Found Festival @ Haggerston Park, London 15.06.13

Even in the uber-trendy confines of Shoreditch’s Haggerston Park there was still ample room for mud, queues and most importantly a defiantly buoyant festival crowd as Found unleashed their first ever all day event.

Jun 15th, 2013 at Haggertson Park, London / By Matthew Bayfield
Found Festival @ Haggerston Park, London 15.06.13 First appearing in late 2011 London based promoters Found have been responsible for some of the most cutting edge underground electronic music events in the nation’s capital, including their initial run of 15 nights, each with an eclectic line-up a sell-out party on the streets of achingly hip Shoreditch last summer. If this sets alarm bells off for their first ever one day festival you wouldn’t be alone: visions of Dalston hipsters arriving on fleets of penny farthings and ironically moustached twentysomethings in tweed giving post-modern “gunfingers” were rife as The Beard arrived at the already heaving park. After a brief survey, however, it was a relief to see that the 4000 strong crowd were a fairly healthy cross section of the festival going public; the bald middle aged chap joyously bouncing around in a real ale t-shirt only further confirmation of this fact.

With “British summer time” deciding to strike early on in proceedings the exposed Found main stage was looking fairly empty as the rain sheeted, but luckily the two covered stages, hosted by Tief x Trouble Vision and Magna Carta respectively had excellently curated line-ups to keep the crowds lively as they navigated in and out of the temperamental weather patterns like groups of Red Stripe powered Bedouins. There were of course, those bold ravers who defiantly braved the elements and kept things moving out at the main stage wearing an assortment of ponchos, raincoats and obviously, the odd ironic tweed. Interestingly the weather and resultant spontaneous crowding of the covered stages gave the whole day a lovely community feel, and besides, there’s nothing more fun than watching a young hipster suddenly realise the humidity and water retention problems that come part & parcel with wearing a suit to a rave.

The only real issues with the day were in the queues for the toilets and bars, the latter of which (in a moment of sublime Britishness) was forced to orchestrate a secondary queuing system for people waiting to queue for the bar. There was also the curious VIP area, which had an amazing line-up throughout the day including Waifs & Strays, Breach and Axel Bowman, but a no gin (or tonic) for a good hour or so at about lunchtime. As excellent as the musical vibe was in this smaller area it all felt a bit smug, and arguably the main benefit of the area (having its own bar) was negated by the fact the staff seemed totally unable to deal with the number of people inside.

Across all stages throughout the day the line ups really did show off Found’s impeccable curation skills however. In the Magna Carta tent Alexis Raphael performed a particularly lively back to back with Max Chapman, Amine Edge & DANCE were on typically smutty, good humoured form and Waff, a DJ relatively unfamiliar to the ‘Beard was another good shout for the day from the MC stage. Dark Sky (pictured) were without doubt another must see on the Tief x Trouble Vision line-up and the main stage, with everyone from Shadowchild, Maya Jane Coles to Todd Terry was more than equipped to deal with the random weather patterns.

Up scaling from club nights to a full-day festival is always something of a gamble but, slight overcrowding aside, they pulled it off nicely and Found Festival has certainly turned out to be a surprise wildcard of the festival season thus far with an intimate feeling many other promoter’s events have, in the past, lost as they have grown in size.