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Why Bestival Is Better Than Your Festival

Photo creds: Bobby Raffin

This year, the return of Bestival Toronto brought a new kind of festival that Torontonians are now proud to have hosted two years in a row. Originated in the U.K, Bestival is an award winning boutique music festival, set in the heart of the Isle of Wight. In 2015, the founder, Rob Da Bank, along with Creative Director and wife Josie da Bank and co-founders and partners John and Ziggy from Get Involved and, Ben Turner decided to bring Bestival to Toronto. Their dream and mission for the last ten years has been to change the face of independent festival culture to create the perfect modern day festival. With this philosophy in mind, this fab five did just that, winning the hearts of all Festival Travelers who attended Bestival Toronto.

Here are our four reasons why Bestival is better than others:


Lineups at the gate? Well, there simply were none. Picking up your wristbands was a breeze and missing your favourite DJ or live band was something you didn’t have to worry about. We’ve been at festivals where the festival goers waited in lines for hours not really getting the full value of their wristbands. This was definitely not the case at Bestival.

The chosen location for Bestival Toronto, year two, was an all around win for everyone involved. Woodbine Park was a breeze to get to for those who drove. Parking was … well everywhere and readily available. There was hardly any traffic coming in, (although that could have been a fluke) and the bus an easy ride. We would like to think that even the neighborhood benefited from the live sounds of bands like Tame Impala, The Cure, Grimes, Daughter and other amazing acts. Hopefully they enjoyed the lineup from their balconies or windows? If you ask them, they would probably disagree with our assumption but the good news is - music ended at 11 pm sharp on the Saturday and 10 pm on the Sunday so hopefully everyone got some z’s right after, or maybe like a lot of the festival travelers, they kept the party going. Bestival Toronto took the lessons learned from year one, that took place on Center Island, where the setting was stunning but logistically, turned out to be a nightmare for some.

Music, arts & culture

This topic, well this topic we could write about all day. The welcoming feeling of the staff, performers and artists that took part of the Beyond The Music aspect of Bestival Toronto made this music festival feel as modern as it was intended to feel. There was something for everyone who wanted to wander around between their favourite acts or simply wanted to partake in the wonderfully wacky events such as getting married in the Inflatable Church or attending one of the Lost & Found games. Lost & Found is the world’s greatest facilitators of nonsense. Right!?

This being an all age event, one had to wonder prior to the start of the weekend, how the all ages aspect was going to play out. Were the young going to annoy the old(er) crowds and vice versa? Nope. There was plenty of space for everyone and enough eclectic music genres to appeal to all ages and, even overlap. The presence of different age groups enhanced the vibe of the weekend and for whatever reason, when we checked in with the police and First Aid tent, there was no evidence of raging EDM’ers, major intoxication or acts of intolerance / violence. Cheesy to say but definitely, we were all one big happy family.

Visually, Bestival was stunning. You could feel the love that went into every detail of the decor and visual design because everywhere you turned, you saw a new decorative element that was different than the other but fit in perfectly with the rest. There was colour, texture and personality everywhere. The Bestival personality! A music festival in a league of it's own.

The call of nature

That’s correct. We are talking about it and making it one of top reasons Why Bestival Is Better Than Your Festival. If you regularly frequent music festivals like we do, you’ll agree with us when we say that answering the call of nature and having the proper access to clean toilets, can make or break your experience. Every festival should invest in making their toilets as clean, with toilet paper and hand sanitizer (accessible at all times), and accessible locations, same like Bestival Toronto did. We are so passionate about the call of nature being an integral part of the music festival experience, that we believe that there should be a standardized ratio of porta potties to attendees being used, at every music festival.

The Festival Traveler

Speaking to a friend today, who is originally from France, living in Costa Rica, visiting the Secret Solstice Music Festival in Iceland, he mentioned having read an article that talked about what is considered to be ‘cool’ in each culture. Firstly, in our eyes - he is cool. He is a true Festival Traveler. In the Canadian culture, especially in Toronto, we know how easy it is to get caught up in the rat race. So it is cool to work hard, pay your bills and then unwind and play harder when great festivals like Bestival come into town. The Festival Travelers that attended Bestival Toronto, to us are the poster children of what it means to be a Festival Traveler and therefore, cool. In fact, they are super cool. They are peaceful and they like to sway. Jumping is not so much their thing but they feel the music when they sway. They are pioneering and just get it ... that attending music festivals is the new way to have fun, experience music, gather with friends and like minded people. It is a new way to plan your weekend or your next vacation destination. Every festival that you attend, you enrich your life because you are guaranteed to make new friends, most of them for life and, experience the open and inviting energy that a festival like Bestival can create.

Thank you Bestival for choosing Toronto and for facilitating an event that allowed us Festival Travelers to enjoy world class music and make some new friends. We look forward to seeing what you have in store for us next year!

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