Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bestival 2012: An Epic Weekend

I Heart Bestival
This weekend was one of the best and memorable weekends to date. Bestival is the most chilled out and fun festival that I've ever been to. Arriving on site on the Isle of Wight, it felt a little like wonderland - the detail that the organisers (Rob da Bank you are amazing) put into the festival is awesome. Everywhere you turn there was something I wanted to photograph. I managed to whittle the photos down but it's still quite photo-heavy! 
One little luxury of being invited by the guys at Echo Falls was that we arrived to pitched tents complete with sleeping bags and air beds. 14 identical red tents, each with little union jack flags pitched in a circle around two green marquees with bunting confused a lot of other fellow campers. We must have looked like a crazily organised and co-ordinated bunch! Bestival is a reasonably small festival with around 50,000 milling around the site but on some days it felt like there were FAR more people.
Psychedelic Worm
One of the first things I did was visit the Echo Falls Social Boutique tent, home of a massive gold disco ball and where face painting, nail art, photo booth fun and DJ sets were all happening. Importantly, us bloggers were also allowed backstage where we could charge up our phones. Definitely needed after a lot of instagramming and tweeting!
Echo Falls social boutique
Echo Falls x Diamond Canopy
My friend and I started an awesome routine, drinks and food are notoriously expensive at festivals and we discovered the W.I Tea Tent at the top of rather steep hill. Everything was 70p (tea and cake, yay!) and it became a bit of a legend around the campsite. The trek up to the hill everyday was well worth it, especially since a cup of tea around the site cost about £2.00!
W.I. Tea Tent
After anticipating Soulwax on stage, we discovered that Flux Pavilion had replaced them on the main stage which was fun but it definitely felt a bit early for dub step! It wasn't until I arrived back home did I find out that Soulwax had moved to a different tent - boo!
Flux Pavillion
Saturday was fancy dress day and the theme was wildlife. So my friend Rachael and I dressed up as insects. The majority of people there did dress up and there were some awesome costumes - I just wish I had taken photos of them! My outfit consisted of my Topshop lace dress where I loosely stitched on some yellow ribbon, a very last minute decision.
Me and Rach
The festival is set in Robin Hill Country Park, a wonderful setting which includes wooded area, known as the Ambient Forest during Bestival. Inside were fun activities, people selling jewellery and I even spotted a little girl selling conkers and painted stones which was pretty adorable.
Creature masks
Bumble bee me
Ambient Forest
Who can say that they have had afternoon tea at a festival, complete with Vintage china? Me! This was in the Time for Tease tent where we had our cream tea with Burlesque entertainment. Fantastic.
Afternoon Tea
One of my absolute favourite things that I did was going to Classic Album Sundays, an event that is held monthly in various cities in the world. I wasn't expecting too much and I followed my friend Rachael inside, to discover a presentation on the making of The Beatles, Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band which was really fascinating. This was followed by the full album, played in it's original format on Mono Vinyl - listening to it as it was originally intended back in 1967. It was super chilled out and for a moment I thought I really was back in the swinging sixties (totally my favourite era). It definitely made a lasting impression.
Classic Album Sundays
We stumbled upon the Legacy Project, a youth initiative who work with many local communities. For a donation, we got to make some t-shirts to take home as souvenirs. I painted a fox...which happens to have a very strong leg because it's holding that flag. Oops!
T-shirts for the legacy project
This mechanical spider got in our way a few times while we were there - Bestival is truly a bizarre festival! Especially when you catch penguins discussing beer, emotional Teletubbies reuniting after getting separated and the reappearance of the Essex Lion on the Isle of Wight...hilariously brilliant.
Mechanical Spider
More music from the awesome Bat for Lashes. Natasha Khan's voice is so incredible and I'm super pleased I got to see her sing again.
Bat for Lashes - Natasha Khan
The details around the site are fantastic - these swans look great in the day but at night I discovered that they actually light up and guide you through the campsite. I wish all streetlights looked like these...
Wonderland Tent
Bestival view
Sigur Rós are an unbelievably amazing band and their beautiful music drifting around the festival felt epic and of course they played Hoppípolla which was a definite crowd pleaser.
Sigur Rós
What I love about Bestival is that it's not just about the music. We went to the Bestiversity tent which held talks on world issues led by inspiring people. I stopped by for a talk from the charity, WaterAid for an insight on the important work that they do and what we can do to help.
Next door to Bestiversity was an Arts Tent where people had decorated lots of spoons and forks! They look not unlike many of the festival goers who were all in fancy dress!
True to my word, I had a lot of tea and there was a plentiful supply from around the site! One of my favourite places was this wonderfully decorated Tea & Toast van.
Tea & Toast Van
Bestival is so dreamy and surreal. This was the Wishing Tree, inside were DJs doing their thing and it looked absolutely stunning in the sunset.
Wishing Tree Sunset
On the last night the main event was of course the brilliant Stevie Wonder who was everything I expected and more. The arena filled up to the max and the hill had just turned into a sea of people, which was quite an incredible sight.
Stevie Wonder
Crowd Snow Fireworks
The night ended with a whole bunch of fireworks which was the perfect way to end the weekend. We had glorious weather and looking back at this post puts a big smile on my face! So one last massive thank you to the Echo Falls team (especially Charlie!) for asking me to come along and looking after us and also to my friend Rachael for agreeing to be my festival buddy. It was an incredible weekend (check out the Echo Falls Facebook for other bloggers different experiences!) I'm sad that it's all over but super glad that I am home with running water again! I'm very very tempted to go back again next year...



  1. wow! this looks AMAZING! i would love to go to bestival. that tea and toast van is so cute and such a good idea. mmm toasties! :) x

  2. Hi Winnie, loved this fun post of yours.The mechanical spider and giant pink lilies look amazing and I love your fox with special flag holding powers!xx


  3. What amazing photos, so, so jealous! especially because the weather was so perfect for it all! xo

  4. Reading this post reminds me of my own blog (since I'm always vomiting colourful pics on it) ! I love it!! (Hahaha)

    Glad you had so much fun!!! I love those little spoon and fork thingies.. now I'm annoyed I don't have any wooden cutlery with me so I can create a mini-spoon-me. I would paint it NEON!


  5. so cool! I wish I had been there. This is by far the most attraction-fulled festival I've ever seen ahah XD that tree house and the spider were the coolest ahha XD

  6. The festival looks so fun! Very jealous of your luxuary camping. x

  7. THIS LOOKS AMAZZINNGGG! I love that first photo of you you :D hopefully see you there next year ;) M xo

  8. I was too excited and forgot to say that the attention to detail is incredible, I'd love to be a part of designing something like this ! M xo

  9. such gorgeous decor! I want to go! It's on an island you said? The isle of wright ... if so that sounds so sweet to travel to an island for a musical festival. Reminds me of play land in Pinochio but the un-sinister version! ^.^

    Love sigur ros and love even more the side project of just 'jonsi' I saw him speak at Barnes and Noble event once and it was pretty cool.

    You're looking very cute in the bumble bee getup and yes, swan street lights everywhere!

  10. The festival looks amazing - I love all your photos of it. You've really captured the spirit of it for those of us at home!

  11. Such an awesome post. Must have been so memorable. Love the insect costumes!

    You have such a great way of showing all the fun you have on your travels with friends and family.

  12. Looks like a whimsical mayhem. Glorious photos! Thank you so much for sharing!

  13. wow this looks like such a trip!!


  14. I'm so jealous that everyone got to go to Bestival, it looks like you had the most incredible time!

  15. Looks like it was so much fun! I was jealously reading all the bloggers tweets this weekend.

  16. you look like you had plenty of fun

  17. waaaah sun, music AND afternoon tea?! How amazing must that have been!! Looked like you had an amazing time. Great pictures! Yes, let's catch up before I leave ;_;

  18. oh wow, you took some gorgeous photos! Gutted that I missed Stevie and the fireworks though. I think we all need to go again next year :) I loved having afternoon tea at a festival, felt very civilized x

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  20. this looks like SO much fun! ohmygosh so much going on! your bee outfit is AMAZINGLY adorable on you - it's quite brilliant really. and i love that winking eye top too - you have the cutest clothing. all the festivities look amazing - and the images are stunning - i can't imagine what an awesome experience this must have been

    <3 katherine
    of corgis and cocktails

  21. wow this looks like SOOO much fun! I've been to a bunch of festivals this summer, but never one with so many activities. Usually they just leave us to our own beer-infused devices, but yours went all out. How cute is that tea party? and i love your bumble bee outfit haha!

  22. Gorgeous pictures, looks like you had an amazing time! x

  23. What a fun spectacle! Looks like Willy Wonka land. Glad you had a great time.

  24. looove your outfits Winnie! the shirt with the blinking eyes is awesome! Your pictures are great and it was so much fun looking at them :) too bad I wasn't able to go to a festival this sumer.. T.T you definitely had some of the best pictuers I've seen of festivals this year!

  25. It looks like such an amazing festival - I especially like the idea of afternoon tea at a festival!

  26. wow! this looks like such an amazing experience!!!


  27. Wow it looks amazing!
    Honestly doesn't look like any festival that I've ever been to!
    Your bee outfit is so adorable! You look lovely :)

  28. Such a Fun Event !
    You look cute :D

  29. I am so jealous that you saw Stevie Wonder.
    It looks like a bit of a psychadelic Dream!

    Gems x

    Fashion, Well Done

  30. what a fun event!!! omg i would love to have been there all dressed up and just enjoying the people, food, and of course... music!

    By the way, I am having a giveaway with beauty products from Asia. Hope you'll get a chance to check it out ^_^

  31. You make me want to go to a festival!!!! Such a good insight to Bestival for those who have never been. You're so lucky to have been looked after by Echo Falls, sounds like the perfect weekend of fun! xxxx

  32. This looks like so much fun, I love your bee costume and I am jealous that you saw Sigur Ros, I love them!

    Maria xxx

  33. Great pictures i love festivals
    :) x

  34. Happy, happy photos! You just might have persuaded me to try camping at a festival...xx

  35. Ohh I LOVEd reading this! Fab with a cup of tea, loved your costume! So cute and very you! I'm seriously going to look into this festival, seems so friendly and laid back but so magical at night x



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