Thousands of hedonist ravers, three sassy alpacas and one epic spaceport. Committed to the pursuit of happiness, no other festival will ever sign off festival season like Bestival does. The sense of adventure and escapism that getting on a ferry and crossing over water gives you, makes Bestival impossible to resist.
Musically, rules get broken. And that’s what makes Bestival stand-out from the rest of the UK’s major festivals. Mixing dark with light, DJs know they are playing to a crowd driven by change and impressed by risk. With the music industry where it is now, there’s much less focus on the main-stage.
Imagine a world where festivals like Bestival don’t exist. Robin Hill Park is a place full of rich human stories. There’s no going ‘back to the future’. Past is perception and the future starts now.
Friday afternoon belonged to grime, with Eskimo Dance hosting a massive takeover bringing Wiley, Section Boyz, P Money and crew together under the same roof for some fierce rap battles.
Straying further from the main-stage in search of some serious levels, we found SISTER. Creating an explosive vibe, Carly Wilford and Shan McGinley warmed up the Jägerhaus with mad infectious energy.
In an age of carefully plotted hype, Canadian duo Odesza were also on hand to remind us what is real. Huge love to Bestival for bringing them back to the UK.
Before Katy B on the The Big Top came DJ Barely Legal, who smashed one of the biggest sets of her career — tasked with following on from Carl Cox and Diplo on the Spaceport.
Craig David and Wolf Alice pulled in the biggest crowds of the daytime. With Rob da Bank + SGT Pokes’ History of Drum and Bass welcoming a vital jungle dimension in the evening.
Over in Bollywood, Kurupt FM brought in a headline-sized crowd — before cult Liverpool producer and Yeezus collaborator Evian Christ pulled off a ridiculously dark and heavy trance show. Epic.
Setting hearts and souls on fire in the early hours of Saturday morning, Crystal Fighters had the crowd hanging onto every lyric. Thousands of like-minded people singing along to I Love London. An unforgettable moment.
With Sunday came the sunshine, much to the delight of the sassy alpacas, who had no trouble making new friends. Favourite grime trailblazer Kano created the biggest mosh-pits of the weekend, while Mura Masa lifted everyone to euphoria.
Bestival’s biggest headline sound-clash in history came from global superstars Sean Paul and Wiz Khalifa. The Jamaican dancehall legend cemented his reputation as one of the finest exponents of his art on the planet. But it was Wiz Khalifa’s arsenal of hip-hop bangers that truly stole the show.
If you know Bestival, you know it doesn’t stop there. Eats Everything played to one of the biggest crowds of the weekend, ahead of Fat Boy Slim closing The Spaceport Stage.
A sublime technician behind the decks, and one of the friendliest DJs on the scene, The Black Madonna proved exactly why she’s a crowd favourite. Before passing the Bollywood Tent over to Bicep, who left every raver wanting more.