Monday, 6 August 2012

Preview: Bestival 2012 (Waxxx)

Waxxx Magazine - July 2012

Bestival 2012 - Preview

Bestival is the one you always go back to. Having spent the whole of University listening to insufferable students compare their BeStiVal tiMeZ, it’s clear that people hold a deep and lasting affection for the Rob Da Bank curated weekend on the Isle Of Wight. Bestival has grown from 10,000 people in its first year to nearly 60,000 in 2011 and is filled by a cross section of festival goers from the whole summer. From the inevitable mankini sporting wanker to your mates mum who thought everyone slept in heated tipi’s, Bestival’s come-one-come-all attitude earns its reputation as the friendliest festival around.

Then of course there is the line-up. The most staggering thing about Bestival’s line-up is just how vast it is. By the time you reach the end of the poster there will be steam coming out your ears, not least because of soul legend Stevie Wonder. The festival has grown in the last few years but make no mistake about it, landing Stevie Wonder is a remarkable achievement for the organisers. I mean, even when he was announced as the Glastonbury headliner in 2010 people were shocked that he even knew what it was. New Order’s inclusion as the other headliner does go some way to emphasising how much his booking may have set them back, with the absence of an increasingly friendless Peter Hook in the reformed line-up offering little consolation.

As always, Dance and Electronic Music takes centre stage at this year’s Bestival. After 2012’s masterpiece Fin, Spanish House producer John Talabot and his flawless build and release sounds will challenge the likes of Julio Bashmore and Soulwax as the weekend’s best dance act. Nero on the main stage will draw all those rave painted bro-steppers and their £2 pills away from the dance tent, allowing you to enjoy the likes of Scuba, Blawan, Four Tet and Ellesmere Port’s very own Evian Christ without worrying about getting your head kicked in. 

Despite looking and sounding like your drunk uncle (if you replaced the alcohol with a lifetime of drug abuse), Jason Pierce and his psychedelic wall of sound Spiritualized must not be missed. Imagine hearing the swoon of Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space as the sun starts to set – oh man. There is plenty for all you sensitive souls out there too: Sweden’s First Aid Kit will warm your heart with their simple folk melodies that made this year’s The Lion’s Roar so disarming, and if the hair-raising vocals of Elena Tonra of 4AD’s Daughter don’t bring a tear to your eye then you’ll need to accept that your black heart will probably be alone forever. Those looking to get their funk on will need to get themselves to Brooklyn hipsters Friends and Lewisham producer Kwes, whose infectious rhythms will have you shuffling in your converse until your Supreme cap falls off. 

Bestival is quite unusual in that is has the scale and ambition of the likes of Reading and Leeds, whilst retaining that charm and modesty that we love most about our small festivals. Desperately resisting the urge to use the term ‘melting pot’, it’s a place where the metal heads from download, the pill-heads from Creamfields, the Stevie-Wonder-Who’s from V and the people who don’t give a shit either way can come together with their sights set on ending the summer in style.

Bestival Is On The 6 – 9th September

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