Anyone who was aboard HMS Bestival last year won’t have failed to notice the maritime magnificence of The Port. A mind-expanding, oceanic vision, nestled near the Ambient Forest, The Port was unquestionably one of the highlights of 2013 that captured the imagination of thousands of Bestivalites.
Featuring a landlocked harbour and the good ship HMS Bestival as its centrepiece, it was nothing short of stunning; the beating heart that powered a hedonistic weekend of pure partying, with proper Funktion-One cannons blasting the goodness from incredible DJs, all with an added array of brain-melting spectacles, astonishing aerial displays and insane pyrotechnics. Now, with their Desert Island Disco rocking all tribes, The Port is back to blow punters away with another staggering line-up of cool castaways and sublime selectors.
A massive white ship cast adrift in a field blasting out the finest electronic music on a crystal sound system, a man in a rowing boat rows through thin air dangling from a crane, pyro and confetti fill the air, the ships horn booms across 10,000 people’s heads as they writhe in rhythm and, as night falls, the lasers fire up and the ship appears to float above the grass. Yes, it sounds like an insane area, doesn’t it? But last year we created The Port, possibly our coolest stage ever and it’s back with another three days and nights of musical marvels from many of the world’s finest DJs. Roughly speaking, Friday is techno night, Saturday is Miss Annie Mac’s massive party night and Sunday starts chilled and ends in junglist bass mayhem. All aboard! — Rob da Bank
Heading up the first of three full-on days of big sounds is Cocoon kingpin and techno protagonist Sven Väth, who, for over 30 years, has been transporting dancefloors to rapturous new lands and will no doubt baptise 2014’s Port crew with his boundary pushing brilliance. Friday will also see sets from uncompromising genius Damian Lazarus, bass heavy groove merchant Eats Everything, rave detonator Boys Noize, driving techno type Bella Sarris, sine-woven tech head South London Ordnance, and our very own chief castaway Rob da Bank.
Saturday action comes courtesy of the amazing Annie Mac Presents, with sets from Annie Mac, the incomparable Green Velvet, James Blake’s 1-800 Dinosaur crew, stripped back beats architect Route94, underground house duo Bicep, Hot Natured resident Richy Ahmed, mutant house purveyor Krystal Klear and BBC Radio 1’sMonki.
Wrapping things up at The Port for 2014 is an almighty beats blitzkrieg featuring a DJ set from soul-stirring bass lords Chase & Status, plus drum n bass legend Andy C will present RAM, with firing sets from Wilkinson and Loadstar and MCs 2shy, Adapt and Jakes. There will also be dancefloor action from beat ninja Jaguar Skills, Foamo and RackNRuin in their Gorgon City guise, soul infused pair Dusky, wildly experimental riddim wizard Kaytranada, divinely deep duo Âme and techno twosome Dense & Pika.