Bestival 2016 Preview

This year’s Bestival, the four-day music festival on the Isle of Wight, is fast-approaching and we are excited! First: the low down.

The festival has been held annually since 2004 and organized by DJ and producer Rob da Bank and his wife, Josie. In its first year, they attracted 10,000 people to attend featuring headliners like The Bees, Basement Jaxx and Zero 7. Fast forward to 2010 and over 55,000 tickets were sold with an all-star lineup including The Flaming Lips, the XX, Hot Chip and Ellie Goulding. That year, Bestival beat out Glastonbury and Reading Festival in a “Best Major Festival” poll. Subsequent years had artists like The Maccabees (RIP), Florence and the Machine, Two Door Cinema Club, Bastille, Beck, and Duran Duran.

In 2015, the festival decided to expand over to North America, launching its first Toronto-base festival from June 12-13th. Headliners include Florence and the Machine and Nas and featured performances by Flume, SBTRKT and Jamie xx.

This year’s theme is ‘The Future.’ Organizer, Rob da Bank says “Prepare yourselves for a Bestival unlike any other with futuristic new stages, and as ever it’s a broad church of music from every decade and every genre…” Rumor has it, they’re debuting a new stage with a rocket standing 65 feet (20m) high!

If you’re one of the couple thousand in attendance this year, here are fifteen artists you definitely need to check out:

  1. Aurora – 20-year-old electro-pop singer Aurora Aksnes released her breakout hit “Running With The Wolves” last years. She’s gone from “the middle of nowhere” in Norway to playing festivals all across the world, including one of the biggest stages at NYC’s inaugural Panorama Festival. She later would release a cover of Oasis’s “Half the World Away,” which would later be used in the John Lewis Christmas advertisement.
  2. Bastille – How could Bastille not be part of this list? Their anthemic debut single “Pompeii” is enough reason to have them at every festival. Set to be released on Bestival weekend, Bastille are currently on the summer festival run to help promote Wild World. The band’s sets are always filled with great energy and nods to some of lead singer, Dan Smith’s, favorite films.
  3. Beaty Heart – Beaty Heart, who released their sophomore album Till The Tomb in late July, describe their sound as “wavy sleaze pop.” Their sound has been likened to that of Jungle, Hot Chip and Metronomy. The band’s tracks have a steady danceable beat, so even if you don’t know the words, you’ll be able to effortlessly groove to the beat.
  4. Billie Marten – The young Yorkshire songstress and self-confessed alpaca fan started the year on BBC’s Sound of 2016 shortlist. She is currently building up to the release of her debut album, Writing of Blues and Yellows, which will be released next month and is set to feature beguiling favorites such as “Heavy Weather,” “Milk & Honey,” and most recent single “Lionhearted.”
  5. Clean Cut Kid – There can be no arguing when we say this Liverpool quartet are EUPHORIA. favorites. They have dazzled everyone that has had the pleasure of stumbling across their charming pop-laden indie-rock singles that began with “Vitamin C” last year and most recently the bittersweet “We Used To Be In Love.” As well as a busy festival schedule they have a UK headline tour booked for October.
  6. Fickle Friends – The indie pop quintet from Brighton, Fickle Friends surely has a bright path ahead of them. The band has been attracting attention since their released their track “Swim” online a couple of years ago. Their songs are all quite upbeat, which is perfect for summer and festivals. Don’t be fooled by the poppy-upbeat outer layer of their songs ask they often have a dark story behind them. “We just love the juxtaposition,” the band told EUPH.
  7. Glass Animals – After selling almost half a million copies of their debut album Glass Animals has kept a bit busy. Their spike in popularity earned them sports playing huge festivals like Bonnaroo, Coachella, Lollapalooza and now Bestival. We caught the band at Kansas City’s Buzz Beach Ball a couple months ago and they put on a spectacular show. Their sound is almost a wave-like, dreamy alternative sound that features a hint of psychedelia.
  8. Hinds – Hinds bring their vintage rock brand of girl power to the Isle of Wight. The appearance will follow over twenty other festival appearances at the back end of what has been a very busy summer for the Madrid quartet. The festivals make up the sixth part of the world tour to support their debut Leave Me Alone album released at the start of the year featuring fuzzy singles “Garden” and “Chili Town.”
  9. Honne – Allow us to introduce you to your new obsession: HONNE. The British duo released their debut album, Warm on a Cold Night, in late July. They have stamped their identities into this album by creating breezy, addictive tracks that straddle the line between love and lust.
  10. The Japanese House – Signed to Dirty Hit, Matty Healy and George Daniel have produced some of The Japanese House’s songs and taken singer Amber Bain on tour with them. With only two EPs under her belt, Amber Bain has already played venues like Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and LA’s Shrine Expo Hall. The Japanese House’s sound is ethereal, cinematic and serene.
  11. Rationale – Rationale is no doubt one of the hottest tipped artists at the moment. His releases thus far have only gone against the status quo and showcased what he’s capable of as a songwriter and vocalist. First presenting himself to the world as a featured vocalist on Jakwob’s “No Place Like Home” and Bastille’s “Axe to Grind,” it wasn’t long before Rationale proved he could hold his own against more established musicians. While his stellar first single “Fast Lane,” introduced him as a formidable singer-songwriter, Rationale’s subsequent tracks, the groovy “Re.Up” and anthemic “Fuel to the Fire” only solidified more reasons why everyone’s rooting for him.
  12. Spring King – Having dropped their debut album, Tell Me If You Like To, back in June, Manchester quartet Spring King are set to bring a guitar-laden post-punk edge to Bestival this year with notable tracks like “City,” “The Summer” and “Who Are You?” having particularly dance-worthy choruses.
  13. VANT – Politically charged London rockers VANT burst onto the scene in raucous style last year with debut single “Parasite” and fellow A-side “Do You Know Me” and continued their noise-making this year, release their Karma Seeker EP earlier this month. With many of their songs addressing issues like the environment, xenophobia and war, their earlier festival sets this year have prompted strong support from crowds especially post-Brexit.
  14. Wolf Alice – One of Britain’s biggest indie rock exports, Grammy-nominated Wolf Alice earned themselves an iTunes award for Best New Artist following the release of their debut album, My Love is Cool, last year. The record showcased a host of varying styles that blend elements of rock, grunge and folk in fan favorites such as “Moaning Lisa Smile,” “Giant Peach,” “Bros” and “Freazy.”
  15. Years & Years – What would a festival be without a set from Years & Years? Still playing tracks from their debut, Communion, the band completely captivates a crowd. With anthemic summer-friendly tracks like “Take Shelter,” “King,” and latest single “Desire” featuring vocals by cool girl, Tove Lo. Lead single, Olly Alexander commands the crowd’s attention with his high energy vocals and eclectic dancing.

Get ready with our Bestival-themed playlist below!