The Rise Of The One Day Festival

2015 was the year the one day festivals nearly overtook weekenders in popularity. But why?

As the year draws to a close, our team of writers contemplate a year in music

From new trends to traits that need to be left in the past, the last twelve months have birthed as many signs of progression as they have elements of deterioration.

Though music production has been exciting as ever, doors have closed (both physically and metaphorically) on some of the women behind the beats, as well as more than a few of the venues that have hosted them.

Happily, doom and gloom hasn't overridden the entire year, as Ryan Loftus explores in our first 'Best of 2015' piece. Here, he looks at the rise of the one day festival. 

Under the mammoth eyes of British festivals like Glastonbury, Bestival and WOMAD, 2015 has done well to pay homage to a rising ideology that’s gained speed over a number of years.

The hedonistic shadows of the British summer have proved themselves the perfect incubator for the one-day festival. Though admittedly these jamborees have been going for a number of years (Field Day started in 2007) there has been a notable increase in new starters across the UK inside the last three years. 2015 culminated in over 15 one-day events, more than triple 2010’s meagre five.

The Despacio Stage at Lovebox

With the burgeoning desire for revelers to party in the comfort of their own city, the popularity of the one-day festival continues to soar, and not just in London.

The good people of Bristol have played their fair share in the rise of the day to night festivities. Bristol events like Simple Things (started in 2011), Love Saves The Day (2012) and Tokyo World (2014), have played their part in changing the game for the UK’s one day circuit.

Love Saves The Day has been a flashlight for debauchery since its inception in 2012. It consistently ushers in ravers from all over the South-West, with its string of concrete line-ups that have included Ben UFO, Crazy P and Jackmaster.

Likewise with local confidant Simple Things, which in the eyes of Resident Advisor enjoyed a “Masterfully curated” fifth year on the block, after taking over various venues across the party paradise that is Stokes Croft.

Love Saves The Day 2015 (c) from Love Saves The Day on Vimeo.

This isn’t to say that the other cities around the country haven’t been paying their dues. London’s one-day veteran Field Day, set up in 2007, has been described as a perfect choice for those looking to blend bold dance acts with a dreamy summer vibe.

Rolling out a huge Victoria Park welcome to the likes of Hudson Mohawke, Floating Points, Leon Vynehall, Ben Klock and Marcel Dettman, it’s assisted in the creation of arguably one of the best one-day weekenders to hit London. 

Standing up tall alongside the likes of Eastern Electrics - which has been quietly chipping away at coveted festival fame for four years – there are many more waiting in the wings ready to step up and take pride of place. 

Collectively, we wonder what has aided this success? Accessibility? Money? Laziness?

The magnetism that a hardened party-goer shares with a warm bed is second to none, especially after a long day of over exertion. The one dayer is a gloriously swift day out, requiring no over-night stays, no extensive travelling and a concise selection of DJ’s and acts that you can see with more mates than would able to get Glasto tickets.

Let’s be honest, as much as we love them, excessive rain-accompanied tent dwelling and makeshift vodka & coke stations can eventually become so trying that a change is required somewhere down the line.

Clicking 'attending' on one of these events automatically means you’re spending less than you would at a traditional weekend celebration. Herein lies the appeal for the majority of students and young revellers, who often comprise a healthy section of the punters.

The outlay for spending is minimal: throw in your chosen vice, a gourmet hot-dog and a cocktail and you’re away. Mix with the appealing convenience of your location and it’s game, set and match.

Time is most certainly on hand for the continued existence of these events, and at this point the majority of people, albeit with the right backing, connections and desire can have their chance to create a one-day fiesta, this guy even did it:

2016 can surely expect a few more of these to pop up (Sunfall), whilst those that already exist continue to grow, with their condensed nature and ease of access being their U.S.P.

The UK will never disown its traditional weekend model of festival goodness, it’s clear from the short yet highly colourful one-day history that there seems to be a willing change of the pageant tides sweeping across the UK.

Long may it continue.

Written by Ryan Loftus

29 Dec 2015