All Points East - proving Mondays can be happy!

All Points East 2021 review

By Elliott Jones | Published: Mon 6th Sep 2021

around the festival site (Monday)

Friday 27th to Monday 30th August 2021
Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, Greater London, E9 7BT, England MAP
varies, around £70 a day
Daily capacity: 40,000
Last updated: Mon 26th Jul 2021

After the events cancellation in 2020 All Points East returned with a vengeance for 2021. Although Monday’s festivities was greeted by an overcast day it didn’t dampen sprits, and offered a vastly different line-up from Sunday’s Field Day.  Given this, and the end of bank holiday weekend, it was not unsurprising to see a somewhat older crowd vs previous days for All Points East. That being said, the cool London crowd were well dressed with plenty of glitter adorned faces, and the line-up and vibe were the perfect end to the long weekend.

Arlo Parks: All Points East 2021

We kicked the day off with Arlo Parks. Given the release of her critically acclaimed debut album “Collapsed In Sunbeams”, it was no surprise that she drew in an ever-increasing crowd throughout her set, whom Parks continually interacted with. Proclaiming that this was her first London festival, she didn’t disappoint. Parks performance truly showcased her talents by combining her distinct Jazz, R&B, and acoustic influences to deliver both witty and darker topics.

Lianne La Havas was up next for us, delighting the crowd dressed in a black and white suit, with her unique mix of soulful tunes. She opened with Green & Gold, and later a cover of Radiohead’s Weird Fishes, all demonstrating her nimble guitar-work.

Caribou changed the pace into the evening delivering a set that brought a new dimension to their electronically focused sound. Whist opening track New Jade was a little more muted, Odessa brought things to life, and Sun allowed Dan Snaith to work the crowd to great effect. Snaith even broke out of his usually serious demeaner, offering a smile and a wave to his captivated audience. Ending with a frim fan favourite, Can’t Do Without You, it was clear that Caribou is definitely an act that should be seen live!

Foals: All Points East 2021
Foals made for the perfect headliners, exuding nothing but confidence and high-octane energy. Off the back of their electrifying 90-minute set, it wasn’t hard to see why. Opening with The Runner, their blistering set was all killer. Including My Number, Spanish Sahara, Mountain At My Gates, it felt almost nostalgic to see packed crowds screaming along with lead signer Yannis Philippakis. Breaking into an intense theatrical stare – with his hands held aloft – you sensed his belief that Foals were headlining on merit with Yannis boasting enough swagger to light Jimmy Smith’s cigarette whilst on rhythm guitar.

It wasn’t long before mosh pits ensued, such as the crowds excitement. And with cannons and streamers exploding, we saw what felt like the perfect finale with What Went Down and Two Steps, Twice.

Monday at All Points East had a great mix of acts and the festival itself ran relatively smoothly. With the older crowd there was very little in the way of trouble apart from one scuffle we passed, which was dealt with swiftly and professionally.  

One other thing that had hampered things are the reports of poor sound quality, particularly for the Foals headline. This wasn’t something I really noticed, but given I was relatively near to the front this may have affected those further away.

Drinks and food had variety and very little in the way of queues, aside from a late afternoon rush of those who wanted to refuel. Whilst it was never going to be the cheapest place for food and drink in London, the prices were pretty standard for festivals. The loo situation wasn’t bad either – what seemed like masses of people moved quickly which made a nice change from many other festivals we’ve attended.

Sound issues aside, I think that the organisers All Points East planned the event really well. They got the billing right given where we were at the end of the August bank holiday. The day felt the perfect tonic, particularly for those who had missed festivals for the past 18 months. So much so, that I can’t wait to see what’s coming for 2022!

review by: Elliott Jones

photos by: Carrie Tang

Latest Updates

All Points East 2024
festival details
last updated: Fri 26th Apr 2024
All Points East 2024
line-ups & rumours
last updated: Mon 5th Feb 2024
All Points East 2023
festival details
last updated: Fri 7th Jul 2023
All Points East 2023
line-ups & rumours
last updated: Thu 6th Jul 2023