Bestival: Intergalactic Funksmanship and Noise Freakouts
As the rain poured down, Bestival’s “30,000 Freaks Under the Sea” theme seemed entirely apt.
Bestival: Intergalactic Funksmanship and Noise FreakoutsCity: Isle of Wight, England
Venue: Robin Hill Country Park
When sleepless and sober, every pie-eyed reveller is the enemy: The blonde girl who took a bad combination of uppers and downers who looks like she could kiss me or puke on me; the twitching punter I try to avoid because he looks like he's ready to throw elbows, but instead gives me a big bear hug; the grumpy security guards who made me move my tent three times in order to facilitate drainage; the Strongbow-nursing trio blasting crappy drum and bass at 5:00 am; and the giggling guy who struts out of the outhouse and tries to shake my hand. I'm not an antisocial guy, but like Paul Hackett in After Hours I'm not asking for much -- I just want to go to bed. Upon my arrival on the Isle of Wight, the heavens opened, drenching me, my belongings, and my half-assembled tent, which I somehow managed to pitch at the sonic confluence of several stages, so competing bass lines shook the ground beneath me throughout the night. Speaking about the weather, festival curator Rob da Bank said, "Obviously people are going to moan about the rain but I've been to enough muddy Glastonbury's to know that things always come good in the end. I've had loads of people come up to me and say this is actually the best Bestival they've ever been to. Onwards and upwards!" It's quite possible that Mr. da Bank then went back to his hotel and took a hot shower. OK, enough whining. Despite some of the worst weather in decades, this year's Bestival showcased some terrific bands who made us forget about the inclement weather for a few moments. Though many festivalgoers left in droves to escape the rain, those who stayed made a point to enjoy the event twice as much. The theme of the festival was "30,000 Freaks Under the Sea." I saw a battalion of zombie mariners, steampunk deep sea divers, a school of Nemo clownfish, a dozen Spongebobs, and my personal favorite -- a fully-staffed Team Zissou. DAY 1