Travelling uphill, down-dale, sailing the seven seas and braving rain-ridden, gale force winds, this year’s Bestival crowds rounded off the festival season with a serious dose of anarchy, havoc and heavy fun.
Situated in some far flung fields deep in the Isle of Wight, Bestival challenges its crowds to travel far, in order to discover the ultimate party. Fronting a jaw dropping, once in a life time array of headlining bands and artists, the boundary pushing movers and shakers behind this dress up box boutique festival somehow managed to book Björk, The Cure, Tom Vek and fatBoy Slim for 2011. Squaring up to the crowds, bringing hard-core endurance to the table, outlandish and mind bending experiences mixed up each day’s activities to precipitate a perpetually warped party.
Saturday was the designated dress up day of Rock Stars, Pop Stars & Divas, which gives kids, adults, dogs, toddlers and OAPs alike the excuse to look odd. Our national treasure, Amy Winehouse proved a popular choice amongst the crowds, along with Wayne and Garth of the epic 90s American film trilogy and Adam Ant. Annie Mac took to The Big Top stage early in the weekend, playing dance master to packed out audiences who moved non-stop in high anticipation of Diplo, Carte Blanche, Fake Blood, L-Vis 1990, Toddla T and Ms Dynamite. The perfectly proportioned Maya Jane Coles killed it at the Arcadia, whilst Julio Bashmore played a secret gig with Joy Orbison, dropping Eats Everything: Entrance song to an epic, up-rising from the uncontainable crowd. The omnipresent Boiler Room was also about, down at the Red Bull Music Academy, hosting Jackmaster, Spencer, Oneman Deadboy Apple Pips and Star Slinger, before winding the whole thing down with OneOhTrix Point Neva.
Mellowing things out over at the acoustic stages, Sailor Jerry’s Ink City staged Dutch Uncles, Mazes, Tribes, Young Rebel Set, Asteroids, The Growlers and Skinny Lister who all did their more melodic thang, live and loud. Tattoos happened live on site and the raucous, fall down, eye watering entertainment packed out the area with furious throttle. Catching two ticks with island records’ latest signing, i-D online sat down with the less seasoned festival goer Alex Winston to chat about why us Brits do it way big.
How are you finding Bestival, is it the perfect end to the summer? This is kind of my first taste of festivals. We’ve played about five so far and just got back from one in Germany which was in a disused airport which was cool.
What was the vibe like down on site? What I love about English festivals is that they’re constant. In America there are certain festivals that happen every year but they’re across the country. This is my favourite kind of festival because everybody seems very uninhibited and having fun.
What are you working on at the moment? I signed to Island Records earlier this year and it’s been great as they’ve let me do everything I’ve wanted to do. I’m a huge fan of documentaries and have started to make my own films about traveling and meeting different people from different cities.
Do you have any tattoos? I don’t have any tattoos myself but I love going to watch my friends have them done. I’m a chicken.
Text: Milly McMahon