- Mon, 2012-09-17 10:08
Global horizons expanded at WOMAD, senses overloaded at Secret Garden Party, minds reconfigured at Boomtown (shhhh)....what a summer of
love festivals we've had. September ahoy, the number of days left until the big C word already mentioned on the radio and just one weekend remained circled in our diary. Bestival.
Set up in 2004 by DJ / Sunday Best Records founder Rob Da Bank and his wife Josie, Bestival has grown into one of the most respected festival weekends on the UK calender, demonstrated further still by the heavyweight line-up they commanded this year; Stevie Wonder, De La Soul, New Order, Sigur Ros, Justice, The xx and a chunky 50,000 strong capacity.
Chatting to Rob a while back, he told us, "Me and Josie took our cue from Glastonbury." And no truer words have been spoken. Incredible attention to detail, beautiful / odd / absurd decorations, hidden performance spaces alongside the 25 official stages listed in the programme, an eclectic line-up and above all else, a glorious sense of community heightened by the mass #wildlife themed fancy-dress-up on Saturday (honestly, everyone had a costume). Bestival really is Glastonbury's enthusiastic younger cousin.
Beneath the wings of an owl with lasers for eyes, the (intuitively titled) Main Stage boasted the big guns. De La Soul slammed down their colourful blend of old school hip hop complete with funkier-than-thou horns, while Sunday saw us rooted to the same spot for over three hours as the ethereal swoop of icelandic troupe Sigur Ros bled into the epic, femme fatale fantasy of Bat For Lashes before Stevie Wonder landed with enough brightness, clarity and joy for us all...and him. And his daughter (who sat at the piano as we all sang I Just Called). And MJ (he covered The Way You Make Me Feel). And John Lennon (yup, covered Imagine). And Alicia and Jay Z (threw down the chorus to New York). And his band. And definitely you. Even if you weren't there. JOY.
Hosted by our friends at Ninja Tune, the Rizlab was difficult to avoid, promising the experimental, dubby-tronics the label has become known for with a full weekend line-up featuring the label's best; Slugabed, Raffertie, Bonobo, Coldcut, Offshore and Speech Debelle. Serious fans of synthesised sound were conitnually catered for, a headline set from Orbital in the Big Top, expansive proof that psychedelic rock can be warped into an electronic expanse courtesy of Death In Vegas, plus the guaranteed nightly rave-bender among the mechanical confines of Arcadia.
Hidden in the woods The Amphitheatre added a reverential beauty to the line-up of spoken word artists curated by Scroobius Pip, while the Psychedelic Worm offered the best in new, predominantly guitar driven artists; Django Django, Lianne La Havas, Field Music, Lucy Rose and Toy.
With a constant barrage of musical choice, extra delight lay in the details; a party for no more than 50 people in a hollowed out tree, a troupe of glowing jelly-fish ladies, a shouty woman making us all pretend it was our birthday, the man hollering "GO ON DOUBLE X's" during The xx set, the best festival sausage I've ever eaten, a huge mechanical robot crawling across the site and an actual roller disco. Bestival really did pull out all the party stopping stops.
And so it was that our summer came to a jubilent end. I suppose we're lucky really. A summer of festival hopping isn't an option for everyone and Bestival certainly isn't easy on the piggy bank once you include travel to the Isle of Wight and the alcohol restrictions on site forcing you to the bars. Still, if you're an open minded music fan (which you probably are if you like our site), then we'd be hard pressed not to recommend Bestival as a quality one-stop festival option.
On that note, here's our Bestival 2012 playlist (if you listen carefully you'll hear our distant and mournful sobs). Feessstttiiivvvaalll summer, commmmeee backkkk...
1. Scroobius Pip - The Struggle
2. Django Django - Waveforms
3. De La Soul - In The Woods
4. Jessie Ware - Sweet Talk
5. Death In Vegas - All That Glitters
6. Bat For Lashes - Trophy
7. Sigur Ros - Glosoli
8. Stevie Wonder - Higher Ground
9. The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing - Goggles
10. Mary Epworth - Black Doe
11. Tom Williams and The Boat - There's A Stranger
12. Slugabed - Grandma Paints Nice
13. SBTRKT - Right Thing To Do
14. Orbital - Beelzedub
15. The xx - Tides
16. The Horrors - Endless Blue
17. St. Spirit - New Skin
18. Josh Kumra - Helicopters and Planes
19. Bonobo ft Andreya Triana - Eyesdown
20. Earth, Wind and Fire - September
Nice one HTC. You gave us a brand new HTC One S and asked us to take it to some festivals and see what we thought. We have been converted. All our Bestival pics were taken on the One S and we're mighty pleased with the results :D