Friday marked the first full day of Bestival, the sun was blazing down as thousands of revellers flocked down to the scenic surroundings of Lulworth Estate for the festival.
The early sets saw a slightly subdued atmosphere as many attendees hunkered down away from the sunlight in any shade they could find. They were soon rushing to the main stage however for a church service with a difference when Pastor Alabama Jackson and his collective The Hail Mary’s brought a helping of smut and comedy, featuring twists on classic songs, they certainly started the party.
This Is The Kit once again put on a spellbinding set which chilled out the sweltering crowd. Just like last year when we saw her at Haven she put on a captivating display full of skill and artistry with her songwriting and folk melodies. Rising stars, pop-punk four pieces The Big Moon made use of their MainStage set to deliver a career-defining performance with ‘Cupid’ being an unsurprising highlight, it’s 'woo’s' and infectious chorus echoing across the Estate. They managed to thrill the entire crowd and get all ages singing when they burst into an electric and emphatic cover of ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’.
Confusion with set times at The Big Top meant a very shortened set by Not3s which fell well below standards, a mere 15 minutes long featuring abridged versions of songs did little to thrill. The Comedy Tent meanwhile was overflowing with capacity as people flooded into the sweaty and hot surroundings to participate in a humorous and energetic game of Musical Bingo which saw contestants flossing and partying onstage.
Back in the Big Top, Mabel, one of Britains most promising popstars rammed the circus tent to capacity with an emphatic performance which took fans and attendees through a brisk look at her career featuring break out tracks from her EP such as ‘Finders Keepers’ and debut single ‘Know Me Better’, highlights included ‘Fine Line’ and ‘My Lover’. Slightly disappointing was a lack of surprise guests who were all on earlier in the Big Top such as Kojo Funds and Not3s, not to mention how one of the most hotly anticipated sets didn't receive at least 45 minutes is beyond me.
Afterwards, a mad rush to the Castle Stage to catch an exciting dance finale, a one-two of some of the hottest DJ’s and producers on the scene, starting with Mura Masa who’s set proved why he’s become such an influential artist over the past year. Concluding with a finale from Silk City, a Bestival exclusive live collaboration between Diplo and Mark Ronson. Featuring a collection of their brand new tracks ‘Only Can Get Better’ mixed in with house classics and chart staple hits such as Dua Lipa’s ‘New Rules’ and Cardi B’s ‘Bodak Yellow’ unfortunately the chart segments were too brief, usually only around 30 seconds to a minute and a lack of special guests meant the set didn’t feel like a true DJ headliner. It was a certainly promising start for the pair and kudos for Bestival for getting a very different headliner, unfortunately, it wasn’t quite the spectacle we were hoping for
Bestival continues today with sets from First Aid Kit, Grace Jones and a headline performance from London Grammar.