NME.COM

Bestival 2008, photography by Danny North

  • Revellers enjoying a break from the rain at Bestival 2008 on Robin Hill Country Park, Isle Of Wight. The festival played host to surprise main stage appearances from The Specials and Grace Jones on Saturday September 6. Keep coming back for more amazing Bestival pictures - we'll be adding to the gallery throughout the day.

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Bestival-goers arriving at Robin Hill Country Park, Thursday September 4. Because of storms hitting the Isle of Wight in the build up to the event the site team covered the entire main stage field with a plastic mesh in a bid to prevent the site turning to mud.

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • The traditional Bestival sign welcoming festival-goers to the site on Robin Hill Country Park. The theme for this year's show was 30,000 Freaks Under The Sea. "If it rains the masks, snorkels and shells should come in handy!" predicted curator Rob da Bank in his exclusive blog for NME.COM.

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Bestival curator, DJ Rob da Bank stood outside a welcome gate at Bestival 2008 in Robin Hill Country Park. The campsite was open on the Thursday (September 4) for the first time ever with 15,000 revellers turning up ready for the festivities to start Friday (September 5).

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Elaborately dressed festival-goers navigate the woodland walkway at Bestival, Robin Hill, Isle of Wight, Saturday September 6. The three-day bash featured headline sets from Amy Winehouse and My Bloody Valentine, as well as surprise perfomances from Grace Jones and The Specials, the latter playing their first gig together in 27 years.

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • An Edward Scissorhands lookalike entertains crowds between bands in one of Bestival's many tents, Saturday September 6. Shortly afterwards Florence And The Machine played on this stage, thrilling a packed tent with their final song, a cover of The Source/Candi Staton's 1991 hit 'You Got The Love'.

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Some Bestival punters responsed to the nautical fancy-dress theme - '30,000 Freaks Under The Sea' - more successfully than others.

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • For the rest of the year the Bestival site is Robin Hill Countryside Adventure Park, featuring plastic models of elephants, crocodiles and gorillas. Festival-goers must walk through this area to get to the out-lying 'Bestivillage' enclosure.

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Bestival revellers pose for NME's photographer on the first day of Bestival, Friday September 5. That afternoon saw a sustained three-hour downpour that saw many festival-goers retreat to their tents.

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • The "I Love Bestival" sign which overlooked the festival site, in the quiet 'Bestivillage' area. Thanks to torrential rain many low-lying parts of the site, including the central Bollywood field, were rendered temporarily out-of-bounds.

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Bestival organiser and Radio 1 DJ Rob da Bank, aka Robert Gorham, inspects the festival site on the first day of festivities, Friday 5 September, shortly before a torrential downpour turned the site into a mud-bath. He told NME.COM: "Obviously people are going to moan about the rain but I've had loads of people come up to me and say this is actually the best Bestival they've ever been to. Onwards and upwards!"

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Heavy rain at Bestival caused the low-lying ground near the BBC Introducing Stage to flood. Organisers were therefore forced to cancel a number of acts, including Lykke Li, Black Kids and Sam Sparro.

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Bestival-goers dressed as crabs. Over the course of the weekend NME witnessed dancing lobsters, jellyfish and mermaids - as well as live sets from Hot Chip, My Bloody Valentine, Foals and Florence And The Machine. Pic: Danny North

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Torrential rain and high winds weren't enough to discourage Bestival revellers from raiding the dressing-up box. A recurrent costume this year was Old Gregg - a 'Mighty Boosh' character with seaweed for hair who lives under the sea. Many punters also decorated their umbrellas to look like jellyfish. Pic: Danny North

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • As usual, thousand of Bestival punters turned up in outlandish fancy dress. Even some of the acts got involved, with headliner Amy Winehouse singing from behind an old-fashioned ship's wheel, backed by band members decked out in sailor outfits.

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • The second day of Bestival (Saturday September 6) saw legions of revellers dress up in accordance with the festival's '30,000 Freaks Under The Sea' theme. Friday's downpour had left the site awash with mud, but the traditional fancy-dress parade went ahead as usual.

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Revellers enter the festival spirit at Bestival, which took place at Robin Hill Park, Isle Of Wight, from September 5-7. Traditonally, festival-goers are encouraged to turn up in fancy dress. This year the theme was '30,000 Freaks Under The Sea' - which was somewhat ironic, given that torrential rain caused flooding, leading to the closure of the BBC Introducing Stage. Pic: Danny North

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • The fancy-dress parade winds its way through the Bestival site, Saturday September 6. Festival organiser Rob da Bank has been blogging for NME.COM since the festival kicked off - read his Bestival musings at NME.COM/BLOGS Pic: Danny North

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Boat costumes were particularly popular at Bestival this year. A number of people came as The Beatles' 'Yellow Submarine', although these people preferred to reference the James Bond film 'From Russia With Love'. Pic: Danny North

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  • A sea-urchin in a dressing-gown at Bestival 2008, Saturday September 6. festival-goers were determined not to let the atrocious weather prevent them from having fun.

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  • Bestival revellers wearing pirate treasure chests in reference to the festival's nautical theme, dubbed '30,000 Freaks Under The Sea' by organiser Rob da Bank.

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • A child carries a psychedelic sea monster - just one of the many bizarre sights that greeted music-lovers at Bestival, Isle Of Wight, September 5-7. Pic: Danny North

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Roman centurions at Bestival 2008. Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor rocked a similar look, taking to the main stage in a medieval knight's outfit on Saturday night. His bandmate Joe Goddard wore a green dinosaur costume, similar to the one worn by Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner backstage at Glastonbury 2007. Pic: Danny North

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Crowds flock toward the main stage on the first day of Bestival 2008. As of Friday lunchtime the site was still relatively dry underfoot, but a heavy downpour on Friday evening left parts of the site temporarily impassable.

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Revellers endure a downpour on the first day of Bestival 2008. The Isle Of Wight bash had no respite from the ferocious storms that hit much of Britain over the weekend.

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Amy Winehouse onstage at Bestival last weekend (September 6). The troubled singer was booed after arriving on stage 40 minutes late, marking an ignominious end to the singer's final performance of 2008. Pic: Danny North

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Legendary US singer Grace Jones gave an unexpected performance at Bestival 2008 at the weekend. The singer went through several weird and wacky costume changes throughout her set, performing hits including 'Pull Up To The Bumper' and 'Nightclubbing' to rain-drenched punters. Pic: Danny North

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Punters offer a salute to Montreal-based electro-funk duo Chromeo. The band performed tracks from their lauded second album 'Funky Footwork' to a rammed tent at last weekend's Bestival festival. Pic: Danny North

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  • Charles Hodges, one half of cockney duo Chas & Dave onstage at the Isle Of Wight-based Bestival festival last weekend. The band incited an old fashioned knees up amongst weary punters. Pic: Danny North

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Chas & Dave, a.k.a Charles Hodges and David Peacock onstage at Bestival at the weekend. Interesting fact: a hook performed by Chas n Dave (for Labi Siffreâ

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Rain stops play at Bestival 2008. Organiser Rob da Bank recognised the irony of a festival whose theme was '30,000 Freaks Under The Sea' being hit by floods. "I chose the theme so I suppose it's all my fault, really", he joked on his NME Festival Blog.

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  • The Coral at Bestival, Robin Hill Country Park, Isle Of Wight. The Coral are set to release a 3LP & 2CD compilation album, 'The Singles Collection' on September 15. It will feature singles, rarities and new songs. A new track, "Being Somebody Else" will be released on September 8. Pic: Danny North

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  • CSS' Lovefoxxx onstage in the Big Top at Bestival 2008, Friday September 5. The Brazilian band performed on a stage decked out with coloured balloons, closing with 'Alala', from their international debut album 'Cansei de Ser Sexy'. Pic: Danny North

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  • CSS' Lovefoxxx takes to Bestival's Big Top stage wearing a bizarre sea-shell and seaweed costume. The 6,000-capacity arena was full to bursting point for the Brazilian band's set. Pic: Danny North

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • CSS brave the rain backstage at Bestival 2008. Their set on Friday night drew from current album 'Donkey' as well as their international debut 'Cansei de Ser Sexy'.

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  • Foals entertain sodden festival-goers on the main stage at Bestival, Friday September 5. Later the same stage was headlined by My Bloody Valentine.

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Foals defy the atrocious weather at Bestival 2008. The Isle Of Wight bash signalled the end of the festival season, which began with Download in June. A total of 450 festivals were scheduled to take place in the UK this year, 38 of which were cancelled. Pic: Danny North

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • George Clinton on the main stage at Bestival, Sunday September 7. Clinton will release his next solo album 'George Clinton and Some Gangsters of Love' on September 16. It will feature guest appearances from Sly Stone, Red Hot Chili Peppers, RZA and Carlos Santana.

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  • Grace Jones made a surprise appearance on Bestival's main stage, Saturday September 6. The 60-year-old disco diva's set was witnessed by comedian Alan Carr, who later remarked: "When Grace Jones came on and played 'Nightclubbing' I thought I was gonna come!" Pic: Danny North

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Hot Chip enter the fancy-dress spirit at Bestival 2008. Playing to a huge main stage crowd just before Amy Winehouse's headline set on Saturday September 6, the electro act played hits 'Ready For The Floor' and 'Over And Over', as well as a climactic cover of Prince's 'Nothing Compares 2 U', made famous by Sinead O'Connor.

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor dressed as a medieval knight at Bestival 2008. Many of the band's songs, including â

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields onstage at Bestival at the weekend. Opening with 'I Only Said', the legendary band also played â

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  • The Human League entertain crowds at Bestival 2008. This year was heavily slanted towards veteran acts, with Grace Jones, The Specials, George Clinton, Gary Numan and My Bloody Valentine all performing. Pic: Danny North

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  • Neon Neon bring festivities to a close on the final day of Bestival, Sunday September 7. Gruff Rhys' 'other' band are up for a Nationwide Mercury Prize on Tuesday (September 9) for their debut album 'Stainless Style'. Pic: Danny North

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  • Underworld at Bestival 2008, Sunday September 7. Mainman Karl Hyde spent much of the weekend wandering around the festival site looking at the various outlandish costumes. He said: "It was quite funny watching the Fairy Town Band, all those people in lovely uniforms and their tights. It was marvelous. Beautifully incongruous." Pic: Danny North

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • A reveller dressed as creepy 'Mighty Boosh' character Old Gregg hails Santogold's performance at Bestival 2008. In June 2008, Coldplay announced that Santogold would be their opening act for most of the stops on the North American leg of their Viva la Vida Tour. Pic: Danny North

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  • Aussie dance-rock crossover stars Pendulum get the party started on the first day of Bestival, Friday September 5. Pic: Danny North

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  • Pendulum, Bestival 2008. The band's rise has been greatly assisted by Radio 1. They played at the station's Big Weekend on May 12, and recently covered Coldplay's track 'Violet Hill' for Jo Whiley's Live Lounge. Pic: Danny North

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Pendulum bump into NME's photographer backstage at Bestival 2008 ahead of their Friday night set. Pic: Danny North

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  • A festival-goer dressed as Chewbacca grasps a pint of Brothers cider on the first day of festivities at Bestival, Isle Of Wight, Friday September 6.

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    Added: 26 Jan 2009

  • Pic: Danny North

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