Bestival 2018: all the best bits in pictures

Bestival celebrated its 15th birthday this weekend on the colourful festival's second year on the Lulworth Estate in Dorset, with headline slots from Silk City (Diplo and Mark Ronson), London Grammar, and M.I.A. There were also dazzling performances from Grace Jones, Shame, and Confidence Man. Here's all the highlights from the festival, complete with the world's biggest disco ball and confetti cannon.

M.I.A. delivers high-energy headline set

M.I.A. closes Bestival on Sunday night, with an energetic, vibrant – and at times political – performance. At the end of her show, she asks the crowd: “Do you think the British government should do some apologising?” adding: “It’s time for a change.”

Grace Jones is a legend

On opener ‘Nightclubbing,’ Grace Jones stands on a raised platform, fiercely observing the crowd before her. She dons a black leotard and cape, which billows around her, along with a golden skull mask. Her deep, husky voice reverberates on the eardrums of listeners. As usual, her body is covered in white paint markings. Before long, she changes into another head dress, reminiscent of a lion’s mane, shaking her head wildly with gritted teeth – like she’s devouring an animal – as she performs ‘Private Life.’ On ‘My Jamaican Guy,’ she appears with a large dildo strapped to her crotch, which waves around as she gyrates her hips, before swinging one of her legs over a railing and reclining as she sings. She rightfully tells the audience that they’re “here to party.”

Mura Masa plays all the instruments

Mura Masa takes to the drums during his set on the main stage on Saturday. Apart from a technical glitch during ‘Lotus Eater,’ when the musician is forced to restart, his performance is pretty much seamless.


Showing off new music

Mura Masa cowers over his instruments on Bestival’s Castle Stage, quickly moving from keyboard to guitar to drums. Towards the end of the set, he plays the live debut of new track ‘Complicated,’ jokingly asking fans to “go easy” on him.

So much to look at

Shame’s Charlie’s Steen looms over the crowd at The Big Top on Saturday. Later on, he pours a can of Amstel over his head before throwing the remains of the beer over the crowd. And, ending with ‘Gold Hole,’ Steen climbs into the crowd, as he sings, before moshing with the punters until the end of the track. It’s all over too soon.

Mark Ronson and Diplo dazzle on the main stage

Silk City (Diplo and Mark Ronson) play their second ever show – a headline slot at Bestival on Friday night.

Confetti galore

The world’s largest confetti cannon lets loose at Silk City’s headline set on Friday night.


Kelela dazzles at The Big Top

Describing Bestival as a “ratchet ass festival,” Kelela delivers a hypnotising set at The Big Top on Thursday night – filled with bright lights and mesmerising slow-dancing.

Chaka Khan

Jorja Smith plays not one, but two covers

The 21-year old singer from Walsall draws in a packed-out crowd for her Thursday night show. She channels Amy Winehouse with her smokey, sensual vocals, leaving the crowd bopping and shaking as if attached to springs. Her rendition of TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’ is a crowd-pleaser, but another cover later in the set – Frank Ocean’s ‘Lost’ – proves a bit too much, falling flat on the audience.

Walt Disco drive all night to play at Bestival

Walt Disco, an upcoming indie band from Glasgow, play at the House of Vans on Thursday night. Dressed in suits, the four-piece are fun and theatrical, sporting eerie stage personas. Singer James Potter tells the crowd that the band drove all night from Glasgow to play their set.


Plan B gets groovy

Plan B performing on Bestival’s main stage on Sunday evening, donning white face paint in his beard area.

Almost too hot to handle

The Big Moon’s Juliette Jackson sticks out her tongue as the band manage to battle through the heat for their slot on The Castle Stage on Friday. “I can’t think of anything to say other than I’m so hot,” jokes The Big Moon’s bassist Celia Archer at the beginning of their set.

Idles get frisky

Idles are all about the mad dancing for their Saturday evening performance on the main stage.

Django Django takeover The Big Top

Django Django’s lead singer Vincent Neff rocks out during the band’s 1am set at The Big Top on Saturday morning.

London Grammar prove a Saturday night flop

London Grammar playing their headline set on Saturday night, which, although mesmerising, is far from the dance-filled night many in the audience had in mind. One nearby woman says to her friend: “Not really Saturday night music, is it?” While there is more drumming than on the band’s records, the whole show is weeping for heavy basslines and big beats.

Confidence Man make everyone happy

Confidence Man perform a workout at The Big Top on Saturday afternoon that would make Mr. Motivator himself proud. There’s stretching, squatting, muscle flexing, jumping and, even, a sub-standard handstand from Sugar Bones. All of this exercise is carried out to the frenetic soundtrack of cowbells, synthesisers, and drums. What more could you want on a Saturday afternoon?

We Are Scientists ooze nostalgia at The Big Top

Keith Murray and Chris Cain of We Are Scientists play their first ever gig at Bestival, packed with the indie bangers that gave brought them international success in 2005.