|Dates||Late Summer, September (4 days)|
|Years active||2004 - present|
Bestival is a four-day music festival held in the south of England. It has been held annually in late summer since 2004 at Robin Hill on the Isle of Wight. In 2017 the festival relocated to the Lulworth Estate in Dorset. The event is organised by DJ and record producer Rob da Bank along with his wife Josie and is an offshoot of his Sunday Best record label and club nights. The initial Bestival attracted 10,000 people, growing to 55,000 in 2010. Bestival won 'Best Major Festival' at the 2015 UK Festival Awards, having won 'Best Medium-Sized Festival' in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009, 'Best Major Festival' in 2010, 2012 and in 2015, 'Fan's Favourite' in 2011 and 'Best Innovation' in 2005.
The festival was held annually in late summer since 2004, in a small country park called 'Robin Hill' on The Isle of Wight. The event is organized by Rob da Bank and is an offshoot of his Sunday Best record label and club nights. Creative Director and wife Josie da Bank and co founders / partners John Hughes, Ziggy Gilsenan and Ben Turner are also involved in organising the event. The Isle of Wight holds more carnivals per capita than anywhere else in the United Kingdom.
In 2004, the festival was attended by 10,000 people, a figure which has since increased to 43,000 in 2009 and 55,000 in 2010.
A family-friendly sister festival "Camp Bestival" launched in 2008.
In December 2016, the organisers announced a move to The Lulworth Estate in Dorset.
In 2018 Bestival went into administration, leaving many workers unpaid. However, a festival of the same name, curated by Rob da Bank and his wife Josie, was announced for 2019, at the same site and on the equivalent weekend.
Bestival is well known for its fancy dress themed days (usually the Saturday of the festival). In 2005, an attempt was made to set the Guinness World Record for most people in fancy dress at any one event. By 2010 this was achieved, when 55,000 festival goers set a new Guinness World Record.
The festival is also heavily involved in supporting social and environmental causes. Rob da Bank and Bestival support several Isle of Wight-based charities and youth organisations; for example Rob da Bank's Music Club, Isle of Wight Toy Appeal, Isle of Wight Youth Trust, St Catherines School and Barter For Bestival. On site at the festival, Bestival supports Oxfam, RSPB, Amnesty International, Water Aid and the Legacy Project. Bestival actively reduces its carbon emissions and impact on the environment; for example schemes such as Bike to Bestival, Swim to Bestival, LiftShare, exchanging recycling at the campsites for cups of tea, recycling and waste management, commissioning Environmental Impact Assessments, monitoring power usage and limiting water usage with push button taps.
Bestival is a founding member of the Greener Festival Alliance.
Bestival is often described as a "boutique festival" due to its non-corporate feel. It is also known for piloting odd and innovative ideas, including an inflatable church where people can get married. Other features include the "Breastival", a quiet Yurt designated for mothers and their breast-feeding children. The local Women's Institute has also been involved by providing refreshments for a minimal price.
The main venues in 2014 were:
Bestival has received the following awards:
Attendance - 15,000
Attendance - 17,000
2006 - Gogol Bordello, Pet Shop Boys, Scissor Sisters, Amadou & Mariam, Man-Machine, Brakes, Devendra Banhart, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Good Shoes, Hot Chip, iLiKETRAiNS, Jim Noir, John Martyn, Kid Creole & The Coconuts, Klaxons, Lily Allen, Mystery Jets, Scritti Politti, The Cuban Brothers, The Fall, The Long Blondes, The Pipettes, The Stranglers and The Sunshine Underground.
Attendance - 29,000
7 September - 9 September
2007 - Beastie Boys, The Chemical Brothers, Primal Scream, Madness, Gregory Isaacs, The Levellers, The Orb, The Gossip, Kate Nash, Jack Peñate, Patrick Wolf, Billy Bragg, Easy Star All Stars, The Maccabees, Dub Pistols, Calvin Harris, Friendly Fires and The Shakes.
Attendance - 30,000
5 September - 7 September
2008 - My Bloody Valentine, Amy Winehouse, Underworld, Aphex Twin, CSS, Hot Chip, Will Young, The Coral, Sam Sparro, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Alphabeat, Black Kids, Sugarhill Gang, The Breeders, George Clinton, Gary Numan, The Human League, Grace Jones, The Specials, Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip and 808 State.
Attendance - 43,000
11 September - 13 September
2009 - Massive Attack, Kraftwerk, Elbow, MGMT, 65daysofstatic, Fleet Foxes, Little Boots, Mika, Klaxons, Soulwax, 2manydjs, Seasick Steve, Friendly Fires, Bat for Lashes, Florence and the Machine, Zane Lowe, Diplo, Annie Mac, Skream, DJ Yoda, Erol Alkan, The Bloody Beetroots, Lily Allen, Carl Cox, Michael Nyman, Squarepusher, Björn Again, Rob da Bank, Fujiya & Miyagi, La Roux, Krafty Kuts, Jack Penate, Alejandro Toledo and the Magic Tombolinos.
The Prodigy, The Flaming Lips, Dizzee Rascal, Rolf Harris, Gil Scott-Heron, Roxy Music, Marc Almond, Level 42, Echo & The Bunnymen, The XX, Howard Jones, Heaven 17, Chase & Status, Tinie Tempah, Rox, Simian Mobile Disco, Stornoway, Hot Chip, The Wailers, Lucky Elephant, Ellie Goulding, Barry Peters.
2010 also saw Bestival win 'best major festival' beating Glastonbury and Reading in a public vote; sister festival Camp Bestival picked up 'best family festival' as well.
Pendulum, The Cure, Björk, Primal Scream, Brian Wilson, P J Harvey, The Maccabees, Los Campesinos!, Fatboy Slim, Public Enemy, Big Audio Dynamite, Kelis, Chromeo, The Drums, Village People, Grandmaster Flash. Noah And The Whale, Groove Armada, Annie Mac, Magnetic Man, Robyn, Crystal Castles, DJ Shadow, Katy B, LFO, Cranes, A-Trak.
2011 saw Bestival win "Fans' favourite festival award" in the UK Festival Awards.
The main stage headliners were Florence and the Machine on Friday, New Order on Saturday and Stevie Wonder who closed the main stage on Sunday, playing as a UK festival exclusive. Sigur Rós and The XX both performed UK festival exclusives on the main stage. The following also performed (this is not a complete list):
Three people were killed in a road crash returning from Bestival by coach. A fundraising night was set up to remember those who lost their lives in the A3 coach crash, taking place at Nation in Liverpool on Saturday 30 March 2013.
Headline acts were the Bestival Birthday Bash with Fatboy Slim on Friday, Snoop Dogg on Saturday and Elton John on Sunday, who was playing as a UK festival exclusive. The following also played (this is not a complete list): MIA, Franz Ferdinand, Flaming Lips, The Knife, Wu-Tang Clan, Bombay Bicycle Club, DJ Fresh, Bastille, The Roots, Belle and Sebastian, Disclosure, Jessie Ware, Richie Hawtin, Carl Cox, Annie Mac, Seth Troxler, Knife Party, While She Sleeps and more.
For 2013, Bestival introduced a weekly payment plan for tickets, the first music festival to offer this.
Bestival 2014's theme was Desert Island Disco. The headline acts were Outkast, Foals, Beck and Chic Featuring Nile Rodgers; Nile Rodgers also challenged Bestival to create the world's largest disco ball for Bestival 2014, in which they succeeded with a disco ball of 10.33m. The previous record was 9.98 metres.
The following acts also appeared at Bestival 2014 (Not a complete list): Disclosure, Major Lazer, SpandyAndy, Paloma Faith, Basement Jaxx, London Grammar, Sam Smith, Candi Staton, Wild Beasts, Clean Bandit, La Roux, Bonobo and Skindred
The 2015 theme was 'Summer of Love' and the headline acts were Duran Duran on Friday,The Chemical Brothers on Saturday and Missy Elliott on the Sunday night. Other acts included Underworld, Tame Impala, The Jacksons, Jungle, Jurassic 5, Rudimental, Flying Lotus, Skrillex, Mark Ronson, Róisín Murphy, Charli XCX, Ella Eyre and the Chuckle Brothers.
The 2016 theme was 'The Future' and the headline acts were Hot Chip on Thursday, Major Lazer on Friday, The Cure on Saturday and Wiz Khalifa on Sunday. Other acts included: Bastille, Years and Years, Sean Paul, Fatboy Slim, Skepta, Damian Marley, Katy B and Wolf Alice.
The 2017 theme was 'Colour' and the headline acts were Jamie T on Thursday, The xx on Friday, A Tribe Called Quest on Saturday and Pet Shop Boys on Sunday. Other acts included: Dizzee Rascal, Wiley, Rag'n'Bone Man, Laura Mvula, Soul II Soul, Circa Waves, Blossoms, Lucy Rose and Annie Mac. A woman named Louella Fletcher-Michie died after taking the recreational drug 2CP. A man named Ceon Broughton was convicted of her manslaughter on the 28th of February 2019.
It was announced in February 2015 that for the first time, Bestival would be heading to North America. It was held at Toronto Islands and co-organized by SFX Entertainment and Toronto promoter Embrace. The headliners were Florence + The Machine and Nas performing "Illmatic". Other performers included Flume, Caribou, SBTRKT, Flosstradamus and Jamie xx.
On 29 February 2016 the dates for the second Bestival Toronto were confirmed to be June 11 and 12 and the new location announced was Woodbine Park. The headliners were announced on 11 March 2016 to be The Cure and Tame Impala. Other performers included Odesza, Grimes, Jamie xx, Porter Robinson, Madeon, Tchami and Daughter.
On 4 May 2017 the organizers announced that there will be no Bestival Toronto in 2017, and they are "aiming to return in the future".
It was announced that the inaugural edition of Bestival Bali would be held on 30 September and 1 October 2017 at Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park. The headliners were Alt-J and Rudimental. Other performers included Pendulum, Purity Ring, De La Soul, Bag Raiders, George Clinton & Parliament - Funkadelic, Stars & Rabbit and Rob da Bank.