Tag Archives: Bestival

Bestival: Tumblers – Photographs

Last weekend saw me at what will be my last music festival of this season.  One of the joys of festivals for me  is wandering around to find the weird and wacky things that are going on and I have to say that Bestival was a joy in this respect.

Sunday was a beautiful day and as I wandered around I came across a band playing New Orleans style Jazz rhythms, I watched fascinated as these two guys performed tumbles and somersaults to the musical background.  I was a mighty entertaining few minutes.  Enjoy the photographs.

Common People Comes To Oxford

After a hugely successful two day festival of fresh and exciting sounds in Southampton last May the lovely folk behind Common People are doing it all again next spring bank holiday.  In addition to Southampton Common People 2016 will also have a site 90 or so miles North on 28th & 29th May 2016 so the excitement will be doubled.

Common People 2016 will be brought to you by the makers of Bestival and Camp Bestival in conjunction with Oxford City Council.   Taking place in the stunning surrounds of South Park, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful parks in the UK, and famously the venue for a home-coming concert by Radiohead and Supergrass over 15 years ago, Common People Oxford, will be a feast of the finest that the live music and DJ scenes have to offer. A twin for our already established Southampton event held on the same spring bank holiday weekend, both festivals will share some line-up, with a few key regional differences to give each show an unmistakably homespun feel.

Common People Curator Rob da Bank says: “Common People HQ is buzzing with excitement today to announce that we’re bringing our show to Oxford next May. South Park is a stunning setting and we have an amazing line up to share with you very soon – from pop stars to underground legends, theatre and spoken word to our ace Kids Area and some special Oxford touches. Thanks for having us Oxford.”

Both amazingly brilliant line-ups of world class superstar bands and DJs will be announced very soon.

For further information on Common People make sure you sign up to the mailing list and get access to an exclusive 24-hour ticket pre-sale. But that’s not all, 100 randomly chosen people will get the chance to buy a day ticket in the pre-sale for just £10!

You can find more information about Common People Oxford and Common People Southampton on the official website.

Common People Oxford is on Facebook  and Twitter

Bestival Sets A Great Example By Showcasing A Strong Female Line-up

If you are a music fan I am pretty sure that the criticism levelled at some festivals over the lack of female talent on show this summer.  No names but posters were recently circulated on the internet of major festival line-ups that had the all male acts blanked out.  Guess what?  The  posters were almost blank.  One major festival has just one female, a band member, on their main stage over the entire weekend.

Earlier today Bestival which take place at  Robin Hill on the Isle of Wight this September 10th-13th. announced a very strong female line-up.  Of course the guys are not ignored but Bestival is renowned for its inclusivity and diversity and todays announcement shows just why.

Bestival’s Summer of Love is showing the love to a host of truly world class women who are joining the bill to strut their stuff in the last big festival of the season.

Festival curator Rob da Bank says: “Well whaddya know? There are shedloads of amazing people making some startlingly good music at the moment… from pop to leftfield, soul to hip-hop and some ace DJs too, and look, lots of them are female! Whatever next?

To demonstrate just how serious bestival is about its female line-up check this out.  The line-up includes:

Charli XCX, Lianne La Havas, and Neneh Cherry is coming to Bestival, playing alongside London duo RocketNumberNine, with whom she released the album MeYouWeYou in 2013.

We will also hear the gravelly tones of Ella Eyre, experimental singer-songwriter Andreya Triana, BBC Radio 1 raver B.Traits, and BBC 1Xtra’s ever-eclectic Monki, the stunningly brilliant SOAK, Manchester synth ace Lonelady, fuzzy Scottish duo Honeyblood, interactive audio-visual genius Kate Simko & London Electronic Orchestra, and California-based lo-fi duo Girlpool. Plus we’ll have music from Moxie, Josey Rebelle, DJ Barely Legal, Ekkah, Jagaara, Throwing Shade, Laura Moody and Graceland.

Bestival ladies

Add in previously announced female acts Roisin Murphy, Little Dragon, Kate Tempest, Snap!, Annie Mac, Lily Allen Presents Funlord, Hannah Wants, Lapsley, Shura and Rae Morris, and it all adds up to an eclectic, inclusive and diverse long-weekend of top class music and entertainment.

Other festivals really do need to take note and a leaf out of Festivals book.  Try looking beyond the obvious, half of your festival goers will be female so give the girls a fair share of the limelight.  You never know who is in the crowd and a female role model may just give inspiration to the next generation of female stars.  You know it makes sense.

Tickets for Bestival are available here

Slaves – Portsmouth Pyramid Centre – 3rd March 2015

I managed to catch part of the Slaves set at last years Reading Festival and had been looking forward to seeing them again ever since.  The opportunity arose on Tuesday evening as the Slaves were out on the road on the 2015 NME Awards tour alongside Palma Violets (who I also saw a Reading last year), The Fat White Family and the Wytches.  The Amazing Snakeheads were supposed to be on the bill but sadly they split on the eve of the tour.

It looked a great lineup but it was primarily Slaves that I wanted to see.  Isaac Holman (drums and vocal) and Laurie Vincent (guitar and vocal) may be looking forward to their forthcoming album release on Virgin records but these are guys who have come up the hard way on the pub circuit.

With Slaves being a duo you might expect a reasonably laid back, perhaps acoustic, performance.  If so you would be in for a surprise because this is a duo who create a sound big enough to blow any hardcore band off the stage.  The energy is nothing short of astounding, I was exhausted and I was watching.

By the time they had reached their forthcoming single “Feed The Manta Ray” Isaac had ditched his shirt and was streaming with sweat as he uttered his drum and belted out the vocals in true punk fashion.  The spirit of punk certainly lives on with bands like Slaves, whilst they take their performance and music very seriously they don’t take themselves too seriously as Isaac demonstrated at the end of “Manta Ray” as he joked “what a stupid fucking song.”  I don’t know why but I was strongly disappointed that the member of the crew who had made appearances earlier in the tour dressed as a Manta Ray was missing.

Slaves showed how professional they are as they overcame a number of technical difficulties during their set, they laughed and joked with the crowd as the problems were sorted and when they played crowd favourites like “Where’s Your car Debbie“, “Sugar Coated Bitter Truth” and “The Hunter” they had the crowd sweating, seething and moshing their way through the set.

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It is clear that Slaves have found a way to connect with the audience, they sing about everyday things in a sharply observational way.  It brings a smile to the face of the mundane, a laugh to the drab and colour to the bland.  They connect with people in the same way that Joe Strummer, Ian Drury and Joey Ramone did.  The audience feel that they are part of the show and the get right into every aspect of it.

Having seen Slaves in The Pit at Reading Festival last year and now on the NME tour I cannot wait to see them perform on the 20k Capacity NME stage at reading in August this year.  I am convinced that the release of their debut album, ‘Are You Satisfied?’ out June 1st on Virgin EMI and appearance at Reading Festival, Camp Bestival and Bestival as well as a number of other festivals will ensure that Slaves are the name on everyones lips this year.

Bestival Toronto

Bestival Toronto Line-up Announced – Florence & The Machine/ NAS Headlines

I recently wrote that popular UK based eclectic Music Festival Bestival is going International by holding it’s first event outside of the UK.

Bestival is so much more than just a music festival, Bestival will be a creative wonderland set upon the iconic and picturesque Hanlan’s Point Beach, Toronto Island on June 12th and 13th.  Bestival Toronto is a partnership between Bestival, Canadian promoters Embrace and SFX Entertainment.

Bestival curator Rob da Bank says:

“To say that we’re excited at Bestival HQ about launching our very first Bestival outside of the UK is a serious understatement. We’ve spent 12 years working up to this moment and are so proud to be teaming up with Toronto to launch the good ship that is Bestival overseas. I’m also very proud of our first heavy hitting line-up with typically diverse headliners, Florence and The Machine and Nas! Two amazing talents. We are also announcing; the best leftfield acts around with Caribou and Omar Souleyman, electronic music from Jamie xx and Flosstradamus. I really hope you can join us on the ferry to Toronto Island in June. See you on the beach!”

Bestival has always made its mission to be a champion of diversity by bringing together a wide range of Dance, Indie and World Music acts together with some of the world’s top DJ’s to ensure that festival fans are entertained into the wee small hours and across the whole weekend.

Florence And The Machine Bestival Toronto

Bestival Toronto will continue it’s tradition of showcasing the best of local talent alongside International acts.  Florence & The Machine and NAS will headline and an impressive line-up will include:


Whilst Bestival’s focus is of course on it’s top class music line-up the festival is much much more than just music.  In Toronto the Bestival creative team aim to create experiences, that the festival experience to another level!

With arenas such as The Bollywood Temple, celebrating our life-long love affair with the golden age of India, The Bestival Inflatable Church where you can get hitched, or the Yarn Bombing Tent where you get to hang out with Toronto’s coolest crafters; expect a myriad of creative experiences to blow your mind.

Bestival Toronto will be held at Hanlan’s Point Beach, Toronto Islands, Canada, June 12-13, 2015

Tickets for the event are on Sale Thursday March 05 so head to Flavorus: http://www.flavorus.com and grab yours now.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BestivalToronto

Twitter: @bestivalTO

Instagram: @bestivaltoronto

Bestival Toronto

Bestival Goes International! Festival in Toronto Canada This Year In June

Rumours have been rife for just a little while that one of the UK’s most eclectic music festivals is about to go international and earlier this week the official announcement was made that the Bestival family of Festivals is breaking out of the UK and making its way to Toronto, Canada.  Bestival Toronto will be set on Hanlan’s Point Beach, in the Toronto Islands, on the Shore of Lake Ontario.

Put the date in your diary because Canada’s newest festival will take place June 12th– 13th 2015, and it is sure to be an unmissable musical extravaganza.  Bestival has been going for strong for the past 12 years, on the Isle of Wight and it has won a multitude of awards.

Bestival is famed for it’s eclectic range of music with its emphasis on indie and dance acts but you can be sure that the festival always has a trick or two up it’s sleeve  In previous years Bestival has treated 50,000 fans to headliners as varied and diverse as Stevie Wonder, Florence & The Machine, The Cure, Kraftwerk, Elton John and Snoop Dog.  Bestival attracts the world’s greatest electronic DJs, ensuring that dance fans have plenty to keep them moving into the wee small hours.

Bestival curator Rob da Bank says: “We have waited 12 years to decide to launch another Bestival outside of the UK and our beloved Bestival, on the Isle of Wight, which has grown into one of the most important festivals in the global calendar. It took a really special city, and an even more exciting site, with Toronto and Toronto Island, to make us take the leap. So, the waiting is over and we are so excited to be launching in North America in June, with a classic Bestival line-up waiting to thrill, intrigue and party! I’d like to thank all our partners, friends, new and old, and supporters in Toronto, for making this happen. We cannot wait!”

Bestival Toronto is to be staged in conjunction with Canadian promoters Embrace and SFX Entertainment, and will showcase exactly why Bestival is at the forefront of the UK’s festival culture.

The line-up for the Toronto Bestival is under wraps for now but you can expect a fun-filled few days which will be full of engaging entertainment, great bands and hard partying.

Keep your eyes peeled for line-up information coming soon. And in the meantime, head to www.bestival.ca and register for the ticket pre-sale.

Bestival – Toronto. Hanlan’s Point Beach Toronto Islands, Canada

12th-13th June 2015




Bestival: First Acts Announced for Isle Of Wight Season Closer

The first wave of acts for the season ending Bestival on The Isle of Wight have been announced today.  Bestival is a four-day music festival held at the Robin Hill country park on the Isle of WightEngland. It has been held annually in late summer since 2004. The event is organized by DJ and record producer Rob da Bank along with his wife Josie and is an off-shoot of his Sunday Best record label and club nights.  In keeping with this years “Summer of Love” theme Bestival has announced it’s usual eclectic mix of Dance and Indie acts.

This years Bestival will run between September 10th-13th and the organisers have pulled a rabbit out of the hat announcing that the Saturday night main stage headliners will be the Chemical Brothers who are back for the first time since 2007.

Rob da Bank says: “We’re taking it right back to our roots for the 12th annual Bestival. It’s also the 20th birthday of the club where it all started – Sunday Best, and that club and our beloved Bestival were founded on some pretty simple aims – listen to amazing music, make new friends, have fun, and maybe stay up all night.”

Chemical Brothers

Another firm Bestival favourite is Underworld, who will headline the Big Top on Thursday night as part of a UK festival exclusive for us! Commenting on their opening night appearance, Underworld said: “Can’t wait to be back on the Isle of Wight with the Bestival crew. Be sure to get there early to catch us on Thursday night and start the weekend as you mean to go on”.

No Bestival is complete without a surprise act or two and in this years line-up for the first time for a UK festival exclusive appearance are iconic trailblazers Duran Duran. Frontman Simon Le Bon says: “This year sees the beginning of a new Duran Duran live show. I couldn’t imagine starting it with more of a bang than an appearance at Bestival.

Bestival will also have a UK festival exclusive appearance from the world’s most famous musical family, The Jacksons, and live sets from psychedelic riff merchants Tame Impala, soul-powered collective Jungle, bloc party hip-hop kings Jurassic 5, a UK exclusive from unique beat sculptor Flying Lotus, garage duo Gorgon City, who, as you’ll know, are ‘ready for your love’, genre-swerving four-piece Little Dragon; the golden voiced Roisin Murphy, and deep house don and UK singles chart-topper Duke Dumont.


Bestival has plenty more live music from the likes of Kate TempestJamie xx (Live), Boy Better KnowTodd Terje (live)Action BronsonFuture Islands, Level 42 , Young Fathers, Flight Facilities, Rae Morris, Jungle Brothers, The Cuban Brothers, Pond, Sleaford Mods, Fat White Family, Lapsley, Cymande, Slaves, Shura, George The Poet, Dean Blunt, Snap!, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, The Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band, Reggaerobics and Circus Raj.

With a host of DJ’s including the queen of Radio 1’s dance shows Annie Mac, rabble rousing as Lily Allen presents FUNLORD, and many others there will be plenty to keep those Bestival fans dancing through the night.

Tickets for Bestival’s Summer of Love are on sale now, and will be available on a weekly payment plan, which lets you spread the cost of a Bestival ticket across 25 weeks for around £7 per week after your initial deposit. So there are no excuses not to get loved up at Bestival come September.

Bestival First Announce -final

[Images Via The Guardian]