How do you close an epic teniversary, four day festival extravaganza, in a field full of the happiest souls in the country? LIKE A SIR. That’s how. Sir Elton John to be precise, Great British rock royalty doesn’t get better than this. Elton’s coming is preceded by shoulder-to-shoulder, asscheek-to-asscheek, barely standing room only arena-fullness and an air of excitement you can practically inhale. Despite worries of cancellation due to appendicitis earlier in the summer, Elton practically bounces on stage with aplomb in a bejewelled jacket emblazoned with ‘Madman Across The Water’ for comically entertaining ‘The Bitch Is Back’.
Ballad-tastic ‘Tiny Dancer’ and ‘Candle in the Wind’ were clearly loved by Elton fans, but a yawn here and there betrayed more than a few people hanging out for the rockier hits like the truly epic ‘I’m Still Standing’ and ‘Crocodile Rock’ – complete with crowd participation (especially from the few people dressed in crocodile onesies that night, perfect). ‘Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting’ prompts shadow boxing all over, and a few ill-timed jokes result in mates accidentally punching each other and then falling about laughing, and karaoke style lyrics on screen for new single ‘Home Again’ keep everyone singing along and engaged.
Calling out “You’ve been amazing, I’ll never forget this” Elton says exactly what’s on everyone’s minds, and there’s a kind of mutual community in that – something special to Bestival, a shared emotion between artist and fans experiencing something together, and this certainly is the kind of memory that lasts. Elton finishes up with a huge sing-along ‘Your Song’, with people opening their voices into the sky before the enormous closing firework display. It’s been a belter.