British festivals typically mean lots of music, lots of camping and of course, generally lots of rain. Considering how “summery” the last few months had been, I was a little worried that this last weekend was going to be washed out because I was going along to Bestival 2007. We were all banking on good weather, taking Friday off to drive down to the three-day festival and Monday to have a bit more of a leisurely pace back to London.
It turned out that we had fantastic festival weather, and the entire Bestival experience was thoroughly enjoyable. Music highlights had to be The Chemical Brothers who put on their typically awesome act accompanied by a spectacular light show, the ever energetic The Gossip and then The Foals, a new Indie band who put out a great set in the BBC Introducing. On the disappointing side, The Beastie Boys who I’d seen perform a brilliant set back at Big Day Out, managed to cause the crowd to thin out quite well during their Saturday night set. We also caught the end of Carl Craig’s rather dull and low key set which didn’t seem to match the energetic mood everyone was in at 4 in the morning.
Although there were plenty of music acts, many of them were I didn’t rate on the “must see” list. The upside is that there wasn’t as much pressure to go to all the stages, and I could indulge in the company of other festival goers, chill out in the sun and just generally meander throughout the rest of the festival. There’s plenty of alternative entertainment, including glitter wrestling, an inflatable castle with almost hourly marriage services (Ben and Polly’s one on Sunday was a stunner), a burlesque tea tent, a comedy tent and just plenty of places to lounge around and soak up the atmosphere.
Another big draw card, quite unique to this festival is it’s fancy dress theme. Even though it’s based on a poem, all of it is optional, and so here’s what I went as. It was amazing at how much some people really got into their costumes, with many of them hand crafted to superb detail, especially those that co-ordinated an entire group costume.
It was a great taste of what British festivals should be like when it’s not raining and full of mud and could definitely go back another year.