DJ Rob da Bank’s eclectic festival on the first weekend of September fills the sedate Isle of Wight with love, bright colours and grown-ups in fancy dress pretending they’ve never grown up.
Whether we have an ace summer or no summer at all (we’re going to go out on a limb here and suggest it’ll be the latter), see it out with Bestival – which turns the quiet Isle of Wight into a riot of colour and noise on the first weekend of September.
It’s an eclectic and downright demented feast for festivalheads, from regulation big stages in the Stardust Field to spoken word, theatre and comedy in the Ambient Forest, and the usual bizarre assortment of acrobatics, carnival parades and lunatics on stilts (Grassy Hill). There’s even the Port, a landlocked harbour where lazers, fireworks and beats fire out of HMS Bestival. The music runs the gamut from EDM and dubstep to indie and gypsy punk.
But what really defines Bestival, as much as the music, whimsy and culture, is the people who go, and who keep coming back year after year. It has a well-deserved reputation as one of the friendlier and more inclusive festivals in the country, with an annual fancy dress theme that everyone gets involved in, the option to glamp rather than camp in the Wild Copse, and whole areas devoted to learning about science and astronomy (Tomorrow’s World). Who ever said all you came back with from a festival was a sore head and a few extra kilos of mud?
The clue’s in the name – like most islands, the Isle of Wight is, believe it or not, separated from the mainland by water – which you’ll have to get across. Do yourself a favour and book a ferry ticket there and back as soon as possible to avoid a lengthy wait at both ends of the festival.
How do I get there?
Ferry: The Isle of Wight is a short ferry ride from Southampton, Portsmouth or Lymington and really couldn’t be easier to get to – the ferry ports all connect easily with road, coach and rail. Make sure you pre-book your ferry travel for Bestival 2015 as soon as possible.
Using the Shuttle Buses (on the Isle of Wight) - Bestival will be operating a dedicated shuttle bus service to make it as easy and hassle free as possible for you to get to Bestival and back again. View the schedule here.
The Big Green Coach - Take the bus directly to Bestival. Starting at £64 All of the coaches actually travel on the ferry itself and drop you off at the Bestival site!
Travelling by Train: South West Trains operate services to the following stations: Portsmouth Harbour Station – where you will be metres away from the Wightlink ‘Catamaran’ service to Ryde Pier Head. Portsmouth & Southsea Station – where the Hoverbus service collects every 30 minutes at 11 & 41 minutes past the hour (from Commercial Road Bus Stop C) and takes you directly to the Southsea Hovertravel Terminal in approximately 7 minutes, for the trip to Ryde. Lymington Pier Station – where the train takes you directly to the Wightlink Ferry service to Yarmouth.
Travelling by Car: Once on the island, please follow these directions from the ferry ports to the Bestival site and car parks: The postcode for SatNav users is PO33 4DF.
- From East Cowes ferry: Take second exit at roundabout onto A3021. At next roundabout take the 1st exit onto A3054 (signposted Ryde). Turn right onto Park Road (signposted Sandown, A3056). At mini-roundabout bear right onto Briddlesford Road (signposted Sandown). Go straight over next roundabout onto Downend Road (signposted Arreton / Sandown). Follow Bestival event signage. - From Fishbourne ferry: Travel up B3731 (Fishbourne Lane). Turn left onto the A3054 (signposted Ryde). Follow Bestival event signage. (please do not follow Sat Nav directions)
Travelling by Bus: Southern Vectis will operate a shuttle bus between Newport and Bestival every 10 minutes between 08:00 and 19:00, followed by an hourly service between 19:00 & midnight on Friday and Saturday and 19:00 & 23:00 on Thursday and Sunday. On Monday they will operate every 10 minutes between 07:00 and 13:00.
Adult Ticket with entry from Thursday 4th September - £195
Student Ticket with entry from Thursday 4th September - £180 (For full-time students only. Valid NUS or ISIC ID required at the box office. No other student ID accepted)
Teen (age 13-17) Ticket with entry from Thursday 4th September - £127
Child (age 12 & under) Ticket - Free (but you must obtain a ticket)
When can I get them?
Tickets on sale now
Where can I get them?
You can buy tickets via Festicket.