Subscribe iStudy

Bestival Festival

By Tom Patrick

Posted: 21st May 2013 16:40

Bestival celebrates its 10th year in 2013 and it promises to be better than ever. Celebrating the birthday will be Elton John, Fatboy Slim, Snoop Dogg (or Lion, or possibly Otter) and Franz Ferdinand among other distinguished guests. The festival happens every year on the Isle of Wight bringing a huge amount of revenue, with visitors numbering over 50,000 since 2010. Bestival 2013 will take place between the 5th to the 8th of September at Robin Hill Country Park, a suitably scenic venue.

It has a deserved reputation as an alternative festival, with a large selection of vegetarian foods on offer, several gay acts such as Gutterslut performing and a Yurt called ‘Breastival’ where women can breast-feed their children in peace. The acts tend to mirror the diverse attitude, with radical Hip-Hop poet Dan Le Sac’s scathing attacks on western culture and Knife Party’s psychologically disturbed lyrics classic examples of anti-establishment sentiments. A huge line-up of DJs adds to the atmosphere as well as an assortment of other attractions which range from slightly odd to completely bizarre. The ‘Totally Exciting Championship of Household Games Tournament’ promises prizes of ceramic dolphins to the lucky winners of games involving two pineapples and tape measure. Drag: A Cruise Ship Special drags together some of the best female impersonators from three continents to showcase their unique skills.

There is an international flavour to this year’s line up, with the Jaipur Kawa Brass Band, straight out of Rajasthan and on the stage at Bestival. Zee Guveya’s Heritage Survival Band hail from Zimbabwe’s capital Harare and their particular blend Afro Jazz is sure to delight and intrigue in equal delight, and will be well worth a sojourn. There are also disabled acts such as Wheelchair Sports Camp, featuring rapper Kalyn Heffernan. The three foot six anarchist suffers from brittle-bone disability osteogenesis imperfecta, and she is joined by brother and sister Abi and Issac Miller on Saxophone and Drums respectively.

The organiser’s commitment to staying independent and non-discriminatory sets them apart from most. Refusing the temptation to cash in by splashing corporate logos across the site has given them significant left-wing kudos, as well as a reputation as an unconventional but brilliant mix of underappreciated music and acts, with as a melting pot of nationalities and styles.

Bestival prides itself on its dedication to reducing their carbon and generosity to charities. At least a dozen different charities receive money directly from Bestival, including festival organiser Rob Da Bank’s Music Club. On the environmental side of things, they keep things green with schemes such as Bike to Bestival, Swim to Bestival, LiftShare and exchanging recycling at the campsites for cups of tea.

Of all the festivals on offer in the British Isles, Bestival is definitely one the weirdest, one of the most   original and one of the most bohemian experiences outside of Camden. If you want to meet like-minded people, take in some world music, or just be blown away a series of surreal oddities, head to the Isle of Wight this summer.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up here and get the latest news and updates delivered directly to your inbox

You can unsubscribe at any time