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Bestival 2017 Review And Photos: The 7 Most Magical Moments And All The Best Snaps From The Festival

From Charlotte Church to Soulwax.

12/09/2017 06:43

Closing festival season isn’t easy but since 2004, that job has fallen to Rob da Bank and his Bestival crew. 

Following a difficult 2016, the festival took place in its new home of Dorset’s Lulworth Castle, where its sister event, Camp Bestival, consistently sell outs.  

And while terrible weather briefly threatened to bring the whole thing to a stop, the power of pop and more than a few tubs full of glitter prevailed. 

Here are the 7 most magical moments from the festival...  

1. Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon

Charlotte’s gig has to be seen to be believed, but here’s the basic concept: Take one Welsh singer, who is truly living her best life, add a 10-piece band and then covers of everything from ‘Killing In The Name’ to ‘Pure Imagination’.

The result - especially when they take to the stage at 2.30AM - is a riotous sing-a-long meets headbanging bonanza, a perfect fit for Bestival’s glitter-covered crowds.

2. Sink The Pink

In recent years, the party has become a Bestival mainstay and it was clear to see why as everyone’s late-night homosexual disco brought out the glitter cannons and pop hits at midnight on Friday, wiping away any thoughts of calling it a day and having an early night.

3. Jamie T 

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Thursday saw the South Londoner charged with closing The Box stage, and - as the man himself pointed out - the fact the main stage was closed made him a de facto headliner. Cheekily referencing this, Jamie played a few lines of Foo Fighters’ ‘Best Of You’ in between his own tracks, which included ‘Power Over Men’, ‘Sheila’, ‘Emily’s Heart’ and set closer ‘Zombie’.

4. Oxide & Neutrino 

There was no shortage of Garage on offer, with DJ Luck And MC Neat among the veteran acts while Kurupt FM had their tongues firmly in the their cheeks as they took to the stage in The Box. But it was Oxide & Neutrino’s late-afternoon set that delivered the best throwback tracks and old school big hits.

5. Soulwax

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High winds and heavy rain brought everything to a standstill on Sunday (10 September), with the entire arena being closed for an unspecified amount of time.

Obviously, in typical festival style, this sparked a huge game of chinese whispers as ticket-holders speculated over what the rest of the day had in store, but by the time Soulwax - with their three drum kits - were ready to go, the torrential downpour felt like a distant memory.

Their hour-long set was note-perfect, non-step and saw the most visually stunning use of the mainstage, closing with the frantic ‘NY Excuse’.

6. Harry Jay-Steele

In the years since it made its festival debut, the JägerHaus - which also pops up at Reading and Leeds - has become a welcome addition to the festival circuit, playing host to a number of big name DJ sets and more than a few rounds of musical bingo.

Up and coming live acts also take to the stage in the venue’s barn-like main arena and on Sunday, it was Harry’s turn - though the aforementioned bad weather almost meant his gig never happened.

The crowd may not have been particularly big, but his laid back indie vibe was the perfect way to kickstart the day again.

7. Pet Shop Boys

Tabatha Fireman via Getty Images

Together with their band, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe gave fans exactly what they wanted; squeezing in costume changes, witty banter and new set designs in between all their biggest hits - think ‘Pop Kids’, ‘West End Girls’, ‘Go West’ and an ‘Always On My Mind’ encore.

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