Where: Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight
When: 6-9th September
Who: Stevie Wonder, New Order, The XX, Sigur Ros, Justice and plenty more in the alternative/electronic/acoustic vein.
Price: Adult £180, Student £170, Teen £120
Pros: Well Organised, relaxed and fun atmosphere, fancy dress!
Cons: Transport, Weather.
Curated by Radio 1 DJ Rob da Bank, Bestival is the closest to the “Glastonbury feel” at a festival that isn’t Glasto itself: the atmosphere is friendly and laid back but maintaining a focus on the music. Also of note is the fancy dress: a different theme each year (this year’s is wildlife), it seems Bestival has stumbled upon a fantastic way to create a sense of unity within the festival’s diverse crowd of teens, oldies and students. A lot of effort is put into the design of the festival grounds, with bright displays providing a sunny backdrop even if the weather isn’t quite up to the job (which is sometimes an issue, considering it is September!).
My experience of Bestival was in 2010, with the highlights being the bars, the bands and the beautiful surroundings despite a rather wet weekend. Also of note was the top-notch DJs such as Flying Lotus and Joy Orbison filling the gaps between bands, meaning non-stop music and no sitting around bored for other bands. The only real negative of the whole festival was the transport: having booked a coach/hovercraft combo (the alternative being a ferry), the main hovercraft decided to break down, causing a wait of around 6 hours to get on to the island. Our timing was unlucky, but we made friends and drank in the queue, which is all we’d be doing anyway if we were on the other side. Overall an excellent festival which is the closest you’ll get to Glastonbury this year!