Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and we at the newspaper know and love this—we’re an independent paper, after all. So we wanted to share ours loud and clear about how we felt about Bestival this year! It was a wild ride from start to finish. We could write you a long, exploratory essay explaining how we raved under Big Top and had an existential crisis under the lights of the Main Stage, but that’s not really our style. So here’s the best of Bestival in one place, organized and succinct, just like your TA likes it. Enjoy!

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Photo Credits: Chantel Ouellet

THE BEST PRODUCERS

Jamie XX: Jamie XX was fantastic! I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect as I was only familiar with him as a part of The XX, but that all changed pretty fast. Even with the power completely cutting out during the last half of his set, he managed to roll with it and come back on with even better energy. The crowd went absolutely insane for his remix of Drake’s summer hit “One Dance,” and also loved “Gosh” and his mix of The XX’s cover of “You’ve Got The Love” by Florence and the Machine.

ODESZA: ODESZA was a highlight of the festival, with their battling drum kits and infectious dance tunes. All the girls and many of the boys in the audience were absolutely smitten with how ‘cute’ the two producers were, smiling and dancing along. You could tell they were having a great time performing, which translated to the audience. One incredible moment was when they treated the crowd to an extended version of their hit “Say My Name.” They also had the crowd going absolutely mad for “Sun Kings” and their mix of ZHU’s “Faded.”


THE BEST DRINK

Red Bull: There were other, cooler drinks, but nothing fuels us like a classic $4 Red Bull—mostly because we don’t have $10 to spend on one small drink. We’d rather save it and spend it on a cheap bottle of wine. That is much more our style.

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THE BEST FOOD

Come and Get It’s chips and guacamole: When you think about festival food, you probably aren’t thinking about chips and guacamole, but you should be. Only $5, this was one of the most affordable options at the festival, and one of the most convenient. (What was not convenient was going through thousands of photos tagged #BestivalTO in order to find the name of the truck.) The chips and guac were easy to eat and transport. It was also vegan, which was important, as one of our staff was struggling to find some nosh. Oh, and it was mad delicious.

Eva’s Original Chimney’s ice cream cones: We did not get to actually eat this option due to a food allergy and a dietary constraint, so I feel like we were the only people who did not. There was constantly a line up outside Chimney’s food truck. Being lactose intolerant, I very seriously considered putting myself through the disaster that would have ensued just because it looked so good. Chimney cones are donut cones filled with soft-serve ice cream and topped with goodies and chocolate sauce. Can you find a more perfect combination? I think not.

Me. N. U’s roti tacos: Bestival certainly had an eclectic mix of food trucks with interesting food choices. Me. N. U offered Asian poutine and roti tacos. Two tacos were $12, which was consistently priced for the festival. They were amazing and filling, albet difficult to eat without dripping everywhere. For some people this would be a problem, but not for me!

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THE “BEST” OUTFIT

The Irish Tiki Boys: “Best” is used loosely here because honestly, this is the only outfit we got a picture of, but we still think they looked pretty great! An “A” for effort, guys.


THE BEST TIPS

Liquid Sunscreen: In 2016, it may seem like everyone has evolved past the days of having to awkwardly slather sticky liquid sunscreen on their friend’s back. Why would we do that when dry-to-the-touch aerosol sunscreen exists to save our skins, and us from the awkwardness? The answer is that we would have to resort to such means because aerosol of any type was banned at Bestival. Plan ahead and pick up a small and preferably on-sale bottle of liquid sunscreen!

Hats: Remember when your mom would always tell you to pack a hat for field trips? Well this is us giving you that same advice. The only difference is that we’re cooler and hipper, so you should probably listen to us. It’s like peer pressure but for a good cause. Bring a hat to keep the sun off your face and save yourself from sun damage. Most importantly, you need a hat so you can stop squinting long enough to actually see the acts on the stage.


THE BEST VIP PERKS

Chairs: Sometimes you see people sitting in chairs watching the concert from afar and you think, “Man, I’m not even jealous. They’re missing out on the real festival experience. They aren’t even having fun!” But then sometimes you end up sitting in those chairs, specifically the ones with the cushions, and you think, “Jokes on everyone else. I am having fun.”

Bathrooms: I don’t know if the bathrooms make it worth the extra money, but I’m approximately 67% sure they do. The bathrooms in the VIP section, appropriately called the Lucky Lounge, were nice. Not nice like slightly larger and well-equipped Porta-Potties, or even nice like the bathroom in my apartment. No, these bathrooms were nicer than the bathrooms at my parents’ house, that’s how nice they were.


THE BEST METHOD OF TRANSPORTATION

Uber: We tried our best to do this is in the most cost effective way as possible, for our wallets’ sakes of course. We had a stack of tokens and the patience of a preschool teacher, yet there comes a point where road closures and track closures really push your limits. Then there comes a point where it's midnight and you want to hit the after party before last call and you realize that you are wandering aimlessly around Greektown. Save yourself the hassle, make some friends, and fare split an Uber.


THE BEST AFTER PARTY

Your Own Bed: Rumour has it that the official after party at The Hoxton on Saturday was quite the rave. We wouldn’t know because we got lost in the East End and then ended up at home eating leftover cake and listening to the radio. In the end who really won? It was the people at The Hoxton for sure but we aren’t mad, cake in bed is always a good alternative.


THE BEST OF THE BEST

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Tame Impala: Seeing Tame Impala live was a truly life-changing experience. It can be a rarity to find a band whose live performance sounds equally as perfect as their mastered and recorded sound, yet Tame Impala did it, and did it well. Their visuals were incredibly cohesive with their sound in a way that really added to the overall experience. The band played a large number of songs off their latest album, Currents (2015), including “Let It Happen” and “The Less I Know the Better.” They ended their set with my personal favourite, “New Person, Same Old Mistakes,” which was, ya know, the best.

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Grimes: Grimes was mind-blowing, putting on a truly mesmerizing performance despite suffering from a cold. She repeatedly warned the crowd that her vocals weren’t up to par due to this, yet no one could tell.

Grimes, along with her all-girl team, were incredibly empowering to watch. In the moment, we couldn’t really put our finger on what exactly about it was so different, but in retrospect it is quite easy to see. Grimes is a powerful presence because of her ability to be unabashedly adorable while also a complete and utter badass. She was humble but confident in a way that was inspiring. Her dancers were exciting to watch as they connected with the crowd, reacting to people’s reactions. Grimes herself even repeatedly pointed to members in the audience, much to their delight.

The majority of the songs she played were off her latest release, Art Angels (2015), including “SCREAM,” but since Aristophanes was not present she covered the Mandarin part in Russian. During this performance, she both shocked and awed the crowd with her vocal abilities and her ability to scream. She used the feedback of the mic in the speakers to add to the rough nature of the song, which was incredible.

Grimes then played hits “Flesh Without Blood,” “Genesis”, Oblivion,” and “Kill V. Maim.” I don’t think I have ever been as starstruck and happy at a concert as I was in that moment.

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