Sunday, 1 September 2013

Bestival 2013 - Preview

The UK is virtually at the end of its outdoor festival season now, but there’s still one more big one to go and if you’ve frequented this blog over the last few years you’ll know it’s possibly Breaking More Waves favourite; next weekend is time for the end of summer party that is Bestival.

Bestival on the Isle of Wight can best be described as one huge crazy colourful carnival. It’s a festival that you attend not just because of big name headliners, but because of the event itself. Like Glastonbury it’s very easy to spend four days at Bestival, never visit the main stage once, and have the time of your life.  It’s Bestival’s unique hedonistic, wayward, happy atmosphere that has brought us back year after year from the very first – the music is really just a bonus.

So without further ado here are ten things we recommend to try at Bestival 2013.

1. Go and see Lionel Richie’s head.

Hello Lionel, is it me you’re looking for? Don’t worry, nobody has decapitated Lionel Richie. But Barcelona based art collective Hungry Castle have built a giant Lionel Richie head and are bringing it to Bestival. Why? Well why not? Read more about the head and what’s inside here and watch it being painted here. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G

2. Visit the Swamp Shack.

Billowing with mists and spooky soundtracks outside, the Swamp Shack is a ramshackle Louisiana bayou juke joint straight from the pages of a Southern Gothic fairytale. Enter at your peril but inside you’ll find musical delights including one of the most blogged artists on Breaking More Waves, the lovely Alice Jemima who will be playing there on Saturday afternoon and New York's vocally impressive Acantha Lang.

Alice Jemima - Nightcall

Acantha Lang - Eventually

3. Get dressed up in sea based fancy dress and party hard at HMS Bestival at The Port.

To mark a decade of Bestival organisers have come up with what they call ‘our most ambitious and largest project onsite since we began’. 

The Port is a landlocked harbour with good ship HMS Bestival as its centrepiece surrounded by a pier, nautical sideshows and plenty of bustling action. We’re promised hi-tech lasers, LED screens and a boatload of pyrotechnics exploding from the ships funnels for visual stimulation. The likes of Carl Cox, Knife Party, Duke Dumont, Hudson Mowhake, Cyril Hahn and Annie Mac will all be present and on board to steer the ship. “This whole new field is going to be an all-night maritime adventure with dirty little rum bars, enticing brothels and sea shanties ringing out from random sailor folk in every corner,” says Rob da Bank of The Port. We can’t wait to jump on board.

4. Grab a cocktail.

The place to go is the Bollywood Bar; a Bestival institution, having been in the same location since the very first. It may have got bigger, but the cocktails are still as fine as ever.

5. Watch some grown men potentially sh*t themselves on stage.

The time for that is at the Thursday night opening party in the Big Top when The Sunday Best Forum Allstars DJ’s take to the stage. 

This is a mini project that Breaking More Waves has been involved in co-ordinating for the last few years at Bestival. Following some You Tube auditions (one of which is shown below) 3 novices have been selected, like lambs to the slaughter to come and DJ in the huge Big Top. Together with our DJ buddy JCCarter we’ll be assisting the 3 probationers as they attempt their first ever set in front of thousands of people. Expect bad dress sense, virtually no mixing, absolute zero beat matching, but some banging tunes and buckets of enthusiasm to get the party started as the Allstars say hello to Bestival.

We'll be bringing toilet roll just in case.

Sunday Best Forum Allstars You Tube Audition Video

6. Go and see some of the new artists that we’ve written about on Breaking More Waves.

The Replay stage is a particularly good place to do this. There you’ll find the likes of London Grammar, John Newman, Chlöe Howl, Champs, Ruen Brothers, Lulu James, The Slow Show and Is Tropical, all of whom have featured on Breaking More Waves as ‘New Waves’.

7. Get married in the inflatable church.

The vicar might be drunk, he may not be even wearing any underwear, it may not be fully legally binding, but if you’re feeling the love at Bestival, get booked in, get your bride and groom (or groom and groom or bride and bride) outfits on, get married and then have a right old knees up wedding reception afterwards with 55,000 people joining you on honeymoon.

8. Get lost at night in the ambient forest.

There you’ll find the pretty amphitheatre stage, ambient DJ’s and odd characters such as the Crew of a Daisy, a mob of 17th century pirates and boat-mates who not only have lost their ship, but they’ve  found themselves 400 years in the future. Also keep your eyes out for The Leshy, a mythical protector of Europe’s ancient forests. Leshies are largely passive and often playful, but as a precautionary measure, if you see The Leshy you should turn your clothes inside out and wear them backwards, placing your shoes on the opposite feet. Then keep your ears sharp and you may hear the calls of lost sailors the Ballina Whalers, singing their favourite sea shanties to the spirits of the wood and dreaming of home. There’s lots more besides and irrespective of if your visit to the forest is by day or by night (we recommend both) you’re bound to discover something curious.

9. Find a warm greeting and lovely cup of tea at The Women’s Institute Tea Tent.

It may be hard work to get there, up what Bestival regulars know as ‘the hill of death,’ but if you’ve been raving all night and are feeling somewhat shell-shocked, after receiving the welcoming smile of the ladies of the WI tea tent and cheap cup of tea and slice of cake, together with some of the finest views of the festival site, you’ll soon be refreshed and ready to go.

10. See some music on the Main Stage.

Yes it really is possible to spend the whole weekend away from it, but why not come and join us down the front for Chic featuring Nile Rodgers and then Elton John, closing things off on the Sunday night. Surely good times will be there for all?

We’ll be at Bestival as both a performer and punter from the 5th to the 8th of September. Watch out for our tweets from the festival plus a review shortly after.

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