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Bestival 2011 Review | FESTIVALPHOTO

Bestival 2011 Review

Best of All?

Getting familiar with Besty 2011:
Iiinside were back again to enjoy one of the best UK festivals, and this year with a whole eclectic mix of acts to chose from, ranging from pop, rock, dance, rap and more!

Bestival is an award winning 3 day boutique music festival set at Robin Hill in the heart of the Isle of Wight.

The wonderful world of Bestival was born out of ten fun years of pioneering music events and record releases from Rob da Bank's Sunday Best empire. The BBC Radio 1 leftfield DJ had a dream to one day create his vision of how the modern day festival should be. Along with Creative Director and wife Josie da Bank and co founders / partners John and Ziggy from Get Involved that dream is now fulfilled. On a mission to change the face of independent festival culture, the fearless foursome are bringing some magic to the shores of the Solent and spreading the love worldwide.

Now in it’s 8th year Bestival is attracting some of the best acts from the music world and getting the attention it most definitely deserves. It is most definitely King of the surrealist boutique festivals, and the first to join the big boys status (from 2010) without losing its fantastical charm and spirit.

This year's fancy-dress theme was Pop Stars, Rock stars and Divas; and Saturday definitely played host to a sea of dressed up, party driven punters.

The Music:
2011 was without a doubt Bestivals finest year for hosting the most spectacular lineup any festival has seen in a long while. With stunning performances that dazzled all from The Cure, Bjork, Pendulum, PJ Harvey, Brian Wilson, Chromeo, Graham Coxon, DJ Shadow, and so many more it’s impossible to list them!

Best bits:
1. The lineup – this year it was beyond amazing catering not only every genre, but for every generation.
2. Festival site – as always Bestival creates a beautiful setting inside a beautiful setting. One of the best for festival décor without a doubt and the enchanted is a must see when in search of some tranquillity from the madness.
3. Food – such a wide variety to choose from, one day you can have disgusting greasy food and the next you can be extremely healthy.
4. The atmosphere – the majority of people were in such high spirits it was amazing. Fields of smiling faces and comical attire, regardless of weather it couldn’t have been better.
5. Capacity – One thing Bestival seems to be extremely good at is hosting a large boutique festival without making it seem too overcrowded. Festivals such as Glastonbury are just too big, and others like SGP are a touch too small. If Bestival can keep to this perfect cocktail of size, décor and music than without a doubt it will always be one of iiinside’s favourites.

Worst bits:
1. Travel – It’s such a mission to get to Bestival (unless you’re an Isle of Wight citizen). Yes I know this should be part of the fun but it is exhausting to get to and from. Both on the way in and the way out we were stuck in traffic for hours. This being because diversions were put up to get from and to the ferry port / festival site and as everyone is then taking the same route the roads get extremely clogged up.
2. Tent capacity – Sometimes the smaller stages would completely pack out that it could become a bit overwhelming and impossible not only to move but also to enter. It would have been nice to have outside screens or speakers outside to be able to see/hear what was happening within.
3. Sailor Jerry’s – Last year this was one of our favourite bars, great drinks, staff, atmosphere and music. Unfortunately this year it was probably one of my worst as it was now open plan. No one was controlling it’s capacity that it was impossible to get a drink , the staff looked totally overworked, and so busy we ended up staying clear.
4. Naughty campers – Unfortunately this year we met a number of people who seemed to have had their belongings robbed from their temporary homes. We are aware this is happening at most of the mainstream festivals but this year it appeared to hit Bestival pretty hard.

As with every year for the past 8 the UK summer festival season came to a spectacular end with Bestival. Yes the weather wasn’t amazing but the heavens appeared to have tried their best to keep the worst away until the final night.

Slight differences with the way Bestival was laid out appeared to have been a perfect decision. Moving some stages in to the campsites to ease the crowds and allow campers to make quick visits to catch acts was a beautiful site, and a welcomed one when after returning to your tent late at night you decided you hadn’t quite had enough.

We can’t wait to see how the guys at Bestival can make 2012 another memorable year.

Once again many thanks to all the guys over at Get Involved for always making us feel like part of the Bestival family!

Hopefully see you all again next year! ☺

Review by Alan Thomas.

Writer: Alan Thomas
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