If there’s one UK festival that Breaking More Waves adores and is more connected to than any other it’s Bestival.
From its humble beginnings in 2004 when an £85 weekend camping ticket secured you the entertainment of the likes of a Kate Bush tribute act on the main stage (the closest anyone has got to luring the elusive singer out of hiding for a live performance) to an emerging and little known Hot Chip at the bottom of the bill, Breaking More Waves has been in attendance at every single one of the eight Bestival events at Robin Hill Country Park on the Isle of Wight. Now at a sold-out 50,000 capacity and in its ninth year Bestival is one of the festival success stories of the last decade. It may have got bigger, but it’s never lost its charm, musical credibility, visual beauty or last party of the summer atmosphere that makes it stand out amongst an ever competitive and saturated market.
This year, with a line-up that was already highly impressive (Florence & The Machine, The XX, New Order, Sigur Ros, Justice, Friendly Fires, De La Soul, Bat For Lashes and Orbital being just some of the bigger names on the bill, with the likes of young upstarts Alt-J, Django Django, Jessie Ware, Two Door Cinema Club, First Aid Kit, Rizzle Kicks, Azealia Banks and Warpaint adding even further weight) head-honcho Rob Da Bank and his crew pulled out all the stops with a surprise announcement that Stevie Wonder will close Bestival on Sunday night. Considering that only a couple of years ago Wonder headlined the near 200,000 capacity Glastonbury, securing him is undoubtedly a major coup. At the rate Bestival is going it wouldn’t surprise us at all if next year they actually managed to draw the real Kate Bush out of hiding to headline.
Our involvement with the festival has been as a punter, as an ever present poster on the Bestival forum as a DJ either on our own (performing in a wig as a comedy tribute act to 80’s pop star Howard Jones) or as part of a unique collective formed via the internet from all over the world (here's a clip of us opening the festival last year from an empty to rammed tent in just a few minutes) as well as carrying features about the festival on this blog. This year we'll be trouncing some dirty electronic party tunes and a few WTF moments to a tree with a nightclub inside it (The Wishing Tree Stage - see picture above) early on Sunday evening with our partner in crime Mr Dave D from Austin, Texas, legendary owner of the Berkman House recording studios and musical haven, under our Sunday Best Forum Allstars moniker shortly before Mr Wonder hits the main stage.
Of course Bestival is not just about bands. Like a mini version of Glastonbury it’s possible to spend all weekend there and not see any live music. From dancing lessons in Club Dada, fun and games with Lost & Found, the Sol Cinema in the Ambient Forest, theatre and performance art nestled under a canopy of trees in the new Amphitheatre stage, chilling with the glamorous ladies of the W.I tea tent at the top of the site, the roller disco, or a bit of a knees up with some cabaret to name just a few of the other attractions.
But as Breaking More Waves core editorial coverage is new music, below you’ll find five of our recommendations of relatively new artists that are playing the festival. We also gave five further recommendations to The Hype Machine which you can find here which are representative of this blogs core music taste. Stages and days are correct at time of publication.
Bestival – the clue as to its status as a festival is in the name, takes place from 6th-9th September on the Isle of Wight and is totally sold out. Follow us on twitter @BMWavesBlog to see us try to own #bestival whilst we're on site, with our tweets from the pleasure park of Robin Hill. A review (in our usual 10 things we learnt style) will follow after Bestival.
2ForJoy – Bandstand (Friday) and Swamp Shack (Saturday)
A festival veteran herself in different guises, 2ForJoy creates expressive pop music that has caught our ears as well as a small selection of our favourite music blogs. Choke is quite simply stunning, beautiful and one of our favourite songs of the year.
Willis Earl Beal – Replay Stage (Friday)
An Ex-American X-Factor drop out with a soulful voice who released a collection of uneasy lo-fi demos earlier this year under the title Acousmatic Sorcery. The bets are on for his second record (rumoured as being released next year) being much glossier and taking him into the mainstream.
Ms Mr – Psychedelic Worm Stage (Saturday)
Mysterious boy/girl duo from New/ York, who have excited with their brooding dramatic pop and already labelled with ‘next big thing status’. This will be one of the first opportunities to check them out in the UK.
The Other Tribe – Replay Stage (Saturday)
Impossible not to dance to, Bristol’s addrenalin fuelled soundsystem ravers stir up a mix of Friendly Fires, Klaxons and even The Shamen. Current single Skirts (and its associated video) is becoming a slow burning You Tube and radio sensation.
Patterns – Psychedelic Worm Stage (Sunday)
Formerly known as Elmo Logic, Manchester’s Patterns bring woozy psych-pop tunes that mix electronics, traditional noisy guitars and harmonies to Bestival.