Bestival 2017 – THE GIANT REVIEW!

Thursday

Bestival. The summer finale. The big kahuna. Bestival has been my homecoming for the last twelve years and this is the first time I don’t have to catch a ferry to get there. No lies – it feels weird. There was something sort of magical about catching the ferry with everyone, the anticipation, the journey, knowing that you were really going on an adventure. The short drive from the motorways to The Lulworth Castle estate just isn’t the same. On the other hand, the hefty hiked Red Funnel ferry prices I certainly will not miss, nor the uncertainty of whether your entire party will actually make it onto said ferry (my brother missed it once due to an accidental detour round the M25 at rush hour. He didn’t make it onto the island for another twelve hours…).

Anyway, we’re here – the sun is trying to shine and we’ve just driven through a very castle-y looking gateway to get into the carparks. Now, first thing to mention – the carparks are at first thought, extremely pleasingly close to camping. Trussed up with all our camping gubbins we head through the bag and ticket check which isn’t too busy at this time in the morning, though the searches aren’t super through (maybe I just have an innocent face?) there are police and sniffer dogs quite clearly overseeing operations. In fact, we watch some scallywags being unceremoniously marched offsite whilst we queue.

Grabbing our wristbands, we head into the campsites in search of high ground in Rainbow Rave (we’ve checked the weather… no-one wants to be downhill…). After a quick set-up and drinks we head into the arena to see what’s what. To my utter dismay there seems to be only one route through the campsites into the main arena and it’s a valley, with a great stonking near vertical hill either side. My foreboding barometer is going wild… I know what this will look like in the rain.

As we traverse the site we pass Slow Motion which doesn’t look entirely set up yet, there are men still hammering things… a very sad looking tiny cousin of The Wishing Tree, and then we are into the main arena, greeted by The Lovebot and the two giant astronauts which flanked last years’ Space Port. It’s very weird seeing all this out of situ on the IOW. Taking in the site it’s considerably smaller and a lot more cramped in than Robin Hill, it’s also pretty damn hilly, with The Temple and Bollywood up at the top, presiding over everything.

We decide to tramp our way to The Castle in search of The Feast Collective for some late lunch and find it tucked away in a small field behind, alongside the kids and crafty area. It’s cute, but it’s pretty remote/removed from everything else. The Feast Collective itself is one of my favourite additions to Bestival’s lineup over the last few years, I mean the food is great all over site, but this is always something special. Today we hit up The Rac Shack for Poutine, which is absolutely epic (who doesn’t love chips, cheese and gravy?!) but there’s just so much on offer it was pretty hard to choose. The music is loud, the fairy lights and foliage give it atmosphere and everyone is chowing down on a world-tour of amazing food. You can wrap your chops around crispy duck Bao, buttermilk fried chicken, Indonesian street food, vegan maki rolls… we’re spoilt for choice. Another notable addition – plastic Bestival beer cups, much less drunk hazard and probably the cheapest souvenir on site.

After food we take a quick tour around, the main stage area isn’t open yet (and looks like it’s still being built) we take a quick peek over the site from the top of Oberon’s Observatory and then make a pit-stop at the Old Mout cider garden for a boogie. Our friend manages to split the ass of his jumpsuit during a dance-off, and proceeds to can-can with his pants hanging out. We do some karaoke, have a go at their tiny zip-line and join in a very ill-advised and danger-laden conga around their small stage. It’s a nice little area complete with swing seats and the most useless periscopes ever, but we’re in search of different feels so it’s onto a firm favourite of mine – Caravanseri. It’s a different layout, a little bigger, but with two distinct sections – the tent/bar area and the stage area. As the rain begins to pour we dart into the Carousel tent for a dance and shelter, here it most feels like we’ve returned. The twinkling lights, the DJ’s, the laughter coming from each little caravan pocket of seating, the glitz and glam of this otherworldly little circus. It’s hard to describe, to put into words… it feels like I’m made entirely of fibre-optics and being at Bestival again is lighting up all the pathways. There’s something about being surrounded by other people setting themselves free, embracing the moment as if nothing else exists. I mean, that’s the point of all this, surely.

Drunk on freedom and well… vodka, we set off for The Box (for Besti returners… the artist previously known as The Big Top) to catch a bit of ‘Oh My God! It’s The Church’ who are bonkers and brilliant. As instructed, we sinners crouch down low as the Reverand yells “The church has one last thing to tell you… I have to praise you!” before jumping about like loons on the drop of Fatboy Slim’s classic track.

We take a hike up the hill to check out The Temple – a beautiful neon beacon in the night, it’s all lasers and light with bass thumping heavy in our chests. After a brief (excuse the pun) encounter with a very friendly, ginger-bearded, shiny-hot-pants wearing Santa Claus and some pretty crap Kevin-and-Perry style raving, we flop down on beanbags in the shisha tent next door. It’s cosy and calm but all the drinks taste of chai no matter what you’ve ordered and the staff seem to be a little bit squiffy themselves.

Friday

…and so it pours. There was never going to be any escaping it this weekend, and luckily we packed accordingly. After fetching our friend who spent last night in her car just outside of Bestival due to arriving after the midnight curfew, we wait out the stormy morning weather in the tent, playing some very revealing drinking games and then head into the arena during a relatively dry break. It’s clear the valley between the campsites is already a problem, we stick to the sides but watch a number of people go down hard as it’s really slippy. One other thing we’ve noted so far is that there seem to be really few toilets around in the campsite, and they don’t seem to be being cleaned or emptied as regularly. A shame considering decent loos were something Bestival has been known for over the years.

We catch a little of Sinkane’s set in The Box, it’s a pretty decent crowd and he has an incredible voice, the jazzy, disco sound is just right to blow away the blues of a wet afternoon. Over at Old Mout we witness the greatest Karaoke ever – a guy who knows every single word of Men At Work’s ‘Land Down Under’ wins himself a tambourine, and the admiration of all who heard, and then the crew of Coppafeel proposition us for photos posed with a giant wearable boob, and tell our friend how to check his pecs.

Over on the main stage Dub Pistols are bashing out the electric feels and looking way too cool to be there, but next up we have Bestival legends (and my personal heroes) The Cuban Brothers. Throwing shapes on stage we have Archerio and Kenny (the bastard) alongside Juan Erection who busts big flares and flips, whilst Miguel tell us all about his #sexyfavours. I’m sure its incomprehensibly weird to anyone new to the Cubans but you learn to just roll with it, promise. After a quick costume change into their signature fringed lycra, Miguel apologises for Arch “…it’s a big guy in a gold suit with a tiny penis… it’s like a shittily wrapped christmas present…we’re giving to you” before Arch drops freezes and Kengo performs insane head-spins. Despite the expected de-pantsing of Miguel and the frighteningly small Swan pouch pants, the Cubans are never not entertaining. You know, in a nightmare-inducing way.

Soul II Soul bust late 80’s hit ‘Back To Life’ and we are instantly transported into nostalgia, they are every bit as vocally strong as they ever were and it’s clear that despite the iffy weather, the crowd are absolutely loving every second of it. Over at the Bramble FM Roadshow (a tiny caravan stage behind the castle) a comedian is making terrible historical jokes about Cholera, so we catch some of Ray BLK’s incredible vocals on the main stage, ‘Doing Me’ and ‘Chill Out’ are just awesome to hear live, it’s beautiful and serene. Over in The Box, Romare is all big visuals and mixed up beats. From the same label as Mr. Scruff (also playing this weekend) it’s a stay-n-sway chilled set, and everyone in the tent is moving.

Closing the main stage tonight are English indie-rockers The XX, with an incredible, forceful yet intimate set replete with hits old and new. Check out our full review HERE!

After the high of The XX we’re not ready to finish the night there, so head into Caravanserai to catch some acts at Cirque Bijou, and we are beyond impressed by the extremely talented @_thathoopgirl who even managed to spin her LED lit hoops ON HER TONGUE. We also loved the slackline twins and Slightly Dubious Science, despite the bubble failures. Heading into The Ambient Forest for a roam we quickly deduce that this is a considerably smaller space than Robin Hill, with about as many people trying to get through it. There are some trails with serious drop-offs, not a single security guard in sight (other than at the entrance) and nowhere near enough lights on paths to be safe. It’s a long chalk from the beautiful and eerie forest we knew at the previous site. I did love the cosy fire-tent at the top, and there were some hilarious attempts at umbrella limbo in The Frozen Mole, but to be honest it didn’t really work overall. It felt really separate to everything else, where the previous Ambient Forest was full of pathways to other areas and an adventure in finding secret happenings.

Over in Club Dada, we catch the New York Brass Band (who are actually from North Yorkshire… go figure) in an extremely sweaty but friendly tent, under the soft light from strings of old lampshades. They play amazing big band covers like Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ and Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams’, with the entire crowd singing along. We join in for Bob Marley cover ‘One Love’ and Marvin Gaye’s ‘Sexual Healing’ but head for the sides when they drop into the rowdy LMFAO ‘Party Rock Anthem’. One of my favourite things about Bestival is all of these individual pockets of joy all over the site.

Saturday

Well things overnight have improved a little – it’s actually verging on sunny so we’re donning our best sparkly outfits today. After a cracking breakfast of avo-on-toast from The Breakfast Club and a couple of cans of G&T (I don’t care how hipster that sounds, it was glorious) we’re heading into the arena. Witness The Fitness is giving yoga-bods their daily dose of zen, there’s glitter in the air and the true colours of Bestival are showing in everyone’s fabulous outfits.

Over on the main stage, UK rapper Nadia Rose is cute but fierce in her pink shellsuit jacket spitting ‘Skwod’ to a bouncing crowd but we’re charging The Box for Disney Rascal. Dressed in an eclectic mix of costumes from Disney movies the band play ska/pop punk covers of all our favourites. There’s ‘The Bare Necessities’ and ‘Kiss The Girl’ but the mashups are the real stroke of genius; Queen’s ‘I Want To Break Free’ flows seamlessly into ‘Hakuna Matata’ whilst Bob Marley’s ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright’ becomes Toy Story’s ‘You’ve Got A Friend In Me’. As if that all isn’t Disney enough for you, the show is halted so that guitarist Peter Pan (aka Chris) can propose on stage to his girlfriend, who is dressed as Absolom from Alice in Wonderland. It’s surreal and adorable. We loved you Disney Rascal, please return!

Just as we decided to head out in search of food, the heavens opened with the biggest downpour of the weekend yet, and the realisation that we’ve all opted for trainers instead of wellies, sets in. Arse.

Luckily for us a second exceptional cover band is up next – The Smiths Ltd. with a very realistic (though definitely less politically sassy) Morrissey frontman. The entire tent is singing at the top of their voices for ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’ and honestly, it’s a pretty damn good replacement for those of us that never got to see The Smiths themselves. Bonus points for not having to listen to Morrissey whine about the world mid-set too. Oh and I have to give special mention to the dude in the crowd wearing the ‘Rizla Fedora’ – you sir are a king among men. For everyone who didn’t encounter this top cat, he had glued packets of rizla and filters to his hat in a help-yourself buffet of cigarette rolling genius.

With a small break in the rain, we traipse through the pooled mud and grab ourselves some stomach-warming Katsu curry and then watch a strange pop-up mariachi band on the stage underneath the Astronaut rainbow, who play covers of Five’s ‘Keep On Moving’ and The Spice Girls’ ‘Spice Up Your Life’. It’s bonkers and brilliant. At this point it’s becoming clear we’ll have to trek back to the tents for wellies due to the increasing danger the arena is posing underfoot, and as expected – the valley between campsites has become deadly slick and there aren’t really any other options for getting up or down it safely. It also takes an incredibly long-time to get back to the tents which is a shame because it means missing even more. Here’s hoping next year a second entrance to the main arena can be organised, cause death valley is not my idea of fun festival times.

After some fortifying beers and more appropriate footwear, we are back in the arena for Rag ‘N’ Bone Man. Towering over everyone else on stage, Rory Graham (aka Rag ‘N’ Bone Man) strides on with confidence, wearing a red and black varsity jacket. Starting off with ‘Wolves’ and letting us know “I feel very lucky to stand in front of you beautiful people and play today”, the crowd is already absolutely taken with his flawless vocals. Bowling through old and new hits, Graham jokes “That was a song about people with big heads and big egos… I dedicate it to Donald Trump… the orange prick” to much laughter and clapping across the arena. ‘Human’ and ‘Hell Yeah’ just top off a stunning set, marred only slightly by the crappy weather.

With the cooler temperatures and intermittent downpours, The Feast Collective is ram-jammed with bodies but we manage to commandeer some table space for dinner (I chose a Prawn/Chips/Samphire box of joy from Shrimpy’s – amazing) but no sooner than we had finished, security guards were clearing the tent due to a ‘health and safety issue’. Talking to the Bestival team we discovered it was a national grid issue – it seems the weather is a pain in the arse for everyone this weekend!

Over at The Port (which is considerably smaller and a bit sad compared to it’s original conception) Fatman Scoop and Jaguar Skills are delivering beats and laughs, but we’re back at the Castle stage for Dizzee Rascal. The much needed injection of energy coming from Dizzee helps us forget the dire weather for a while and we get down to ‘Dance Wiv Me’ like it’s 2008. Dizzee shouts out to the dude dressed as Batman and busts out the one we’ve been waiting for: ‘Bonkers’, and it is just that. The arena erupts in a muddy, bouncy, frantic mess. Which is precisely the kind of release everyone seems to have needed today. Yelling into his custom yellow mic “Put two fingers in the air and shout peace!” Dizzee notes that there’s a “…lot of bollocks going on the world right now but we all came together.” to a huge roar from the crowd who’ve battled death valley to be there.

Unfortunately due to rain and the state of the arena, there’s no safe way for the night parade to, well, parade. It’s a sort of sad little gathering in front of the castle, until the Portsmouth Batala Band get on the case with their rolling drums. It’s a shame the parade couldn’t have marched around the castle walls, away from the mud – it would have looked amazing.

Back on the main stage we are ready for A Tribe Called Quest’s final ever show. Following the death of bandmate Phife Dawg last year, this show is above all else a tribute act and a way to say goodbye. Despite a dodgy start the show goes on to be one of Bestival 2017’s highlights, and to be there, to be part of the history; amazing. Read our full ATCQ review HERE!

Embarking on the grueling walk back to the campsite we see an unfortunate person with what looks like a dislocated knee being attended to, and I can’t help thinking that the weather gods really have decided to smite this new site. On the other hand, we also watch a girl ride an inflatable unicorn down death valley with wild abandon, so it’s obviously not too awful for some!

Sunday

After a hairy night of holding onto the sides of the tent in fear of ending up in Kansas, we pop our heads out to see that the campsite is looking decidedly emptier. It seems a lot of people have packed up this morning/been forced to evacuate wind-trashed abodes. Robin Hill campsites were blessed with the shelter of the valley and cliffside but here we are open to the elements and it shows, there are broken tent-poles and piles of scrapped polyester strewn around the place. Another bugbear for this new site/year is the toilets don’t seem to have been cleaned or emptied at all this morning, they are very full, stinky and gross – not something we’re used to experiencing at Bestival to be honest.

After hiding out for most of the morning, trying to muster up the courage to brave the walk in, we top up with all the booze we don’t want to carry home tomorrow and head to The Box for a little warmth with Weymouth Ukeleleans who are dressed in Hawaiian shirts and playing T Rex’s ‘We Love To Boogie’. It’s a bit of a culture shock to be honest.

At The Port we catch a gospel choir singing Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ to a meagre and beleaguered crowd (well, except for that stag party down the front who are clearly already half cut and loving it), and over near The Feast Collective we get in on a small bluegrass band playing washboards and roping in audience members for percussion.

On the main stage L.A. Salami is part spoken word, part soft lounge jazz. He has a fantastic voice and it’s a shame the crowd is so sparse, the arena is a picture of devastation with churned up channels of mud knee deep. The area near the corner toilets looks like the bog of eternal stench, and if you get too close, smells like it too.

Too many T’s are drafted in to fill another spot and joke about the “The great British summertime” as the wind picks up again. In a perfect twist of fate, three songs in to their set after declaring “We’re gonna do our debut album, it comes out on Friday… front to back, in it’s entirety” the show is halted due to rising winds and some dangerously flappy stage-side screens. It’s 1.20pm and the winds are driving in hard. We get word that the Ambient Forest has also been closed for safety, and within half an hour the call goes up for the arena to be evacuated entirely. By 5pm the screens have been strapped down, most of the site has been bathed in hay and we’re back on track, but by now it seems the damage has mostly already been done.

The information about the arena being back open went out via the app and Bestival social media… only one problem… how many people still have charged phones, data, or signal left on Sunday afternoon of a festival? We also heard reports of some security staff telling people that the whole thing was closed and the arena wouldn’t be re-opening, prompting many to give up and leave early, I suppose with the high risk of drink driving – had they spent the morning in full festival mode.

On the main stage a po-faced Loyle Carner calls out “I’m really sorry I can’t play this show… but I can do you one poem if you want?” before playing to the meagre 20 or so people who actually made it back out. Luckily people begin to filter back in and a couple of acro-yoga performers get entertaining in the mud, even roping in a security guard for a go. They’ve gathered a pretty massive crowd and are epitomising the true spirit of Bestival – no fucks given. It’s awesome.

Circa Waves up next and they’re just what the doctor ordered. The wind has died down and the sound is cracking, calling out “…this the last song of our festival season… thank you for coming to see us…” they are lifting the spirits of the growing crowd, now a sea of mud, glitter and laughter. There are also rumours that Simon from The Inbetweeners is running around in the mud naked, as they’re filming for ‘The Festival’ here this weekend. I can only imagine the terrible, perfect portrayal of British festivals that will be…

Up next with a last minute fill in for the absent Justice, are masters of the electro – Soulwax, and OH MY WORD their set is infuckingcredible. 3 giant metallic boxes house 3 drummers, playing all manner of weird and wonderful toms and cymbals, the beats are so strong it feels like the ground is shaking beneath us. The whole crew are decked out in bright white lab coats which are pulsing bright under the flashing strobes, and a spinning silver cyborg head on a mic stand at the front flashes like a disco ball.

Pushing and prodding at giant NASA-esque synths, Soulwax seem as lost in the moment as we are, but there’s time enough for them to joke “…to be here, on this stage… because Justice didn’t turn up… we turned up in the rain with our studio…” before dropping ‘NY Excuse’. It sounds like a wry dig at Justice and we wonder if they know something we don’t about the bands’ absence this weekend. As a giant version of the android head rises from the back of the stage and spins in tandem with the small one, the beats continue to ramp up to a point where every single body in the now fuller arena is going all out mental, this is hands down the best show of the entire weekend and I can’t believe so many people are missing it. It’s a travesty!

Yes it’s cold tonight, but the wind has died down and the rain has thankfully abated in time for the almost-didn’t-happen finale of the Pet Shop Boys. With an amazing laser-filled extravaganza absolutely saves the day with a proper, justified ending to the festival, instead of the wash-out it certainly could have been. Check out our full Pet Shop Boys review HERE!

Turning around to watch the fireworks show go off from the top of Lulworth Castle, we hug each other and say our goodbyes to the summer (hah), it’s a perfect moment only spoiled by the knowledge that we have to make the trip back to the tents once more. We take one last detour to Anna-Mae’s Mac N Cheese, passing The Temple and The Port which are both still going heavy with the remainder of the Bestival 2017 survivors. The campsite is a tent graveyard, broken poles like the bones of destroyed carcasses stick into the sky and we all duck as a loose pop-up whirls past our heads, escaping into the night sky. The toilets still haven’t been cleaned and seem to be taking on a presence of their own, a la Foul Ole Ron. If you know, you know.

However bad it is, I know that moving this festival was a crazy feat, there are teething problems here for sure, but the feel… the spirit of Bestival is still alive. Tomorrow I will rejoice in clean toilets, sinks with running water and a bed that I didn’t have to inflate, but the Bestival blues will hit just as hard after that, as any other year. I love you, you weird wonderful place.

The tragic news of the death of Louella Michie doesn’t hit the papers until Monday, and leaves extreme sadness – she was just someone who was there, like us, for freedom and fun. Bestival had all the measures in place that they should have, but it’s hard to deny that UK drug culture has been on the rise again in the last few years. It’s a tragic and sobering end to what was a rocky, but great first year for Bestival in it’s new home.

 

All photographs © A. McHardy for SFG – Do not use without permission

Bestival Announces Second Wave of Acts

Setting the tone in our Year of Colour, we are excited to announce even more amazing artists who will be joining The xx, A Tribe Called Quest, Pet Shop Boys, Jamie T, Kurupt FM, Justice, Dizzee Rascal and many more as we redefine escapism for the festival generation. With a host of live music, super fat sound systems and DJs heading to our brand new site, join us as we increase the peace this 7th – 10th September at the Lulworth Estate, Dorset.

Rob da Bank says: “Bestival’s formula is pretty simple – we like you guys having fun, exploring new ideas and listening to amazing bands and DJs in a massive field or forest or both at the same time whilst dressed as a multi-coloured gherkin. If you like the sound of that you’re on board already, but if you need any more persuasion, we are proud to announce some mega new acts for Besti, repping the best in grime with Wiley, AJ Tracey and 67, through indie and rock with Blossoms and Twin Atlantic, all topped off with some good old fashioned rave with DJs from Heidi to Bjarki, Monki to the Ragga Twins and a massive garage takeover. Step up people, step the **** up!”

The Lulworth Estate will be rocking to even more amazing live music from the likes of grime godfather Wiley, indie powerhouse Blossoms, slick rhymer Loyle Carner, UK hip-hop hero Roots Manuva, Scottish rockers Twin Atlantic, folk troubadour Nick Mulvey, grime MC AJ Tracey, legendary hype man Fatman Scoop, Ninja Tune cut n paste maverick Romare and funk machine Sinkane. Plus, there will be appearances Tash Sultana, Alma, Cakes da Killa, 67, House Gospel Choir, London African Gospel Choir performing Graceland, Skinny Girl Diet, Smerz, Brushy One String, Hackney Colliery Band, The Greasy Slicks, Park Hotel, The Rhythm Method, Zoee, The Smiths Ltd, Disney Rascal, and the Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band. 

We’ll have plenty of new sound system action keeping the floors lit all weekend long, with celebratory behaviour from Andy C presenting 25 years of RAM featuring Andy C, Calyx & Teebee, Culture Shock, DC Breaks and MCs Tonn Piper, and Carasel & 2Shy. Bestival lifetime resident David Rodigan presents Ram Jam with Preditah, Conducta & MC Creed, Venum Sound and a very special guest still to be announced. And there will be footwork frenzy for the Teklife Showcase with sets from DJ Spinn, DJ Taye, DJ Paypal & Teklife Dancers.

The Garage Pool Party will be rinsing some classic beats with garage playas Heartless Crew, DJ Luck & MC Neat and Oxide & Neutrino all dropping enough two-step love to keep HMS Bestival rocking. Ensuring the subs are red hot right across the site we’ll have turntable tear ups from the Raindance crew featuring Rat Pack, Slipmatt, Billy Daniel Bunter and Uncle Dugs, Jungle Fever, with Brockie & MC Det, Jumping Jack Frost, Ragga Twins, Funky Flirt, Shockin B, Eastman Sound, and Ruddy Ranks and Nice Up! presents Daddy G, Kiko Bun, StarOne, Riddim Punks, Ghost Writerz, Shepdog, Serocee, Red Eye Hifi, Mr Benn, Cut La Vis, Jamie Rodigan, Origin One & AAA Badboy.

 

And as if that weren’t enough, there will be even more deck-based brilliance from Mad Professor, Heidi, Bjarki, Monki, Melé, Nightwave, Willow, Anna Wall, Jem Haynes, Reggae Roast & MC Natty Campbell, Tayo, Martha and DJ Dapper Dan.

Bestival announces all three headliners and the theme for 2017!

It’s a brand-new era, so prepare for the truly immersive experience of Bestival 2017. Announcing four incredible headliners and a huge bill of amazing music, we are entering a new chapter of light and sound, exploring the wonders of Colour on our mission to increase the peace this 7th – 10th September at the Lulworth Estate, Dorset.

Rob da Bank says: “Well what an adventure this promises to be… we have a beautiful new home with a massive castle in the middle of it, acres of beautiful woodland and forest, a sea view and the dramatic Jurassic coastline. Going back to our roots with Josie da Bank’s hand-drawn artwork, reviving all our favourite stages from 14 years of Bestival history and going out with all our headliners for the first time ever together, we’re pretty excited at Bestival HQ. From pop to grime, hip-hop to techno, folk to classical and every style in between we are reclaiming our place as the funnest, most adventurous, musically savvy and downright magical festival on the map. Please come along for the ride. and remember Increase the Peace”

We are honoured to say that The xx will be the first ever Castle Stage headliners at Bestival! Never anything less than breath-taking, we can’t think of a more fitting band to get the main stage action underway in our new home.

Commenting on their headline performance, The xx said: “Bestival was one of the first festivals we played, back in 2010, and it had always been a dream for us…we even begged to play the previous year. In 2012 we returned to play the main stage and we’re so happy to say we’ll be headlining this year, at the new site in Dorset. The Isle of Wight will hold a special place in our hearts but we’re excited to bring our new show to their new home”.

Guaranteed to be momentous, we are extremely excited indeed to announce that hip-hop heroes A Tribe Called Quest will headline Saturday at Bestival 2017, performing what will be their last UK Show.

Bringing our debut mainland Bestival to a suitably triumphant close, we are completely over the moon to announce synth-pop geniuses Pet Shop Boys as our Sunday night headliners. Quite simply legends, we think they’re the perfect band to bring some mind-blowing colour to our first Lulworth Estate finale!

Commenting on their headline show, Pet Shop Boys said: “Amazingly it is over ten years since we last played Bestival but we remember it being one of the most enjoyable festivals ever. Looking forward to bringing our new show there this year – and seeing how the audience has decided to dress up!”

And completing 2017’s fantastic foursome of first-time headliners we are delighted to announce Wimbledon’s finest, Jamie T will be the man kicking it all off with an exclusive performance topping the Thursday night bill on our second stage, The Box.

We’ll also have mind-blowing live music from super suave Gallic funksters Justice, plus, Dizzee Rascal, DJ Shadow, Little Dragon, Danny Brown, Rag’n’Bone Man, Laura Mvula, Soul II Soul, MNEK, Circa Waves, Ray BLK, Lucy Rose, and Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon among many, many others.

And there will be DJ sets from Annie Mac, Andy C presents 25 Years of RAM, Kurupt FM, David Rodigan presents RAM JAM, DJ Yoda, Maceo Plex, Jackmaster, Kölsch, Dusky, Toddla T presents Carnival, Artwork presents Art’s House, Sink the Pink and loads more to boot. Check the line-up so far listing at the end of this press release for even more names playing across the weekend. 

Redrawing our favourite party in the spirit of its original pioneering vision, Bestival’s creative essence will explode before your very eyes with a cavalcade of brilliant new stages, incredible destinations and stone cold classics, including our brand new main stage The Castle Stage, the eclectic wonders of The Box, the hands in the air nirvana of Temple, Bestival’s heart and soul, Bollywood, and the righteous vibrations of Reggae Roots.

Back by very popular demand HMS Bestival is the last word in off the hook partying, plus you can dance like there’s no tomorrow in new venues The Frozen Mole and Stacey’s, delve into the vintage madness of Caravanserai, and Club DaDa, and kick back in the enchanting Ambient Forest, and at our steam punk vision, Oberon’s Observatory. 

Bestival 2017 is a whole new world to explore and to keep you on your toes we’ll also have the dazzling delights of The World's Biggest Confetti Canon, Castle Fireworks Finale, the Love-Bot, The World's Biggest Bouncy Castle, Bestival Inflatable Church, Confetti Wedding Disco, The Feast Collective, Slow Motion, Revolution Rides, Carnival Day Parade and Night Parades, the Sugar Skulls Cocktail Bus, Sunday Best Cardboard Record Shop, Lost in the Woods, Ancient Woodlands, Free Haircuts, Campsite Recycling Hubs, Kids’ Field and for all you vexillophiles out there, Flags by Angus Watt.

 

Sundown Festival 2016 – Review. One of the biggest Sundowns yet

A Great British downpour lashed over festival goers as ponchos and true grit became standard for the first day of Sundown Festival.

“It's raining so hard my fingers are wrinkly,” bewailed one glitter-sodden music fan who said it looked like she had sat in the bath for an hour.

Yes. The rain was bad.

But remarkably the ground stayed mostly mud-free and the musical maelstrom kept the crowd in good spirits as three stages blasted out a mix of urban, pop and dance.

Kicking off proceedings on the main stage were Cambridge rapper Big Heath and Norfolk neo soul artist Mullally who stepped in at the last minute to replace Emmi.

Skipping on to the stage afterwards was a total style switch with trio MO who DJ Mistajam has described as the only girl group you need worry about.

They were followed by the earthy, jazz infused voice of  Espa, then Kiko Bunn, who brought a good times, deep dance reggae sunshine vibe to the day.

Next up the ever youthful Ms Dynamite, whose energy shone as strongly as when she first topped  the charts in 2003 ,with her hit single signature tune which heard the crowd sing in unison – Miss Dynamite-ee-ee!

Becky Hill stood out for her effortless performance show-casing her mind blowingly powerful voice, especially during Wilkinson's anthem Afterglow.

She is a truly likable artist with a great energy and simplicity of style.

Kano showed why his fifth album Made In The Manor has become a high seller with an edgy performance that ripped up the crowd followed by the unmistakable grin and good times set of tunes from original UK rapper Dizzee Rascal.

Jess Glynne stormed the stage with a set that engrossed the sodden masses encompassing her five number one UK singles and showing why she is a rising star on the other side of the pond as well as in the UK where she is preparing for a 10 date arena tour in the Autumn.

Duo Chase and Status closed the night with a show stopper of lights and kicking drum n bass as part of their summer of festival headlining while also producing their much anticipated third album.

By Sunday ,the Norfolk Showground venue, filled with 40,000 fans, had transformed thanks to some of the last of this summer's  rays rolling through the clouds.

BB Diamond broke the musical ice on main stage with an easy set of dance tunes followed by an absolute whirlwind of energy that is Imani Williams.

This 16 year old  is going places with her passion, unmistakable voice and style.

Signed to Sigala's label it is clear to see why he has snapped her up with her timed to perfection dance moves and big voice.

Next up was rapper Yungen who is among a new wave of rap/grime acts sweeping the British music scene.

He was followed by girl trio Stooshe whose high energy was a big hit with fans.

Anne Marie brought her big vocals to the stage where she compellingly lost herself in the moment and was enthralling to watch.

DJ Sigala followed with a big impact live set embracing a Caribbean theme with a guest slot by Imani followed by Krept & Konan who powered in, packing a mighty grime punch with lyrics that screamed pure London boy genius.

A turn around style switch followed, thanks to X factor contestant Fleur East who was a massive hit with the crowd. Think Beyonce and Tina Turner, blend them up and you get some kind of idea of her style, and panache. She was a joy to photograph with a star quality performance.

Next up was Years and Years – watching singer Olly Alexander is like seeing somebody emotionally throw their entire life and a handful of glitter into every word. Riveting.

Closing the festival was American star Jason Derulo who left the crowd in no doubt about why he is such a hugely successful global act.

This man can sing, he can dance and with a big beaming smile his performance was incredible to watch – not least when he picked out a girl from the screaming crowd and brought her up to dance on stage

A great performer with slick backing dancers and musicians to boot.

Over in the red and blue tents weekend highlights were David Rodiggan, who smashes it every time he takes to the stage, Jaguar Skills and his Asian babe dancers, Dimension, Red Light,  Goldie and Wilkinson with thanks to stage hosting by Ministry of Sound, Defected In The House, UKF and the drum n bass arena.

Laurence Bagnall, one of the festival organsiers said: “This has been one of the biggest Sundowns yet.

“The weather failed to dampen the good vibes, the sun came out for some of the biggest acts and with no incidents to report the festival would like to thank everybody for their ongoing support.”

See you in 2017!

 

 

First three phases for South West Four 2016 announced

Almost forty acts complete our line-up so far and with many more to be announced across eight stages, we’re confident that this next move will cement our position amongst Europe’s elite even further.  As ones to never back down and accept the norm, phase three will continue to build the greatest line-up found anywhere in the UK this summer…. 

JUST ADDED TO SATURDAY 27TH AUGUST

Having just single-handedly sold out one of Europe’s most iconic venues with almost ten thousand fans losing their minds to his unmistakeable methods at Alexandra Palace, Andy C returns to South West Four in the form of his life. This year he’s back, but on a whole new level as the uncompromising turbine of sound will take to the outdoor main stage to play in total darkness for the very first time. 

JOINED BY RAM RECORDS

NETSKY [LIVE] • SUB FOCUS* • WILKINSON*

NOISIA [LIVE] • CAMO & KROOKED*

FULL CYCLE PRESENTS RONI SIZE & DJ KRUST*

FRICTION • RENE LA VICE* • CULTURE SHOCK*

PLUS VERY SPECIAL GUEST:

CULTURE SHOCK

Responsible for developing drum and bass’ most promising breakthrough talent into the genre’s greatest artists over the years, RAM simply stands in a league of its own. From releasing seminal, timeliness classics to hosting international arenas and residencies, the imprint’s success is second to none. Last year saw them host a stage in one of the festival greatest ever highlights, this year they’re back with even bigger attack as they host one of our gargantuan 10,000 capacity stages.

Hailing from Belgium and firmly marked as one of Europe’s top talents, Netsky [Live] has confirmed South West Four as his only London festival performance of 2016 and will headline the stage. Championing the underground with standout crossover abilities, we’re extremely pleased to announce that Nick Douwma aka Sub Focus will also join this illustrious drum and bass line-up. His relationship with RAM has seen him grow into the global phenomenon he is today and with a reunion on the horizon at SW4, this is huge. Rising from South London, Wilkinson has confirmed that he will return to South West Four for his exclusive homecoming performance on Saturday 27th August. After headlining a RAM NYE 2015 to a sold out Brixton Academy, the demand for his return is unbelievable. 

Circus Records founder Flux Pavilion has chosen South West Four as the exclusive date for his the full debut of his mesmerizingly immersive live show. After providing the capital with a ground-breaking performance at Ministry of Sound in Dolby Atmos last weekend, we can officially reveal that he joins us the stage’s very special guest. Mastering an uncompromisingly original and emotional sound, the Dutch trio of Noisia are renowned for their unparalleled technical skill and instantly recognisable techniques and also join us. Camo & Krooked have enjoyed an incredible rise to the top of the ever-changing world of electronic music thanks to their unparalleled inimitable style of fusing boundary-pushing sounds. After proving their position at the top of the scene for over a decade, the Austrian duo return to SW4 for another exclusive date.

After reuniting in celebration of their influential imprint Full Cycle, SW4 is pleased to announce the arrival of a truly timeless act. Joining the RAM stage on Saturday 27th August, we are excited to reveal that Full Cycle presents Roni Size & DJ Krust will arrive exclusively on Clapham Common. Favoured for the chaotic carnage, anarchy and disorder witnessed in his previous Clapham Common displays, it’s easy to understand why we’ve invited one of the most revered names in the game back for more of his bone-shaking beats as Friction also returns. Arguably one of the most exciting talents currently rising out of the RAM Records camp, SW4 is excited to bring Toronto’s Rene La Vice to Clapham Common for the very first time. 

Fresh from releasing their debut album ‘Paradise Lost’ on RAM earlier this month, inviting Delta Heavy to join us at SW4 was inevitable. As big fans of their trademark sound at here SW4 HQ, we can’t wait to see what the duo have in store for SW4. Armed with new music and plenty of surprises, there’s no doubt this will be worth the wait! Completing RAM’s onslaught for 2016 is one of its favourite and most talented producers. SW4 please get ready for the return of Culture Shock.

JUST ADDED TO SUNDAY 28TH AUGUST

JAMIE JONES VS JOSEPH CAPRIATI

DANNY TENAGLIA • JOHN DIGWEED

JONAS RATHSMAN • CUARTERO • MAR-T

Undoubtedly one of the biggest bookings of our entire two-day Bank Holiday Weekender, this is one we’ve wanted to shout about for some time. After witnessing the coming together of two of the underground’s most celebrated DJs at DC-10 last summer, we’re pleased to reveal that Jamie Jones vs Joseph Capritai will arrive exclusively at South West Four this summer. Responsible for the greatest Ibizan highlight of 2015, the demand to see Jamie and Joseph back together behind a pair of decks is phenomenal. Each weighing in at the very top of their game, this is simply unmissable. 

Considered amongst the true greats of electronic music and ranked within its most influential characters, SW4 is honoured to welcome Danny Tenaglia back for his first performance at the festival in eight years. This will form his first UK show in twelve months, making his return all the more special as he joins us for a rare performance on British soil. No artist has made an impact on SW4 quite like our next addition. Returning for an incredible thirteenth year in a row, Bedrock boss John Digweed has formed in inseparable relationship with South West Four over the years. His parties across South London have become the stuff of legend, with his unrivalled ability to create the most sought-after electronic atmospheres. 

After following his progress in recent months and witnessing his back-to-back session with Sasha at Electric Brixton on NYE, we’re extremely pleased to reveal that Jonas Rathsman will make his South West Four debut this summer. Having risen through the ranks of Saved, Desolat and Moon Harbour, Cuartero joins us for his debut SW4 performance this August. Also joining us for the very first time on Bank Holiday Sunday 28th August is Amnesias long-standing resident Mar-T. Another standout Ibiza favourite, the Barcelona-born producer has spent the past twelve months releasing on Get Physical and Mad Tech in addition to 2015’s fantastic remix of Popof’s ‘Going Back’, don’t miss him. 

SW4 SATURDAY LINEUP SO FAR

Rudimental [Live]
Dizzee Rascal [Live]
Knife Party
Andy C
DJ EZ ·
MK
Plus in alphabetical order:
Amine Edge & Dance
Armand Van Helden
A-Trak
Blonde [Live]
Bondax [Live]
Boys Noize [Live]
CamelPhat
Camo & Krooked
Claptone
Delta Heavy
DJ EZ
Flux Pavilion [Live]
Friction
Full Cycle presents Roni Size & DJ Krust
Gorgon City
Kidnap Kid
MistaJam
MK
Nero [Live]
Netsky [Live]
Noisia
Oliver Dollar
Redlight
Rene La Vice
Sub Focus
Wilkinson
+ MANY MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED ACROSS 4 STAGES
HOSTED BY TOGETHER, RAM, WELCOME TO GORGON CITY AND SW4 LIVE

SW4 SUNDAY LINEUP ANNOUNCED SO FAR

The Chemical Brothers [Live]
Above & Beyond
Carl Cox
Paul Kalkbrenner
Plus in alphabetical order:
Bakermat
Booka Shade
Cirez D
Cuartero
Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons [Live]
Danny Tenaglia
Four Tet
Fritz Kalkbrenner
Hunter/Game [Live]
Jamie Jones vs Joseph Capriati
John Digweed
Jonas Rathsman
Mar-T
Maribou State (DJ Set)
Recondite [Live]
Sasha
Sister Bliss (Faithless)
Sven Vath
+ MANY MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED ACROSS 4 STAGES

Forgotten Fields 2016 lineup announced with Suede, Kodaline, Dizzee Rascal and more

Promising yet another year of sensational music, wondrous attractions and a plethora of activities for the whole family, Forgotten Fields will once again stand as the definitive British festival experience, combining the picturesque landscapes of East Sussex with the intimate atmosphere that made last year’s event such a highlight. Last year’s sold out debut year provided attendees with a weekend of entertainment from start to finish, all under the blossoming Sussex sunshine.

Indie legends Suede will be taking to the stage to take on headline duties. Having returned this year with the incredible album and accompanying film ‘Night Sports’, the seminal act, lead by true showman Brett Anderson and possessing an untouchable back catalogue, are sure to provide one of the most anthemic moments of the weekend.

Dublin quartet Kodaline established themselves as serious rock proposition with debut album 'A Perfect World'. Full of epic anthems and killer hooks it was one of the biggest selling debut releases of 2014 and their recently released ambitious second album 'Coming Up For Air' has taken the band to the next level, piling chorus upon unshakable chorus with teary, anthemic sing-alongs.  The record showcases a band at the top of their game and their headline slot is sure to be a Forgotten Fields highlight.

Also on headline duty, grime star, Dizzee Rascal is the ultimate festival showman and his legendary sets feature huge hits 'Dance Wiv Me', 'Bonkers', 'Holiday' and 'Dirtee Disco'. Expect an irrepressible mix of hip-hop, grime, garage and R'n'B from the Mercury Music Prize winner and an up-tempo party set that will have the festival hordes skanking all night long.

Undisputed R&B superstar Kelis will be on hand to provide the crowds with a typically hit laden set that’s sure to get crowds moving with airings of hit singles ‘Milkshake’, ‘Trick Me’ and ‘Caught Out There’. Geordie rock heroes Maximo Park also join the lineup, spearheaded by the dynamic and captivating vocals of frontman Paul Smith and with instantly recognisable anthems such as “Apply Some Pressure”, expect a non-stop barrage of art-rock gold. Systematically pioneering an entire genre with the iconic “Rapper’s Delight”, US hip-hop kings The Sugar Hill Gangstand as undisputed legends and their set at the festival is not to be missed. The lineup is bolstered by gritty Southampton rock trio Band Of Skulls, singer-songwriter Newton Faulkner, indie stalwarts Kula Shaker, Irish duo Hudson Taylor as well as Ibibo Sound MachinePolice Dog HoganJack SavorettiMilkychance and Too Many T’s.

This year Forgotten Fields will also be presenting a huge dance lineup for those wishing to take the party into the nighttime. With the full lineup still to be announced, the weekend already promises to be huge with the stage headlined by undisputed DJ legend Norman Jay MBE, drum and bass pioneer Shy FX, renowned turntablist DJ Yoda and breakbeat producer and DJ Krafty Kuts. Fans of all things dance need look no further!

Championing new and emerging talent, the Horizon stage will host hotly-tipped, youthful indie trio Blaenavon alongside Hastings four piece Kid Kapichi, singer-songwriter Raffer, Kent three piece The Bay Rays, the beautiful sounds of Emmy The Great, synth-pop duo Skies and indie rockers Dorey The Wise, promising Essex indie tykes Youth Club as well as WAXThe Standard Lamps, Rag N Bone ManThe Hyve,JoeyFatFours and Marthagunn.

The festival-favourite House Party stage returns for 2016 and promises to deliver one of the most eclectic lineups at the festival. Headlined by Stay Beautiful’s incredible Bowie Disco and featuring a lineup including revered hip-hop mixologist DJ Format & Abdominal, Welsh three-pieceYucatan, Belfats psych-rock maestros Documenta, Australian psychedelic post-punks The Church, Paddy Considine fronted rock outfit Riding The Low, London duo Beds In Parks, on the rise indie quartet Lisbon and S.C.U.M. alumni Blueprint Blue alongside party tunes from DJ Megatune and the incredible Northern Soul Dance Class.

The Gypsy Disco stage will return with an eclectic lineup including Mango Rescue TeamDr Bluegrass & The Illbilly 8Forest Of Fools,Buffos WakeDiscount OrchestraAfro Cluster and Gyps N Progress.

SUEDE / KODALINE / DIZZEE RASCAL

KELIS / MAXIMO PARK / THE SUGAR HILL GANG / BAND OF SKULLS / NEWTON FAULKNER / IBIBO SOUND MACHINE / POLICE DOG HOGAN / JACK SAVORETTI / MILKYCHANCE / TOO MANY T’S / KULA SHAKER / HUDSON TAYLOR

NORMAN JAY MBE / SHY FX / DJ YODA / KRAFTY KUTS / BLAENAVON / KID KAPICHI / RAFFER / THE BAY RAYS / SKIES / DOREY THE WISE / WAX / THE STANDARD LAMPS / MARTHAGUNN / THE HYVE / JOEYFAT / FOURS / EMMY THE GREAT / RAG N BONE MAN / YOUTH CLUB

DJ FORMAT & ABDOMINAL / YUCATAN / DOCUMENTA / THE CHURCH / RIDING THE LOW / BEDS IN PARKS / LISBON / BLUEPRINT BLUE / DJ MEGATUNE / NORTHERN SOUL DANCE CLASS / STAY BEAUTIFUL BOWIE DISCO

MANGO RESCUE TEAM / DR BLUEGRASS & THE ILLBILLY 8 / FOREST OF FOOLS / BUFFOS WAKE / DISCOUNT ORCHESTRA / AFRO CLUSTER / GYPS N PROGRESS

Jason Derulo, Years & Years, Dizzee Rascal and more for Sundown 2016

Sundown Festival returns to Norfolk Showground in Norwich for a fourth year with a huge line-up of the biggest and best names in contemporary music. Delivering a mix of the most sought after names from all corners of the pop, urban and dance music landscape, Sundown brings together everything that is vital in music right now for an amazing live music experience. This year the festival expands even further adding a third stage and collaborating with some of the most revered brands in underground music.

In five years Jason Derulo has risen to one of the best-selling, radio-dominating pop and urban artists of the day, selling over 50 million singles worldwide and racking up over two billion views on YouTube and one billion plays on Spotify. Headlining on the Sunday, fans can expect a huge show featuring the likes of ‘Talk Dirty’, ‘Wiggle’, ‘Trumpets’, ‘Whatcha Say’ and many more. With one huge headliner still to be announced this promises to be the biggest year for Sundown yet.

With five UK number 1 singles to her name including her collaboration with Clean Bandit on huge Grammy Award winning hit ‘Rather Be’, Jess Glynne is one of the UK’s brightest stars. She will undoubtedly have the Sundown crowd singing along to a hit laden set whilst London hip hop and grime hero Dizzee Rascal will bring his signature party sound to the Showground. 

Years & Years were the big crossover success story of 2015 and their up- tempo brand of synth-pop spawned huge chart hits such as ‘King’ and ‘Desire’ and in Olly Alexander the band have a genuine, bona-fide pop star. Also performing will be Fleur Eastwho has become a household name since competing on X-Factor and released one of the biggest tracks of 2015 in ‘Sax’. 

A world famous name in house music Defected Records will host the second stage on the Saturday with renowned party startersSam DevineSonny Fodera and DJ S.K.TGet ready to raise those hands and party as one of the world’s most loved house music parties keeps the Sundown masses dancing all night long. 

Undeniable masters of bass UKF are the Hosts for Stage 3 and proudly present a dual headline show featuring Jaguar Skillsshowcasing why he is the ultimate DJ ninja and the legendary David Rodigan MBE bringing the sound of dancehall and reggae to the East Coast. Fast rising Black Butter up and comers My Nu Leng will keep it deep and on point. 

Dance music royalty Ministry Of Sound will be presenting the second stage on the Sunday with heavy bass courtesy of French production duo Amine Edge and DANCE, genre blurring Bristolian and Lobster Boy head honcho Redlight and serious bass head Low Steppa all taking to the decks.

The legendary Drum and Bass Arena celebrate a huge 20 years in the game this year and will host chart topper Wilkinsonwhose anthem ‘Afterglow’ was an instant classicRadio 1’s d&b don and Shogun Audio boss Friction and the classic jungle sounds of DJ Hazard.

Saturday 3rd September

Main Stage 

Headliner TBA

Jess Glynne 

Dizzee Rascal

Stage 2 – Defected 

Sam Divine 

Sonny Fodera 

DJ S.K.T 

Stage 3 – UKF 

David Rodigan & Jaguar Skills

My Nu Leng 

Sunday 4th September

Main Stage 

Jason Derulo 

Years & Years 

Fleur East 

Stage 2 – Ministry of Sound 

Amine Edge & Dance 

Redlight 

Low Steppa 

Stage 3 – Drum & Bass Arena

Wilkinson 

Friction 

DJ Hazard 

Love Saves the Day 2016 FULL lineup announced

Saturday 28th May…

Love Saves The Day are delighted to announce their line-up for 2016. Taking centre stage as Saturday's headliner will be the acclaimed London-based electronic pop group Hot Chip. Everything, Everything, the genre-defying indie rock outfit based in Manchester will also be present, alongside BBC Music's 'Sound Of 2016' hot pick Mura Masa, electronic music duo Maribou State, and Shura, who will bring her hugely impressive catalogue of songs to the Love Saves The Day Main stage.

Other names on the bill for Saturday include American duo The Martinez Brothers who will be leading the proceedings on the Cloud Nine stage, alongside the hugely popular Skream, contemporary London-based trio Disciples, and Phonox Club resident and man of the moment Jasper James.

Bristol based club night Just Jack will also be hosting their very own stage on Saturday, showcasing Berghain resident Ben Klock, Robert Johnson family member Roman Flügel, the highly regarded Joy Orbison and the legendary Paranoid London

Elsewhere, The Dance Off stage will be headlined by the long standing house and garage duo DJ Luck and MC Neat, garage legend Artful Dodger and grime act Bonkaz an artist who has been hailed as one of the key players in the recent grime revival – plus some very special guest to be unveiled.

Other names on Saturday's bill include: Apex Collective,  Banoffee Pies, Christophe, Clean Cut Kid, Colours, Dan Wild, Dave Harvey, Dirty Talk, Feel The Real, Get Born, MNEK, Musu, Pardon My French, SG Lewis, Slix Disco, Studio 89, Teak and Tom Rio

Sunday 29th May…

Day two of the festival welcomes Dizzee Rascal, an artist who's music spans grime, UK garage, bassline, British hip hop and R&B, known for his high energy hits including 'Fix Up Look Sharp' and 'Dance With Me'. Winner of 2014's Best Grime Act at the MOBO awards Stormzy will also be joining on the Sunday, along with Soundclash champion David Rodigan and the hypnotising Warp Record's artist Nightmares On Wax.

From LuckyMe and Warp to TNGHT and Kanye West collaborations, Love Saves The Day also welcomes the highly successful Hudson Mohawke, who will headline The CRACK Stage along with a host of impressive music heavyweights, including the US based African cassette collector, blogger and DJ Awesome Tapes From Africa and Glasweigan producer Rustie. Bristish rapper Loyle Carner will also take to the CRACK stage along with London-based rap outfit Section Boyz.

Chinese Man, carried by the French Chinese Man Records label will bring the sound of hip-hop, funk, dub, reggae and jazz to Love Saves The Day Sunday, in addition to the renowned remixer Mad Professor, and bass player and producer specialising in digital reggae Manu Digital. After curating his own stage in 2015, Shy FX will be back to host the Cloud 9 stage, with very special guests still to be announced. Elsewhere, Sip The Juice take over The Dance Off stage on the Sunday, with Afrika Bambaataa leading the proceedings. 

Other names on Sunday's bill include: Aba Shanti Soundsystem, Alternate DJ's, Billy Disney, Blazey, Blazey, Bodywork, Curtis Lynch ft. Nanci, Dubkasm, DJ Dazee, Durkle Disco, Egoless, Faze Miyake, Hannah Mulvanny, Hot 8 Brass Band, Jethro Binns, Lionpulse, L-Vis 1990 b2b Bok Bok, Mistafire, OBF ft. Shanti D, Sly One, Sprung, RSD ft. Joe Peng and Trevor Sax

Love Saves the Day will also feature the only appearance of the Arcadia Afterburner in the UK this year. The original Arcadia installation, the Afterburner is a 360 degree stage built around a central flaming spire with dance platforms radiating out to a ring of exploding lamp posts. Having appeared at festivals as far afield as New Zealand, Croatia and the United States, and a staple at Glastonbury, the Afterburner is returning home to Bristol to bring the fire to Eastville Park.

Dizzee Rascal and Everything Everything to headline Blissfields 2016

Blissfields is pleased to announce the headline acts of its 2016 “House Party” themed summer event as grime-pop legend DIZZEE RASCAL and double top-10 charting electronic rock band EVERYTHING EVERYTHING. They’re joined by RONI SIZE, SUNDARA KARMA, JONES, DUB PISTOLS, BEANS ON TOAST, MOLOTOV JUKEBOX, TOO MANY T’S, and SERIAL KILLAZ with over a hundred more live acts and DJs across a variety of stages still to unveil. Tickets are on sale now viablissfields.co.uk for the June 30th to July 2nd event in Hampshire.
 
Your inner child has been given the keys to Blissfields – under one condition – you absolutely have to throw a party. From the soul basement of Animal House to the tree-lined estate of Vicarage Farm, it’s time to go old school and take over the palace for one ultimate weekend party. Bring your sleeping bag, togas, PJs and mixtapes to the biggest house party of 2016 – featuring the king of all special guests’Dizzee Rascal. Regarded as the godfather of grime, this Mercury Award winning platinum selling crossover artist will see in the House Party vibe in blockbuster style.

 
Following the release of their second top-10 album “Get To Heaven” last summer, Everything Everything will also be taking on headline duties on the newly christened Manor Stage for the intimate 5,000 capacity Blissfields crowd this July. Mercury Award winning DnB pioneer Roni Size with Dynamite MC will also join the bill, alongside some guaranteed summer highlights Sundara KarmaJones and longtime Blissfields favorites Dub Pistols and Beans On Toast.
 
Blissfields has always celebrated the intimate party spirit and this year it’s going all out with its BIGGEST TOP SECRET ART INSTALLATION EVER, creating an onteractive festival site like they’ve never done before. Blissfields will be hosting slumber parties, garage raves, retro living room discos, and so much more alongside its usual music programme, sprawled across a stunning Hampshire arena where legend has it; it never rains.
 
Channelling the spirit of National Lampoons and Dr. Frank N. Furter via the Bratpack, 1990’s and Skins, Blissfields will smudge the eras into the party at the end of the universe. Blissfields favourite and now AIF Award winning HIDDEN HEDGE area is celebrating the occasion by going even more overboard than before… crash-landing its Boeing cockpit installation into a new VJ stage, as SERIAL KILLAZ top their music bill.

The BLISSCOTHEQUE double decker Routemaster bus will be taking a mix of the old school and freshest urban performers til dawn, accompanied as always by a loaded cocktail bar.
 
The festival within a festival for little Blissfieldians and their families, ANGEL GARDENS is back in 2016 programming a non-stop multi venue experience for any age. In 2015 Grandmaster Flash turned up to scratch with kids as part of a DJ workshop… this year, who knows!
 
The CRAFT AREA and an all new and re-thought A-Z ARENA will be hosting immersive and hands-on activities across the weekend, with some theatrical twists while THE LARCH is also getting a makeover with a later run time to include a silent disco.
 
For the first time in the festival’s history Blissfields have teamed up with an agency to host a special 'takeover' of the big top on Thursday night. For one night only, the festival will welcome 'The NOW Stage' that will be hosted and curated by the independent bookings and management agency, This Is Now, who will stage performances from Molotov JukeboxToo Many T’sSon Of Dave and more, as part of their programme to kick Blissfields off in style. Thursday tickets are available when booking weekend passes.

Dizzee Rascal, Example and more added to Big Feastival lineup

The Big Feastival is excited to announce that chart topping sensations Dizzee Rascal and Example & DJ Wire will be performing on the Saturday night of the festival.  They will be joining the likes of Paloma Faith, Groove Armada (DJ Set), Ella Eyre and Grandmaster Flash on Alex James’ Farm from 28 – 30 August. Acclaimed wordsmiths Roots Manuva and Maxi Jazz (Faithless) have also been added to the Sunday bill.  The Bank Holiday Weekend extravaganza promises great music, mouth-watering food and drink experiences and a fully-charged, fun-filled program of entertainment for all ages.

The Main Stage music line-up so far is as follows:

More top music acts and special guests will be announced over the coming weeks as the line up for The Big Feastival 2015 shapes up to be the best yet.

After a successful debut last year, The Udder Stage will also be making a welcome return. Festival-goers will be invited to warm up their vocal chords in morning workshop sessions run by The Roundhouse before performing on stage as part of The Big Feastival Choir. Each afternoon will host a showcase of the best in new music with acts including Nadine ShahJake Isaac, Booka Brass Band, Rive, Object Object, Grace Savage and Pocket Club all set to grace the stage. The stage will also host Folk Idol, offering visitors the chance to don beards and play covers of folk songs as well as City Shanty Band who will entertaining the crowds with traditional sea shanties. By night, the tent will transform into a Silent Disco for visitors to enjoy.