THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH THE UK FESTIVAL SCENE AND FIELD MANEUVERS IS THE CURE
In the build up to another British summer, it seems as if there is a new electronic music festival born each week. These big budget behemoths lure in vast amounts of attendees with glossy branding and replicant line-ups of the usual pedestrian-house suspects. It seems inevitable that someday this bubble will pop, as the festival scene becomes overly diluted with homogenous events, the supply will soon exceed demand. There are only so many Navajo headdress toting twenty-somethings and slickback shufflers.
In this post-scarcity economy, the niche festival is king. We are talking about stripped-back grassroots events like Farr Festival (take a look on what went down in 2014) and Freerotation. For the keen eyed, early adopting music head that seeks out such gatherings, the rewards are plentiful. Well curated line-ups and a crowd void of Essex day-trippers trying Mandy for the first time.
One new promising star in this movement is Field Maneuvers. Only in its third year, this micro-festival takes over a secret location in the Oxfordshire countryside and sees as little as 500 revellers gather to enjoy a line-up that reads like a techno connoisseur cheat-sheet.
It’s hard not to draw parallels to "everyone's favourite festival you've never been to" , the elusive, hyper-exclusive Freerotation; famed for having an application process so long you wouldn’t be surprised if there was a clause expecting blood sacrifice and your first born child. From what we hear, it’s worth the wait. However, with Field Maneuvers all you must part with is the very reasonable cost of a weekend ticket.
The line-up focuses on the rough and ready side of house, techno and disco; Berghain mainstay Ryan Elliott, UK techno overlord Ben Sims, disco-punk The Black Madonna and Detroit royalty Marcellus Pittman, all the way through to the weightier tones of Blawan and even grime’s godfather DJ Slimzee. What better way to spend the final days of summer than getting up close and personal with some of the world’s finest selectors until the wee hours and leaving with 499 new friends?