Festival Review: Bestival 2011

This year, Bestival was one of my must-do festivals. Not only does Breaking More Waves always go on about how great it is, but so have several other people. I had heard it described as a mini-Glastonbury, and as a Glastonbury-obsessed person, the concept seemed quite exciting. The line-up was a mixture of wonderfulness and weirdness, but I think that was the intention. Headlined by Bjork, The Cure and Pendulum and also featuring performances from PJ Harvey, Brian Wilson, Primal Scream and the Village People, I think the best way to describe Bestival is in fact, weird and wonderful!

The site is quite big, and it can take a while to walk around but the closeness of the main stages makes it quite easy to get around. As well as a huge amount of stages, there is also a Roller Disco, Toboggan Run, Ambient Forrest, Bollywood, a club in a treehouse, and a huge amount of other entertainment on offer. It is obvious as soon as you step on site that this is much more than just a music festival.

My musical highlight of the festival was undoubtedly Primal Scream. I loved their set at Benicassim but this was on another level. A completely incredible live band, and perfect for festivals. I would very much like the Screamadelica tour to continue forever and ever but as it probably won’t, you really should catch it while you can!

Other highlights came from the wonderful PJ Harvey, Brian Wilson who got the whole of the main stage audience singing and dancing, and the Cure who despite playing for almost a lifetime, proved that they really are worthy of the people standing around me, crying in amazement of Robert Smith. Kitty, Daisy and Lewis and Caitlin Rose were also great.

Another highlight was the classic album listenings they were running in the little cinema at the top of Tomorrows World. A number of albums had listenings, including Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust album. On the Sunday morning I went to catch the Amy Winehouse Back to Black listening. As well as listening to the album on top quality vinyl equipment, as it is meant to be heard, they also had producer who worked with Amy to speak about his experience with her which was fascinating. It was little things like this which made Bestival for me.

Despite the rubbish weather, Bestival was my second favorite festival ever (after, of course, Glastonbury) and if anyone is looking for a Glastonbury alternative next year, Bestival is the way to go.

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