The end of the summer means one thing: the end of the festival season. But the seasons not over ‘till the fat lady sings. Or runs passed you in a hippo mask. After last year’s hurricane weather I was a little dubious about going to Bestival for the fourth year in a row but when the biggest and best line-up so far was released I purchased my ticket and dragged myself to the Isle of Wight. This year the weather was hot and sunny, the ground was dry and the atmosphere was buzzing.

The first night kicked off in the Big Top starting with The 2 Bears getting the whole crowd bear hugging. A mellow but atmospheric performance by Alabama Shakes followed and the night ended with a huge show by Hot Chip, which blew any doubts I had about their ability to play live right out of the water.

Friday brought along Alt-J playing in the Replay tent (a bad decision if you ask me). The tent was full to the brim and swarming with people metres outside too. The audience was so keen to get a good view they even began climbing the structure of the tent! The band was overwhelmed to say the least but certainly did not disappoint. The main stage that evening hosted The XX and Florence and The Machine who played well, although the sound from the stage really let them down. Jamie XX finished the night in the Roller Disco with a massive 3 hour set.

Fancy dress day was up next and in true Bestival form everyone went to town on the brilliant Wildlife theme. There were full on hunts staged across the festival with groups of poachers with guns and lions chasing antelopes around the main stage. I was gutted to have missed Ben Howard who played a beautiful set at 2pm, due to my friend receiving a “Self-inflicted stab wound”, as the first aid tent aptly put it. However any disappointed quickly disappeared as Sister Sledge brought the house down on the main stage. Two Door Cinema Club took over the stage a few hours later with a truly epic show and the night ended with one of my highlights, a perfect set by Bonobo in the tiny and personal Rizlab tent.

On the final day I wandered over to the Big Top a little early and stumbled across Stooshe on stage. I’m slightly embarrassed to say I thoroughly enjoyed it and so did the rest of the large crowd that were singing their hearts out. My musical reputation was slightly redeemed (I hope) by watching a truly special performance by the extremely talented Michael Kiwanuka. Later that afternoon Lucy Rose played an unsurprisingly stunning set in the Psychedelic worm, which could be heard ringing out across green campsite. The main stage began to fill up as early as 6pm. What seemed like the entirety of Bestival turned up to get a good spot for the legend that is Stevie Wonder. As he played, the crowd sang and danced, and the atmosphere was electric. At the end of the set an insane fireworks display erupted to signify the end of yet another incredible festival. However, the night didn’t exactly end there. Just up the hill Friendly Fires were starting what appeared to be their best performance ever. With the Big Top bursting at the seams, a ridiculous lighting display and of course epic moves by front man Ed Macfarlane this really was the perfect end to pretty damn perfect Bestival.

Discover Bestival: Official

By Liz DC
Dance Yrself Clean

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