After Field Day, Lovebox and East End Live, Visions Festival is the latest hipper-than-thou festival to hit east London, taking place this Saturday at three venues across Hackney. If you’re worried that we’re reaching saturation point, don’t be; there are loads of reasons to grab a ticket.
Here are five of them:
1. The bands
Obviously. Visions has a top line-up from across the alternative spectrum: floor-shaking funk by !!!, paint-stripping punk by Fucked Up, mind-bending alt folk by Jeffrey Lewis… and that’s only the headliners. Don’t miss out on Public Service Broadcasting (krautrock meets archive footage and samples), The Haxan Cloak (dark-as-hell electronic brain-scrapings), Iceage (snotty Swedish hardcore punk), or East India Youth (Tim Hecker meets David Byrne meets Pet Shop Boys). You get the picture: this is one not to miss.
2. The venues
Yes, all three of them. They’re all pretty small (no craning and squinting to see the bands) but not tiny (no banging your head on the ceiling, getting inadvertently intimate with strangers or – fingers crossed – queuing to get in). Oval Space is one of the best new venues in London, with an excellent sound system, a near-unbeatable party vibe and a terrace with a nice post-industrial panorama (if you like that sort of thing). Netil House is a studio complex which also happens to have a really cool roof terrace on top. London Fields Brewery is right next door to an actual craft beer producer – so it’s not quite a piss-up in a brewery, but near enough – and has a great venue space under some railway arches as well as a courtyard which regularly hosts street food fairs. Which leads us to…
3. The food
Heard of Lucky Chip? Fin and Flounder? Breddos Taco Shack? Bao London? If you’re a London foodie then yes, you definitely have – and all of them will be popping up in Netil House to satisfy your cravings between bands with the best burgers, Taiwanese buns, tacos and fishy dishes in town.
4. The crowd
Now we don’t want to stereotype, but let’s just say there’ll be plenty of opportunity for people-watching on Saturday. Why not make a game out of counting up snapback caps versus top-knot hairstyles to see which is the most popular among the Hackneyites in attendance? Or see who’s sporting the most inappropriate beard? Yes, there’ll be a fair few young and trendy people knocking about. If you like the sound of that, all the better. If you don’t… well, at least they won’t be trying too hard to get to the front.
5. The weather
If you’re still not convinced: we asked the BBC and they say it’s going to be be pretty nice on Saturday. Not so warm that you can’t bear to go inside and leap about to some awesome music, but sunny enough that you can take advantage of the various roof terraces, courtyards and general outdoor space on offer, as well as not getting wet (and ruining your snapback/top-knot) when walking between the venues.