put simply, there is a distinct absence of dickheads who go out to cause others discomfort, a small minority who now reside permanently at larger events. A strange hybrid of music, happiness and the feeling of a New Year pooled together to make Field Day. It may not have had the best lineup, with 97 international acts, but my god did it have both the best location, and the best crowd. I applaud you Fuzzy Entertainment: not only did you cure several thousand hangovers and restore dignity lost from the past night, but you raised the bar for the year ahead. If the first day of 2013 was like that, I’m looking forward to what the remainder has in store.

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