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AAA Music | 20 May 2024

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| On 18, Sep 2010

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Bestival 2010 The Year of the Fantastic….

But was it???, well let me tell you a thing or two about the good ol’ boys and gals at Bestival.

The Izle of Shizzle hosts this seething behemoth of a festival which has now grown too big for its size 10’s and has been bumped up a category to a fully fledged Big Ass Festival (according to those who decide these things)

In line with this new distinction Bestival has added a heap and half of new and exciting events and things to do…….for instance the Karaoke, where Mr. Ice-Ice himself made an appearance and got the party bouncing as he dragged starry eyed darlings from the crowd to join him on stage – well done Mr. Vanilla, you shoor do gotta way wit da lady types.

And also the main stage has surged in all directions making the initial impression something akin to the worlds biggest ghetto blaster standing proud like the monolith that it truly is (and lots of TV cameras too).

But getting back juicy bits – parking….. although the sun was beating down and the ground hard as coffin nails, the distance travelled from car to tent was (from sat nav) a mile and a half, needless to say yours truly a bit flustered and parched by the time we found a suitable place to make home for the weekend. Pitching a tent proved a little tricky too – what is with groups of tenters pitching up in giant circle and freaking out when someone asks about the HUGE free space in the centre, and marquees all over the place – there was precious little tent space on our arrival and we got there on Thursday afternoon!! We did get a pitch which turned out to the place where all people went to the loo……. not pleasant.

That aside, we make our way into festival land and are greeted with 10 foot tall tulips and fairy lights, Heaven 17 and comfy seats. This festival looks amazing a night where you get a great view of the whole event which seems to stretch and fold over the hills and into forests and into the distance……. amazing.

Friday morning is a little breezy but we head into the main arena and slapped in the face by a wealth of 80’s finest from Level 42, and although they may not be my cup of the hot stuff, I did enjoy their set, this was a great start to the day.

The weather stays a bit hit and miss throughout the day but this does nothing to affect the punters as the atmosphere is jumping in every corner of the event. We head from main arena, to the karaoke, to big top, to bollywood, to a strange cocktail bar, and ended up at Sailor Jerry’s tattoo and rock bar – we like it here….. but head to the main stage to see the Dizzy Rascal strut his funky best and get 50,000 party goes busting some crazy shapes.

Saturday is a bit muddy underfoot, but not the Glasto stuff, this is the Isle of Wight and the mud here is like wading through shallow marshmallow – a delight, as where ever you go, there is something groovy going down.

Today packs a musical punch and the line up is all-over-the-place-awesome, Roxy Music, Mumford & Son, Rolf Harris, Elle Goulding………………and so on for through a long list topped off by the lights, ticker tape, exploding things, stage dancers, amazing sexy animated backdrop….. it can only be The Flaming Lips taking the stage to headline Saturday night and the set is pure surreal from start to stop, a great stage performance and a night not easily forgotten.

Sunday starts a bit hazy, and gets real sunny. We start the day with Marc Almond dusting off 80’s numbers torch, bedsitter, tainted love to name a few, the set is up to date and is centered around a growling guitar as opposed to the bleep-bleep which was expected. If that was not enough 80’s dullards Echo and the Bunnymen (one of my all time favorites) appear on stage and go straight into a historic backlog of inspirational songs which hark back to harder times which still ring true on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

We take a long walk around the event and notice there is no lack or slow down of antics and the party is still thumping from tent to tent, and we get a few pints in to celebrate.

As the sun hangs heavy in the sky, we notice the main stage area filling up and head over to get ourselves in position for tonight’s full on old skool crusties The Prodigy, who start their set by covering me in water (twice) and bringing on grand mal from the intense light and reverberating killer bass. The 200bpm have destroyed any sleepy atmosphere that may have been hanging over the crowd and has now transformed the entire punter force into a scene reminiscent from Day of the Dead – 1000’s of flailing hands and slavering corpses covered in dirt and mud, eyes on stalks and hungry for dance. Wow!! it is some place to be, and a sight to behold. Hats of to the Prodigy bro’s – you make’em go crazy.

Author & Photos: Dave Livingstone