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Cultivora's 5 Top Picks for Bestival 2013

posted by Andy Farenden on September 04, 2013

  • Annie Mac
  • Clean Bandit
  • Tom Odell
  • The Polyphonic Spree
  • M.I.A
  • Photo: Bestival 2012 by Jamie Baker

    Isle of Wight, UK -- Bestival is a hybrid of music festival and arts event curated by legendary UK DJ Rob da Bank and his illustrator wife Josie and is a spin off project of their record label and former club night Sunday Best. Bestival is a true reflection of Rob and Josie’s eclectic musical taste and love of the arts featuring a mind-blowing array of international musicians and DJs, plus a plethora of arts performers from poetry to sea shanties. Scroll through for our recommendations for this year’s Bestival.

  • Annie Mac

    Photo via official website

    What can you say about Annie Mac? If Rob da Bank is a legend then Annie is epic. She’s been hosting her show on Radio 1 since 2004 and has become eponymous with cutting edge dance music. As well as hosting her now annual “Annie Mac Presents” tour, where she features a guest list of her favorite established and up and coming DJs in her favorite clubs around the UK, she’s a regular on the UK festival scene too. On stage Annie is phenomenal and creates a euphoric electronic mix guaranteed to get anyone up and dancing.

    Listen here:

  • Clean Bandit

    Photo via official website

    Clean Bandit is rapidly becoming a house favorite and has been extensively touring the UK festival scene this year. They fuse electronica with classical and rap and are nothing if not unexpected, especially considering they were founded at Jesus College in Cambridge University, a place not entirely known for its experimentation with music. Live they’re brilliant bar the unfortunate fact that they dance like middle class white people… Swings and roundabouts I guess.

    Listen here:

  • Tom Odell

    Photo via official website

    Tom Odell has had a hard slog to gain recognition and has finally been rewarded this year with the BRITs Critics Choice Award, of which previous winners include Adele and Florence + The Machine. He’s got one of those amazingly haunting voices and is an accomplished pianist which combines to make him just a little bit unique. On stage he comes across slightly awkward and shy while still managing to enchant and is definitely worth checking out.

    Listen here:

  • The Polyphonic Spree

    Photo via official website

    The Polyphonic Spree is less a band and more a performance spectacle. They’re what would have happened if the Summer of Love lasted in to the present day and are one of those bands that you can’t help but feel uplifted by; part choir, part rock band and entirely brilliant. Their stage presence is staggering purely because of the amount of them that are actually on it at any one time and they perform with energy unparalleled by other bands.

    Listen here:

  • M.I.A

    Photo via official website

    At the opposite end of the stage size to The Polyphonic Spree is M.I.A. Despite being a solo musician her stage shows are BIG; dramatic and have a depth of sound that feels like a carnival. Not only is she a cutting edge musician, but she’s also an award winning artist, philanthropist, and humanitarian. On stage, expect almost concussive percussion combined with an amazing light show to produce a riot of color and sound.

    Listen here:


    See Also:

    A Look Ahead: September 2013
    New Music Tuesday: The Polyphonic Spree, The Civil Wars, Explosions in the Sky, and More
    Bestival Unveils Additional Acts