Music Features

Bestival 2013 - Ones To Watch

This time next week, thousands of revellers will be descending onto the Isle of Wight for what has become an established jewel in the crown of the UK festival calendar. Now in its tenth year, Bestival (or, to give it its full 2013 title, HMS Bestival) regularly features one of the most exciting line-ups of any UK music festival. This year is no exception. Joining headliners Fatboy Slim, Snoop Dogg and Elton John is an eclectic list of acts, ranging from new-kids-on-the-block London Grammar, Sam Smith and Parquet Courts to musical veterans M.I.A., The Knife and Wu-Tang Clan. Over the four days, hundreds of bands and DJs will be playing across more than 20 stages and arenas.

To help get us in the mood for the festival, we've pointed the spotlight at some of the acts we think will be worth checking out over the course of the festival...

An act to rave to… Hudson Mohawke

Ross Birchard, aka Hudson Mohawke or HudMo, is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting names in electronic music. His production work for Kanye West and Azealia Banks, and his collaboration with Lunice on the hugely exciting TNGHT project have seen Mohawke receive international recognition. Mohawke may have found his biggest audience as a trap producer but the range of styles displayed on his debut album and on the HudMo remixes of Strand & NonGenetic prove that his skills as an artist and producer, and his influences, are much wider. His DJ set could well be the stand-out set of the weekend.

An act to rock out to… The Strypes

The Strypes have attracted a serious amount of hype over the past twelve months, thanks largely to an extensive list of celebrity supporters; Noel Gallagher, Elton John, Jeff Beck and Dave Grohl are all reported to be part of the band’s growing fan base. And it's not just famous endorsements that the band have received; critics have praised the band too, both for the maturity of their music and for their technical excellence. Blending classic rhythm & blues and rock & roll, their music reignites the age-old debate of whether such bands reinvent or simply regurgitate musical styles from years gone by. But regardless of your opinion, their potential makes them an unmissable highlight.

An act to chill out to… Cyril Hahn

If you find yourself needing to recharge your batteries, I can imagine few better DJ sets to listen to than Swiss-born producer Cyril Hahn. Initially gaining attention from a string of emotive and chilled-out remixes of classic R&B songs from the nineties and noughties, Hahn has more recently turned his attention to original material which, thankfully, has proven to be every bit as engaging. To prepare yourself for the inevitable beauty of his live set, take a listen to a mix put together for this year’s Bestival, appropriately entitled “Cyril Hahn Perfectly Formed Bestimix”.

An act to lose yourself to… The Flaming Lips

The prospect of seeing one of your favourite acts live is always made more exciting when that act has a history of unpredictable and exciting live shows. Oklahoma-based The Flaming Lips’ reputation for experimental live performances, combined with the already experimental nature of Bestival, should make for an unforgettable set. Expect a wide selection of songs from across their thirty-year history and, who knows, maybe even a song or two from their forthcoming collaboration album with Ke$ha. We can but hope. 

An act to sing along to… Elton John

With last year’s closing Sunday night set from Stevie Wonder, and this year’s from Elton John, it seems as though Bestival has grown to a level where they are only happy closing their festivals with sets from true musical icons. Elton John’s performance is not only a 2013 UK festival exclusive, but will mark the first time that Elton has ever performed at a UK music festival. In an epic set covering forty-five years of classic and world-renowned tunes, the whole crowd will be singing along.

And it doesn’t stop there…

The four-day festival features hundreds of acts performing across more than 20 stages. Click here to listen to the 40-track Spotify playlist we’ve created featuring tracks and remixes by more of the acts we’re most excited about from this year’s festival, including Jagwar Ma, The Roots, Belle and Sebastian, Chic, and Kate Boy, together with music from headliners Fatboy Slim, Snoop Dogg and Elton John. The full line-up of live acts and DJs can be found here.

Bestival 2013 takes place between Thursday 5 and Sunday 8 September 2013. Tickets for the event, and information on transport links to the festival are available at