by / September 12th, 2014 /

Bestival 2014, Isle of Wight – in words and pictures

There seems to be a leaning towards dance music at the Desert Island Disco themed Bestival 2014. There’s plenty of bands too, but it’s interesting to see how Bestival puts on a massive, fancy-dress disco (read dance) party in a year when Ireland’s own chart and dance party doesn’t take place due to ‘a lack of headline acts’ – mentioning no names but it used to be a rock and pop festival.

For some of our readers Bestival is not on your doorstep, it’s on the Isle of Wight – home of that other festival – and requires a hop across at least one small stretch of water. The size of the country park site is immediately apparent and it’s a veritable theme park of sideshows, eateries and numerous smaller stages that wrap the festival goer and main areas in a late-summery haze.

Main stage duties this weekend fall to the likes of Outkast, Chic, and Foals and so some similarities start to appear with the Electric Picnic. There are plenty of differences in the line-ups though and the Big Top sees acts as diverse as Paloma Faith, Basement Jaxx and the final performance ever from Messrs. Le Sac and Pip. Surprise special guest acts pop-up over the weekend and include The Kooks amongst others.

The main dance area known as ‘The Port’ appears to house a full-size and sea worthy vessel that has run aground with Annie Mac, 1-800 Dinosaur et al onboard who entertain the 60,000 into the hints of dawn. Bestival takes its party throwing duties very seriously and the raising of the now-official world’s largest mirrored disco ball precedes Nile Rodgers and Chic’s performance and an in-ordinate amount of ticker tape, glitter and pyrotechnics.

Wearing its costumed kitsch with pride Bestival hosts the biggest fancy-dress party combined with a cleverly curated line-up that allows breaks from the Saturday-night fever into more cerebral territories – spandex and wig optional.

Earlybird tickets for Bestival 2015 are on sale now.

Bestival photographed for State by Roger Woolman.