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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…