Local’s Guide to Bestival


Never a dull moment. Photo © Yellow Brick Blog

People say that the best is saved till’ last – and I definitely believe that when it comes to UK festivals!
Bestival (or as I like to call it Best-of-all) is the one that brings the festival season to a close every year and has been making my September a little more exciting since 2004!

Being in its 11th year now, Bestival has gained a huge fan base and sells out yearly, thanks to its fantastic ethos, diverse entertainment and not-to-be-missed line-up.

It’s an award-winning Thursday-to-Sunday festival, holding nearly 60,000 people at Robin Hill Country Park on the sunny Isle of Wight. Some of you may have read that and thought ‘Where?’, but for me, this is a place I have visited countless times because…. I live 15 minutes down the road!
Yes, I live on the Isle of Wight so festivals are second nature to me, my friends and my family. And I can happily say that Bestival is my favourite.

With its variety of stages, acts and entertainment (plus a few secret surprises) Bestival is non-stop and if you want to see everything then there’s no time to dilly dally or have a lay-in in your two-man tent!

I’ve been to Bestival countless times since I was a teenager and each year I get super excited for certain aspects, it really is a festival like no other!
Here are a few of my favourite things to see and do at Bestival:

  1. Fancy Dress

Unlike other festivals Bestival has a full-on fancy dress theme and the Saturday is always costume day! If you want to see creativity then this is the place to be.

Bestival-goers in costume

No half measures. Photo © Yellow Brick Blog

Bestival-goers don’t do things by halves and I’ve seen some truly amazing masterpieces walking round the fields! Previous themes have included fantasy, out of space, desert island disco, wildlife, HMS Bestival and this year’s is…..summer of love!

  1. Sink The Pink

A drag cabaret tent in which my friends and I basically live in each night! The team is hilarious and they do everything from lip-syncing to musical bingo! If you are over 18 this is definitely a must-see.

  1. Wall Of Death

Holy macaroni, this is an extreme stunt show in the middle of a field!

Motorbikes on Bestival wall of death

Wall of death. Photo © Yellow Brick Blog

My parents actually told me about this and I have been and watched it probably for the last 2 or 3 years at Bestival! Motorbikes riding round walls in a wooden cylinder – this is something you have to see to believe.

  1. The Toboggan

This may only be exciting for me because I am an islander and it brings back many happy childhood memories, but the Robin Hill Toboggan is open throughout the Bestival (weather depending obviously)! A little bit of fun and excitement for you and your mates to break up your day and it’s fairly cheap too!

  1. Exploring The Woods

There is SO much to see at Bestival, I’ll hold my hands up and say I probably still haven’t seen everything! Robin Hill is a country park and it’s full of hills, woodland and hidden spaces where there is always something happening!

  1. The Port

The Port is fairly new – in fact I think it was only added 2 years ago – but it has become a HUGE hit with Bestival goers! A huge ship set up at the back of one of the fields, thousands gather to watch incredible DJs, fantastic dancers and exciting acrobats perform till’ the early hours of the morning! One the main stage action has died down this is the place to go!

Now on-to the line-up. Bestival has been host to some of the world’s biggest artists and I have been lucky enough to see a large number of them. Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Outkast, Nile Rogers, The Prodigy and Scissor Sisters being a few of my best memories.

This year is no different. With headliners Missy Elliott, Duran Duran and The Chemical Brothers and other acts including The Jacksons (yes the real life Jacksons!), Rudimental, Charli XCX and Mark Ronson, this is set to be one of the most exciting Bestivals ever!

Bestival this year is on 10th-13th September, and I hope you’ve booked your ferry tickets. If you’re not a camping fan or aren’t lucky enough to live on the Isle of Wight, try the local Travelodge hotel in Newport. It’s a 10-minute taxi or bus ride from Robin Hill and you’ll get dropped off at the west end of the festival site.