Highlights: Bestival 2009

Emily Wither | Monday, 14 September 2009

Highlights: Bestival 2009

Festival season 2009 has drawn to a close with the last of the big summer weekenders coming to a spectacular climax at Robin Hill Country Park.

It was one giant step for fancy dress as an invasion of glitter, tin foil, aliens and astronauts soaked up three days of sun, music and general silliness.

Even the bands came in their best space suits with Little Boots, Florence and The Machine and Mika just some of the artist getting into the spirit of things.

On Friday night Bestival launched off with trip-hop veterans Massive Attack. The set was at times moving and atmospheric but the Bristolians took the brave decision to play lots of new material from their forthcoming album. It didn't quite suit festival goers need for the "hits" with many revellers drifting off to other stages during the set.

Later on Natasha Khan AKA Bat for Lashes mesmorised the crowd with her haunting vocals and arresting stage presence. Dressed in a silver space cape she chucked Milkways and Mars bars into the crowd, wrapping things up with a mass sing along of 'Daniel.'

Saturday was the main day for fancy dress and as the cosmic atmosphere swept through the grounds the line-up couldn't have been more apt.

London nu-ravers Klaxons got the crowd warmed up for Kraftwerk with a high energy and emotionally charged set. Telling the crowd it was their last ever gig, front man Jamie Reynolds thanked Bestival for the sendoff.

Next and four silhouettes appear behind a white screen as Kraftwerk's pioneering driving electro rhythms sent everyone into a wild frenzy. As the curtain parted four men dressed in what resembled black space suits uniformly placed behind laptops and showing no emotion raced through a set packed with hits.

Keen to create mystery and focus on the music there was no banter between songs and the German legends managed no more than a foot tap during their 90 minutes on stage. As computer generated images flashed behind them they music felt like something from the future despite being nearly 40 years old.

Earlier on in the day Brooklyn's Dirty Projectors woke everyone up from their hangovers with a magically charged set in the tiny Jim Beam tent. The crowd may have started watching them sitting down but before their time was up everyone was up dancing and pushing to get closer.

Their multi-layered music can be hard to follow, but it sounded unique and the beautifully crafted harmonizing between the three female singers tied it all together in a quirky package of experimental rock.

Bestival had a total of six of this year's 11 Mercury Prize nominees performing over the weekend. The winner, Speech Debelle, played an overflowing tent on Sunday suiting perfectly the quieter mood of day three.

She worked her way through a sensitive set as she addressed the crowd like old friends telling her stories and touching the hearts of everyone gathered.

The weekend came to an end when festival curator, DJ Rob Da Bank, finished things off in the fire field, with a massive bonfire, fireworks and a rocket launch blasting festival-goers back down to Earth.

If you're up for some visual action, check out our Bestival gallery!