|Location(s)||Isle of Wight, England|
|Years active||2004 - present|
|Date(s)||Late Summer, September (4 days)|
Bestival is a four-day music festival held at the Robin Hill country park on the Isle of Wight, England. It has been held annually in late summer since 2004. The event is organized by DJ and record producer Rob da Bank along with his wife Josie and is an off-shoot of his Sunday Best record label and club nights. The initial Bestival attracted 10,000 people, growing to 55,000 in 2010. In 2006 it was voted the Best (Medium-sized) Festival at the 2006 UK Festival Awards, and it was voted the best major UK festival in the UK festival awards 2010 and again in 2012, whilst picking up Fans Favorite Festival in 2011.
The festival has been held annually in late summer since 2004, in a small country park called 'Robin Hill'. The event is organized by BBC Radio 1 left field DJ Rob da Bank and is an off-shoot of his Sunday Best record label and club nights. Creative Director and wife Josie da Bank and co founders / partners John and Ziggy from Get Involved are also involved in organising the event. The Isle of Wight was chosen for many reasons as the site of the Bestival, primarily due to its notable natural beauty. It is also known that the Isle of Wight holds more carnivals per capita than anywhere else in the United Kingdom.
In 2004, the festival was attended by 10,000 people, a figure which has since increased to 43,000 in 2009 and 55,000 in 2010.
A family-friendly sister festival "Camp Bestival" launched in 2008.
Besides being generally smaller, there are several qualities that make the Bestival different from the Isle of Wight Festival. It is considered more alternative and diverse, offering a large selection of vegetarian foods; a dressing up tent and a 'secret stage'.
Bestival is well known for its fancy dress themed days (usually the Saturday of the festival). In 2005, an attempt was made to set the Guinness World Record for most people in fancy dress at any one event. By 2010 this was achieved, when 55,000 festival goers set a new Guinness World Record.
The festival is also heavily involved in supporting social and environmental causes. Rob da Bank and Bestival support several Isle of Wight based charities and youth organisations; for example Rob da Bank's Music Club, Isle of Wight Toy Appeal, Isle of Wight Youth Trust, St Catherines School and Barter For Bestival. On site at the festival, Bestival supports Oxfam, RSPB, Amnesty International, Water Aid and the Legacy Project. Bestival actively reduces it's carbon emissions and impact on the environment; for example schemes such as Bike to Bestival, Swim to Bestival, LiftShare, exchanging recycling at the campsites for cups of tea, recycling and waste management, commissioning Environmental Impact Assessments, monitoring power usage and limiting water usage with push button taps.
Bestival is a founding member of the Greener Festival Alliance.
Bestival has been nominated for several other awards at the UK Festival Awards, having won the best medium sized festival in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Bestival is often described as a "boutique festival" due to its non-corporate feel. It is also known for piloting odd and innovative ideas, including an inflatable church where people can get married. Other features include the "Breastival", a quiet Yurt designated for mothers and their breast-feeding children. The local Women's Institute has also been involved by providing refreshments for a minimal price.
The main venues in 2013 were:
- Main Stage - an open-air main stage
- Big Top - the second venue, a large capacity tent
- Rob da Bank/Replay stage
- The Port - an outdoor DJ stage made from a boat
- Comedy Tent - an indoor comedy stage
- Swamp Shack - a stage made to resemble a deep-south dwelling
Attendance - 15,000
- Voted the Best (Medium-sized) Festival and the Most Innovative Festival at the 2005 UK Festival Awards.
Attendance - 17,000
2006 - Gogol Bordello, Pet Shop Boys, Scissor Sisters, Amadou & Mariam, Man-Machine, Brakes, Devendra Banhart, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Good Shoes, Hot Chip, iLiKETRAiNS, Jim Noir, John Martyn, Kid Creole & The Coconuts, Klaxons, Lily Allen, Mystery Jets, Scritti Politti, The Cuban Brothers, The Fall, The Long Blondes, The Pipettes, The Stranglers and The Sunshine Underground.
- Voted the Best (Medium-sized) Festival at the 2006 UK Festival Awards.
Attendance - 29,000
7 September - 9 September
2007 - Beastie Boys, The Chemical Brothers, Primal Scream, Madness, Gregory Isaacs, The Levellers, The Orb, The Gossip, Kate Nash, Jack Peñate, Patrick Wolf, Billy Bragg, Easy Star All Stars, The Maccabees, Dub Pistols, Calvin Harris, Friendly Fires and The Shakes.
- Voted the Best (Medium-sized) Festival at the 2007 UK Festival Awards.
Attendance - 30,000
5 September - 7 September
2008 - My Bloody Valentine, Amy Winehouse, Underworld, Aphex Twin, CSS, Hot Chip, Will Young, The Coral, Sam Sparro, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Alphabeat, Black Kids, Sugarhill Gang, The Breeders, George Clinton, Gary Numan, The Human League, Grace Jones, The Specials, Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip and 808 State.
- Shortlisted for the Best (Medium-sized) Festival at the 2008 UK Festival Awards.
Attendance - 43,000
11 September - 13 September
2009 - Massive Attack, Kraftwerk, Elbow, MGMT, 65daysofstatic, Fleet Foxes, Little Boots, Mika, Klaxons, Soulwax, 2manydjs, Seasick Steve, Friendly Fires, Bat for Lashes, Florence and the Machine, Zane Lowe, Diplo, Annie Mac, Skream, DJ Yoda, Erol Alkan, The Bloody Beetroots, Lily Allen, Carl Cox, Michael Nyman, Squarepusher, Björn Again, Rob da Bank, Fujiya & Miyagi, La Roux, Krafty Kuts, Jack Penate, Alejandro Toledo and the Magic Tombolinos.
- Voted the Best (Medium-sized) Festival at the 2009 UK Festival Awards.
The Prodigy, The Flaming Lips, Dizzee Rascal, Rolf Harris, Gil Scott-Heron, Roxy Music, Marc Almond, Level 42, Echo & The Bunnymen, The XX, Howard Jones, Heaven 17, Chase & Status, Tinie Tempah, Rox, Simian Mobile Disco, Stornoway, Hot Chip, The Wailers, Lucky Elephant, Ellie Goulding, Barry Peters.
2010 also saw Bestival win 'best major festival' beating Glastonbury and Reading in a public vote; sister festival Camp Bestival picked up 'best family festival' as well.
Pendulum, The Cure, Björk, Primal Scream, Brian Wilson, P J Harvey, The Maccabees, Los Campesinos!, Fatboy Slim, Public Enemy, Big Audio Dynamite, Kelis, Chromeo, The Drums, Village People, Grandmaster Flash. Noah And The Whale, Groove Armada, Annie Mac, Magnetic Man, Robyn, Crystal Castles, DJ Shadow, Katy B, LFO, Cranes, A-Trak.
2011 saw Bestival win "Fans' favourite festival award" in the UK Festival Awards.
- 6–9 September 2012
The main stage headliners were Florence + the Machine on Friday, New Order on Saturday and Stevie Wonder who closed the main stage on Sunday, playing as a UK festival exclusive. Sigur Rós and The XX both performed UK festival exclusives on the main stage. The following also performed (this is not a complete list):
- Main Stage: Two Door Cinema Club, Emeli Sandé, Rizzle Kicks, Warpaint, Sister Sledge, De La Soul, Adam Ant, Flux Pavilion, First Aid Kit
- Big Top: Friendly Fires, Hot Chip, Orbital, Gary Numan, Justice, Soulwax, Nero, Spiritualized, Death In Vegas, Major Lazer, SBTRKT
- Elsewhere: MF DOOM, Bat For Lashes, Sage Francis, Grimes, Clock Opera, Pauline Henry.
Three people were killed in a road crash returning from Bestival by coach. A fundraising night was set up to remember those who lost their lives in the A3 coach crash, taking place at Nation in Liverpool on Saturday 30 March 2013.
- 5–8 September 2013
Headline acts were the Bestival Birthday Bash with Fatboy Slim on Friday, Snoop Dogg on Saturday and Elton John on Sunday, who was playing as a UK festival exclusive. The following also played (this is not a complete list): MIA, Franz Ferdinand, Flaming Lips, The Knife, Wu-Tang Clan, Bombay Bicycle Club, DJ Fresh, Bastille, The Roots, Belle and Sebastian, Disclosure, Jessie Ware, Richie Hawtin, Carl Cox, Annie Mac, Seth Troxler, Knife Party and more.
For 2013, Bestival introduced a weekly payment plan for tickets, the first music festival to offer this.
Official Ticket Outlet
- What is Bestival?
- And the winners are...! - UK Festival Awards Archived 31 January 2011 at WebCite
- Isle of Wight Carnival 2006
- Festival Awards
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