Bestival has been running on the Isle of Wight since 2004 and this year, taking place at Robin Hill park, saw ticket sales of over 50,000... that's like almost half the population of the entire island. Spanning 4 days with an eclectic line-up of artists from the Flaming Lips to Dizzee Rascal to Mumford & Sons, it was the perfect chance for me to come over and "VS." the island for the first time. My only point of reference of the Isle of Wight was my childhood pen pal who lived here and wrote to me that parts of the island was sinking into the water. I thought that was super rad back then, and let's be honest, I'm still intrigued by the fact today.
For my first Bestival day (which was technically Day 2 of the fest), I met fellow Vancouverites Amber and Steve from Black Mountain at the East Cowes ferry docks and we drove to Dimbola Lodge in West Isle. It's a bit of a trek, but damn, is it worth it.
As soon as we got out of the van, we were met by photographer Charles Everest in the parking lot. Everest has a photo exhibit of candid images captured from the Isle of Wight festival in the 70s, including the very last photo ever taken of Jimi Hendrix. Who knew that this existed in a far off lodge on an island in the South of England? We felt like we had stumbled upon a huge secret and became deliriously in awe.
I'm always impressed by festival goers in the UK and their ability to love and embrace the enormous amount of mud. Take the picture below, this girl couldn't care less about spending the rest of the weekend barefoot in the mud. For me? My worst nightmare.
I, on the other hand, clinged tightly to my wellies all weekend.
Saturday night at Bestival was closed by Hot Chip on the mainstage who thanked everyone for coming out to the last of the summer festivals. Hot Chip never cease to amaze me live- they always put on an energetic set full of positive vibes. A great night to top off my first Bestival experience.