After a summer jam-packed full of festivals, you always want to end the season on a high – and what better way to do it than at Bestival, the biggest themed festival in the nation. Taking place during the second weekend of September at Robin Hill Country Park on the Isle of Wight, Bestival 2016 is certainly the music festival to go to before returning to that dreaded feeling of reality. This year’s edition introduces the theme of ‘The Future’ – with Bestival being pioneers in predicting the music of the future as well as encouraging fancy dress of extreme proportions. Featuring an array of different areas that suit different musical genres and a variety of entertainment, Bestival caters for all. From the magical amphitheatre in the ambient forest to the massive spaceport rocket standing 20 metres tall, Bestival is full of different sectors to explore, and many marvels to be discovered.
The musical line-up is top notch as per usual, with everyone from huge headliners to up and coming acts. Hot Chip’s set will make Bestival’s opening Thursday evening a night to remember, Major Lazer will take Friday night to the next level, and post-punk legends The Cure will conquer Saturday night. The festival will go out with a bang, with Wiz Khalifa and Sean Paul co-headlining on Sunday night. Headliners aside, Bestival has carefully curated a line-up brimming with musical diversity and promise. Spanish indie-rockers Hinds will be making an appearance at the festival, as well as pop sensations Years and Years, not forgetting to mention danish singer MØ. Bastille is sure to deliver a momentous set with the festival falling on the weekend of their sophomore album’s (Wild World) release. With it’s fun theme and exuberant atmosphere, Bestival will be the peak of the summer festival season. The future at Bestival awaits!
Check out our top 15 picks from this year’s lineup on our Best of Bestival takeover of the TMRW // #LOVE weekly playlist below.
1. MØ – Final Song
After hitting the music scene by storm with massive collaborative pop hit ‘Lean On’ with Major Lazer and DJ Snake, danish pop sensation MØ is generating a hype around her like no other. Catchy summer track ‘Final Song’ has been on continuous repeat all season and MØ’s Bestival performance is surely going to be jam-packed with dance tunes galore.
2. Years and Years – Worship
Years and Years have conquered the world throughout the past year with their incredible début album, ‘Communion’. Their most recent release ‘Worship’ is a melodious track embedded with memorable lyrics and electronic beats that get your feet tapping. After touring all corners of the globe, Olly Alexander, Mikey Goldsworthy and Emre Turkmen, will bring their colourful, energetic performance to Bestival, which is surely to be unmissable.
3. Honne – Coastal Love
British electronic-soul duo Honne have had an incredible 2016, with the release of their first LP and collaborating with Izzy Bizu on beautiful track ‘Someone that Loves You’, there is no stopping this unique, talented band. ‘Coastal Love’ is a soothing but powerful tune, with the vocals providing that extra richness that is required to make the track a pleasure to listen to. After touring the US over the summer, Honne will be performing to a UK home crowd at Bestival, it will certainly be a great set, guaranteed!
4. Black Honey – All My Pride
Black Honey are the Brighton-based garage-indie rock band that will be the name on everyone’s lips by the end of the year. Front-woman Izzy B Phillips always puts on a show, performing every song with passion, energy and pure rock and roll style. ‘All My Pride’ is a belter, always gets the crowd going and its chorus will remain on repeat in your head for days. One cannot deny that there are bright things ahead for Black Honey, make sure to catch them at Bestival whilst you can!
5. Bastille – Fake It
Bastille are back on the music scene with new material, gearing everyone up for their highly anticipated sophomore album ‘Wild World’ which is due for release on Bestival weekend. ‘Fake It’ contains all the key ingredients for the recipe of an incredible Bastille song, intricate harmonies, driving drum rhythms and emotive vocals from lead singer Dan Smith. Bastille’s passionate sets are always perfect for a festival crowd, their appearance at Bestival will most definitely be amazing!
6. Glass Animals – Life Itself
Throughout 2016, Glass Animals have been busy recording their second album ‘How to be a Human Being’ which is due for release at the end of this month. Their debut was a big hit throughout the UK and US and their next LP will certainly be full of hits galore. ‘Life Itself’ is a new Glass Animals classic, psychedelic and brimming with interesting lyrics, one cannot help but listen to it on repeat. The band always put on lively shows, and their set at Bestival will certainly be a great mixture of songs old and new.
7. Rationale – Fast Lane
Soul singer Rationale has had a non-stop successful year so far, and will continue to do so with the release of his debut album in September. ‘Fast Lane’ , released last year, was Rationale’s first breakout hit and provided the perfect introduction to the mysterious R’n’B singer with vocals so extraordinary, that his sound would become instantly recognisable from the word go. Having been performing gigs which have been described as ‘sweaty’ and vibrant, one cannot deny that Rationale’s Bestival set will be the energetic, soul-infused performance of the weekend.
8. Major Lazer – Cold Water (ft. Justin Bieber & MØ)
Major Lazer’s impeccably produced feel-good tracks make for fun listening all year round, but they seem to have mastered the formula for creating summer anthems. With their inescapable hit “Lean On” taking over seemingly every radio station and playlist last summer, they’ve come back even stronger for summer ’16 with “Cold Water.” Featuring Justin Bieber and MØ, this track is one of the most popular songs of the summer. Catch Major Lazer’s set on Friday to watch them turn Bestival into a colossal party.
9. Beaty Heart – Soft like Clay
Beaty Heart released their danceable sophomore album, Till The Tomb, last month. It’s the perfect balance between hypnotic and energetic, so their set is one you can just grab a beer and chill to, but if you’re up for it you definitely won’t be the only one dancing either.
10. VANT – Karma Seeker
VANT is an awesome band, point blank. With every one of their singles having been selected for Hottest Record in the World, BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac is probably one of their biggest fans. Proving that punk music is alive and well, VANT’s music focuses on current events for subject matter. Discussing prevalent topics like education, immigration, and equality, VANT is sure to deliver a fiery set promising a mosh pit of epic proportions.
11. Hinds – Bamboo
For some nostalgia soaked indie rock, stop by Hinds’s set. The Spanish band puts on a great show, and always seem to have the best time doing it. Their contagious smiles will leave you with a warm heart and sunny attitude for the rest of the day.
12. Fickle Friends – Cry Baby
“Cry Baby,” as well as most other Fickle Friends tracks are practically made for festivals. The summery 80s synths and serious groove seamlessly coincide with the festival atmosphere that people crave. Even after their set, and the festival itself, is over, closing your eyes and listening to “Cry Baby” will transport you back to these days of summer.
13. The Japanese House – Still
The Japanese House is an undeniable force right now, and “Still” is the track to set the blogosphere ablaze. Her tranquil atmospheric music is hauntingly beautiful, and her set is not to be missed.
14. Spring King – The City
Spring King’s music has a habit of getting stuck in one’s head. It’s fresh, but there’s also something subtly vintage about it. Plus the drummer doubles as the lead vocalist, how cool is that?
15. Louis Berry – Nicole
The revival of gripping rock and roll comes in the form of Louis Berry. “Nicole” is a strong track displaying exactly what there is to love about the Liverpool native’s music; it’s well crafted but not overly polished, it’s satisfyingly gritty, and it’s something to get excited about.
Words by María Torres