Beginners guide to Bestival

· Bestival

With festival season just around corner, the music boffins at Licklist are here to help you make the right decision when it comes to festival-going. And first up, we’re talking Bestival.

Taking place on the 8-11th September on the Isle of Wight, Bestival is one of the biggest and most well-known festivals in the UK; in fact, it even scooped the award for Best Major Festival at this year’s UK Festival awards. So, it’s certainly got the pedigree to get you excited. But, at nearly 200 quid, plus you’ve got to get yourself to the Isle of Wight, is it really worth the money and hassle? The short answer? Hell yes. And here’s why.

This year’s theme is ‘The Future’, and if you go and take a gander at their beautifully trippy website, you’ll see the phrase popping up all over the shop. The reason for this, according to Bestival founder, DJ and general head honcho Rob Da Bank, is that one of the main reasons that Bestival is so great is that the organisers have scanned the soundwaves far and wide to bring together the most brilliant and eclectic mix of up and coming artists for your listening pleasure. And, as all music lovers know, there is nothing better than hearing for the first time, that band, that song, that drop, that changes your musical horizons forever. It’s, in a word, orgasmic. And that’s what Bestival is all about.

However, if you are not one of the hordes of Soundcloud devotees who spend every waking moment searching the sonicsphere for the next big thing, ‘before they were cool’, then fear not! The headliners are pretty damn good as well. And by pretty damn good, I mean absolutely ridiculous. Well, to be honest, the entire line-up is bloody amazing. Headliners include veteran rockers, The Cure, the godfather of raving, Fatboy Slim, and modern electro sensation, Diplo, with Major Lazer, Hot Chip, and Carl Cox thrown in for good measure. And then the rest of the line-up reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of the best artists from pretty much every genre under the sun. Honestly, it’s impossible to do it justice here, just read it for yourself. From the hard cut house sounds of Belfast duo Bicep to the chilled out vibes of Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, from the underground grime hype of Eskimo Dance (where Wiley essentially handpicks the best grime talent he can find) to the cool country cats of Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, via pretty much everything in between, whatever your music taste, Bestival have got you covered.

And if the music on its own isn’t enough to convince you to boogie on down to the Isle of Wight this September, then all the other crazy stuff Bestival are putting on certainly should be. Again, there’s simply too much to talk about in my limited column space, so I’m just gonna pick out my favourites to get your festival juices flowing. Top of my list, is Lucha VaVoom. Described as ‘a non-stop, action-packed scream-a-thon, where masked Mexican wrestlers flip and fly, performing breath-taking acrobatic feats’, involving the world’s finest luchadors, with eyebrow-raising names like ‘The Crazy Chickens’ and ‘Dirty Sanchez’ (I’m not sure I want to know the story behind that one), this is sure to get the crowds going. Second on my list, is ‘The Future of Carnival’, Bestival’s biggest ever day parade. They’ve got costumes, circus, floats, acrobats and live music, all split into a Heaven and Hell theme, to give you a true taste of the vibrant grooves of carnival (check out their 2015 Carnival aftermovie for a taster). And finally, for those who need a little breather from the hectic Bestival festivities (Bestivities? Hmm, maybe not), then they’ve got the perfect antidote, in the form of ‘Slow Motion’, a place where calm is king, and tranquillity is the order of the day. They’ve got healthy foods, fresh juices, spa treatments, yoga, meditations, a hot tub and life drawing, along with edgy modern trends you’ll have no idea about (Kombucha, anyone?) and their own cocktail bar. Life in Slow Motion doesn’t sound bad at all.

And if all this talk about the wondrous world of Bestival has got you hot under the collar, and you just can’t wait till September for a piece of the action, then get yourself down to some of their promo events: from ‘The Future’ at the Bussey Building in Peckham, to ‘Disco in the Sky’, at the Emirates Spinnaker Tower, the party-loving peeps at Bestival are doing a damn good job of whetting our appetite for all things Bestival.

So, what are you waiting for?! Get yourself a ticket and we’ll see you on the boat over to the Isle of Wight in September. And, until then, keep checking out our page as the wonderful music enthusiasts at Licklist Towers provide you with all you need to know about all the latest music and festivals. 


By Nicholas Cooke