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In its second year in its new home, the Bestival Circus returned to Dorset and it did not disappoint.
From 2 – 5 August 2018 the Lulworth estate played host to one of the most flamboyant events on the festival calendar. From start to finish there was fun to be had at this year’s Bestival with an incredible variety of music, stages, attractions, food, bars and so much more. There was something for absolutely everyone.
You can see for yourself how spectacular Bestival looked by checking out our gallery here.
Headlining this year was one of the most eagerly anticipated collaborations of 2018. Mark Ronson and Diplo took to the Castle Stage of Bestival as Silk City and bought some Chicago house to the hills of Dorset. Jorja Smith headlined the Thursday night in the Big Top tent, with an incredible backing band behind her. The 21-year-old soulfully closed out a packed Thursday night for the campers which included the likes of Casisdead, Ghetts, Kelela, Denis Sulta and many more.
Throughout Saturday and Sunday some real big hitters strutted their stuff in the glorious sunshine. On Saturday night Grace Jones and London Grammar headlined on the main stage whilst Mall Grab, Honey Dijon and Bicep had the crowd throwing shapes down at Temple Fields. The variety was fantastic and it helped create a festival full of happy/sunburnt faces.
Sunday night saw an eclectic mix of artists take to the Castle Stage. Chaka Khan going back-to-back with Plan B was a mixture that the crowd welcomed with open arms… which M.I.A then took very literally as she came out into the crowd to perform up close and personal with her fans during her performance. Whilst the Castle Stage was going off on the Sunday, the rest of the fest did not slack at all. With performances from the likes of Mike Skinner and the Murkage Pres, Camelphat, Solardo, Craig Charles and a whole host of others, the party just did not stop!
With such a family vibe all across the festival, there was plenty for all ages and interests to get involved with. The comedy and spoken word tent had the crowd laughing hysterically throughout the whole weekend, and if comedy wasn’t your bag you could always catch a workout at Witness the Fitness. Hosting Aerial Yoga and spinning sessions across the weekend, if the sun wasn’t quite making you sweat enough, these guys could certainly help you out with that.
The parties that were being thrown at this year’s festival were out of this world. Nobody in their right mind needs a second invitation to the likes of East 17’s Christmas Party, Vic Reeves’ Reggae Disco and Bez’s Acid House Party. There was fun to be had around every corner and one area had a lot of corners to check. The Ambientland at Bestival was a cool sanctuary away from the wildness of the festival. With DJs, games and a secluded eating and drinking area, this forest provided a calming presence for all the glitter wearing patriots that came across it.
One of Bestival’s unique selling points is its unpredictability. Once everything had concluded on the Castle Stage on Friday night there was a last-minute set by the Brentford boys Kurupt FM, who not only filled the House of Vans Stage but filled the surrounding area too. You could find surprises like this across the festival. For instance, in between the campsite and the main festival grounds stood the Power Tree. This tree not only had enough charging stations to keep the entire campsite happy, but YOU were the DJ! With iPads built into the base of the tree and a DJ in the branches, you selected the tracks and the disc jockey did the rest. Who doesn’t fancy a boogie whilst their phone is charging!
HMS Bestival stood strong throughout the weekend and saw the likes of Stanton Warriors, Jaguar Skills, the festival organiser Rob Da Bank and also played host to East 17’s Christmas Party. The ship was unmissable, firstly due to its size and secondly due to the unbelievable soundtrack that was on point the entire weekend! One inevitability for anyone attending this year was seeing at least part of a circus. Whether you were in the Caravanserai or across the way at the Cuckoo Clump, you were destined to see juggling, balancing or some kind of death-defying stunt live before your very eyes.
In conclusion Bestival 2018 was a roaring success (especially for the gentleman living his best life pictured below). With great transport links getting everybody to and from the festival in one piece the only bad part was having to leave the festival itself! Walking away from a field full of variety and fun was a difficult experience however it did make us extremely excited for 2019. The Dorset hills served as great grounds to host this decorative festival and the Green Team did a fantastic job of keeping the place clean and fresh. Which helped keep everybody grooving along in the summer sunshine all weekend long.
For more information on Bestival 2019 and to find tickets when they are available head to Ticketmaster.co.uk.
All photos: Vikki Catantan