Friday 12th & Saturday 13th June
It’s so very nearly upon us and this means that its time for the traditional Naked Underground preview (which I know you’ve all been waiting for). This is the first year for Bestival Canada, but the fest comes to us from the UK (and so do I). Whenever Bestival rolls around in England it’s usually the sign that the end of festival season, and summer, is finally here. The end of booze filled raves, sun drenched memories and being offered substances by questionable strangers. The end of summer in England is a deeply sad time; not so much a definable changing of the seasons like Canada but one in which the sunny days of June, July and August make way for rain, rain and more rain. The best way to mark the end of summer? Throw a massive party and have everyone in attendance dress up in costumes.
We shouldn’t have to worry about any of that rain here though (insert superstition here) as Bestival Toronto is right at the start of our summer. With CMW now a distant memory and that Tame Impala gig feeling like it was just yesterday, we’re well into the swing of all the things you were excited for when it was -25 outside. So hopefully everyone has recovered from Field Trip and is ready to go this Friday, as Bestival promises to mark its debut in Toronto with a proper show.
With as diverse and eclectic a line up as you could ever imagine; making sure it touches base in every genre before the festival ends on Saturday night. Bestival promises to be a crazy weekend and we can’t wait to give you our little teaser and tell you about some of the acts (and things) we at Naked Underground are excited for.
Just a sample of some of the acts we are preparing ourselves to see over the weekend ahead.
Jamie XX has made his imprint on the music world in a very short space of time. Chances are you’ve heard a Jamie XX track sometime in the last couple of years; either from his own work, while listening to The XX or from a song that he has produced. His debut album In Colour was released on June 1st and if you haven’t heard it yet I’d like you to please stop reading now and go buy it. It was playing at our most recent N_ staff meeting and we’re extremely excited to see him play Bestival Toronto.
Wavves– Main Stage, Friday- 7.15-8.05
I’m praying for sunshine for when Wavves take to the stage at Bestival. It’s almost a mandatory background setting for the kind of music that singer/songwriter Nathan Williams creates. It’s always a pleasure to watch Wavves perform live and with excitement building for the 5th studio album, that’s due this summer, you can bank on the set at Bestival being something special.
Flume– Big Top, Friday- 10.00-11.00
It’s been almost a year since Flume last appeared in Toronto, and we can’t wait to welcome him back for his headline set on the Big Top Stage at Bestival this year.
Florence & the Machine– Main Stage, Friday- 9.40-10.50
Florence Welch is one of the biggest names of the year so far in the music scene. Breaking her foot at Coachella and simultaneously taking the world by storm with her latest album- How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. Known for her powerful and intimate live performances, this headline set will be something to remember.
Caribou– Main Stage, Saturday- 8.15-9.15
Caribou’s most recent release Our Love came out all the way back in October 2014 (I had to google the release date as I still listen so much, I was convinced it was sooner). I’m eager to hear Our Love have its second coming after winning the JUNO for best electronic album and sound perfect in a summer haze.
Born Ruffians– Main Stage, Saturday- 3.30-4.20
Like most music festivals Bestival often uses it’s platform to showcase local talent, it has been doing this for over a decade in the UK and has continued the trend here in Canada. With a lineup full of Canadian talent- Born Ruffians are one of the most recognisable names on the list and with a new album rumoured to be out soon, expect a crazy set on the island.
Cashmere Cat– Big Top, Saturday- 5.20-6.20
Norwegian born Cashmere Cat is one of many DJ’s featuring on the lineup over the course of the weekend and he certainly has a sound that sets him apart from the rest. With his most recent release – ”Adore (feat Ariana Grande)” still sounding great after it’s March debut.
Banks– Main Stage, Saturday- 6.45-7.45
I remember Banks debuting as an artist to watch on Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show back home in England in 2013. Her rise has seen her go from an upcoming artist to featuring on the Main Stage at Bestival in such a short space of time and she will show Florence that it’s not only her who can rock the stage this weekend.
ONES TO WATCH:
Harrison– Big Top, Saturday 1.20-2.20
The Toronto based 17 year old is certain to make waves in years to come as a top dance artist. All you need is to get a couple of tracks deep into his soundcloud and then before you know it you’re infected with his catchy beats and mixes. With a love for sampling 80’s vocal samples, the Big Top Tent will surely be bumping when Harrison performs, even at 1.20pm.
Cassy– Bollywood, Saturday 3.00-4.30
Cassy is a performer renowned for reading her crowds and feeling the vibe out before picking the next song- to help her gauge what is best. This means that no two of her sets are the same and this makes for an experience
Skream– Bollywood, Friday 5.45-7.30
Skream is a huge presence in the electronic music scene; topping the charts with his solo work and group Magnetic Man when dubstep was in its peak. Since the dubstep craze died down he has focussed on his solo work- Skreamizm, with his focus being on bringing the spotlight to the music and the dancefloor again.
A lot of what makes Bestival so special occurs away from the stages and the bands picked to play. The festival is founded by Rob and Josie Da Bank; with Rob, a famous Radio 1 DJ taking over the music side and his wife Josie in charge of design. Borrowing from the crazy worlds you would usually expect to find at Glastonbury festival, Bestival features many of its own. Below are a select few events but you can find the full list of events up on the website. These events will be accompanied by a wealth of Toronto based food establishments; meaning that if ever the music isn’t for you, you’ll never be short of things to do.
The Bollywood inspired arena, complete with temple shaped DJ stage and bollywood dancers The Mystical Eclipse Clan.
Day of the Dead Mariachi by Mexico De Noche
I have already mentioned Bestival’s love of dressing up. This all comes to ahead in the famous Costume Party & Parade on Saturday- this is no holds barred, all things go fancy dress and I expect the Canadians to show us Brits how its done.
A bubble, battle, flash mob. Need I say anymore?