Festival Preview: Bestival 2014

I’d never heard of Bestival before last year when my music [and festival] tastes began to expand, and it seems they manage to pull in some truly slept-upon lineups. 2013 had Fatboy Slim, Snoop Dogg and Sir Elton John, three legendary acts from their respected genres, Fatboy Slim is arguably one of the pioneers of english dance/electro music, Snoop Dogg is one of the West Coast rappers who defined the rap of today, and Sir Elton John is one of the world’s best loved songwriters. With a 2013 lineup like this, it left Bestival’s 2014 lineup with a lot to live up to.

It’s hard to see exactly who the third official headliner is at this year’s Bestival, mainly because it seems it’s yet to be announced. I’m assuming an act of Outkast’s magnitude will be a headliner on one night, Chic ft Nile Rogers is Sunday’s closer and Foals somehow seem to be headliners at festivals such as at The Parklife Weekender, so they could be the third. There aren’t many acts of Outkast’s caliber out there, and the other festivals of the UK will be in awe that Bestival have snagged them for their debut on the Isle of Wight. You’d be amazed at just how many songs the legendary Nile Rogers has had a hand in crafting, so expect a night of ‘oh I know this one’.

Beck is one of those names that always perches high on a festival’s bill and along with Foals, will be spearheading the rock genre at Bestival 2014. You can also look forward to the psychedelic sound of Temples, and Wild Beasts are also ready to drape us with their indie rock. As far as the rock selection at Bestival goes, it’s pretty good, there’s a bit of variety but nothing pops out at me like other festivals.

With two of the Godfathers of rap in the form of Outkast headlining, need there even be anymore? Well there isn’t really much else, bar Busta Rhymes. Bussa-buss is something of a surprise announcement as he doesn’t strike me as the sort of act to be at a festival, nevertheless, it’s another massive rap icon to add to the lineup.

Bestival comes into its own in this category, the unstoppable force that is Disclosure are high on the bill, as they are at a lot of other festivals in 2014, and having seen them, they rightfully deserve it. Diplo brings his Major Lazer team to the Isle of Wight so expect an high-octane, high-energy performance filled with exuberant dancers, colourful confetti, heavy bass as well as incredible infusions of reggae and dub step. Basement Jaxx also mark their return to Bestival with their trademark sound. Along with all this, the amount of DJs at Bestival is something of a benchmark other festivals will look to challenge, a Chase & Status DJ Set look to headline along with Annie Mac as well as having accompaniment from a wide variety of DJs in the form of Gorgon City, Route 94, Eats Everything, Boys Noize, Skream and many others.

Much like GlastonburyBestival appear to be ‘ahead of the curve’ in terms of securing fresh talent before they make it big. Readers will know by now how much of a fan I am of Scottish trio CHVRCHES, and Bestival have managed to secure their services, naturally talented Sam Smith returns with his vocally helmed performances, and SBTRKT, London Grammar, Bonobo and Laura Mvula leave ‘music hipsters’ with more than enough selection and variety.

Pop music isn’t really Bestival’s forte but avid follower’s of the charts or the radio can still be happy. Previously mentioned Disclosure achieved considerable success within the charts and you can always guarantee a mass crowd for their performance. Clean Bandit look to continue their rise to the top having released their second single Extraordinary following the success of their chart topper Rather Be and will be hoping to continue their success with a performance at Bestival 2014. 

Especially considering there’s probably still a lot to be announced, Bestival is one of the best lineups of the year so far. It’s got a lot more diversity than the others so far, delving into all genres significantly, as well as having that diamond standard of variety between new and established artists. Outkast is a huge act to nail down, the likes of Major Lazer and Disclosure are givens, and Bestival 2014 leaves me in great anticipation of who they’ll announce next.

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