Dates: 7th - 10th September 2017
Location: Robin Hill, Isle of Wight
Bestival, the remarkable brainchild of BBC Radio 1 DJ Rob da Bank, is a massive annual affair on the Isle of Wight. The carefully selected line-ups, including both legendary names and fresh, less mainstream artists, are exceptional. They take fancy dress to a whole new level and offer diversions and distractions to keep your curiosity and inspiration endlessly ignited. You’ll find individuals of every ilk here; most of them returning year after year, because it never gets dull.
A phenomenal team, Rob da Bank and his wife Josie have shaped an event that has brought immense pleasure to all those thousands who have attended. Combining years of experience in the music industry with an exceptional creative mind, the result could only have been an extravaganza of epic ideas and character.
By all reports each year gets better and better, and with constant innovation and improvement, as well as an ever-fresh line-up selection, this is hardly surprising. It’s impossible to know what to expect; other than the knowledge that you are in very good hands. Past musical performances have included Stevie Wonder, Florence and the Machine, Basement Jaxx, The Cure, Outkast, Fatboy Slim, The Beastie Boys, Massive Attack, The Prodigy – the list is infinite.
There are over fifteen different stages and venues, extending an assortment of entertainment; musical and otherwise. There’s the Main Stage; where you’ll find the main headliners, The Big Top – where you’ll find almost as many. There’s the Spaceport – for more electronic rhythms, the Bollywood Tent – whose décor is brilliant enough never mind any music, and Club Dada – for “crazy Vintage Remix and brass brass brass!” Then there’s Caravanserai (expect more glorious designs) and Blind Tiger – for some classy jazz and divine cocktails – amongst other things. It goes on – we couldn’t possibly include them all here.
Looking past the music and beyond, into the entrancing concoction of alternative amusements on offer, it’s easy to see why people can’t get enough of this place. Slow Motion, the festival’s equivalent to a deep, soothing breath, is where you’ll find yoga and breathing classes, healthy food and spa treatments. The Amphitheatre will host a series of performances curated by Scroobius Pip – need we say more? Cirque Bijou will keep your eyes popping with fantastical feats of colour and flight. Oh – and did we mention there’s an inflatable church where you can get married? Once again – it goes on.
The Feast Collective too will go to the same lengths of unbelievable offerings, with stalls and vendors creating dishes of astonishingly good cuisine from all over the world. Kids are more than welcome – Lizzie’s Way is a fab place for your children to cook mud pies and cast spells, and the Kid’s Field will fill in everything in between – with a balloon disco, biking, trapeze workshops, giant bubbles and much more. Oh and don’t forget your fancy dress – Saturday night is usually a huge themed event – they even got the Guinness World Record for highest number of people dressed up in one place with over 50,000 people in costume in 2010.
The location of the festival, in the leafy Robin Hill Country Park on the picturesque Isle of Wight, is another massive draw for punters. On this idyllic island guests really do get a break from the real world. A word to the wise: book your ferry ticket in advance. Another word to the wise; don’t let the hassle of camping get you down; book some affordable glamping and enjoy not just the gorgeous bell tents and their stunning interiors, but also the perks and privileges of being in the boutique campsite.