To be honest, I’d associated the name incorrectly with Beer for many years (beer + festival = Bestival?!) so I had no idea what to expect when invited along as an artist’s plus one. I love a day festival but long haul (aka weekend) gigs fill me with a little anxiety- mud, tent and no showering?
Bestival- A four-day music festival held in the south of England. It has been held annually in late summer since 2004 at Robin Hill on the Isle of Wight. In 2017 the festival relocated to the Lulworth Estate in Dorset. The event is organsed by DJ and record producer Rob da Bank along with his wife Josie and is an offshoot of his Sunday Best record label and club nights.
Luckily I was given a cottage to stay in, so I didn’t have to brave the tent life. I mean, the Duke of Edinburgh award was fun but it didn’t require me needing an intense shower session to remove glitter, alcohol sweats and make up every night. I salute the real ones, like Sareta that gave it a go!
Festivals in this country are well known for mud – and Bestival was no exception. My colleagues convinced me to buy wellies the night before – I owe them my life. It was EVERYWHERE. I slipped, slid, and basically mud surfed cuz you might as bloody well.
So Bestival. Open fields, forest, and days of music, creativity, food and fun. Day one was spent exploring the entire place, to see what we liked, and what we’d be returning to.
We ambled past happy Kanye and round the worlds biggest disco ball (allegedly) and stumbled upon a wedding, where two random strangers fell in love and decided to get married. Obvs. We were forced have a spice girls dance off inside a bouncy wedding castle – obviously it was epic! Need to rethink my future wedding plans!
Due to being tired and old, we didn’t stay out late during any of the days, but I heard it was amazing. Lulworth has a forest, which was pretty fun during the day, but in the night time the lighting and music lit up the sky until the early hours, for all the hardcore ravers out there. Sounded legendary.
Oh yeah- shout out to Illumaphomium for installing this weird, bonging thing that kept me entertained for a long while!
Music wise, it was endless. So many different artists and genres, you would have to have TOP notch organisational skills to see everything that you wanted. Bestival had an app which made things much easier, and it sent you notifications when your favourite artists were coming on, but I still found the amount of choice overwhelming. Probably due to the alcohol but hey.
We decided to wing it and catch whatever we walked past which was fine. So many great tents and stages to choose from! Dizzie Rascal and Stefflon Don were my fave acts of the weekend, there was so much energy, even in the rain and mud!
Being typically British, it rained almost non stop the whole weekend but that really didn’t affect anything. We were prepared with ponchos, and dancing in the rain is actually fun with a bit (or lot) of alcohol in your system!
So the food- hit and miss in most places, but once you found your spot YOU ALWAYS GO BACK. I had one of the best burgers of my life repeatedly, and on my last day discovered lobster fries! *dribbles*
The last day almost came to an early end due to the weather. High wind speeds resulted in a number of tents and marquees almost blowing over so due to health and safety they had to close the whole festival for an hour. JUST as I was getting food. As if I was going to abandon it! I will fly like Dorothy in Oz if I have to- as long as I got my Lobster fries. The van can collapse anytime after that tbh.
My car got stuck in the endless mud coming out, wheels just kept turning (shout out to Tina) and my friends had to get out and push, the wonderful bunch.
Bestival was an amazing weekend with many lessons learned- always have wellies, a poncho, and plenty of glitter. Until next year!