While tucking into my breakfast in the press tent I was listening to Missy Elliott‘s team soundchecking, or what I thought was soundchecking. Closer inspection revealed that Missy was there herself and it was a rehearsal with DJ, backing vocals and dancers. As the Main Stage was closed to festival goers there was only a privileged few who were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of her show later on that evening and I was one of them. This was easily the coolest thing that has happened to me over the weekend.
Local boys Kassassin Street opened the Big Top and it was great to see them draw in a big crowd on such a large stage and it was also nice to see plenty of Portsmouth locals in the crowd. The boys didn’t disappoint and put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen them play. Rowan and the boys looked at home on the bigger stage and tracks such as ‘Centre Straight Atom’ went down a storm! Afterwards just outside of the Big Top were Portsmouth’s Samba Reggae drumming band Batala who were doing their thing and as ever wherever they went a large crowd quickly gathered.
For Portsmouth the biggest performance of the weekend was by Huw Olesker aka Rex Domino who was on the Main Stage as part of DJ Yoda’s Breakfast Of Champions. It was great to see my friend performing on the Main Stage and being involved in one of the best performances of the festival. As they took to the stage the grey clouds were hanging over Robin Hill Country Park but as the band performed the sunshine soon followed. The collective that is the Breakfast of Champions features eleven of Britain’s finest MCs and musicians. It was great to see all of them having such a great time on stage. They all performed with huge smiles on their faces and that transmitted to the crowd who were also loving it.
The afternoon continued with a customary hog roast but musically I was treated to the awesome Andreya Triana and Låpsley in the Big Top. Then we met the boys from Kassassin Street and prepared for the legends that are the mighty Jacksons.
After being greeted by a short intro on the big screens the foursome came out and went straight into some of their biggest hits, however just as the crowd were getting into the groove the band left the stage and the big screens showed a short documentary about their early years as a group. We were in a good spot you couldn’t hear a great deal of it as most of the crowd around me were having their own conversations. They’d already played my favourites ‘I Want You Back’ and ‘ABC’ so we decided to leave because I hate to say it, we were bored and they still had well over an hour left on stage.
I took a few friends over to check out another group of siblings Kitty, Daisy and Lewis in the Big Top. I’ve been listening to the awesome Kitty, Daisy and Lewis for years but to my shame for one reason or another I’ve not been able to catch them live and shame on me because they were brilliant! After the first track the trio all switched instruments and did the same yet again for the following track, they are one talented bunch! You can catch them in the Wedgewood Rooms in February and you can find more at here.
We then joined the massive crowd that was beginning to gather at the Main Stage for Missy Elliott. She was impressive earlier in the morning but the full show took it to another level. It reminded my of teenage years as I was really into the RnB back then. I think I even bought a few of Missy’s CD singles from Our Price in Fareham, that tells you how long ago that was. Missy played a selection of her biggest tracks which had the crowd cheering and paying no attention to the oncoming rain.
After the impressive fireworks I jumped in the car and caught a late ferry home. As much I would have loved to have caught Mark Ronson’s DJ set in the Port I didn’t fancy getting caught in the rain storm that was predicted until the early hours of the morning. I made the right decision as it felt great to have a shower, be in my own bed again and get a proper nights sleep.
Every year I worry Bestival will to get too big, or that I get the feeling that it isn’t what it used to be and perhaps I’ve outgrown it. Every year I’m delighted to be proved wrong! The festival itself was near perfect and the attention to detail by Rob Da Bank and his team is incredible. Before I bang on any longer though I just want to say thank you to everyone who made it an amazing weekend for me and a special thank you to Stevie and Molly from the Get Involved team for hosting us and we hope to see you next year. I’ve already booked the time off work.
2016 early bird tickets are now available with a 34 week payment plan of just £5 per week. You can get your early bird tickets here – www.bestival.net/tickets