If you're one of those music lovers who thinks that this summer's lack of
mud, smelly hippies, ill-advised facial hair and wizard hats made out of
hedges is no great loss to the festival circuit, get ready to polish your
sequins and fluff up your feather boa and head to Bestival, the festival
that put the camp back into campsite.
Who says that glamour and festivals can't mix? Certainly not the Bestival
For the third year running, they have annexed a field of the
otherwise 1950s timewarp known as the Isle of Wight to bring you a 'three
day boutique music festival' featuring headliners Scissor Sisters, Pet
Shop Boys and Gogol Bordello, more circus performers than you can shake a glowstik at and
luxurious camping in all senses of the word.
Curated by Radio 1 DJ Rob da Bank (keeping it in the family with
help from Mrs da Bank), previous Besitvals have seen no lesser talents than
Basement Jaxx, Fatboy Slim, Mylo, 2manydjs,
The Go! Team and Soulwax take to its stages.
You'll notice a
definite lack of black-clad geetar-waving shoegazers in that list: where All
Tomorrow's Parties seems to revel in forcing its attendees into grim chalets
in the middle of winter to prove their indier-than-thou credentials,
Bestival is bright, breezy and out to dance.
But it's not all about the musical delights the other attractions on
offer ensure that Bestival is to high camp what Glastonbury is to the spirit
of flower power. For a start, camping here is whole different experience to
your Vs and Readings, with a Boutique Campsite where (for a price,
admittedly) you can live in five star luxury by hiring a Bohemian Bivouac,
Tipi or Yurt, lounge glamorously around a Beach Hut village and café
complete with its own real beach and deck chairs, or take a bunk in BusBed
a converted double-decker bus.
Choose any of these options and you can hang
up your Stetson, sit back and sip Chardonnay while the sun shines off your
Cath Kidson wellies. Unsurprisingly, most are already sold out for this year
but wander as close as you're allowed and have a peek at what you could
enjoy next year.
Watch out for the Laundrettas, a 10 strong troupe of housewives ready to pander to your every need.
Assuming you feel the need to leave your safety net of luxury and venture
forth into the fray, you'll find plenty of delights to please even the most
demanding diva. En route to the main arena, watch out for the Laundrettas
a 10 strong troupe of housewives ready to pander to your every need. Get rid
of any residual real-world stress in their mobile Pampour Parlour (sic),
gossip with the lovely ladies in the Laundromat of Love and afterwards, look
for an Insecurity Guard
to hug. You know it makes sense.
Last year Bestival hosted the world's biggest fancy dress party (10,000
people dressed as - oh, you guessed - cowboys and Indians) and the fun is
set to carry on. There's a 24 hour Twilight Field in case you get musical
hall cravings in the middle of the night, and Nelly the Elephant
a life-size steel elephant ridden by a singer. There's the Miniscule of
Sound, officially the World's Smallest Nightclub, matadors, cowboys,
pyromanics - what more do you want? Music? Hey, Bestival has got that too.
There's the Miniscule of
Sound, officially the World's Smallest Nightclub...
This year's line-up promises playful gypsy punks Gogol Bordello on
Friday night, high camp troubadours Pet Shop Boys on Saturday and
New York pretenders to the Vaudevillian pop crown Scissor Sisters
on Sunday (try saying that while doing a Jonathan Ross impersonation).
between, you'll find Mystery Jets, Sunshine Underground,
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly!, Nathan Fake, The Long
Blondes, DJ Yoda, Shitdisco,
M Craft, iLiKETRAiNS, Erol Aklan, The Pipettes, Good Shoes, Jim Noir,
Devandra Banhart, Kid Creole & The Coconuts and some
bird called Lily Allen (who our
esteemed Editor-in-Chief assures me is worth a look if you can drag yourself
away from the Bollywood Bar or the Blue Pavilion).
There's 24-hour, non-stop,
ambient and electronica and even a solar powered cinema to keep you out of
trouble. If all of that still can't please you, there's plenty to explore
elsewhere on the island, from various reminders of Jimi Hendrix's
legendary performance in 1970 to The Brading Experience, the world's
All sounds fantastic but, I hear you shout, how are you going to get
there? It's half way to France and not on any routes Megabus advertise. On a
cruise ship, of course, or at least a Wightlink or Red Funnel ferry service
from Portsmouth or Southampton and when you land, shuttle buses will whisk
you to Robin Hill Country Park at the heart of the island. From London, you
can be there in a couple of hours, we're reliably informed.
It's fun, it's funky, it's not that far away and if you're lucky, the
sunshine will even hold out for the entire weekend. Give it a try, and tell
them musicOMH.com sent you.