Where: Lulworth Estate, Dorset
When: 7th-10th September
Who: The xx, A Tribe Called Quest, Pet Shop Boys, Soulwax, Jamie T, Annie Mac
Price: Tier 2 price- £181 (including camping), Tier 3 price- £195
Having been in fruition since as early as 2004, Bestival has comfortably cemented itself as one of the UK’s most important music events, continually offering some of the world’s finest musicians. Religiously taking place in early September, acting as a de-facto end to the festival season, this year Bestival left its 14-year home at the Isle of Wight, and relocated to its new location in Dorset, the home of its sister-event Camp Bestival. Performing at this year’s event, were headliners The xx, A Tribe Called Quest, and Pet Shop Boys, as well as the likes of Jamie T, Soulwax, DJ Shadow, and Dizzee Rascal.
While notably slender in comparison to yesteryears of the festival, the transition between its locations is something to really marvel at in terms of planning and organisation. I’ve always praised Bestival and its sister events for its meticulously organised events- some of the most stress-free, straightforward experiences you could ask for, and Bestival 2017 at its new home is no different. As is expected, there’s more than enough friendly and helpful staff, always at hand to assist, coupled with lots of security. There’s rows of toilets and facilities around every bend, food from every corner of the earth, and well-manned bars and stalls. And despite near-constant rain, as well as scattered thunder and storms across the weekend, the weather was easy to get over too, with faithful wood chippings and other emergency measures put in place sharply.
Production-wise, Bestival is hard to beat; the sound systems and light shows don’t skip a beat, providing absorbing powerful experiences at every stage, with particular props to The Box (formerly the Big Top). The all-new Temple Stage nods at the likes of Boomtown, with an extravagant Aztec-inspired stage illuminating one of many of Bestival’s fields. Bestival’s production powers were truly put to the test with DJ Shadow’s incredible Saturday night performance, one that pushed the festival’s lights, speakers and visuals to the limit, resulting in one of the most absorbing experiences I’ve ever seen.
Woeful weather, a notably poor Friday night headline slot from The xx, as well as a complete relocation to its new site, meant a lot for Bestival and its organisers to cope with, but as is expected from one of the UK’s most consistent music events, Bestival 2017 was a raging success. Production values as outstanding as ever, an ever-impressive lineup, more food, drink, facilities, and staff than you’d ever need, not to mention its newfound surroundings in Dorset, Bestival 2017 was a worthy place for A Tribe Called Quest to bring a glittering career to a close, and sound off proceedings in style.