Sun, cider, live music and friends…what more could you ask for?
June started with a bang as myself and my uni girls headed into week two of the fantastic All Points East Festival at Victoria Park. None of us had ever been before, but having all heard such good things, we were really excited to see what this festival had to offer… and we weren’t disappointed!
Getting there from South West London was a bit of a pilgrimage, but it was well worth the journey. The actual festival site was about a 15/20 minute walk from Mile End tube station so be prepared for this stroll if you’re going by public transport. There was lots of festival staff pointing the way to the festival, and all were really friendly and cheery which made for a much nicer atmosphere.
On arriving at the gates to the park, we made our way to the American Express counter. As an AMEX cardholder, there was a separate queue to get in and then a little lounge area once inside which I intended to take full advantage of.
Bag checks were quick but thorough, we didn’t spend hours queuing to get in and water was permitted – so, all in all, it was pretty painless.
The one thing I did notice was that there was no reentry, so wristbands weren’t given out. I am a bit of a sucker for a wristband and so it would have been nice to be given one – even if just as a memento of the day.
Victoria Park as a venue…
Victoria Park was a fantastic venue for the festival, it was massive with plenty of shade and spaces to sit and chill out with a drink throughout the day. However, it wasn’t so big that it was like re-doing your Duke of Edinburgh award and some sort of epic expedition to get from stage to stage. I was really impressed with the use of space and the way the arena was laid out. There were plenty of toilets dotted about the festival site, and halleluiah, the organisers had realised that 1000’s of people will require more than 1 toilet roll per cubicle and so there was always toilet roll and hand sanitiser in every toilet I went into!
All Points East had a fantastic lineup this year – playing host to the likes of Bon Iver, Mumford and Sons, The Vaccines, Dizzy Rascal, Christine & The Queens, Dermot Kennedy, Bring me the Horizon, The Chemical Brothers and many, many more.
The day we went there we got to see the fabulous Mumford and Sons and they were sensational. I haven’t seen them perform live in nearly 10 years and they were just as good, if not better than I remembered. The energy they had on stage, the way they got the crowd involved with their performance and the instrumentals were just outstanding and really lived up to the headline spot!!
Dizzy Rascal was absolutely bonkers (no pun intended)! Drinks were flying, mosh pits were forming and people just let loose, exactly as you would imagine during one of his sets. He played some of his new material as well as the classic favourites which got everyone jumping and dancing.
I also saw an artist perform that I had never seen before called Jade Bird. I loved her performance, and her blue suit – seriously she must have been hot in it, but the outfit was on point! With some of the members of the Rolling Stones calling her voice ‘raw and robust’ she was bound to be one to watch! I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for gigs or performances of hers at other festivals in the future!
Another favourite had to be the electric performance from The Vaccines! They had this fantastic energy which filled the park, plus with the sun shining down, I can’t imagine anyone in the crowd not wanting to dance along, grab a drink and enjoy their set!
There was plenty of choices when it came to food. Whether you had a hankering for vegan sushi from Happy Maki, a burger, chips, a burrito, falafel or even just a humble Mr Whippy, you could find it somewhere at All Points East.
I bought a portion of delicious halloumi fries with garlic mayo which really hit the spot as a little snack when I arrived. Halfway through the afternoon, and as it was hot and sunny, I just couldn’t resist a cheeky ice cream so quickly scouted out a Mr Whippy (with a flake of course!)
Food prices were pretty standard. A portion of regular chips was about £3.50, noodles, a burger or sushi was around £8-10 so don’t expect a bargain. That being said, it was pretty reasonable considering it was a London-based day festival.
Bars and water points were slightly sparser than I would have imagined at such a big festival site. They were not particularly well signed either and so a queue for a food vendor could easily be mistaken for the queue for the bar. Drinks were standard festival prices – a pint of Strongbow Dark Fruit was £6.50 and a bottle of water was a steep £2.50, but service was pretty quick, and bar staff were all really friendly.
If you are lucky enough to be blessed with a young-looking face, then expect to be asked to show ID. I was asked a couple of times, so just make sure you have some form of ID with you in case you need it!
I know we were extremely lucky with the weather, which of course makes a difference to one’s festival experience, but it really was a fantastic day festival! The variety of stages, the mixture of music genres and the sheer amount of choice when it came to food, as well as the vibe of the crowd, was second to none. The festival opened its arms to everyone, including families and those with specific needs or a disability. I was really impressed with the festival and felt it was very well organised!
All Points East was a fantastic festival and one I will definitely be going to again! See you next year Victoria Park!
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