It seems like around this time every year that the blogosphere is brought to its tender knees by announcements courtesy of Rob Da Bank, Josie and Bestival. Last year headline slots from New Order, Stevie Wonder and Florence and the Machine (unless you saw Wiley like I did) strengthened Bestival’s status as one of Europe’s leading music festivals. Even with it’s ever-expanding popularity and higher-status bookings the sense of handpicked curation is as strong as ever on the Isle of Wight and 2013 appears to be boasting (not just saying this) the greatest lineup yet. Let me get excited with you.
Snoop Dogg (Lion) is headlining alongside Elton John providing the epitome of eclectic, diverse and indisputably heroic entertainment. Having ‘Gin & Juice’ one night then ‘I’m Still Standing’ then next is something British festivals have been lacking for quite a while. Other more established bookings include Wu Tang Clan, The Flaming Lips, Franz Ferdinand and Belle and Sebastian. Not just these but Bestival have managed to secure a set from The Knife who have only just started playing live again. Perhaps the most exciting high-profile performance will come from MIA who has spent a year being as enigmatic, elusive and true to her acronym as we have grown to expect. Her unmistakable hybrid of urban flow and worldly sounds could provide one of the weekends most hypnotic moments. Also high on the bill are alumni of the 2012 success school with Jessie Ware, Tom Odell and Disclosure.
As they have always done, Bestival are also offering some of the best in whats to come- acts like Jagwar Ma, Merchandise and London Grammar have all been busy fueling the hype machine and this festival will be a solid chance to believe the hype. It’s these interesting and intriguing underground bookings that showcase the attention that goes in to the compiling of this bill. Money hasn’t been blindly thrown at the biggest names as some of the most talked-about but lesser known artists of the year are performing alongside legends like Sir Elton.
If music isn’t your bag, just this week Bestival released its lineup from the ambient forest’s amphitheater organised by London Short Film Festival and Branchage. Cult classics like Evil Dead II as well as recent documentaries like the Dave Grohl directed Sound City will be played in an atmosphere truly like no other. You could also be treated to a host of parties, pop-up night clubs and one-off experiences that are all part of this unique event.
The theme last year was wildlife (kudos to Topshop for all the leopard print products) but this year anchors the HMS Bestival. Cue sailor hats, bottles filled with all-sorts and glitter infected eye-patches. "Get on board" sounds a bit corny but go on to www.bestival.net and let the best line up of 2013 rattle your bones. Will that do?
Words: Duncan Harrison