While the Isle of Wight might be more famous for its eponymous festival than this end of the season soiree, it’s Bestival to which those in the know will be heading.
The Rolling Stones? Pah! Who needs them when you’ve got a beard and moustache championship, courtesy of
www.tacheback.com, burlesque afternoon tea parties courtesy of Time for Tease and Night of 100 Ukes, made up of the audience plus their ukuleles? (Make sure you bring yours with you – I’ll be bringing mine!)
This is what makes a festival. The fact that all the best things about the last time you went were something other than the music, and that what you’re most looking forward to this time doesn’t involve headlining the main stage on Saturday evening.
You can go and see Chemical Brothers, Primal Scream and the Beastie Boys on a stadium-sized stage on any old occasion. But it’s only worth spending a weekend travelling half way across the British Isles and sleeping in a tent to do it if the whole thing becomes a real experience, and Bestival does.
The music is a large part of this, of course, and the headliners are sure to put on a good show – as will the many other big name performers, which this year include The Gossip, The Go! Team, Gregory Isaacs, The Orb, The Noisettes, Simian Mobile Disco, Fionn Regan, Kate Nash, David Holmes, Foals and many, many others. But don’t forget that it was thanks to Bestival that this time last year musicOMH got to watch Jack Penate on a tiny acoustic stage where you could count the audience members on one hand, and discovered the joys of iLiKETRAiNs in the Jack Daniels tent.
Bestival’s perfect location, in a narrow valley that lends itself to a plethora of small tents and stages leading up to the main event, ensure that there’s something for everyone, from bandstand folk to guitar feedback to cheesy disco and the plain insane. There’s circus, there’s comedy and even better, there’s usually sun.
Last year, Bestival was a ray of sunshine in a year without Glastonbury. This year we had Glastonbury back, albeit even wetter and muddier than ever before, and Bestival still seems like a shining star in the festival firmament. So make sure you get yourself there – by ferry if you’re soft, or by swimming: if you’re harder than Bobby Gillespie on a particularly hard day, you can give the boat a miss; see www.swim2bestival.co.uk for info.
We’ll certainly be there, lording it up in the press lounge, scrounging free tea and cakes in the internet services areas, serenading all and sundry with our ukulele, adding to our collection of photos of crowd members with props their favourite bands have thrown at them (Mystery Jets’ cock and Jim Noir’s chief gnome Bruno so far!) and generally having an all round ace time.
And by the way, if iLiKETRAiNs‘ bassist is reading this – the offer of marriage in the inflatable chapel of love still stands. Please don’t let me down.