Bestival winds up festival season

Notable visitors to the Isle of Wight over the centuries have included Victorian holiday makers, coming to take the waters, and serial killers, locked away in category A prisons.

In our era, 50,000 people descend on the small island for Bestival, a kooky festival that has become a ritualistic bookend for the season.

This year, a sporadically sunny one, Bjork, Brian Wilson and the Cure headlined Radio 1 DJ Rob da Bank’s extravaganza, with Primal Scream notably playing their entire 1991 album Screamadelica in the Big Top, and recent Mercury Prize winner PJ Harvey performing resplendent in a black feathered headdress on the main stage.

With the revival of the Isle of Wight Festival at the beginning of the summer, the island now marks the start and end of the major festival season, with Bestival, now in its eighth year, proving its portmanteau through the electricity of many of its performances, the acts giving their last hurrah after months of touring.

Rob da Bank’s event is also known for its laid-back charm and its variety of entertainment, including a perilous roller disco and mini golf. Village People, arguably pop’s fanciest of dressers, judged the annual fancy-dress contest after their afternoon main stage appearance, but among the Beatles, the Doors and more than one Village person, festival-goers dressed like Daft Punk won Bestival tickets for life.

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