Bestival prepares for blast off as things get futuristic on the Isle of Wight

Missy Elliott headlining last year's Bestival Picture: Jason Kay
Missy Elliott headlining last year's Bestival Picture: Jason Kay
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Beachbuggin on Southsea Common. Picture: Allan Hutchings

Organisers of Southsea BeachBuggin’ hope to resurrect event

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FESTIVAL-goers bounce in to the future from tonight, when this year’s Bestival gets under way on the Isle of Wight.

The event, which attracts a crowd of 40,000 to Robin Hill Country Park in the heart of the island, adopts a different theme each year, with punters being invited to embrace the future for this year’s revelry.

Electronic act Hot Chip kick things off tonight in the big top, before the rest of the site opens tomorrow with sets from Major Lazer, The Cure, Wiz Khalifa and hundreds more.

And the dance arena is reflecting the theme as it changes from the long-standing nautical Port, to the Space Port, which will feature superstar DJs like Carl Cox and Fatboy Slim performing from a seven-storey shuttle flanked by a pair of 12ft astronauts.

Festival organiser Rob Da Bank, who is originally from Warsash, said: ‘We like to keep things changing – and there are quite a lot of changes this year. It keeps us on our toes and we like to keep our loyal customers on their toes too.

‘With the theme being the future this year, the space port seemed like a good stage to make that real and it’s looking really good – the shuttle is a big old beast.’

We are just creating a big fantastic wonderland. We don’t try to top the last year as such, we just try to create the best experience possible for everyone

Aside from the music, there will also be the chance to leap on the world’s biggest bouncy castle, which made its debut at the Common People festival in Southampton – also hosted by Rob – earlier this year.

‘We are creating a big fantastic wonderland,’ added Rob.

‘We do what we do – we don’t try to top the last year as such, we just try to create the best experience possible for everyone. The name of the game at Bestival is to have great fun. It’s not about being po-faced.’

And he revealed that The Cure asked to return after enjoying their epic two-and-a-half hour headline set so much in 2011.

‘(Cure frontman) Robert Smith got in touch and said he really wanted to come back, and did we have space? They’re one of my favourite ever bands so I wasn’t about to refuse a request like that.’

n See tomorrow’s WOW247 for interviews with some of the stars from this year’s line-up and a guide to who’s on, when.