The Jacksons deliver as Bestival works its magic once again

Bestival 2015 review

By Steve Collins / Marie Magowan | Published: Mon 21st Sep 2015

The Jacksons

Thursday 10th to Sunday 13th September 2015
Robin Hill Country Park, Nr Arreton, Downend, Isle of Wight, PO30 2NU, England MAP
Daily capacity: 79,999
Last updated: Fri 31st Jul 2015

Sunday, usually a day for chilling out and relaxing - especially after three days at a festival. However those hoping for a quiet day would be disappointed as festival regulars Dub Pistols ensured that it started with a bang. Barry Ashworth arrived on stage with a vodka and Red Bull in hand declaring to the crowd he was keeping it "old school" with the Sunday morning pick me ups. Certainly it did the trick and the band blasted their way through a loud and brash set of ska and rap.

Next for us was a trip to the Big Top and a chance to see a band we've been following for a couple of years now, Kassassin Street started out on small stages but they are working their way up the line-ups steadily, with an infectious mix of psychedelia and classic rocks, they're definitely on their way onwards and I don't think it'll be long before you see them on the main stage.

On Friday we had wanted to catch Shit-Faced Shakespeare in the Amphitheatre, but it had been so popular that we could get nowhere near. Having no firm plans for today we set off early, and caught the previous show as well. In previous years we have always popped our heads in, but never really spent long enough to appreciate what this arena in the woods has to offer.

Shit-Faced Shakespeare: Bestival 2015

First off were Beasts, a three man sketch show that was just sublimely nutty, and will never let you look at bread in the same way. A show full of surprises and hilarity, and not a disappointment to catch. Next up was Shit-Faced Shakespeare - take a group of actors, a Shakespeare play, then get one cast member royally drunk in the four hours prior to going on stage. This actor is allowed to go off script, but the remainder have to treat his outbursts as part of the play. It's hard to say what was funnier, the drunken member or the others trying to carry on with the show - if you get a chance to see them I'd take the chance. Certainly Shakespeare at school was never like this! After a quick wander up to the WI tent to enjoy one last cake, we returned to the amphitheatre for more comedy performance, this time from the Comedians Cinema Club and their performance of The Lion King, certainly not as Disney imagined it, but very entertaining - the eFestivals photographer discovering the danger of attempting to document participatory shows, getting dragged up on stage to be eaten by the lions as a warning to the other "peadophiles of the shadow lands".

The Jacksons: Bestival 2015

Following an afternoon of frivolity it was back to the main arena for The Jacksons who, once they arrived on stage, gave the best performance we saw over the weekend. Plenty of hits and serious showmanship from the four surviving members made for a captivating show.

Not being a fan of tonight's headliner Missy Elliott, we decided instead to have another walk through the site and, as the rain started to fall we took the opportunity to seek shelter in the comedy tent. With some great stand-up from Daniel Sloss, Andy Askins, Phil Nichol, and sketches from Late Night Gimp Fight, who did battle with the fireworks as timings went slightly askew, and finishing with The Noise Next Door. The comedy tent at Bestival has had a bit of a roller-coaster ride over the years, growing and shrinking year by year, but it seems to be finding a level now and growing up into something well worth checking out over the weekend. Hopefully it'll continue to grow and expand in years to come.

As Bestival was drawing into its final few hours the weather decided that it had been kind for too long with a massive deluge flooding the site, but still not enough to dampen everyone's spirited the venues were packed well into the night for those seeking to eek out the last few drops of the weekend.

I went into this weekend felling a little disappointed with the acts on offer and with the changes that had been made to the festival, but as the weekend has progressed Bestival worked its magic on us once again, and still managed to surprise and amaze us in ways we'd never imagine. Bestival 2016 you can't come soon enough.

around the festival site: Bestival 2015

review by: Steve Collins / Marie Magowan

photos by: Steve Collins

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