Simply The Best; Four Days Of Fun, Frolicking and Foals at Bestival

The festival scene is currently thriving to say the least but amongst the teen-fest of Reading + Leeds and the difficult ticket purchasing of Glastonbury, Bestival sticks out like a sore thumb, or at least its 10-metre high disco ball does. Now at the still tender age of eleven years old, the festival has already matured like a fine piece of disco cheese.

Like Rob Da Bank's World Record breaking disco ball, the Isle Of Wight festival site was glistening from field to field this weekend. The 'desert island disco' theme brought out more glitter, inflatable bananas and 'wavey shirts' more than ever, the acts included. From Andre 3000's silver foil poundland-style wig to Chic's balloon feast, Bestival was once again not just a festival, but a spectacle.

Andre 3000 sprouts a silver barnet.
The crowd for The Port.

Despite festival-goers arriving in full flow on Thursday, the party really kicked off with Outkast making one of their 40 festival appearances this year. With a set that swayed in and out of enthusiasm, 'Hey Ya' spurred enough zeal to fill the rest of their remaining tour dates. Elsewhere on the Friday, the alternative vibes were running strong in The Big Top with Nick Mulvey's surprisingly upbeat set and Bipolar Sunshine's uplifting appearance brought about a euphoric sing-a-long.

Saturday is fancy dress day, vibrant flags included.
Bipolar Sunshine brings his soul to the party.

Saturday threw up a few surprises, not least Sophie Ellis-Bextor's hawaiian, leaving little to the imagination, costume. 'Murder On The Dancefloor' spawned a joyous, reminiscent ambience only mirrored later that afternoon by The Kooks surprise set in The Big Top, whose new album 'Listen' was released this week too. The night quite rightly belonged to Foals, who bombarded the crowd with ferocious party streamers who were left lusting for more plunges into their arms from frontman Yannis Philippakis. It's worth noting however, that the security aren't as reliable as the crowd when you do attempt a crowd surf and end up falling to your peril, as I found out.

Foals turn up the desert island disco heat on Saturday night.

With the final hours of Bestival looming, Sunday turned the island into a paradise of DJs. Major Lazer came up with one of the best live spectacles around, unleashing Diplo in a zorb ball over a sweaty, shirtless, all whistling dance enthusiasts. The love between them and their crowd is almost as strong as that in the blown up beams of the inflatable church (yes really). Whilst this must seem like the most intriguing place to be found in Bestival's boundaries, The Port is possibly even more so. A converted old ship, kept from last year's theme, hosted DJs such as Andy C, Wilkinson and Chase & Status whilst not just fireworks, but also acrobats flew above a sea bemused heads.

Festival-goers enjoy the stranger
sights of Bestival at the inflatable
church (above) and The Port (right).

It's worth wondering how 'Bestival' had been envisaged when the quite frankly poor play on words was come up with over a decade ago. Now though, it's a fitting tribute to just how we should experience festivals today. It's not about silent discos and drop-kicking someone to the face, it's about onstage crowd involvement, acrobatic transvestites and getting married to your boozed up mate in blow up church. 

By Joshua Shreeve (@JJShreeve)