100 Nights of Summer: The Electric Fields 2018 Recap

The end of summer in Scotland is celebrated by the Electric Fields Festival. Newly expanded to include a kickoff third day on Thursday, this DIY family-friendly fest is one of our favorites of the season.   

Day #100 of 100: Festival #15 of 15

Well, here we are again at the end of another crazy adventure across Europe. I’m finishing up at a festival that was one of my favorites from last year, filled with some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met and with a castle to boot.

1. Running the Numbers
2. The Scene
3. Musical Highlights
4. Stray Observations
5. Travel Notes
6. Final Thoughts

Running the Numbers

Electric Fields Stats:

Dates: August 30-September 1, 2018
Editions: 5
Attendance: 7,000
Artists: 70+
MFW Beer Index: €5.60
Highest/Lowest Temperature: 2C/20C (35F/68F)

100 Nights of Summer Stats:

Days on the Road: 100
Countries Visited: 16
Festivals Attended: 15
Festival Days: 46
Festival Days w/rain: 20
Days Camping: 25
100 Nights of Summer Festival #15 2015: Electric Picnic
100 Nights of Summer Festival #15 2016: Lollapalooza Berlin
100 Nights of Summer Festival #15 2017:
Reworks

The Scene

Keeping it Small, Keeping it Friendly
For their fifth celebration, Electric Fields upped their capacity and saw about 7,000 a day. It rarely feels packed (except that late night ABBA dance party), and is still one of the family-friendliest festivals I’ve come across during my adventures. Seriously, I have yet to see a Scottish kid even crying.

Scotland is Pretty
When it stops raining, Scotland is fucking beautiful.

Warm it Up
There’s loads of music to see at Electric Fields in just two days, so I was pretty happy to have the extra warm-up day added with sets by Ride and James. Let’s here if for chill kickoff days with relaxed travel, setting up, and catching some music in the evening.

James

Warm It Up Even More
I’ve been to a total of nine festival days and nineteen days total in Scotland, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the sun come out here like it did on Friday. Okay, so the temperature dropped to damn near freezing that night, but man, just look at those blue clouds and that green grass. What a final weekend.

Music Highlights

Acts I Caught and the Unofficial Order in Which I Enjoyed Them

  • Public Service Broadcasting
  • IDLES
  • Dream Wife
  • Shame
  • The Horrors
  • Teenage Fanclub
  • Odd Stanley
  • The Vegan Leather
  • Baxter Drury
  • Ride
  • James
  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
  • Young Fathers

Dream Wife/Shame
It doesn’t get any better for photographers and live performances than the dueling dynamic singers Rakel Mjöll of Dream Wife and Shame’s Charlie Steen.

Shame

Dream Wife

Public Service Broadcasting
This London based group is one of the most immersive experiences of the summer. Combining a wide array of instruments and historical samples like clips from the moon landing, PSB is as much a visual show as an aural one. Plus, dancing astronauts.

Public Service Broadcasting

Teenage Fanclub
One of the most influential bands to ever come out of Scotland, Gerard Love is leaving Teenage Fanclub after 30 years, so this is one of the last times that the original founders of the group will be playing live.

Teenage Fanclub

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
I don’t know many Oasis songs, but they were easy to pick out when the completely quiet crowd would suddenly begin singing along to every word.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Stray Observations

The Festival
So before leaving for Electric Fields, we stopped into a theater for some festival inspiration. Fun fact: I’m somewhere in the massive crowd for this movie shot at last year’s Leeds Festival.

Bucket List Complete
On the left is the largest sycamore tree in Britain. True fact.

Just Taking a Stroll
Sometimes I’m just hanging out in the middle of the crowd, enjoying the hell out of a band, and this happens.

Shame

The Last Shot
Seeing IDLES as my last show of the 2018 season was a treat, but catching this final picture of them raging in the crowd after crowdsurfing across a sea of screaming fans, was my highlight of the festival.

IDLES

Travel Notes

Where Did You Sleep?
It may get chilly, but I always camp at Electric Fields. There are nearby villages with apartments, but you’ll have more fun bringing a tent, and there’s glamping if you can’t be fussed to bring your own gear. Just make sure to pack as many extra blankets as you can fit.

How Did You Get There?
Electric Fields has bus connections from over half a dozen major cities so that’s what I would have taken if my friend Peter hadn’t picked me up in his car and driven me there. After four years of hitching, hiking, and public transportation, I felt like I had hired a VIP service to deliver me to the festival.

Final Thoughts

With an extra day and a slightly increased capacity, Electric Fields continues to evolve in the best possible way. There seems to be no shortage of musical talent to fill the stages and I’m excited to see what they bring to the scene in the next five years.

Final Final Thoughts

The last festival of the 100 Nights of Summer 2018 season may be over, but there’s still plenty to talk about over the next couple months as I pore through thousands of photos and loads of notes. Stay tuned for gear reviews, more pictures, travel tips, and stories. Thanks for checking out 100NOS and supporting my addiction to traveling the world and writing about it.