As a festival virgin and an indie music newbie, Bestival was a much needed and appreciated experience. Dotted over the net are paragraphs of negativity directed to the weekend of new age fun with a vintage feel; sure it was a reunion of East London trend setters and what with the fantasy theme it soon unravelled into a gathering of narco-unicorns, high flying fairies and dehydrated Avatars, but there was so much more going on that critics seem to forget.
To start I could mention the line up,; all I can say is that The XX with their melodramatic faces and basic guitar strums were loved passionately and practically had their own venue; a music composition which was in fact a dark room with three screens, each focusing on one of the three artists and their particular instrument in the foreground.
Dizzee Rascal, whose music I never quite appreciated, turned the tables with an hour-long energy wave and a Nirvana tribute. Hurts who cracked us up with their synthpop break-up recovery lyrics – “I don’t want your happiness. I don’t need your happiness. So never show me happiness. I don’t want your happiness”. The Prodigy whose crowd instigation and angry lyrics were a natural firestarter, created walls of death that gave me bruises, plastic bottles hit my head and there was no need to jump around for the turbulence was doing it for me. Honestly, I’m more for unicorns than devils so I much preferred Eliza Doolittle’s ‘Skinny Genes’. Apparently she camped for the weekend with us plebs without bodyguards (somehow this created a buzz).
Not to mention the major array of DJs and MCs (who I’m more acquainted with) such as the likes of Mylo (m*therf***ers gonna drop da preshaah), Rob da Bank (erstwhile curator of Bestival) and Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip (…just a band…just a band…)
On another note, the venue was huge and set in a pretty country park with cows grazing in adjacent fields and all sorts of arenas; from the Bollywood Tent (basically Fabric’s drum ‘n’ bass night), a solar powered bandstand and bicycle powered phone charging hut, Arcadia – an outdoor spider robot club with special effects and pyrotechtechnic treats, a suspended castle in the sky that blew up in flames with a background of fireworks on Sunday night and a Cabaret Tent which housed some hilarious comedy acts (my favourite being Frisky and Mannish’s musical comedy (they’ll be in London’s Bloomsbury Theatre in December!)
On the costume front: no one does it better (or takes it more seriously) than the Brits; the best being the big groups coming as different characters such as the huge body parts. Naturally Alice in Wonderlands and associates were plentiful, as were Dorothies and Where’s Wallies, Avatar Smurfs and Oompa loompa fairies but there were some odd ones too; I spotted a Jesus and some Roman legionaries holding his cross, a handful of Bucket O Soldiers, a toilet, the Incredibles family (kids included)… and 46,000 other bizarre creations.
I thought it was fun, except the porter loos, and even waking up to a shrieking: “There’s a mouse nest in my tent… eww mouse babies” added to the hoopla of the camping experience. All in all Bestival’s boutique success was fun and I might have learnt a little something about the festival culture and music madness!
Post by the rickrolling Marianovella
The XX – Crystalised (Popular Damage Assimilation Remix)
The Hood Internet – Girls Just Wanna Fix Up (Cyndi Lauper vs. Dizzee Rascal)
The Prodigy – Out Of Space