Bestival – the end is in sight

where we see some stonking acts then hate humans and then love them again

We spend the first part of Sunday wandering around the huge site looking for stuff we've missed, failing to get into the amphitheatre again and missing the excellent Dub Pistols!

First music for me was Andreya Triana in The Big Top. By this time security are getting a bit more relaxed and it's easy to have a chat and a laugh with them whilst waiting in the pit and the day really does seem to have a laid back feel about it.

Andreya is a gift as she's pretty, colourful, moves around a lot and musically smashing. Some decent photos precede me moving to the back of the crowd to just enjoy her sometimes experimental, sometimes electronica sound. Good start I'd say.

One of my few main stage visits followed with a chance to experience Boy Better Know. BBK feature a host of top grime stars and they are pretty damned good, coming out one by one and giving us plenty to work with in a crowded pit. I like them.

Sitting enjoying a beer we're passed by the carnival which is great chance to shoot some very colourful pics and then sit and enjoy some amazing constructions that wander by.

Back to the Big Top for sound of the 90s popsters Snap! For me their stuff is like background music to the 90s. Whilst britpop was in full steam and we were all concerned about the Blur/Oasis battle, meanwhile in the wings Snap! were producing a lot of dance hits. More than I realised in fact.

Meanwhile back in the 21st century and they've still got it, working the crowd well and putting on a superb show. I'm struck by the professionalism of many of the older bands during the weekend. The difference between your standard four-lads-on-guitars fare at a local gig  and people who have been doing it for years and know how to put on a show is striking.

We go for a long wander round the site, get food and beer and I mistime it so I'm too late to run down to the press tent to cover The Jacksons. That having been said I'm not that bothered to be fair. Instead we happen upon Will Varley on one of the smaller stages around the site. I've seen Will before, possibly at Larmer Tree one year so I know he's good fun and we sit and enjoy his whole set, probably much more than I would have enjoyed The Jacksons who are booming out on the main stage through the trees.

Back to the press tent to queue for Missy Elliot and it's clear that a lot of the bigger boys have got everything they need as they've gone already. Which is nice because it means I can get near a power point to charge my phone.

Elliot isn't my thing but I wanted to shoot her anyway and it was worth hanging around for that as it gave me a chance to test my ladder theory. Higher stages often mean that photographers take in ladders so they can be closer to eye level with the performer. My theory is that this restricts their movement and I watch out of the corner of my eye as several set up their ladders right in the middle of the pit and don't move at all. Meanwhile on stage Missy is all over the place but mainly at the corners!

Down below I'm working hard to find different angles and approaches to get over the height difference and on balance I think it worked well. Later,back at the Invaders stage we take in an excellent Ratboy and To Kill a King to round off a chilled day.

The next day we wake to the sound of rain and strong winds. As we collect our gear together we see just what a disgusting species we are with the detritus of a festival littering what is a really picturesque location. As I trudge through thick mud back to the car I'm struck by just how much crap we produce and how difficult people seem to find it to clean up after themselves.

That having been said I get chatting with the tent search team who are going through the site spotting good quality unbroken tents to donate to the refugees in Europe and Middle East. Bestival have arranged cages where you can donate your tent to help and I'm heartened to see so many tents going in. Sure some will be there because their owners can't be arsed to carry them back to the car but I prefer to think that many gave their stuff to try and make a little tiny bit of a difference for one family that they will never meet, who are in need somewhere else in the world.

In summary - We enjoyed Bestival. We found loads of new bands we'd not seen before and it was worth it for that, The dance stuff? Meh. Talking with people more into that afterwards they thought it was a brilliant time too - so all good.

I'm going to take a minute to pay tribute to the awesome PR team from Getinvolved. These guys have put up with me for the whole festival season, answering stupid questions, helping find my lost hat at Camp Bestival (thanks Aidan) and generally being helpful and supportive when were all a little tired and emotional. Shoutouts to Stevie, Aidan, Chloe, Molly, Charli and Bruce. You guys rock.

Thanks to Rob Da Bank for the invite too!


Andrea Triana at Bestival 2015
BBK at Bestival 2015
Snap at Bestival 2015
Carnival at Bestival 2015
Will Varley at Bestival 2015
Missy Elliot at Bestival 2015

The Gallery

A few of the least worst pics from Bestival

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