In its nine-year history, Bestival has become one of the biggest festivals in the country, with only really Glastonbury rivalling it in terms of the legendary names that headline each year.
In 2012 it was musical genius Stevie Wonder that provided the big draw, but with hundreds of other acts from Azealia Banks to The xx to New Order spanning numerous genres and generations, Bestival really is the festival for everyone.
“This was our best year yet,” beams curator Rob da Bank, having added yet more campsites and stages again in 2012. “We were lucky with the sunshine in what was a very wet summer, but we had some of the best bands and DJs on the planet keeping everyone smiling.”
The weekend-long Isle Of Wight escape is not just about the music, though. Aside from the many different stages and arenas are cinema screens, UV ping-pong showcases, comedians, 19th Century salons, Mr Motivator (!), sculptures, playgrounds (for both adult and infant), and much more besides.
“We’re always adding new stuff to keep it exciting,” says Rob on 2012’s developments. “We had a couple of new stages and we redesigned Bollywood, which looked incredible, and the whole Wildlife theme really brought the site to life.”
Ah, the theme, a cunning rouse to have people lower their guards and join hundreds of thousands of others in playful spirits a world away from the mundanity of everyday life. It’s one of the main charms of Bestival and helps contribute to the colourful and carnival atmosphere of the festival from start to finish.
As well as hinting that Bestival may branch out into new international territories in the future, Rob reveals the theme for the 10th anniversary as HMS Bestival and attributes its continued success to “offering something that festival-goers want”. We disagree, what sets Bestival apart from the crowd is that it offers the unimaginable, the impossible and the unforgettable.
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