Music Features

Bestival 2012: Preview

In the UK, the summer is usually pretty festival-focused. However, it’s been somewhat overshadowed this year by a tsunami of nationalistic pride, kicked off by Her Maj’s Jubilee celebrations at the beginning of June and reaching its zenith during the Olympics, where a fantastic Team GB came third in the medals table on home soil. Add this to the fact that media darling Glastonbury has been taking one of its regular years off, and coverage of festivals has certainly been less hectic than usual.

That doesn’t mean 2012’s festivals haven’t been a resounding success though. The British weather may have seen off a couple of events, but the absence of a shindig at Worthy Farm can give other festivals a chance to step into the spotlight. We’ve had the Isle of Wight Festival, Latitude, T In The Park, V, Reading and Leeds, and Download already, and soon we’ve got one of the country’s most popular and best-loved gatherings: Bestival.

Curated by Radio 1 DJ Rob da Bank and his wife, Josie, this year’s instalment from 6-9 September promises to be bigger and better than ever. How can we be so sure? Well, there are some pretty impressive big hitters on show (including the real-life, actual Stevie Wonder!) but Bestival’s real selling point is its undoubted strength in depth. So, here are five acts to look out for who have previously been flagged up for great things by us folk at No Ripcord:

The 2 Bears, Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and DJ Raf Daddy, have won fans and plaudits alike with their debut album, Be Strong, released at the start of 2012. Their sound draws on more disparate elements than many of their dance peers, encompassing elements of disco and AOR into their heady brew. They also have the honour of a No Ripcord Single Of The Week award (for Work) to add to their name too.

In a year where intelligent indie bands have struggled to make a name for themselves, the success of Clock Opera is all the more pleasing. They were picking up praise long before Ways To Forget, their first record, was released earlier in the year. In fact, we’d already interviewed them and identified them as one to watch way back in January. A band who always bring something exciting to the table, Clock Opera will be well worth checking out.

Bestival could come at a perfect time for Jessie Ware, who has just enjoyed a Top 5 UK hit with her Devotion LP. The former SBTRKT collaborator has seen her reputation grow throughout 2012 thanks to her stunning voice and intriguing mix of dance rhythms and retro-soul. She’s had a busy summer, playing festivals throughout Europe, but don’t be surprised to see Devotion shooting back up the charts post-Bestival.

Along with The Internet and THEESatisfaction, AlunaGeorge are busy changing the perception of R&B by injecting a juicy dollop of funk and a healthy smattering of psychedelia into the genre. We may not have gotten round to reviewing their most recent full-length, but we certainly gave the single, You Know You Like It, the praise it thoroughly deserves in The Singles Bar back in June. Their set promises to be a blast.

It’s all gone a bit quiet for Chairlift since they went down a storm at this year’s SXSW. However, their most recent record, Something, enjoyed a warm reception on this site and certainly enhanced their burgeoning reputation. It looks as though, like Battles before them, Chairlift have survived the loss of a key member and have arguably come out the other side stronger than ever before.

And finally, here’s the exciting bit. This year, No Ripcord will be attending Bestival and interviewing as many acts as we can get our hands on. Joe Rivers and Craig Stevens will be your intrepid musical conquistadors, and shall be - battery permitting - tweeting throughout the weekend, both from their own accounts (which, it should be said, do not necessarily represent the opinions of No Ripcord) and the official No Ripcord account (which, you’d hope, does represent the opinions of the site). Interviews will also be published in the days that follow the festival (plus a very special pre-festival interview tomorrow).

Plus, to get you in the mood, kind people that we are, here’s a Spotify playlist, featuring a small selection of tracks or remixes by the myriad fantastic acts that will be making an appearance. So put your wellies on, crack open a beer, and click here. See you on the Isle of Wight.