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mo' fidelity | November 15, 2018

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Bestival 2015: The Big Recap

bestival 2015 summer of love isle of wight
Raya Raycheva

Hello and welcome to Bestival 2015 – four days and nights of music, dancing, lovey, quirky stuff, porta potties, leaking tents and absolutely no consumption of any illegal substances whatsoever by anyone ever.

No good photos this year as I didn’t have anyone to borrow a camera from but at least I’m not going to have enough material to stretch it out into a bazillion posts again. Let’s get straight to the point, ja?



With dozens of things happening at the same time, at all times, it’s easy to feel a bit disoriented. But with a helpful app in hand and the experience of attending in 2014, we were significantly less affected by a compulsive case of FOMO and could enjoy the things we saw without constant fidgeting and running from stage to stage. You can’t see everything you want to see at an enormous festival. #RayasLifeLessons With that in mind, we saw a range of old and new favourites, as well as some acts we weren’t that familiar with. And because this year’s theme was Summer of Love it felt fitting to chill the fuck out and take an afternoon nap if needed. On to the best bits! George The Poet is definitely someone you need to acquaint yourselves with ASAP if you haven’t already. The kind of politically and socially charged lyricism that restores your faith in our self-obsessed generation. Yeah, I said it. Whatever. You know it’s true. Flying Lotus is a true musical visionary but we all know that by now. What I didn’t quite understand was the decision to have him play the Main Stage right before Duran Duran. Really? As much as I love FlyLo and think of him as deserving of ALL of the recognition, I can’t see someone as, well, unusual as him fit in with the concept of a Main Stage of a sorta mainstream major festival. Especially not before Duran Duran. We’ve heard so much about Young Fathers this year that I was feeling a bit embarrassed not to have given them much attention and putting them on the list of Acts I Totally Need To Check Out Like Tomorrow When I Have Some Time. What better time than getting to know them live? And oh my god! Let’s just say that it’s been a while since the question ‘What kind of music does that band make?’ has left me blindsided. I’m listening to their recordings right now but experiencing the raw energy and almost animalistic emotion the Scottish trio exude on stage is something else entirely! Amazing!

bestival 2015 sign summer of love isle of wight rob da bank

Image: Bestival Facebook Page

Kiko Bun took the Invaders of the Future stage on Saturday and provided a much needed dose of extra pure positive vibrations. Loved his performance, his music, his band and his all-around cheekyness. Last year I remember seeing Kate Tempest’s name on the line-up for one of the much smaller stages so it was interesting to see her on the Main Stage in 2015. Continuing the politically and socially charged theme was a welcome refuge from walking through fields of laughing gas canisters and copious amounts of glitter. In my last post I mentioned potentially writing a little opinion piece on dance music festivals and I still intend to do that, provided I have some free time in the future, so I’m not going to go into detail on why I didn’t really purposefully venture to any DJ sets. However, randomly stumbling onto Tom Demac‘s set at the Temple Island stage was an unexpected treat. With an imaginative selection and a serious yet fun way of putting it all together, Tom Demac gets gold stars all around. Everybody loves Todd Terje. Fact. I saw the Nordic cosmic disco king last year at XOYO‘s Second Birthday party which I wrote about on and the link to which is now dead so there goes my portfolio – woohoo! But I digress. Todd Terje is always a must-see but in this case he was overlapping with another must-see that we might never have the chance to see live again…


Missy Elliot is such a badass it’s unreal. Totally worth standing the rain (*badum tish*)! You don’t even realize the amount and the total cult status of the absolutely massive tunes that woman has made until she herself spits them out one right after the other, sick dancers included. MISSY GO!  



Hey, remember how one of the main principals of this blog was going to be highlighting the positive and leaving the negative to exist in its own sphere outside of this space? Yeah, well, I haven’t been on here in almost half a year and a lot of things have changed about me as a person.The number of fucks I have been unable to give has increased dramatically. So here it goes…

It’s not that Tame Impala aren’t good live – on the contrary, they’re great. It just turned out that it’s one of those instances where I’d rather listen to them lying around at home, spliff in hand, rather than standing up, in a crowd with hundreds of others.

And it’s not that I expected to love FKA Twigs live – I didn’t because I could never really imagine how her music could successfully translate on stage. But it turns out it’s much more non-translatable than I thought. If I remember correctly, the next day I described it to someone as one of those uber fancy recipes that have you googling only the hardest to find ingredients and then you cook it and you realize that it doesn’t have basic things like salt. Very art school confidential but doesn’t really draw you in.

And now for the biggest let down – shockingly enough, The Chemical Brothers. My expectations for their headlining Saturday slot were beyond this world. Before you blame me for asking for too much, please find the Brothers’ Glastonbury set (it used to be on the BBC website but it’s no longer there so do some digging). Thousands and thousands of people were cramming in front of the Main Stage expecting something similar – expecting to have their heads blown off, expecting some seriously trippy shit. Instead we got meh. Seriously. Did they hang out with FKA Twigs or something? I don’t understand.

As I pointed out to the wife during The Chemical Brothers‘ set: ‘I can’t believe I’m gonna say this but just play the hits, man!’

bestival 2015 the chemical brothers summer of love isle of wight rob da bank

Image: Bestival Facebook Page


I mean, yeah, we’re technically all here for the music but what I’ve come to love most about Bestival is all the non-music stuff. It has personality, it has a spirit and, as I previously mentioned, experiencing all of the music that you’d ideally want to listen to is impossible, especially if you want to have a good time.

We particularly loved the Love Robot (I just named it that way, I don’t know what it’s called) – an extra cute installation that responded to the actions of the people standing in front of it. We did a lot of hugging and kissing in front of it. A good excuse for a healthy dose of exhibitionism? Mmmmaybe.

Love robot bestival 2015 summer of love rob da bank isle of wight

Image: Wifey

We loved chilling out at the Amphitheater in the Ambient Forest last year and we returned again this weekend for another installment of Shit-faced Shakespeare and a whole load of Lolz with sketch comedy trio BEASTS.

The Blind Tiger was a little speakeasy tucked away in the forest, hiding a grand piano and a cocktail bar. Thoroughly enjoyable! Especially because it seemed to shoo away teenagers like some sort of genius idiot repellent. Really, a group of moron kids went in and out in a matter of 20 seconds, one of them proclaiming in disgust ‘Ugh, it’s like jazz or something’. Ugh, you’re like an embryo or something. Go shuffle in your mum’s womb. Grrr.

bestival 2015 isle of wight summer of love blind tiger speakeasy ambient forest rob da bankbestival 2015 isle of wight summer of love blind tiger speakeasy ambient forest rob da bank

There were llamas (or alpacas?) and owls! WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED IN LIFE? We also got two Carnivals this year – an evening and a day one – and they were both on point.

Sunday morning got us jumping around with Heartcore at The Commune. ‘Damn hippies!’ (points for guessing the film reference)

AND OH MY GOD THE CHILDREN’S AREA IS ALWAYS THE BEST! I mean, yeah, we don’t have kids yet but technically wifey and I are a family unit so we felt totally allowed to play around.

bestival 2015 isle of wight summer of love rob da bank kids area

Me, playing the part of an especially well-adjusted adult who hasn’t showered in days.


I’m sure there’s heaps more but that’s all I got time for now. Bestival, you were funsies!

Love Robot, we miss you!

A photo posted by Bestival (@bestival) on

Now follow me on Twitter at @rayaiam

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