Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Worst and Best of Bestival...

I think I must have been the only person at Bestival that wasn't completely blown away by the event… arriving on the Saturday meant that I had failed to get completely wasted with the rest of the collective and wasn't suffering at all, in fact I was mostly trying to convince everyone how up for it they were. Everything was slightly spacey and my body clock was out of sync. Don't get me wrong I had an excellent time, yet there were a few major gripes that let it down.

1. It was my first time and although i'd planned to go in 2007 I still hadn't made it, so there was two years of build up and people tales of festival joy already in the sack of unperceived expectation.
2. The sound on the main stage was shocking, with reverb the bass feedback was of a school boy embarrassment standards.
3. As already mentioned the Friday/Saturday out of sync scenario.
4. OK so lots of people like them blah, blah, blah, but I think I completely missed the Doves, Elbow, phenomonem and consequently didn't really feel they were saying anything to me
5. The biggest gripe was the ridiculous non-escape at the end which encompassed a lengthily uphill bottle neck, the straddling of fences and jumping of ditches, only to snake every corner to discover a new, even longer queue. It an additional four hours to make my escape only to be greeted by massive lines of people awaiting the ferry home… shudder.

In the spirit of fairness I would like to point out five things I did enjoy about Bestival

1. Seasick Steve main stage, he followed Lily Allen which was the perfect contrast, pure old school blues of the highest quality, nice crowd too. Here's a clip from Bestival two years ago, playing a pretty similar set!

2. A dash to see Speech Dabelle (yes, mercury prize winner) compare extraordinaire, lyricist and not a bad rapper, backed by a solid band including a ice cool guy on double bass. Proving that mercury are still doing something right if they can pluck someone from the underground... haha to those who have already sold out...!
3. The W.I. (yes women's institute) tent serving tea at 60p, packed, efficient service from nice old ladies in pinnies.
4. Ibiza vibes from Jazzie B at the Rizla stage, sun shining, place was nicely packs and everyone was getting down.
5. Sunday in general the day when everything seems to come together, people get to the right level of smashed and all appear to let there guard down… you can make many a friend with a joint in your hand.

All in all not a bad weekend on weather and entertainment counts, I guess no festival is ever plain sailing, however this one did feel like more hard work than the other two I had attended over the summer. Lots of good feedback for Kraftwerk which I sadly missed, I think if I'm honest I'm more gutted about missing Miccachu and the shapes though… ah well there will be other times.