No one does music festivals quite like the United Kingdom. From Glastonbury to T In The Park, they know how to throw a big musical party. But one that really stands out is Bestival. Lucky for us in the 6 (ahem Toronto) Bestival is coming to Toronto Island on June 12 & 13. Oh wait! That is today and tomorrow. And we will be there!
This festival is a completely immersive carnival experience. The fest boasts an incredible line-up featuring Florence + The Machine, Nas, Jamie XX and Owen Pallett. Plus, they encourage everyone to dress up turning the whole weekend into a giant costume party. There will also be flash mobs, a Bollywood Temple, and a costume pop-up shop. How will you even have time to see the musical performers?
Check out our guide to Day 1 before you head to the festival this afternoon.
Who You Should See:
Although there is sooo much to do at Bestival (see below) music is still very much the focus. The line-up for the first year of the fest in Toronto is stacked and pretty diverse. We are still figuring out our game plan for day 1. You’ve got Wavves. You’ve got Flosstradamus. You’ve got Subtrkt. But if you need a a few key sets to build you schedule around, we have three suggestions.
This Brampton gal is one to watch. Her beautiful song “Here” is a very strong contender for song of the summer. We always have it blasted in the Much office. It is sleepy, groovy and we can never resist a good Portishead sample. You can catch her early today at 5:45 on the Main Stage. Her set is short through, a mere 15 minutes, so don’t dilly dally. You will want to see her from the very first note.
Jamie xx has been a favourite among fans with every kind of music taste. Like indie music? You like Jamie xx. You like hip-hop? You like Jamie xx. You like EDM? You like Jamie xx. You like pop? You like Jamie xx. His new album has solidified his fan base and has definitely gained him new fans. We get asked “Have you heard the new Jamie xx?”on a daily basis. You can see him today at 4:15 on the Bollywood stage.
Florence + The Machine:
If you have never seen Florence + The Machine, A) what is wrong with you? and B) now is the time. You don’t even have to be a fan of them (again what is wrong with you?) to love their live show. Florence is such an animated and engaging performer. We also cannot wait to see what she is wearing. We already know their new album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful off by heart and are very ready to sing along. You can check them out today at 9:40 on the Main Stage to close out the night.
What You Should Bring:
A COSTUME, DUH! One of the things that makes Bestival unique is that it is basically a giant dress-up party. The bands get in on it too. In the past, Mumford & Sons has dressed up as Musketeers. Sure, you don’t have to go HAM on a dragon get-up. But, this is the chance to break out your wackiest accessories and gaudiest make-up.
Also, today especially, bring a rain poncho! It is set to be a wet one. Sure you can use your umbrella occasionally but no one likes the jerk who is blocking the stage with their umbrella and pouring water down the back. Plus, you want your phones and cameras protected from the water.
And, we shouldn’t have to tell you this, but just because there is water falling from the sky doesn’t mean you don’t have to hydrate. How much would it suck if you can’t enjoy the festival because of dehydration? A LOT. Bestival allows empty water bottles, including reusable and disposable water bottles up to 20oz.
But, there is A LOT of stuff that you can’t bring. Check out the list of Bestival restricted items here.
What You Should Do:
Like we said above, there is so much to do that you may be fighting to squeeze in all of the amazing musical performers. From Day of the Dead Bingo to Bubble Battle Flash Mobs, you will not get bored.
The Bestival Inflatable Church has because a really big deal at the festival in the U.K. People, actually get married there. We don’t know if anyone is going to sign any official papers today but you can at least play house and get married to your friend or loved one in a less binding way.
Want to decompress midday? Head over to the beach for beach meditation or to the wellness tent for a holistic massage or beauty service.
Also, we can’t forget the food. We’re hungry already. We don’t know about you but we have our eye on Portobello Burger for lunch, Philips Ice Pops for an afternoon snack, Rock Lobster for dinner and maybe some Tiny Tom donuts to end the night. And that is just for today.