14 September 2010

Bestival 2010

I just got back from Bestival on the Isle of Wight. It's a nice wee festival with some great bands playing in a pretty valley, and thankfully the rain held off (mostly). Unfortunately, there was one major problem - the audience. 95% of the crowd was made up of middle-class, white, trust-fund hipsters who came from either East London or Brighton. I know this because we were working gathering names for a good cause.

For a festival that's all about dressing up and acting like a freak for a few days, there was a surprising lack of communal atmosphere. In fact, any kind of "this is a special moment" atmosphere at all.

Where were the older folks? Where were the scallies? The Northerners? The people of colour? The trannies (Giles, wearing a dress on the Saturday doesn't count)? I know there's nothing the organisers can do about it, but now I have been I have no major desire to return and have to mingle with lots of pampered, privileged kids who have never been to festival before. People like this:


1) Don't wear your "loik totally wacky" (and very large) hat into a crowd who are trying to watch a band. Obstruction of view will cause permanent wacky hat removal.

2) If leading a conga line of people through a large tent which is rammed shoulder to shoulder with folk, DON'T be Facebooking on iPhone at the same time. It's not about the danger of injury - it's about not looking like a twat.

3) Don't speak on your iPhone ALL THE WAY THROUGH a set by a legendary 70's glam-pop/art-rock band and then heckle them with shouts of "Oh hurry up and play Virginia Plain! We're waiting for the Flaming Lips". If Wayne Coyne heard you say that he would punch you in the face.

4) Don't sit on the ground while in the middle of the mosh pit, or anywhere within the vacinity of the first 150 rows of people. If you get trodden on, it's your own fault!

5) The point of a mosh pit is to, yes, mosh, but also to look out for your fellow moshers and PICK THEM UP if they fall over. Also, you can expect to get your clothes and hair dirty at an outdoor festival, so shut up and stop moaning about it.

6) Go to T In The Park and THEN tell us Bestival isn't a very posh festival. You'd be lucky to come out of Scotland with your teeth/hair/glasses/trainers/iPhones/Macbooks/dignity/horsey accents intact.

7) Don't be called Tarquin/Imogen/Pheobe/Tamsin/Jeremy.

8) Don't be a Tory.


  1. ...and breeeeeeathe.

    Good rant, dude.

  2. You know, I'd heard good things about Bestival, as I'm sure you had. Now I'm wondering if those people are more tolerant than you and I, or if perhaps they've been ledges all along without me noticing...

  3. Yeah, I had high hopes for it too, and to be fair its not all bad. The music is great and the site is nice. But it's NOT Glastonbury, no matter how hard the organisers try. Then again I haven't been to Glasto in ten years, so maybe it too has changed its vibe. I just felt like if it got cancelled next year the crowd would just shrug its shoulders and say "oh well".

  4. I'm from Edinburgh and actually went to T in the Park and Bestival. All these posh Southerners littering Cowes with takeaways and broken bottles on the way there suprised me, more was to follow... The promoters basically lie in their marketing,saying it's an eco friendly hippyish festival. It was 80% 18yr old selfish 'Yahs' who just left all their shite lying about without using a bin. The queue jumping got on my tits too, I actually pulled someone up and she was indignant that she had done nothing wrong rather than get embarrassed or apologise.My pal had been the previous 3 years but said it had changed dramatically. Weirdly enough T in the Park was more eco friendly and people actually cleaned their shit up after them, true a lot of people have tattoos/scars/dents on their head but it was never an issue, everyone was there having fun.
    I've never disliked posh, southern fucks so much in my life.