9 Reasons Why All Points East Is Europe’s Raddest New Festival

Article by: David Hillier |@dhillierwrites

Mon May 21, 2018 | 08:10 AM

When All Points East announced its headliners last October, it was clear an essential new festival had arrived. Sharing many names with Barcelona’s Primavera Sound – Bjork, Nick Cave, The National, The War On Drugs and more – it was easily viewed as an English outpost of the Catalonian super-fest. Its scope and ambition was calculated by Goldenvoice, after all, the same folks who run none other than Coachella, FYF, and Panorama – and it's filling the gaping void left by Gastonbury, which is in its fallow year. But, since that initial lineup announcement, All Points East revealed itself to be a fascinating, socially conscious ten-day festival-conference hybrid that looks to redefine the urban festival experience. Here are nine reasons why we’re quadra-psyched for it.

Winding It Back to the Aughts

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Look at the acts finishing the first Friday: Phoenix, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, LCD Soundsystem. If you wanted a three-pronged attack of booty-wobbling aughts bands, you’d be hard-pushed to find a better battalion. From Phoenix drawing up a Lisztomania, to Yeah Yeah Yeahs giving us a "Date With The Night" to LCD getting you dance-weeping with All Your Friends, it’ll be a perfect journey to a better decade.

All Points Equal

All Points East Festival All Points Equal Poster
Photo by: All Points East

We’ll be offered some brain food to nurse away the hangovers in the form of All Points Equal, a day of performances and activities celebrating the 100th anniversary of UK women getting the right to vote. Foremost on your list should be the Suffragette Rally – a participatory rally that will guide us on a journey of feminism through the ages – and the panel Q+A. It includes Dr Helen Pankhurst, women’s rights activist, senior advisor to CARE International and great- granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the British Suffragette movement and queen of all things.

Lorde’s Only London Date of the Summer

Lorde 2013 Costanza.Ch Flickr Cc

New Zealand weird-pop maestro Lorde is still riding high off Melodrama. Hailed by all and sundry (NME, Rolling Stone, The Guardian) as one of 2017's best albums, it cemented her place as a superstar. Her slot supporting The xx will be her only London date this summer and will see yet another field oscillate to the bass of bona-fide banger-for-the-ages "Green Light."

Keeping It In the Neighbourhood

All Points East 2018 Cinema Schedule
Photo by: All Points East

As well as the weekend shows, there’s a special midweek programme called In The Neighbourhood. A range of free-to-enter events that will offer outdoor cinema, live music, street food, bars, theatre, arts and sports. There’ll also be themed movie nights including All Points 80s, All Points Musical and All Points Global World Cinema. After all, why should the fun finish on Sunday night?

All the Great Gals

Outside Lands Festival 2015 Adrian Spinelli   12
Photo by: Adrian Spinelli

There’s rightly been a lot said about the lack of gender parity on UK festival lineups. With initiatives like Keychange and Re:Balance aimed at addressing this, the future is looking more, well, balanced. But in 2018, All Points East is absolutely flying the flag. Whether its sets from actual goddesses like Bjork, Patti Smith or Karen O (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), or new dudes like rapper Stefflon Don, rock polymath St. Vincent or techno-fingered Black Madonna, APE’s lineup is a pure demonstration of the magic gals making music right now. 🙌🙌🙌

However, All the Beards Will Assemble for Sad Lad Saturday

Outside Lands Festival 2017 Adrian Spinelli   36
Photo by: Adrian Spinelli

Hoo boy, the second Saturday’s lineup will be a perfectly maudlin celebration of sad lad indie rock. From headliners The National, to The War On Drugs (back in town for the first time since 2017’s totemic album Pain), to Future Islands, Broken Social Scene, and Spoon, it really is a collection of North America’s greatest peddlers of modern melancholia. Set the lazers for emotion.

You’re in the Heart of London’s Food Capital

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Photo by: All Points East

East London is truly the part of London where you can eat seven continents in day (barring, perhaps, Antartica). From a Whitechapel curry (try Tay’abbs but be prepared to queue) to the Little Hanoi on Kingsland Road with its stretch of Vietnamese joints, it’s totally worth booking in a day after the festival to soak up that cider with the most diverse food the capital has to offer.

Nick Cave on Sunday

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are concluding the worldwide tour for their seminal album Skeleton Tree. The record, made in the aftermath of Cave’s teenage son Arthur’s tragic death, has seen the singer connect with his fans in a way that neither side could have predicted. The Skeleton Key shows have been communion than gig and there’ll be no more powerful way to bring the curtain down on the first All Points East

Meat and Potatoes Rock is Still Alive (And That’s Okay)

Primavera Sound 2016 Eric Pamies Air

Indie rock n' roll is considered a dirty phrase in 2018. Regardless, there’s a whole day for fans who like their music delivered with a strut by men in leather jackets and jeans skinny enough to incite public indecency accusations. Headliners Catfish and the Bottlemen are huge in England (despite the frankly atrocious name) whilst Blossoms and The Amazons are stoking the fires of anthemic rock music in Europe. Don’t forget your Converse.