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With over 800 days passing since we were last in Victoria Park for All Points East 2019, it felt so good to be back - if a little bit surreal. Photographer Chris Bethell spent the Monday at APE meeting and chatting with you lovely people about how it felt to be back in a field.

Jake and Joseph

How's it feel to be back at a festival?

Joseph: Feels good man, feels good to be around humans.
Jake: Yeah I mean, it's just nice to feel the vibration of a live show, y'know?

And who are you excited to see today?

Joseph: Magic Gang!
Jake: Oh yeah, and Foals.











Moesha

Are you enjoying today?

M: Yeah it's good! It's my first one post-pandemic. It's cool!

How does it feel to be back in a crowd again?

M: Fine, I thought I'd be a bit wary but I'm just enjoying it and quite happy to be amongst it all. I'm here with lots of different people in different places, but I'm currently lost.

Oh no, we hope you find them again! Who are you excited to see?

M: Bombay Bicycle Club. That's who I'm here for!

What do you like about this festival?

M: It's nice vibes, everyone's pretty cool, pretty chill.




Alicia and Evan

Who are you excited to see today?

A: Foals!
E: Foals always put on a fantastic show; Bombay Bicycle Club too.

How's it feel to be in a field with friends again?

E: We're here with some friends I haven't seen in about two years – they live in London and we've come down from Sheffield to see them here.
A: It feels like your first festival again, it's amazing.



Sabreen

How's it feel to be here?

S: I feel like I'm dreaming, I literally feel like I'm dreaming! Not only is it weird for me to be back in England; this is why I f*****g love England, sorry for swearing! But I've just missed this so much, it feels unreal.

What do you love about this festival?

S: The artists! They're sick, I'm so excited to see Foals. Their songs were our university anthems. It couldn't be a more perfect backdrop to our uni reunion. I love it.



Sophia and Vladimir

How are you both? How's your day going?

V: Yeah really nice! We've been circling between the East stage and the North stage.

Is it your first festival since the pandemic?

V: It's our first festival in the UK! It's awesome, we're from Russia – in Russia we have much less people and much less food at our festivals. Here there's a lot of everything!

Who are you excited to see?

V: Obviously Foals! But maybe also Caribou!




Luam and Hind

How are you feeling about being back in a field with live music?

L: Amazing!
H: Yeah, lovely.

What's your plan for the rest of the day?

L: We're going to go see Caribou and that's about it!








Courtney

What's it like being here today?

C: Really good! It's so nice to see everyone around, to be in the vibe. It's really cute.

Who have you seen and who do you wanna see?

C: I've just got here! But I'm about to catch Lianne La Havas. Happy to see anyone really though! It's more about the vibe for me really.

Is it your first festival of the year?

C: I was here Friday and Saturday too. Saturday was great, I enjoyed seeing Jamie xx! Feeling a bit ropey today, I didn't come yesterday as I needed a break but today I'm back in it.



Laura and Andy

How's your day going?

L: Bloody amazing! I don't have a voice! We got married on Saturday so this is our post-wedding party.

Congratulations!

A: This is the official after-party!

L: Most of our guests are here too.

A: We've got about fifty people here! It's going great, so nice to be in a field hugging everyone again. It's cracking.

How was the wedding day?

A: The bits we can remember were great! Everyone's told us today that it was great!

What's your plan for the rest of the day?

L: We want to see Caribou and Maya Jane Coles.
A: Foals and Bombay too!



Molly and Meg


How's it feel to be in a field again?

Mo: It's beautiful! It's euphoric! It brings it all back!
Meg: It's very breathtaking! Feels like no time has passed but also like it's been forever. Very happy to be back.

What's it like seeing people's faces again for the first time?

Meg: Overwhelming! But really nice.
Mo: We keep people watching, I keep staring at people because I'm not used to seeing so many different faces!
Meg: You all exist!

Who are you most excited about?

Mo: Really want to see Bombay Bicycle Club again. Just because the songs off their first album will move me deeply and make me feel fourteen again.
Meg: After such a long year it'll be great to feel like a teenager again watching Foals and Bombay! It'll be really nice and comforting but also wild!



Menna

How's it feel to be here today?

M: Oh god, it's amazing! It's all i've been waiting for. I'm so happy. It's my first festival of the year. I was supposed to go to Latitude but I got COVID, so this is my first one back.

Who are you excited to see today?

M: Ooooooh, Foals and Gang of Youths.

Words and photos by Chris Bethell