The final festival in a rather remarkable 2010 festival season witnessed the fantastical fantasy that is Bestival become one of those 'not to be missed' experiences. This unique boutique festival is the brainchild of one Rob da Bank and Bestival arrived to kick start proceedings on the Thursday with a full on 80s feel and appeal. It had all the required bells and whistles in place for its sixth outing at Robin Hill Countryside Park on the Isle of Wight.
Rob da Bank is quite simply the master. When it comes to organising the cheesiest, freakiest, silliest and most likely to reclaim your inner child festival on the planet the man excels. However, to believe that this is simply a one dimensional party fest would be a serious error; Bestival, whilst undoubtedly the most kitsch event out there is also right on the button when it comes to spotting and booking some seriously cool bands, the ones that are really making waves, and with no less than four Mercury nominated acts including the Mercury prize winner you have to accept that Mr. da Bank may well have the Midas touch. I's spooky actually - is he psychic? - most probably. When it comes to flaunting its music credentials Bestival can do so with pride, it has gained an enviable stature over the past six years and has an uncanny knack of making the uncool cool.
All of this will come as no surprise to the Bestival crowd who arrive ready, willing and able to immerse themselves in the fantasy land that Bestival creates. Well, to be more accurate the Bestival crew create the opportunity but it's that amazing Bestival crowd that ultimately define Bestival, the crowd really do embrace the whole notion with joyous abandon giving themselves over to sheer escapism.
Bestival is the ultimate release and a pretty spiffing way to indulge the inner child as you say goodbye to the summer. For one final long weekend Bestival offers the opportunity to loose yourself, throw away those responsibilities and become whatever you want to be for one long hedonistic weekend, a weekend crammed with just about everything your inner child and outer adult could possibly want.
The improvements to the site were impressive, they worked well and the resiting of the main stage was a resounding success. The sound quality was great all weekend and the new placement allowed a much greater view of the action from all around. But the real delight of this festival are the myriad of hidden delights to be found at every twist and turn. This is a big site but it's easy and fun to get around and let yourself wander and explore, you never know what you might find.
Bestival is a great big melting pot of events and entertainment that theoretically shouldn't work, mixing the seriously naff with the seriously cool should never work together, but Bestival really is a triumph that transforms and re-invents, there really is no place for the pretentious here, this is Bestival and the emphasis is on enjoyment at every level. Nobody but Rob da Bank could pull this astonishing, eclectic mix off with such flair and panache.
I was really impressed with the range of food on offer and most particularly with the fact that Bestival catered for people with food allergies and intolerances and there were places where you could buy gluten free, wheat free food, amazing and a really great addition.
Off the wall, freakish, outlandish but lavishly and lovingly sprinkled with the outstanding would be an accurate description of Bestival, it's such an inclusive delight that welcomes everybody along, to be at Bestival is to be part of an event where the unexpected is the norm, don't ask too many questions, in fact, don't ask any questions at all, best to just go with the flow.
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