Show Reviews, Toronto — June 16, 2016 at 10:27

Highlights from Bestival 2016

by
Bestival 2016

Photo by Janine Wong

Bestival—the quirky and colourful UK festival returned to Toronto for its second straight year. This year, the two-day festival took place at Woodbine Park down on Queen St. E. instead of Toronto Island. The new location was large enough to accommodate four different stages in addition to areas such as the Inflatable Church, Yarn Bomb Piano Lounge, Dress Up Tent, and the newly added Cosmic Commune.

The Inflatable Church didn’t fail to disappoint. I witnessed a lesbian getting married to a gay man and a man getting married to a beer can. Although these quizzical unions naturally lent themselves to comedy, they were elevated to the next level by the hilarious and outrageous cast of Bestival characters. One great thing about Bestival is that it is so experiential, providing ample opportunity to explore beyond the music.

Every year, Bestival attracts an interesting array of music-lovers with genres ranging from electronic, indie rock, house, R&B, new wave, to pop. Overall, people were friendly, open, and fun-loving, which only added to the cheery and chill atmosphere.

Given the large range of musical genres, each stage had a little something to satisfy everyone. Looking like a circus tent, The Big Top featured many DJs from around the world. Bollywood was a colourful temple-like stage that shot fire and featured many DJs. Tucked away in a little grove, Sunday Best Balearic Bar was a nice respite from the rest of the festival with chilled-out dance vibes. The Main Stage mostly featured live bands from The Cure to Daughter.

Although the forecast projected midday thunderstorms, day one of Bestival was sunny and hot. The British R&B singer, Rationale turned heads with his theatrical powerhouse vocals. Despite the power cutting off the latter part of Jamie xx’s DJ set, he was able to get everyone in the groove as the performance became more about the audience and less about him. Jamie xx was able to hook the crowd by mixing in Drake samples and playing some favourites like “Loud Places” and “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)”. The highlight of Saturday was the psychedelic, electro-pop group Tame Impala. Their funky visualizations paired with their psychedelic sounds was simply mesmerizing.

Day two was substantially cooler. Instead of high-waisted jean shorts and swimsuits that dominated women’s wear on day one, on day two, people dressed somewhat more appropriately for the weather. Highlights from Sunday included performances by Daughter and Grimes. Both Elena Tonra (from Daughter) and Claire Bouche (a.k.a. Grimes) seemed surprisingly shy despite having such mainstream success. Both of them were captivating in different ways. Daughter’s performance was bewitching, almost seeming as if their music was responsible for conjuring up the high-winds during the day. They played “Youth” from their previous record and threw in a few harder rock songs from their new album. Despite being sick, Grimes had an energetic performance aided by her phenomenal back-up dancers. Her energy was infectious and she got whole crowd dancing and singing along. It was so inspiring to see someone take pride and ownership of their weirdness.

Woodbine Park ended up being a fairly accessible location and although transportation was much better than last year’s crisis (of getting to-and-from Toronto Island) the Bestival transportation curse remained. Extra buses and streetcars weren’t enough to accommodate the extra commuters, and an unrelated unexpected subway closure at Coxwell added to transportation times. However, these minor inconveniences weren’t enough to overshadow the magical atmosphere generated by the people and the music.

All in all, it was a great weekend full of music and friends. I can’t wait to see what Bestival 2017 has in store.

Bestival 2016

Photos from the 2-day festival at Woodbine Park, Toronto.

[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4001.jpg]140
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp3843.jpg]130Yarn bomb piano
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp3846.jpg]100
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp3865.jpg]90The Inflatable Church
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp3873.jpg]90Bollywood stage
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp3884.jpg]100Gurning competition
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp3888.jpg]90
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp3911.jpg]80
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp3913.jpg]70
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp3921.jpg]70Rationale
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp3923.jpg]80Rationale
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp3934.jpg]80
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp3943.jpg]90Thugli
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp3960.jpg]80Swim Deep
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp3991.jpg]100Swim Deep
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp3995.jpg]70
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp3998.jpg]70
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4022.jpg]60Jamie xx
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4034.jpg]60Jamie xx
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4075.jpg]60
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4086.jpg]80Saturday's costume parade
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4089.jpg]60Saturday's costume parade
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4099.jpg]70Saturday's costume parade
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4101.jpg]70Saturday's costume parade
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4102.jpg]70Saturday's costume parade
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4140.jpg]60Odesza
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4158.jpg]60
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4180.jpg]170Tame Impala
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4182.jpg]100Tame Impala
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4183.jpg]110Tame Impala
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4186.jpg]120Tame Impala
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4189.jpg]110Tame Impala
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4194.jpg]140Tame Impala
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4208.jpg]110Tame Impala
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4209.jpg]80Tame Impala
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4210.jpg]70Tame Impala
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4220.jpg]70
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4286.jpg]90Daughter
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4288.jpg]90Daughter
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4309.jpg]70Daughter
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4315.jpg]60Daughter
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4316.jpg]80
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4324.jpg]80
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4337.jpg]80
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4358-2.jpg]80Grimes
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4361.jpg]60Grimes
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4375.jpg]60Grimes
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4378.jpg]80Grimes
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4384.jpg]110Grimes
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4391.jpg]70Grimes
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4401.jpg]70Grimes
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4435.jpg]90Grimes
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4447.jpg]100Grimes
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4482.jpg]80Grimes
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4488.jpg]100Grimes
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4495.jpg]70
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4512.jpg]90The Cure
[img src=http://www.confrontmagazine.com/wp-content/flagallery/bestival-2016june-1213/thumbs/thumbs_imgp4534.jpg]100The Cure

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