Bestival

This is an ideal festival for those who like odd, yet innovative boutique festivals, as a festival that encourage fancy dress and good natured entertainment for all.

This year's theme is Desert Island Disco, which follows from last year's theme of HMS Bestival.

Vibe

Due to it being held in late summer, Bestival has garnered a reputation as being the finale to the UK festival season. Each year the official fancy dress day is Bestival tradition that most take part in, with every year featuring a different theme.

Organiser Rob Da Bank states that "dressing up and escapism has always been a big part of Bestival".

There is also a Dressing Up Tent on-site for those who need inspiration. As much as it's not complementary, with such a strong tradition, it's almost frowned upon not to get involved with the fun!

The festival also won Best Major Festival at the 2012 UK Festival Awards.

Stages and other entertainment

There are another 18 stages featuring live music and entertainment. The non-music entertainment is almost a festival in it's own right, with some activities remaining a permanent fixture at the festival, whereas others are sometimes one-offs or acts that go and come back.

Below you can read about the permanent fixtures, but to keep up to date with all features, check out the line-up and other entertainment section.

The permanent fixtures include:

  • Bestival Block Party: Think "rio-carnival-meets-festival" and you're on the right track! Held on Saturday afternoon, the party is split into a number of blocks with their own theme.
  • The Ambient Forest: Spoken word and ambient DJ's in a beautiful neck of the woods.
  • The Secret Emporium: The place to visit if you appreciate works of art from talented milliners, jewellers, artists and fashion designers. Probably not a good place to go if you fail at shopping drunk!
  • The Inflatable Church: Whether you want to see love in its purest form or actually get married yourself, Bestivals Inflatable Church has got it covered. For a small fee, Reverand Duncan Pritchard will help you say your vows and have a wedding to remember!
  • Grand Palace Of Entertainment: Expect twisted cabaret, raucous games and quizzes, dancing lycra-clad bearded trannies and multicoloured, glitter strewn, late night parties.
  • Crazy Golf: It's crazy, and it's golf, that's all you need to know!
  • Onsite Newspaper: Whether it’s to keep up with the outside world or find out about more hidden Bestival gems, The Bestival Bugle will keep you updated!
  • Kids Area: It's hard to summarise what amazing fun can be had at The Kids Area, whether you see this is as a good or bad thing, your kids may not want to leave!
  • Bollywood Revamped: In the form of a massive temple entranceway and a new Indian-themed Cocktail Bus in front of it, plus loads of new Indian day beds and parasols outside and fresh décor inside.
  • Replay: Brand new Replay with Rob Da Bank stage will be stacked full of the most exciting new acts around, the man like Da Bank has pushed his music discovering powers to the very limit to bring you the first chance to see some ace bands that are destined for big things.

Bouncy Castle, Face Painting, Play Area, BigTopMania, Noisy Oyster Theatre Company, Yoga Bugs Kid Yoga, ScrapArtCrew, Festival StickerArt and so much more!

Tickets

Ticketline is now open for Early Bird Ticket sales for Bestival 2014, which will take place in Robin Park from Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th September 2014. There will be a restricted number of these tickets available, so be sure to buy them quickly!

Tickets will also be available on a 34-week payment plan for Friday entry weekend tickets and a 36-week payment plan for Thursday entry weekend tickets. This means that an adult ticket can now be bought at a payment of £5 per week over 34 or 36 weekly payments.

Once you have signed up to the payment plan, which basically means giving your agreement by ticking the bank mandate form on Ticketline’s website, Ticketline will automatically debit your card on a weekly basis. They only accept Visa (credit or debit) and Mastercards for the payment plan.

  • Adult Ticket with entry from Thursday 4th September – £180
  • Adult Ticket with entry from Friday 5th September – £170
  • Student Ticket with entry from Thursday 4th September – £170 (For full-time students only. Valid NUS or ISIC ID required at the box office. No other student ID accepted)
  • Teen (age 13-17) Ticket – £120
  • Child (age 12 & under) Ticket – Free (but you must obtain a ticket)
  • Campervan Tickets – £85 (per vehicle)
  • Advance Car Parking – £10 (or £15 in cash on arrival)

NEW WEEKLY PAYMENT PLAN

Tickets are also available on a 15-week payment plan, which means that an adult ticket can now be bought at a payment of £12.67 per week (Thursday entry) or £12 per week (Friday entry) over 15 weekly payments. Only available online via: www.ticketline.co.uk/bestival-tickets

NB: Booking fees will be charged with your initial transaction.

Anyone who has already purchased a 2013 ticket (or Early Bird ticket) can pay the difference to upgrade to a Wild Copse Premium Campsite ticket – just call Ticketline on 0844 888 4420 and they’ll be able to help.

VIP

Bestival does not have VIP in the traditional sense, what they have is a large variety of glamour camping choices.

Children

Under 18 year olds must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 30, and no more than two teens (13-17) are allowed per parent or guardian. Those under the age of 18 who attempt to enter the festival with an adult or student ticket, will not be permitted entrance under any circumstances.

Disability Access

There are many different provisions that the staff at Bestival have in place to make sure that the festival is accessible as possible. If you require specific information about disabled access, visit the Bestival website for all of the answers.

Weather

2014 To Be Announced (TBA).

Location

The Bestival site is located on Robin Hill Country Park on The Isle Of Wight. This has been the location for the festival since the beginning. As the festival is on an island, all journeys will include a ferry journey at some point of travel, so it is important to also book your ferry ticket (unless its included in a package) before planning other routes to the festival.

Local Information

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Travel

Here is how you get to the Isle of Wight and then onto the festival!

BY PLANE

Gatwick Airport is the easier airport to travel from, once there you can either get the train to Portsmouth Harbour, Ferry then taxi to festival site, or travel with Big Green Coach, who will take you all the way to the site. However bare in mind you may have to take the train to wherever the coach departs from

BY COACH

Big Green Coach is the official coach operator for Bestival.

BY TRAIN

South West Trains operate to Portmouth Harbour and Southampton, where a shuttle service will take you to Red Funnel's Red Jet service that ferrys you over to the islands.

BY CAR

Again you will need to use the ferry at some point, however the postcode for the site PO30 2NU

If you would like to travel by car, why not save some money with Blabla Car - the ultimate car sharing website for UK and Europe!

BY MINICAB

Minicabit come and collect you (from one of 40 UK cities) and take you directly to the ferry. It may well surprise you and work out quicker than a train, or bus if a group of you club together. You can arrange a return journey too so you get taken to your doorstep.

What to wear

One of the main attractions of Bestival, is the different theme it follows each year. With 2013's theme confirmed as HMS Bestival, you had better prepare for all things nautical - we're talking blue and white stripes, sailor hats, the works! Organiser Rob Da Bank states that "dressing up and escapism has always been a big part of Bestival".

There is also a Dressing Up Tent on-site for those who need inspiration. As much as it's not complementary, with such a strong tradition, it's almost frowned upon not to get involved with the fun!

Camping

2011 was the debut year of Bestival's 'Campsite Hubs' where each campsite has its own identity based around it's hub.

Each hub will have a chalet, tower, flag and seating area, as well as First Aid and campsite crew for you to report problems or concerns to.

To fit in with the Bestival ethos of being green, each hub will be made using recycled products, and will be designed and created by art students from Isle Of Wight College.

The campsites are colour-coded and named after songs (Purple Haze, 99 Red Balloons and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road to name a few), and they are also split into categories "Quiet (& Tidy)" and "Noisy (& Messy), giving you more choice in your camping experience.

The Disability Camping area has been moved closer to the main arena and there will also be a different arena entrance for the disabled.

Food and drink

Fans of food will be spoilt for choice, you can try some tasty local food & beer in living pub in Tomorrows Worlds, or even head down to the Butter Cupcakes Afternoon Tea Hut for cakes, jams and tea!

Queen of Food Blog MsMarmiteLove, Kerstin Rodger will also be bringing her 'vintage style and unusual but hearty cooking' to the Underground Restaurant in Bestival! Expect hot waitresses in French pinnies!

If you are someone who is bored of burgers, hot dogs and dodgy Chinese food at festivals, you're going to love the selection at Bestival!

At the Wishing Tree Field, The Hurly Burly provides the best in vegetarian, while the choice at Chai Wallahs includes a completely organic and natural choice of yummy goodness.

In the Fantasy Field you can find Pure Pie, Chapati Man, The Sea Cow, Harbor Seafoods, The Moroccan Barbecue, Spanish Paellaria, Barefoot Wine, Bollywood Bar, Farmer's Market, Rodigan's Reggae Food Shack, Eat Fat Pig, Cowboys Relish and so much more.

2012 saw the Young British Foodies: "We’ve got the country’s finest young chefs, street food vendors, bakers and mixologists all under one roof! Winners of the nationwide search for the most talented Young British Foodies were joined by the YBF all-star foodie judges to create a never-been-done-before, spectacular eating experience."

There was also a The Bollywood Bar, an old London bus transformed into the ultimate Bollywood chill out area, full of Indian colours.

Perform at the festival

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Volunteer or work

Festaff are currently recruiting.

Drugs and security

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Stream online

Bestival will be the first UK Festival to stream live around the world on YouTube. For more details read this news story here.

Mobile Apps

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Trivia

The festival has been held annually in late summer since 2004, in a small country park called 'Robin Hill'. The event is organized by BBC Radio 1 left field DJ Rob da Bank and is an off-shoot of his Sunday Best record label and club nights. Creative Director and wife Josie da Bank and co founders / partners John and Ziggy from Get Involved are also involved in organising the event.

In 2004, the festival was attended by 10,000 people, a figure which has since increased to 43,000 in 2009 and 55,000 in 2010.

  • In keeping with its middle sized festival theme, Bestival has not increased capacity since 2010.

  • Apart from its beauty, another reason why Isle Of Wight was chosen to host Bestival was because the Isle Of Wight runs more carnivals per capita than any other place in the UK.

  • Amongst its many other awards, The UK Festival Awards has given the "Best Medium Sized Festival" award to Bestival three times! (2005, 2006 and 2007).

Past lineups

The 2012 line-up includes Orbital, The XX, Sigur Ros and Justice, with the full line-up available to read here. The confirmed fancy dress theme is "Wildlife"

This news story summarises all the exciting new things expected for Bestival 2012.

Frank Ocean has to pull out due to scheduling conflicts and was replaced by Wiley.

2011 featured The Cure, Bjork, Pendulum, Primal Scream Present Screamadelica Live, PJ Harvey, Brian Wilson, DJ Shadow, The Maccabees, Robyn, Public Enemy, Big Audio Dynamite, Crystal Castels, Magnetic Man, Kelis, Mogwai, Chromeo, Clare Maguire, LFO, Paloma Faith, Village People, The Drums

Past Line-Up's can be found here