Bestival 2014 Full Review

There is nothing like the utter glee of throwing off the shackles of work and life for one final splurge of hedonism at the festival season’s last hurrah – Bestival. Seasoned Besti-goers have sat back and watched the Glastovians, Creamfielders, V-lovers and Reading-heads toddle off for weekends of muddy silliness, and smirked a wry smile at the thousands of Moss-alikes in their tedious wellies-with-knicker-shorts combos. Now, the waiting game is over and Bestivites the country, nay world over, are flocking to the Isle of Wight for four uninterrupted days of pure high summer mayhem in the beautiful setting of Robin Hill, by hook or by crook (well, by ferry, hovercraft or swimming really…) they are chasing their bit of paradise.

Thursday saw campsites being opened early due to the large number of eager beavers waiting at the gates, and better parking organisation around the Yellow parking area meant that everything ran super smoothly getting in. With an array of campsites to choose from there’s a home-turf for everyone, and tribes are picking their areas, giggling with memories of campground legends from years past. The sun is already out as tents pop up, and the arena is beginning to buzz. Heading up to Peace Hill, sun-soakers are taking in a lively performance from Juke and The All Drunk Orchestra, with glittery hippy types up and dancing like loons immediately. 

Many Bestivites count snacking on delicious butter-slathered corn-on-the-cob a rite of passage up on Peace Hill, but there’s also stunning Lobster and chips brought in from local Vetnor, fabulously flavoured ice creams (honey and ginger anyone?) and the very acceptable Bestivale available for the discerning gourmand. If you’re looking for a mental challenge, there are talks at Bestiversity all weekend, and the Science tent has many interesting experiments to try out with the help of some extremely knowledgeable scientists. Heading for a wander up the hill, Tiny Town is a giddy little exercise in hiding in kids playhouses to scare the living daylights out of each other, and the wooden Maze is surprisingly complicated, good for a race around and it’s always comical to bump into someone dressed as a Panda or Palm Tree, at speed.

Despite the woods and Bollywood/Port area being closed for Thursday, there are lights and sounds everywhere, with a million things going on. Caravanserai is a little wonderland through a magic door, you can sit in the sawn-halves of gaudily decorated proper caravans to drink your cocktails, have a boogie on the Carousel dancefloor or cuddle up with your mates in the Wurlitzer seats for a while. Next door is The Feast Collective, a new addition to the Bestival family. The big tent hosts a myriad of incredible food outlets to satisfy any craving – handmade maki rolls, raclette oozing over… everything, baked camembert, hearty goulash, Indian street food, great British pies, American loaded hotdogs and even incredible soft-shell crab burgers. The quality of food around the Bestival site always amazes, but this is truly a step into the weird and wonderful. To compliment all this, there are heaps more benches and tables out than in previous years and the music coming from the newly housed Polka Stage in the Travelling Barn is excellent. If none of that is quite enough, watching the sun shimmer on the record-breaking and truly incredible gigantic Disco Ball installation, or getting an eyeful of ‘Christina’ at The Grand Palace of Entertainment, or maybe some first night music like the odd brilliance of The Correspondents, or classic Beck to tip you over the edge into your Bestival adventure. 

Friday sees the opening of Bollywood and The Port, the dance/electronic capital of Bestival. The Port is a huge ocean liner type installation where DJ’s play from the roof along with dancers, firebreathers, a couple of giant mermaids and arial acrobats suspended from a crane above the crowd, it’s like everything that could be hilariously weird to the terminally trippy has come together in one heart-pounding bass heavy place. The Sunday Best shop and cocktail lounge is selling jam jars full of icy mojitos, Bollywood is violently bright and brilliant, with people draped over the box seats underneath shimmering coin-laden umbrellas and the Helter Skelter/Wall of Death/toboggan run combo downfield is a big kids dream. 

Heading into the deep dark woods there’s a noticeable increase in the number of giant net hammocks hiding amongst the trees, where naptime is a genuinely acceptable event for grown ups in the middle of the day. Glittering lights, waterfalls, playparks,  hidden pools and a massive synthesiser installation to play with are just some of the things you can see in The Ambient Forest, before you burst into a clearing at The Amphitheatre. Spoken word artist/rapper Kate Tempest’s pre-show interview is witty, intelligent and truly captivating, hearing her talk about her work and life is a real insight to a genuinely talented individual. Back at the Main Stage, secret act Lethal Bizzle is hyping up the crowd with an attempt at a mosh pit and The Harlem Shake. Up next Laura Mvula’s beautiful vocals soar across the arena but there’s not much of a crowd, whilst over at The Bandstand, Motif are playing to a sun-baked audience and getting jazzy.

Back at The Amphitheatre, Scroobius Pip’s Satin Lizard Lounge is kicking off with spoken word artists Harry Baker (with a hilarious rendition of Ed Sheeran’s A-team based on desserts), the nervous ball of energy that is Tim Clare (we loved ‘Noah’s Ark and Grill’) and the raw, honest words of Kate Tempest.The evening sees the main stage light up for Disclosure, and a guest appearances from Eliza Doolittle for ‘Me & You’ and Sam Smith for ‘Latch’, gets the arena bouncing, but headliner Outkast come across a bit flat in some places. Hits ‘Ms Jackson’ and ‘Hey Ya’ have everyone up and screaming but more rap-based songs don’t quite hit the mark. Heading over to The Big Top, newly reinvented La Roux (with her band who are performing at a big UK festival for the first time) draws a huge crowd for her soaring vocals, and both new and old tracks go down a storm, particularly ‘Bulletproof’ – one of those perfect hazy Bestival night moments that everyone will remember.

Fancy dress Saturday is sort of a misnomer at Bestival now, everyone dresses up all weekend anyway, but Desert Island Disco is the theme and everyone seems to have embraced the sparkles, sequins, rainbow and afro combination with wild abandon. Though the theme isn’t as clear as previous years and there aren’t as many ‘big’ costumes as we’ve seen before, everyone is joining in, and there’s a pleasingly distinct minority of the sort of people who buy “Festival Fashion” that seem to come in droves at other festivals. An early start and crazy booking for Welsh Reggae-Metal band Skindred, who usually hit up festivals like Download at Donington Park and have a distinctly black-tshirt wearing fanbase. They absolutely tear it up on the main stage, gaining many new fans with current album tracks such as ‘Ninja’ and anthem ‘Warning’ – getting the crowd to join in for some t-shirt whirling for their ‘Newport Helicopter’. Despite a sparse and lazily sunbathing crowd, pop princess Sophie Ellis Bextor surprise all with a solid set featuring hits and covers, notably Moloko’s ‘Sing It Back’, as well as ditching her red-ridinghood dress halfway through for a theme appropriate saucy grass skirt costume. Joking “If the giant disco ball were to fall on me and kill me, it would of course be… Murder on the Dancefloor” she ends the set with a giggle. Bestival stalwarts and kings of comedy The Cuban Brothers are always the funniest thing you’re going to see all weekend and this is no exception. Lewdness, rudeness, downright dirtiness, nothing is out of bounds for Miguel and co. but the music and the dancing holds up, Archerio, Kengo and Dominico one up each other with B-boy and breaking moves whilst Miguel takes his keks off and gets busted by security whilst quipping that he used to “do too much nose-whiskey” and telling everyone to “touch each other in the correct manner”. Kengo/Kenny (“the bastard”!) comes out in a white jumpsuit to do a touching rendition of Whitnney’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ and the finale of three Cubans doing a press-up tower with Dom barrel-flipping over the top is truly impressive.

Over in The Big Top, a very special event is the final show of Dan le Sac Vs. Scroobius Pip, before they head off to pursue their own individual projects. Personally introduced by Bestival curator Rob Da Bank himself, the duo come busting in with ‘The Beat That My Heart Skipped’ Dan and Pip show why their three album collaboration has been so successful, as the crowd go mental. Pip laments “The first time that we played was here in this tent. We weren’t even allowed on the stage, we were in a DJ booth on the front and it was really late”. ‘Sick Tonight’ is powerful and has everyone singing along despite the speed of Pip’s verse and the pair joke “Can they jump and clap? Yeah! This is Bestival it ain’t no fucking Reading or Leeds crowd!”. ‘Get Better’ is a fan favourite and their first ever song ‘Thou Shalt Always Kill’ (with a little addition of ‘Thou shalt not question Rob Da Bank’) is perfectly executed. Sharing a hug and final photo on stage, Dan and Pip go out with a bang. It’s the end of an era and Bestivites who’ve been with them from the beginning are right there with them.

After a recharge up at The Solace Tent, and an open-mouthed stare at the sheer size of Bestival from the hill-top, it’s down to the main stage for the ambient and soulful London Grammar, followed by headliner Foals, whose sound gets a bit lost in the noise of the surrounding tents. The grassy area outside The Polka Club is ambushed by the tartan clad New York Brass Band playing a rousing rendition of ‘Happy’ and The Big Top is packed from the inside of the tent right out to the food outlets surrounding for Basement Jaxx. Many are questioning the decision to put Foals on the main stage and Jaxx in the tent, as the sound is severely dampened from the outside, and from the view that Foals did not hold a particularly dense headline crowd earlier compared to the thousands who are trying to get into the Big Top. ‘Good Luck’ and ‘Red Alert’ almost lift the roof off the tent and security try in vain to get those who’ve shinned the poles for a better view, to get down.

The final day at Bestival has come, and Sunday’s vast lineup of music, poetry and activities is no less full or impressive than the last few days. Clean Bandit take to the main stage for an amazing sunshine filled electronic set with the crowning jewel ‘Rather Be’ belting out across the arena and proving to be the perfectly apt lyrics for the Bestival crowd who are hugging each other close; “We’re a thousand miles from comfort, we have travelled land and sea, but as long as you are with me, there’s no place I’d rather be”. Due to the cancellation of Busta Rhymes, the main stage crowd is instead treated to another member of the Bestival family, DJ Yoda – whose hilarious AV show and samples from movies and TV are played on the giant stage screen, along with a flashing line of text proclaiming “I am not Busta Rhymes’.


Major Lazer play a raft of current mixed up current hits such as Oliver Helden’s ‘Gecko (Overdrive)’ and Keisza’s ‘Hideaway’ whilst club dancers thrash about on the stage and Diplo pretty much steals stage gimmicks from everyone (Skindred’s Newport helicopter as seen earlier in the day, neon ticker tape canons, even the Zorbing ball a la The Flaming Lips and a frankly embarrassing attempt at a circle pit…). In the Big Top one of the most incredible shows of the weekend – Chvrches completely makes up for the aural assault of Major Lazer, with swooningly beautiful vocals and the kind of electronic wizardry that makes you feel like your heart is trying to get out of your mouth. The tent wasn’t full, but the people who made it in there can count themselves lucky to have caught an absolutely stunning set from the Scottish band.

Sunday headliner Chic Featuring Nile Rodgers was beset by a band tragedy – guitar tech and long time friend Terry Brauer having died just before the show began, and Nile broke into tears a number of times during the set. Despite this, it was the great disco showdown that we had been promised by Bestival, Nile’s incredible discography speaks for itself and the sheer quality of Chic shone through. Hits a plenty had everyone pulling out their best Saturday Night Fever style moves and winding up Bestival in the best way possible, pure unadulterated party. The closing ceremony saw the giant disco-ball hoisted into the air via crane, glittering in the spotlights, and a barrage of incredible fireworks lighting up the arena over Peace Hill, and anyone who grabbed a pair of shimmery glasses from the physics area of the Science tent got an extra special psychedelic show on top of it all.

Of course, nothing’s ever really the end at Bestival… The woods are calling with secret parties and DJ sets, The Port is aflame and going strong, The Grand Palace of Entertainment is still as indecent as ever, and ‘Almost Famous’ is being screened in The Amphitheatre… we’re going wherever the night takes us, for one last time this year…

Photos by James Bridle

Outkast close out Friday night at Bestival 2014

Highly anticipated Friday headliner Outkast were set to be something special at Bestival 2014, with a set of high adrenaline dance numbers and some Andre 3000 style cheekiness. As such, the arena is holding a ram jammed sardine can of bodies lined up ready to get their krunk on.
‎With an epic visual intro and some blindingly bright lights, Outkast hit the stage with gusto to a backdrop of a greyscale American flag. Opening with 'Bombs over Baghdad' the sound isn't great across the site, there's a heaviness missing from it.
‎Wearing some sort of wig/furry hat that looks like frosted roadkill and a jacket sporting the slogan "My Dad has cool albums", Andre bounces about the stage and hypes up hit 'Ms Jackson' as the crowd roars. Bestival has always been known for great crowd participation but the high pitched 'oohs' were especially loud and proud tonight. 'Ghetto Music' is accompanied by a frankly pointless screen loop of faceless ladies gyrating their backsides at the camera, and the arena crowd begins to thin. For those who know only the Outkast hits, the rap filled tracks are less lively, and wide-eyed revellers head off for rowdier pastures.
Krumping or twerking attempts aside, 'Hey Ya' is definitely well received with everyone trying their best to 'shake it like a Polaroid picture', in an extraordinarily British and sort of rubbish way, but the rest of the set is lukewarm‎ and‎ the crowd has halved at least. It's a shame but there's so much on 'after hours' at Bestival, it's not the end of the world, or tonight's adventures…

Wireless Festival 2014 Review: The Bruno Mars Storm!

Summer Festival Guide parties alongside Salt-N-Pepa, Outkast, Sean Paul, Clean Bandit, Bruno Mars and over 50,000 people at Wireless Festival last Sunday. It is probably one of the biggest festivals in London and the UK in July 2014. Each year the line-up never disappoints. Summer Festival Guide headed to Finsbury Park to check out over 30 acts across three stages including Ellie Goulding, Naughty Boy, Rixton, Clean Bandit, Outkast or the headline for Sunday Bruno Mars.

Created in 2005, set across three days in two different locations (Birmingham and Finsbury Park), the Wireless festival organized and managed by Livenation attracts HUGE names, different genres and all sorts of audience. One stage you’re jumping along with Raileigh Christie, and the next you’re skaking and waving with Salt-n-pepa. The choice is great and yours.

I start my journey from the Pepsimax Stage looking forward to Raleigh RitchieDJ Westwood is doing an amazing job with the warm up. Raleigh Ritchie arrives like a storm directing at the audience “Today, we’re gonna do a lot of jumping” and we do. I left after the crowd pleaser track “Stronger than ever”.  Raleigh Ritchie has lots of energy and great interaction with the audience, mainly due to his acting career (Acting name: Jacob Anderson). I meet him later for a chat in the Wireless VIP office. Leaving the Pepsimax Stage, I noticed one of the grossest things|: the urinals are next to the stage as if guys need to hear live music to pee. This is very unpractical, gross and quite disgusting as long as the day progresses. I can’t understand why Livenation agreed to have two major spots of urinals near stages as families walk around and young girls walk around to navigate from stage to stage. Stopping by the Main Stage, Alexa Goddard is singing “Marilyn” The singer signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation record later earlier this year.

Photo courtesy of Wireless Festival – Andrew Whitton

In the VIP area, Rixton, John Newman, Neon Jungle and Dominique Young Unique were interviewed and photographed in the dedicated Wireless area. The place is quite buzzing with new and fresh acts.

Heading back to the Main Stage, Salt-N-Pepa is now performing and what a performance. If the American hip hop trio from New York is in the UK every 10 years, please let me sign right now. The sun is shining in Finsbury but they definitely bring the heat! They are engaging, sexy, funny and very happy to be there. They start thanking their 70s babies, 90s babies and the ladies singing a cover Arrested Development “Everyday People”. Everyone is bouncing, waving and singing. Next, it is a tribute to old school hip hop mixing new tunes like Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love”, “Shoop” and “Shake your thang”. They continue with the Ultimate classic “Let’s talk about”. Cheryl James a.k.a Salt is wearing a clear skater skirt and a Salt-n-Pepa T-shirt with a gold belt whereas Sandra Denton a.k.a Pepa is wearing sexy black trousers withSalt-n-Pepa t-shirt with a tight ponytail. Deidra Roper or DJ Spinderella is in the back all in black.

Photo courtesy of Wireless Fesitval – Jenna Foxton

DJ Spinderella is in da house and is working the next dance session tracks starting with Montell Jordan “This is how we do it”. The two dancers on stage with Salt-N-Pepa are amazing: wearing red caps, Adidas tracksuits and Salt-n-Pepa t-shirts, they really interact the audience and show us some great moves. Asking all the ladies to “Shake their booties” on Sugarhill Gang Apache’s “Jump On It”. The next track starts with old school hard rock songs like: “Smells like a teen spirit” by Nirvana, “Sweet Child of Mine” of Guns N’ Roses with everyone going crazy on air guitar! “What a Man” is next for all the good men in the world. The last song had Beyonce’s “Run the World” as an intro but as soon as Salt-N-Pepa put their American Football jacket on, the crowd knew it was time for “Push It”.

After a really great time dancing and bouncing with Salt, Pepa and DJ Spinderella, I am heading back to the food section for a late lunch. Once again there is a great choice, from Lebanese Street food to Hot Chocolate station: Everything is set for to please all pallets and wallets. The Fresh Lemonade stand is having amazing success. My advice is to follow the queue! Water points are also available and in abundance. There is 2 tobacco shops with rainbow benches and a Medicine man truck where you can find sun cream, Anadin, paracetamol, cough medicine, sunglasses and even condoms.

By the time I am the VIP section to meet with Clean Bandit, John Newman is singing, “Love me again”.  The Cirque du Soir entertainment is in full swing and the fire pizza stall has great success. It also smells Churros and Ben and Jerries’ van is popular as well. Heading to the Boombox Stage for Rixton: They are performing “Make out” and the crowd is very excited with lots of girl fans screaming. After Jake Roche wished a Happy Birthday to a fan they finished the show with their star main song “Me and my Broken Heart” – the ultimate crowd pleaser. The four-member Mancunian band is charming, cheeky and full of energy on stage.

On the way to Pepsi Max Stage, J. Cole is rapping “Crooked Smile” on the Main Stage. Dj Westwood is entertaining the crowd and asks to “scream for Clean Bandit”. Everyone is waiting for Clean Bandit now: Grace Chatto, all dressed in white is coming first playing cello. Followed by Milan Neil Amin-Smith playing the Violin and Luke and Jack Patterson on the drums and keyboard. Jess Glyne arrives first for “A+E” joined soon by guest Elisabeth Troy for “Heart on fire”. Another guest, Florence Rawlings comes on stage for “Extraordinary”. I had to leave before they performed by favourite track “Rather Be” but I really don’t want to miss Ellie Goulding concert. I arrive just in time for the last song of her show “Burn”. She is playing the guitar, wearing a flowery short and a crop top. Her performance is sincere, emotional and strong.

Going back to the VIP section, Le Cirque du Soir is still there entertaining the crowd and the food stalls are busy. John Newman and Harley "Sylvester" Alexander-Sule from Rizzle Kicks are chatting. I am now getting ready for Sean Paul back in the Pepsimax Stage. In front row, a group of ladies are waving Jamaican flags and DJ Westwoodis getting everyone hysterical. The show starts with two dancers wearing ethnic print latex jumpsuits. Followed by Diplo and Major Lazers, the tone is set. Sean Paul, proud with his Mohawk hairstyle,starts the show with “Temperature” and “Get Busy”. Bouncing, Jumping and dancing with a towel flying in the air, he gets the crowd crazy. After 30mns: direction the Boombox Stage to catch the end ofIndiana’s performance. The twenty five year old singer-songwriter Indiana has a very fragile and emotional voice, with interesting arrangements and lyrics. Unfortunately, It is quite quiet and the venue is nearly empty because people are gathering around the Main Stage for Outkast. They are reuniting to celebrate their 20th anniversary and they have not performed in the UK since 2002 and fans have been waiting for the gig! Andre 3000 is wearing a white wig beany, a black t-shirt with “I’ve never been to Africa” and Big Boi is wearing a cap, a gold chain and a black tracksuit. They performed their biggest hits like “Roses”, Mrs Jackson” and “Hey Ya”. One of the main disappointments is the lack or organization and aggression from Livenation security team. They seem to be more obsessed about the badge color to get to VIP areas rather than the actual safety of people. A group of young people notices a gap in the barriers and manages to get in the premises without passes. Security paid attention to the issue after 30 minutes. In the “In Da Zone” section, some celebrities like Tristan Wilds get the access denied and watch the show with the rest of us. Jade Thirwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock from Little Mix snubbed fans to get their own seats in the pitch area as they only have “in da zone” passes.

Photo courtesy of Wireless Festival – Rachael Wright

On my way to Pepsimax stage, I stopped by the main Wireless Bar, the entire staff is singing and dancing on “Hey Ya” and really enjoying the show.The gig is disturbed by the heavy rain so everyone tries to find shelter and umbrellas. Before Bruno Mars, Robin Thicke is playing the piano for bluesy version of “Too Little, too late” inPepsiMax Stage. After each song, he is claiming his love to his wife Paula Patton, which is quite boring and intense. The next song is “Lock the door” showing his powerful and amazing vocal range.Robin Thicke is a great surprise as most of the crowd appreciates his talents as a songwriter, musician and singer. The blues and soul band behind him and the two back up singers really bring his songs to live giving a new dimension to the lyrics. The last song “Get her back” is dedicated, with no surprise, to his wife.

Passing by the tobacco shop near Boombox StageNaughty Boy is playing their last track “La La La”. By that time the rain just stops for Bruno Mars amazing performance. What a performer! He just does not disappoint. He even gets better with time! Arriving on stage wearing a white hat with a red flower, ethnic shirt and tight black trousers, he is followed by the Hooligans.

Phillip Lawrence from the Hooligans is next. Wearing round glasses, a black hat and red animal print shirt and black trousers.The Hooligans, they just mean business and start with the “Lazy song” with a ska twist. We are here for a great show. Bruno Mars starts talking to the impatient audience “London how you feel? London can we see your dance?” They sing, “Treasure” encouraging people to clap and bounce while displaying some serious foot action and choreography. We are on our feet!! Bruno definitely brings back the sun in London. Playing now the guitar for a “Money Medley”, he is singing “Money, that’s what I want” which brings us back to the cool 50s rock years for a few moments before switching to “I want to be a billionaire” with a reggae edge mixed up with “I need a dollar” of Aloe Blacc. At the end of the song, he finishes acapella twisting the lyrics with an English accent “I want to be a billionaire, so bloody bad” which the crowd absolutely loved. 

Photo courtesy of Wireless Festival – Danny North

Asking the audience to move our bodies side to side slowly on “Out first time”. His vocal range reminds us of Michael Jackson. A beautiful rainbow is surrounding the Main Stage, which adds to the performance and mood. It is the calm before the storm as the crowd scream on the first notes of “Marry you” followed a cover of “Walk with you” of Michael Jackson before an emotional and genuine interpretation of “When I was your man”.  After a long and amazing piano intro from Phredley BrownBruno Mars sings a rock version of “Grenade” followed by “Just the way you are”. Bruno Mars is now playing drums before “ Locked out of Heaven” which put an end with fireworks to the show. Bruno Mars is always praised for his retro showman and generosity on stage. With the help of the Hooligans and choreographed dancing arrangements, mellow and soft interludes, fantastic, fancy and slick footwork inspired by James Brown, we had a fantastic time. What an end of this three-day festival. See you next year Wireless!

Bestival Unveils Boundary Breaking Acts And The Best New Bands

This years Bestival unveils breaking new acts and some of the hottest bands around including:

Tune-Yards / Factory Floor / Mnek / Wolf Alice / The Amazing Snakeheads / Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats / The Wytches / MØ / Fat White Family / Say Lou Lou / Glass Animals / John Wizards / Ezra Furman / Joel Compass / Woman’S Hour / Pional / Rosie Lowe / Childhood / Kate Tempest / Jessy Lanza / Melt Yourself Down / The Front Bottoms / Hockeysmith / Wild Smiles / Black Orange Juice / Rag N Bone Man / Vaults / Ftse / Tourist / Sivu / God Damn / Happyness / The Correspondents / Bo Saris / Congopunq / Indiana / The Bulletproof Bomb / FÉ / Cousin Marnie

With a cavalcade of big hitters, including OutKast, Foals, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Beck, Busta Rhymes, Candi Staton, Sven Vath, Chase & Status and many more already lined up to take Bestival’s Desert Island Disco to stratospheric new heights, Rob da Bank and the Bestival crew have been beavering away behind the scenes, rooting out gleaming talents to ensure we bring you the freshest acts around. With a long history of championing the next big thing, unearthing the incredible and showcasing the best new sounds, both on his Radio 1 show and at Bestival, these are the cream of the acts getting the man like da Bank all hot under the collar. From boundary pushing mavericks to hip young chaps in this year’s slacks, we’re set to announce a ton of the most exciting bands in the world, who will be dropping in to Robin Hill on the Isle of Wight this September 4-7 to blow you away!

Rob da Bank says: “So in our humble opinion these are the breaking acts of 2014 from the worlds of rock, indie, electronics and pretty much any genre – a delve inside the musical brain of Rob da Bank to find the ones to watch, the ones who'll make records you'll love this summer and the ones who'll make you dance ya socks off in September”. 

With her third album Nikki Nack out this week, we’re pretty darn chuffed to announce Merrill Garbus AKA tUnE-yArDs will be heading across the Solent to bring her uniquely kaleidoscopic collision of aural extremes for your collective listening pleasure. Smashing buckled cheerleader chants into punk riffs with razor-sharp melodies and colossal beats, Merrill, alongside long-time cohort Nate Brenner, is a force of nature when it comes to performing live, so don’t miss out.

Riding a wave of critical acclaim for their eponymous debut album, released late last year, we’re very pleased to say that Factory Floor will return to Robin Hill with an all out assault of mind-melting sequences, crashing rhythms and twisted vocals, plus there will be sets from Grammy nominated singer-songwriter and sometime Rudimental collaborator MNEK, deliriously unabashed indie-noise merchants Wolf Alice, exhilarating Glasgow trio The Amazing Snakeheads, critically acclaimed psychedelic doom purveyors Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, apocalyptic surf rockers The Wytches, Danish electropop chanteuse , and scuzzy rock n roll six-piece and all-round incendiary live behemoth Fat White Family.

We’re not stopping there though, we’ll have live music from BBC Sound 0f 2014 nominees Say Lou Lou, Paul Epworth protégés Glass Animals, genre-swerving pan-global types John Wizards, gritty rocker Ezra Furman, atmospheric soulster Joel Compass, archetypal indie quartet Woman’s Hour, Spanish vocalist and sometime John Talabot collaborator Pional, twisted R&B nightingale Rosie Lowe and hazy pysch dudes Childhood.

And the new music keeps on coming with appearances from Kate Tempest, Jessy Lanza, Melt Yourself Down, The Front Bottoms, Hockeysmith, Wild Smiles, Black Orange Juice, Rag N Bone Man, Vaults, FTSE, Tourist, Sivu, God Damn, Happyness, The Correspondents, Bo Saris, Congopunq, Indiana, The Bulletproof Bomb, Fé and Cousin Marnie.

There’s still plenty more incredible music, mayhem and madness to announce, so make sure you join us at the Desert Island Disco this September for an escapist weekend of off the chain behaviour!

Outkast, Manic Street Preachers and more join Sziget 2014 lineup

This years Sizget Festival reveal the latest names joining this years lineup at the annual Sziget press conference.  The Summer Festival Guide has latest lineup details below:

New names revealed at the annual Sziget press conference including Outkast, Manic Street Preachers and The 1975, who will join the already announced acts, including Queens of the Stone Age, The Prodigy, Macklemore, Imagine Dragons, Bastille, Skrillex, Placebo, Lily Allen and The Kooks

Taking place in Budapest 14 April at the well known A38 Ship the press conference also revealed many changes regarding the venue and program structure at Sziget this year. One of the most important ones is the fact that Day 0 will provide a program as strong as the regular days, presenting Anti-Flag, Ska-P and Queens of the Stone Age. And let’s not forget about the fact that Day 0 will also host the Opening Show by Deadmau5, so besides the End Show with Calvin Harris – taking place on the last day of the event – there will also be another spectacular party at the main stage to warm up the crowd for the non-stop week of fun.

A new venue, the Campfire Stage is also designed for the same purpose, providing the chance for amateur and professional musicians to apply and – if chosen – to play some inspiring acoustic songs at the big fire. This stage is also Sziget’s special way to remember Woodstock, the mother of all festivals that took place 45 years ago. Sziget Community Garden will be another venue that is fresh and new (not just for Sziget but for the whole festival scene) welcoming open-minded visitors and providing a great insight in the world of urban gardens. Sziget Beach was an instant hit in 2013 and the organizing crew is happy to announce that the chill-out beach venue will also return this year. And if we talk about special community areas on the Island of Freedom, we should definitely mention the Ruin Pubs Quarter, introducing some of the most original Budapest bars. 

2014 will also see the return of the massive fun activities at the main stage, including the Colour Party, theFlag Party, the Balloon Party, the Beach Ball Party and the Bubble Party. 

Besides Woodstock, the other important anniversary linked to Sziget 2014 is the fall of the Berlin Wall, exactly 25 years ago. Cooperation with the Berlin arts scene and also a 100 meters long wall – decorated by street artists and the Szitizens themselves – will all serve the purpose to remember this great act of freedom.

Sziget will also bring some changes for the lovers of e-music. The old Arena truly reached its capacity limits, so the organizing team decided to move some of the bigger names to the Main Stage, while also the huge tent of the A38 Stage will host many electro artists, including the newly confirmed Madeon and R3hab. Besides, there will be an even bigger Colosseum venue that is designed to take over the role of the ’party center’.

Hungarian bands will once again get an open air venue in the form of the Petofi Radio VOLT Festival Stage, presenting the best acts of the host nation and also some acoustic gigs after 11pm.

Another of the spectacular changes is the introduction of the World Village, a huge concentrated venue that presents great world music bands and also hosting Roma, Afro-Latin and Hungaricum programs.

Getting bigger and more colorful is also the concept behind the new Europe Stage, merging the former Mambo and Holland meets Hungary stages and providing a truly European alternative

The lovers of blues and Irish music will also find their favorites on one stage, with thematic days for both genres. And it’s very important to mention that this year’s Blues and Irish Stage also serves as a place to remember the great Andor Olah, an excellent blues musician and also a dedicated organizer of the Hungarian blues scene, who died recently.

Another of the new venues is the Street of Universities. If you like Hungary and could imagine yourself studying here, that’s the place to check out possibilities. And if you’re an open-minded festival visitor, you will surely visit the Sziget Art Zone as well, which is the artistic center of this year’s Island of Freedom.

Outkast lead lineup announcements for Flow Festival

One of the most successful hip hop groups of all time, OutKast, returns to celebrate its 20th anniversary, and is one of the over 30 artists included as the first additions to Flow Festival 2014. The 3­-day tickets are available through Lippupalvelu and Ticketmaster from March 6th at 10am.

Flow Festival is organised again in Suvilahti, Helsinki on August 8–10 with a broad selection of the moment’s most interesting music. Besides the comeback gig of OutKast, the festival features dark indie rock from The National, hip hop from South Africa's controversial Die Antwoord and R&B soul artist Janelle Monáe.

Others coming to Suvilahti will be Darkside – the joint project of Nicolas Jaar and multi­ instrumentalist Dave Harrington – U.S.­based Blood Orange that rose to prominence with last year’s Cupid Deluxe, and Charlie XCX who is rolling out one hit after another. This year's festival crowd will also witness the return of the shoegazers Slowdive, promising guitar-­driven indie rock from Mac DeMarco, as well as Nina Persson, the former The Cardigans singer, who released her solo debut early this year, and singer-­songwriter Bill Callahan with his warm baritone recently featured on his fourth album Dream River, picked as Mojo Magazine’s album of the year 2013.

Electronic music will be prominently featured with hugely popular German Paul Kalkbrenner and French act Kavinsky, as well as a frontline of Brits including Bonobo, Mercury Award nominee Jon Hopkins, James Holden and Jamie xx – of The xx fame – all joining Flow. There’ll be soulful electro from British duo Jungle, and Little Dragon from Sweden who will release its fourth studio album in May. Meanwhile, Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson andPusha T bring a quality dose of U.S. hip hop to Flow. African rhythms will be served up by Malian Sahara­blues outfit Tinariwen, Senegalese Mark Ernestus presents Jeri­Jeri and Les Ambassadeurs, a Malian super group including Salif Keita, Amadou & Mariam’s Amadou Bagayoko, andCheick Tidiane Seck.

Local acts at Flow include Iisa, Death Hawks, Risto, Noah Kin, Jaakko Eino Kalevi, Eurocrack and Sound & FuryTuomo will perform his only Helsinki gig of the summer at Flow, while Magenta Skycode plays its only gig in Finland all year.

Bestival announce Desert Island Disco theme and Outkast

icking off with a frankly magnificent headliner, and our very best theme yet, believe us when we say Bestival is gonna go off big time this September 4th-7th, and you’re gonna want to be with us!

Rob da Bank says: “Hey ya! By the power invested in me as chief Bestival booker, I'm pretty darn excited to announce that OutKast are headlining Bestival this year! We've fought hard to get the recently reunited legendary hip-hop duo onto the ferry… and it's no ordinary ferry this year as Bestival goes Desert Island Disco for 2014… Palm trees, grass skirts and mirrorballs are the order of the day. It truly is gonna be the Bestival yet!”


Levels of excitement are beyond stratospheric in the Bestival bunker because one of our all-time favourite duos,OutKast, have not only reformed but they’re also coming to headline Bestival, laying down the sickest flows they know in one of only two UK Festival appearances! From Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik to IdlewildAndre 3000 andBig Boi have consistently delivered booty shaking brilliance; their live shows are the stuff of legend and their comeback is undoubtedly one of the most feverishly anticipated this century, making Bestival a golden opportunity to catch the most popular, innovative and downright amazing hip-hop force on the planet! As you can probably tell, we’re just about as pleased as we’ve ever been that the Gs have returned and part of their 20th anniversary celebrations are going to be with us! BRING. IT. ON!

Wireless Festival announce massive lineup with Kanye West, Drake, Bruno Mars and more

We have massive lineup news for this years Wireless Festival which will take place two locations in London's Finsbury Park and Birmingham's Perry Park.

Kanye West, Drake and Bruno Mars will headline over the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday shows and joining them will be some of the biggest artists at the moment including, Outkast, Pharrell Williams, Rudimental, Basement Jaxx, Ellie Goulding, Wiz Khalifa, John Newman, Iggy Azalea, Azealia Banks, Pretty Lights, Chance The Rapper, Ella Eyre, Angel Haze, Salt-N-Pepa, Clean Bandit, Earl Sweatshirt, A$AP Ferg and Neon Jungle.


Tickets  go on sale this Friday 31st January at 9am!

Entering its tenth consecutive year Wireless Festival promoter Steve Homer from Live Nation is looking forward to another incredible year.  “Wireless Festival celebrates its 10th year this year and we couldn’t be more thrilled to mark this momentous anniversary by taking it to a second site, Perry Park in Birmingham, and a brand new site in London, Finsbury Park.  We are delighted to be welcoming back Drake and Kanye West as headliners and thrilled to secure Bruno Mars for his first UK Festival headline performance.  They are perfect for Wireless Festival, securing these three artists plus many more world class acts continues to cement our reputation as a world class leader on the festival circuit.