DETERMINED festival-goers will be heading to the Isle of Wight today in their thousands in a bid to make the most of the end of the summer at Bestival.
Up to 50,000 revellers are expected to attend the four-day festival which kicks off today, and will feature headliners such as Underworld tonight, ’80s titans Duran Duran, and superstar DJs The Chemical Brothers before rap diva Missy Elliott closes proceedings on Sunday.
As with every year, many will take part in Saturday’s fancy dress parade, with this year taking the theme The Summer of Love.
Festival mainman Rob Da Bank said: ‘It’s been beautiful for the last week here. The site’s looking very verdant and green, and everything’s going up very quickly – so far, so good, it’s all coming together as it should.’
He was also excited about the weekend’s star turns: ‘We’re really chuffed about getting Missy Elliott. She’s got quite a few tricks up her sleeve as anyone who say her Superbowl half-time show will know – it’s a real razzle-dazzle show.
‘And we also have Duran Duran for the slightly older crowd. They’re probably the announcement that’s gone down best of all. They’re still a hot group – it should be a great Friday night.
‘The Chemical Brothers’ new album is incredible as well, and although we were dancing around to them 20 years ago, there’s a whole new generation into them now.’
There’s also a welcome return visitor from last year’s festival – the record-breaking disco ball that was hauled aloft during Chic’s closing Sunday night show.
‘It’s all been a bit touch and go,’ said Rob. ‘It was supposed to go to Kazakhstan or something, but that got cancelled, so we’ve got it back. And it’s looking beautiful gleaming in the sun.’
The festival organiser is hoping that the event will maintain its record-breaking ways – this year they want to break the record for the largest number of buskers in one place.
It’s been beautiful for the last week here. The site’s looking very verdant and green, and everything’s going up very quickly – so far, so good, it’s all coming together as it shouldBestival organiser Rob Da Bank
‘It’s not that high a number – it’s only something rubbish like about 400 people, so we’re hoping to completely smash it.
‘We chose All You Need is Love by The Beatles, and it fits with our theme this year. It’ll be led by CoCo and the Butterfields on the mainstage on Sunday.’
n See tomorrow’s Guide with your News, and Saturday and Monday’s papers for more coverage. Go online at portsmouth.co.uk for updates throughout the weekend.