Preview: Bestival 2015

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Rob da Bank’s seminal four day Isle of White extravaganza returns to Robin Hill this year from the 10th to the 13th of September. Offering the south-coast’s biggest lineup, Bestival will bring the summer festival season to a close in style with fancy dress, a laid back atmosphere and great music.

Missy Elliot has recently been added to the top of the bill on Sunday. The American rapper and record producer joins fellow headliners Underworld, Duran Duran and The Chemical Brothers who were all revealed in the first wave of artists announced.

Now in its twelfth iteration, Bestival brings a varied mix of live acts and DJs, young and old, to perform across the numerous zany stages and arenas nestled around Robin Hill. In contrast to the team’s metropolitan adventure Common People, Bestival welcomes its guests to four days of camping among the beautiful rolling hills of the Isle of White.

Never ones to let things stagnate, the Bestival team are adding new additions to the site every year. Some memorable recent additions being Temple Island and The Port stages, an enormous Ibiza inspired terrace and a gargantuan grounded sea vessel respectively. 2015 will see the introduction of a brand new Slow Motion area, billed as a festival within a festival. Slow Motion is all about allowing the mind and body to recuperate from the previous nights partying with energizing morning pursiots, whilst the vibrant animations of the new Kaleidoscope stage will provide psychedelic visions well into the night to the sound of ‘wonky disco joys’.

With the partying continuing into the early hours after the live acts have finished, Bestival boasts some of the biggest names from across the spectrum of dance music, including Jamie XX, Duke Dumont, Mark Ronson, Hannah Wants and Skrillex. Among the many carefully curated stage lineups Annie Mac’s Masters and Makers takeover at the Port promises something special. The series of back to back sets is based on a novel concept of pairing taste-makers and genre luminaries. Highlights include David Rodigan MBE b2b Toddla T, triple threat Wookie b2b Monki b2b Mele, and Bestival curator Rob da Bank joining Annie Mac herself.

The Radio 1 favorite had this to say:

“We wanted to approach this years AMP [Annie Mac Presents] line up at the Port differently, to offer something completely unique for the ravers and the DJs. Taking the B2B format and flipping the dynamic from masters of their genres and up and coming DJs in that same genre. Personally I’m so looking forward to doing a set with Robby as he is someone I’ve looked up to constantly over the years and I think we’ll have a lot of fun!”

The festival is just as much about the atmosphere as it the music; the announcement of the annual fancy dress theme is just as important as any headliner! The site is peppered with activities to indulge in, from astrological workshops to facepainting. The Sunday afternoon parade always keeps the campsite in high spirits, just as the three-day hangover begins to take hold, and Rob da Bank is sure to have some more mischievous treats up his sleeve; last year saw a mirror ball of Guinness World Record shattering proportions borne aloft over the mainstage on the Sunday night.

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Four Tet

Having just released his eighth album Morning/Evening to very little fanfare on the night of the Summer Solstice, Kieran Hebden’s productions as Four Tet are mesmerizing and dreamy. Among his extensive production history Hebden has collaborated with Burial and Thom Yorke, as well as recorded improvisational jams with the late Steve Reid. Despite two critically acclaimed albums, it took an Aphex Twin remix in the early noughties to bring Four Tet to the attention of clubbers. An audience that Four Tet has adopted and hasn’t let go since. Drawing on influences from cosmic jazz and new age to techno, Hebden was graced with the honour of closing iconic Shoreditch venue Plastic People alongside Floating Points earlier this year. Four Tet’s monthly residency during the latter years of club’s tenure commonly became known as genreless. Hebden has the remarkable skill of being able to throw together records from vastly different backgrounds yet still weave a cohesive and set. It’s difficult to predict what Four Tet will be playing at Bestival, but be sure it’ll be worth stopping by for.

Jonas Rathsman

Jonas Rathsman rose through the ranks of Sweden’s finest Djs organsing parties in Gothenberg. Sneaking in an extended set at The Somerley Tea Party this year, Rathsman is a delight to hear live. If you need further evidence of the man’s skill just take a listen to his latest release; Wolfsbane is a meaty track that combines Rathsman’s distinctive sound with the kind of beat needed to elevate a dancefloor to a higher level. It’s no surprise then that his production skills are in high demand; the Swedish DJ has turned in remixes for both London Grammer and Sam Smith.

The Chemical Brothers

Set to ignite the Bestival mainstage on Saturday night, The Chemical Brothers are an unmissable live act. The British duo helped popularise the big-beat genre in the mid-90s and will release their ninth studio album, Born In The Echoes this summer. Just take a look at their Glastonbury set and you’ll see precisely why the electronic duos performance is likely to be apex of the weekend, likely to pull in the biggest crowd of the festival.

Weekend tickets for Bestival are available via Ticketline as well as ferry packages from Red Funnel.

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