One of the highlights of the UK’s festival season, Bestival is, as its name suggests, self-assured after years of hugely popular events. Bringing massive artists to the party year on year out, Bestival managed to attract masses to the Isle of Wight and then keep them as it moved to its current home of Lulworth Castle. This year hosting The xx, Pet Shop Boys, Justice and a whole host of other big name acts, Bestival serves up the goods again when it gets underway on Thursday 7th September, so we thought it made sense to choose five of our must-see acts. Here’s what we came up with.
A Tribe Called Quest
All great things must come to an end, and it looks like that’s the case with A Tribe Called Quest; Bestival may well be the last time they ever perform together as a group. Set to break up over a year after the death of late member Phife Dawg, Tribe’s Q-Tip announced that a recent show in New York would be their last in the city, and with the imminent conclusion of a key chapter in hip-hop history, Tribe are an absolute must-see for anyone who’s going to Bestival this year.
Swedish electropop outfit Little Dragon know their way around a festival stage, expertly navigating each one they face with dancefloor beats, intriguing eccentricity and a spectacular visual performance. A perfect example of live electronic music done right, they’re both captivating and infectiously dancey.
You can go a long way with a beautiful voice alone, but Laura Mvula’s bow contains plenty more strings than that. A creative and extremely talented songwriter, her talent for drawing together poignant lyrics and emotive instrumentals made her Mercury-nominated album The Dreaming Room one of 2016’s best, and she’s just as spellbinding live as she is on record.
Brighton label Mr Bongo are devoted to digging up the best jazz, funk, soul and disco records from around the world, with a special focus on music uncovered in Brazil and various African countries. Dancing between beautiful jazz melodies and irresistible funk grooves, their parties are some of the best in the UK, so you can expect to hear lots of unknown wonders when they play at Bestival.
There are plenty of artists flying the flag for hip-hop this year, and the charismatic Danny Brown is among their number. The Detroit rapper has proven popular through his distinctive style and complex character, cutting lines between youthful crudeness and the disarming despair of a man weary from years in the music industry, switching voices with an almost bipolar ease. Likely to deliver a fiery performance at Lulworth Castle, he’ll bring plenty of energy to the main stage.
Bestival runs at Lulworth Castle in East Lulworth from Thursday 7th to Monday 11th September, bringing Dizzee Rascal, Wiley, Rag’N’Bone Man and more alongside our five top picks.
Photo courtesy of Victor Frankowski