Post Bestival Festival Blues are really real (and that’s an actual song by Beans on Toast who we saw and who was amazing!!). Bestival is the land of dreams and by far my favourite festival yet – I know I say that every time I go to a new festival, but this time is different. I have never spent a weekend in such a magical, friendly and soul-satisfying place. There were times I genuinely almost cried tears of happiness (admittedly when I was semi drunk) because of the amazing friends I had with me, at the insane weather and the crazy good music we were surrounded by.
We arrived back at Bristol airport from Barcelona on the Thursday and I drove straight to Lulworth Estate in Dorset, picking my friend Chlo up from Temple Meads on route, car stocked up with funky clothes, alcohol and, of course, glitter.
My best decision was leaving my camera behind and taking a couple of disposables with me instead – I think this will be my new protocol for all festivals because it captures the moment more naturally and is far less hassle than dragging my Canon around and worrying about it getting nicked. I’m smiling like a maniac in most of these photos and that’s because there was a huge grin permanently stuck on my face for the entire four days. Bestival is my happy place and we made some incredible friends and memories that I’ll never forget.
I decided I didn’t feel comfortable in the crop top I originally brought with me to wear with this skirt, but there were plenty of cool vintage stalls around for me to replace it. I found this bejewelled black top in the Oxfam tent for £8 and instantly felt like my festival-self and loved the jazzy monochrome feel with the denim skirt (I had a slight tan from Barcelona so obviously my legs were out every day to show this miracle off as much as possible).
My sunglasses are Mango from the airport on the way home; I’d been hunting for a heart-shaped pair and got lucky at the last minute! I wore them all weekend long and love them (pun partly intended) and they hid my hungover eyes pretty well every morning. I went for a sturdy bumbag this year, too, from Mountain Warehouse. Not the coolest one out there but it didn’t fall apart like most of my others.
The site is the ideal size: not so big that we got lost when drunk but small enough that the campsite was close to everything. I can’t really put into words how much fun just walking around the festival is – we listened to random quirky bands, watched break-dancers and played giant Jenga in the Old Mout area, explored the forest and lazed drinking beer in the sun at Castle stage. The theme was circus, so the decor was fabulous, people really went all-out with their group costumes and there was always an intriguing circus act going on somewhere. On the Friday we watched the likes of The Big Moon, Sundara Karma, Jorja Smith and Silk City and then partied the night away – the nightlife is crazy.
Saturday was my birthday, and I honestly couldn’t have dreamt of a more fitting place to spend my 21st. I woke up to happy birthday banners around the tents, balloons, party hats and a hash brown and smoothie breakfast and it just felt dreamy to celebrate in all my groovy festival clothes!
First Aid Kit are one of my all time fave bands and so it was cool to watch their set – they’re even cooler in person and their music has such a natural, folky beauty to it. I’ve wanted to experience them live for such a looong time so it was magic to tick it off the list.
In-fitting with the circus theme I went all out on Saturday with possibly the best piece of clothing I own – this fabulously colourful top I grabbed for about a tenner in the Topshop sale last year and have been dying to wear at a festival! Never have I felt so free and floaty and fun in an outfit and to be completely honest I didn’t want to ever take it off.
The stripy shorts were super cheap from Boohoo and completed the whole rainbow ensemble while also being so flattering and comfy for wandering round and dancing through the day and into the night. I’m obsessed with these star earrings too, I picked them up from Claire’s and they just add an instant pizazz to any look.
The choice of food was way above the standard of other festivals, so much so that I was actually bowled over and spent ages narrowing down my options. The Pad Thai I had was among some of the best and the vegan jackfruit burger made me change my whole perspective on vegan food it was that good.
Sunday was really chilled out and we mostly explored all the places we had missed and sat around drinking and eating. Beans on Toast played in the afternoon and is genuinely one of the greatest performers I’ve witnessed – I don’t know anyone else who can excite a crowd that well and that’s completely down to earth and funny. His songs are so relevant and meaningful but simultaneously hilarious and chatty. We waited after to meet him and buy his book, Drunk Folk Stories, which along with his music is definitely worth checking out. In the afternoon we sang along to Chaka Khan and in the evening girl boss M.I.A who both equally made me feel like a total sass queen.
The mesh dress is old from Urban Outfitters and I originally bought it for my sixth form ball (and wore it with a black dress underneath) and kind of forgot about it until I dug it out of my wardrobe earlier this year. The flower detail adds a gothic touch but with glittery space buns and my heart-shaped sunnies it fits right in with the festival theme. I love seeing everyone else’s festival style because it’s a place where you have the freedom to wear literally whatever you want without being judged, and people have fun with it and look amazing – one girl was wearing just Gypsy Shrine jewels as a top and she looked incredible.
The bralet underneath has come to every single festival yet with me and I wasn’t about to give that up, and the ‘hotpants’ are genuinely just knickers from Primark! Anything goes and no-one questions your style, no matter how outrageous. There’s something about mesh and showing a bit of skin underneath that I think is so cool and I’m so glad I got an excuse to wear this dress again.
Driving home on Monday after being out until 3am (couldn’t miss the last night of the party) was tough and I still have a cracking cold from that weekend, but it was worth it and I loved every single minute of Bestival life. Without a doubt I will be returning next year and if all this waffle hasn’t sold it to you, I simply cannot recommend it enough – I promise you will have the best time (I also promise that I’m not being paid to advertise it).