Like many of the smaller festivals done good, this Isle of Wight wig-out’s increased capacity has taken a little of its intimacy. But Bestival isn’t taking itself too seriously yet. The line-up mixes indie, dance and hip-hop with classic pop in groovy mix-tape style, big-selling headliners and late-night DJs keeping things busy till long after nightfall. The joyous Saturday fancy-dress parade, meanwhile, sees Stormtroopers, strange animals, space hoppers and mashed up beat-seekers join forces in the festival’s pleasantly wooded valley setting, offering one of the festival’s season’s definitive highlights.
Check www.bestival.net for more.
All Tomorrow’s Parties
Over a decade after it began, ATP is full of contradictions. It brings drugs and rock‘n’roll to the faux-suburbia of a Butlins holiday camp. It marries experimental music (ferocious hardcore, wonky electronica, sublime and silly prog-rock) with a hearty sense of nostalgia (indie-group reunions are a speciality). And it works: performers and audience alike are buffeted by waves of noise, offered horrific frankfurters and grim artificial cheese and wander from chalet to rock-out to beat-fest, safe in the knowledge a hot shower is a mere shout away.
ATP takes place on various dates, typically May & Dec, visit www.atpfestival.com for more.
“It’s too big”, moan the festival veterans. “It’s too mainstream”, grumble the music lovers. “It’s too dodgy”, weep the parents. Glastonbury may be all these things – and, with its big fence, chic VIP areas and visits from royals, it sometimes feels as countercultural as a cabinet minister – but it can still be a magical place. There are countless corners to explore: dance tents, pagan villages, kids’ entertainers and, inevitably, some of the biggest bands the world has seen. You might even see some sunshine…