You know what it’s like; go to a party, have a few drinks, meet a guy, find out he’s got a spare Bestival ticket, empty your bank account into his pocket, then a week later find yourself crossing the Solent waters from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight together.
Well I do, and something else I forgot to add is that I actually got fired from my job at the time because they wouldn’t give me the time off. It was a temp job and I’d only worked there a week or two, but I feel it adds to the tale.
Transport to Bestival
I arrived on the Thursday. The train station at Portsmouth was a bit of a mare and we had to queue for about two hours to get on the ferry. This made the time we booked completely irrelevant, so don’t worry about that when it comes to booking your ferry from Portsmouth to Cowes.
Once we got on the ferry it took an hour to get across. We disembarked to insanity – the queue for the bus was around THREE hours. This put a bit of a downer on the journey, but we were soon Bestival bound on the bus. I’m assured this has been sorted since I went, but prepare for a long wait just in case.
Avoid standing in the queues with all your stuff at Bestival by booking a campervan with Goboony. They have loads to choose from, from iconic VWs to the latest models. Have a look!
What can you take into Bestival?
We saw lots of people getting busted for drugs. The dogs looked vicious, as did the policemen, so don’t bother taking them in unless they’re really well hidden. You can take as much booze in as possible, but remember there are big hills down into Robin Hill Country Park so if you can, bring a festival trolley and strap them in.
The food stalls at Bestival are some of the tastiest. It’s not your generic crappy burgers here, but well-made street food from some of the best names in the business. Although if you take your own food in you can save a lot of money.
As usual with camping at festivals I’d recommend taking a lilo and clothes for every weather. When I went to Bestival it was really hot in the day, but come night-time it was freezing cold when it came to sleeping. Then I’d wake up sweltering under the hot September sun in the morning.
Fancy Dress at Bestival
Whatever you’ve got, make it better. People go all out at Bestival – I’m not actually too sure how they manage to carry it all. Seeing as I’d only bought my ticket a few days before I ended up going as a pirate: boring. This year’s theme is: Wildlife. I’m thinking squirrels, spiders and lions – I’m sure you’re thinking something better.
Check out some of the better Bestival costumes…
I can’t even tell you how good the line up looks for 2012. Check it out and believe your eyes. If I hadn’t already booked onto TBU in Porto, I’d be there like a shot. The XX, Stevie Wonder, Florence + The Machine, SUBTRKT= immense. Bestival is a great sized festival. There is absolutely no way you would run out of things to see and do, yet it’s not as crazy big as a festival like Glastonbury.
As well as loads of music stages to entertain, there’s also other areas where you can make the most of the dressing up boxes, the comedians, the cabaret and the cinema. There’s also bingo, magic and art areas too, and an area called Breastival for anyone needing to feed their babies, and an inflatable church that you can *actually* get married in.
If I was to give you one piece of Bestival advice it would be to just go. Amazingly, there are still tickets left at Ticketmaster, but I can’t imagine they’ll be around for long. There’s a great atmosphere at Bestival: no attitude and everyone is there for a good time. In 2012 it’s on from 5th September to the 9th.
As for me and the boy, it was a brilliant weekend…. but we never saw each other again (sorry!).
Sunday 16th of November 2014
Hey Pete, I've not been to Secret Garden Party yet, but it's definitely on the cards for next year! I will let you know as I'm planning on Bestival too – see what happens :)
Wednesday 3rd of September 2014
Ahh, I was going to book tickets to this but didn't have enough money. It looks amazing! I love how they do so much fancy dress every year. I think next year it's a toss up between Bestival and Secret Garden Party - which one would you recommend?