Bestival finished off 2010’s festival season with a “fantasy” themed extravaganza to woo all guests more than ever before. Aiding to the complaints that the festival had become “so big and commercial”, 50,000 guests made it to the Isle of Wight for the weekend and revelled its many new additions to the camp-site and arena. A few examples of these was the “Wishing Tree” and “Alfresco Ballroom” which both proved to be very popular.
The music kicked off for me on the Friday afternoon with Four Tet in the Big Top who pulled quite a large crowd and played quite a pleasant and abstract set. Delphic followed a couple of hours later with a energetic set that provided loud sing-alongs from the jumpy crowd.
I made a decision of leaving the masses and watching Simian Mobile Disco rather than The XX, who were one of my favourite bands of the whole festival. Their live act using vintage analogue synths and controllers blew the main stage away. The sound on the main stage that has been criticised in recent years had obviously been resolved as it had a very high quality wherever you stood.
Hot Chip followed on the main stage with their standard, electronic geeky buzz performance and finally Dizzee Rascal ended the day with that well known, fun, crowd pleasing performance that left everyone eager and ready for Saturday.
Saturday is hard to comment on as most of it was spent examining and admiring the different fancy dresses which gave a really nice vibe to the whole day. I was saddened to hear that Bombay Bicycle Club had played a secret intimate gig at the bandstand the night before which we missed.
Everything Everything suffered a smaller crowd due to the popular Ellie Goulding on the main stage but put in a lively and impressive performance. Darwin Deez rocked the Arcadia Spider stage with his entertaining dances that took first time watchers by pleasant surprise. Mumford and Sons attracted probably the biggest crowd of the weekend and smashed the main stage with their massive hits ‘Little Lion Man’ and ‘Roll Away Your Stone’ which had every person in the audience singing. I saw the start of The Flaming Lips who came on to trippy, psychedelic visuals and front man Wayne Coyne carried out his famous inflatable ball entrance. To finish, I made a break for the Big Top as Scottish DJ Mylo and indie-electro pioneer, Erol Alkan both gave amazing performances that gave Saturday an energetic ending.
Sunday morning greeted Bestival with sunshine that put an even bigger smile on everyones face. I didn’t get to witness many acts but Beardyman made up for this as he amazed everyone with his beatboxing/sampling/looping mish-mash performance creating an amazing sound that truly rocked a jam packed Big Top. The Wailers delivered chilled vibes on the sun beaten main stage and played a set incorporating Bob Marley hits that made for a pleasurable and engaging singalong.
Prodigy brought the curtain down on the weekends main stage line up with a high-octane, intense performance and lead man Keith Flint fittingly showed everyone he was a true ‘Firestarter’ by setting the fairytale castle bonfire alight and started off the celebration fireworks.
This years Bestival proved to be one of the most enjoyable festivals I’ve been to and have no doubt I shall be venturing to the Isle of Wight the same time next year.
From James Long.