Small and boutique festivals have exploded across the UK in recent years - here are five of the very best.
One of the quieter but most significant revolutions in the British music scene this decade has been the explosion of small, or ‘boutique’, festivals across the land.
No longer is the festival circuit the plain old Glastonbury / Reading & Leeds / T In The Park axis. The latter of those has bitten the dust and transformed into TRNSMT; Latitude and Wireless have established themselves over the last 15 years as rivals; while V has become an almost exclusively pop-oriented festival.
But on a smaller tier than those are the galaxy of boutique festivals that have sprouted up at increasing pace. Here’s the six best small festivals the UK has to offer.
Continue reading: The Best Small Festivals The UK Has To Offer
The popular Isle of Wight festival is landing in Toronto this summer
New Year, New Festival Season and in 2015 one of the best ones is going global - Bestival is going to Toronto. Bestival UK has been a firm favourite in the summer calendar for 12 years having been set up and run by BBC Radio DJ Rob da Bank and his wife Josie.
A firm festival favourite is heading to Canada
This year its popularity is going stateside and it's landing at Hanlan’s Point Beach in Toronto Island on the shore of Lake Ontario during the weekend of June, 12th-13th.
Continue reading: Bestival Is Going To North America
It's Busta for Bestival in 2014.
Festival organisers have managed to persuade Busta Rhymes to join the main stage line-up at this year's festival, marking the first time the American hip-hop star has played at a festival in the UK.
Busta Rhymes Will Make His First UK Festival Apperance at Bestival
The 11-times Grammy nominee - best known for tracks Woo-Hah!, Got You All In Check and Touch It - will play before the headliners though the specific day is yet to be confirmed.
Continue reading: Bestival Pulls Off Major Coup With Busta Rhymes' First UK Festival Show
Beck and Foals join Outkast for Bestival 2014.
Beck and Foals have been added to the line-up of this year’s Bestival festival, joining fellow headliners Outkast. Beck will headline the main stage on Thursday night, with Outkast on Friday and Foals on the Saturday night.
Foals will headline Bestival on Saturday night
Festival curator and DJ Rob da Bank made the announcement saying, "Ahoy there shipmates and welcome to my desert island! Yes folks, HMS Bestival has set sail once more and we have finally landed back on the Isle of Wight for our 11th instalment - a Desert Island Disco. Foals were voted best live act of last year and I'm delighted they'll be headlining the Saturday night – there’s no better indie guitar band in the UK right now.
OutKast will headline Bestival 2014.
The reunited hip-hop outfit Outkast are the first act to be announced for the Bestival 2014 line-up. The event takes place at the Robin Hill Country Park on the Isle of Wight from September 4th-7th. Organiser Rob da Bank announced the high profile booking, whilst also confirming that this year's theme would be Desert Island Disco.
OutKast Will Headline Bestival 2014
"Hey ya! By the power invested in me as chief Bestival booker, I'm pretty darn excited to announce that OutKast are headlining Bestival this year!" he said in a statement, "We've fought hard to get the recently reunited legendary hip-hop duo onto the ferry... and it's no ordinary ferry this year as Bestival goes Desert Island Disco for 2014. Palm trees, grass skirts and mirrorballs are the order of the day. It truly is gonna be the Bestival yet!"
Continue reading: Bestival 2014 Lineup Kicks Off With OutKast Announcement
Franz Ferdinand return this year with 'Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.'
Glasgow rockers Franz Ferdinand have announced plans to release their fourth album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, through Domino Records on August 4, 2013. Frontman Alex Kapranos has made no secret of the band's intentions to release a new album in 2013 and now the details have been confirmed.
Recorded in London, Scotland and Scandinavia, the album is described as "The Intellect Vs The Soul, played out by some dumb band," by Kapranos himself. It was recently reported that Roxanne Clifford of Veronica Falls will feature as a guest vocalist on the album, though the album tracklisting doesn't appear to confirm this. The band debuted seven new songs at a tiny show at Glasgow's Nice N Sleazy recently, playing Treason! Animals, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action and Fresh Strawberries.
The group will play various European festivals this summer, including Coke Live 2013 in Krakow, Pukkelpop 2013 in Hasselt-Kiewit and Frequency Festival in St Poelten before heading back to the Isle of Wight for Bestival.
Continue reading: Hey, Remember Franz Ferdinand? They're Back With A New Album!
As 2012's festival season draws to a close, the traditional final curtain falls every year on the Isle Of Wight. Bestival, curated by Radio 1's Rob De Bank, has firmly established itself as one of the UK's - if not Europe - most prestigious festivals. Having first opened its doors in 2004 enticing a capacity crowd of 10,000 excitable punters, Bestival has grown in stature and size at an alarming rate of knots since, last year's event drawing approximately 55,000 customers through its gates.
Continue reading: Bestival, 2012 Preview
With so many festivals to choose from nowadays, it's so easy for many of the line-ups to mirror each other and therefore engender a monotonous air of familiarity in the process. Indeed, glancing through many bills up and down the UK this summer has passed for little more than a consultative exercise in déjà vu, so similar are many of the acts on offer all the way up to those claiming headline status. Thank the Lord then for Bestival, the Rob Da Bank curated shindig situated on a remote country park in the picturesque confines of the Isle Of Wight. Despite only launching the event seven years ago, its eclectic music policy coupled with an almost unequivocal anti-corporate stance not to mention rampant quirkiness mirroring the halcyon days when Glastonbury really was a free festival and its easy to see why Bestival has emerged as one of the key dates on the UK's summer calendar.
Continue reading: Bestival, 2011 Live Review
My belongings hanging from every possible limb for the next three days, I headed straight off to the campsite - joining a stream of festival goers all struggling with tents, duvets and even suitcases ready for Rob Da Banks Bestival 2007.
My first stop was The Big Top which resembled an English Country Garden with a full-sized tree, flowers and ivy creeping up around a large pagoda, Welcome to Bestival. Mr. Scruff was at the decks belting out some chilled out hip hop which was perfect for those who wanted to boogie and also for those who wanted to just chill and have a beer break after sweating out over tents and inflatable mattresses.
The first thing you'll always notice about Bestival is the dress code.. Fancy dress being the norm and if your not kitted out in the latest ensemble of your grannies tea towels or dressed as a Smurf then you do feel like you are the odd one out!
I headed over to the main stage to watch regular crowd pleasers and now festival veterans 'The Levellers' take to the stage with hits such as 'One Way' and 'Riverflow' seeming the crowd favorites the Levellers don't do their gigs without their 12 hour long didgeridoo spectacular! The evening carried on with supreme sets from Maccabees, Barry Peters, The Go! Team and a cracking set from The Chemical Brothers, djing in front of a large LED curtain whilst scary clowns and 10ft dancing people was just the beginning of an awesome light show for hits like 'Hey Boy, Hey Girl' 'Galvanize' and 'do it again' they capped of an amazing first day.
Saturday and Sunday didn't disappoint with the likes of Billy Bragg, Cuban Brothers and Beastie Boys, Mc Beardyman (UK Beat Boxing Champion), Kate Nash, Gossip and Primal Scream, to name but a few, all capping off the largest fancy dress party in Europe.
The Beastie Boys performed two sets over the weekend, stating 'Seeing all you people dressed up out there makes us know were at the best festival in the world, this is how we wanted everyone at our last tour but no-one dressed up, thank you Isle of Mike' which is what the island was renamed by the Beastie Boys. Their Saturday performance was a bit lackluster to be honest until the last two songs 'Intergalactic' and the now legendary 'Sabotage' turn the crowd into frenzy! Sunday was billed as a gala event and instrumental only but they soon dropped that to play hits they didn't manage to perform the night before, much to the crowds joy, and although it was a better set then their headlining show they once again capped it off with 'Sabotage' which no one can EVER tire of hearing live or on CD.
The surprise of the weekend was a set from ska heroes Madness. Performing a greatest hits set they really were the perfect band for this festival, watching 20'000+ people dressed as Pirates, Wizards, Goblins and anything else their imagination thought up, jumping around to 'House of Fun' really did make the entire weekend for a lot of people.
Bestival really is completely different to any festival you will ever go too, even if you don't like any of the bands on the bill I suggest you still go for the fantastic atmosphere, nowhere will be able to beat it, this is my second year and I am 110% certain it will not be my last.