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Review: Bestival Toronto (Hanlan’s Point Beach, Toronto Island June 12th and 13th, 2015)

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Bestival Toronto is so much more than just a music festival; Bestival is a creative wonderland that landed upon the iconic and picturesque Hanlan’s Point Beach, Toronto Island on June 12th and 13th, 2015.

Upon entering Hanlan’s Point – we were greeted by pop up detail.  Ambient.  Who needs drugs when we are in nature and the vibe instantly smacked us in the face?  Think of trees festooned with a floral arbor, knitted quilted tree trunks, colourful and cheeky street furniture, greeters gently cajoling us into working it, sign posts directing us into Mad Hatter directions and friendly party goers all around.  We were in the right place.

With the likes of Florence + The Machine, Nas,  UK-based Ontarian Caribou, Australian wunderkind Flume, Syrian superstar Omar Souleyman, Chicago EDM explorers Flosstradamus, and an all firing DJ set from Bestival favourite SBTRKT (DJ), Bestival truly had it all!

We also enjoyed,  Rudimental (DJ), Owen Pallett, Keys N Krates, Born Ruffians, Bakermat, Cashmere Cat, Grandtheft, Justin Martin, Dusky, Skream, Robert Delong, DJ Tennis, Cassy, Shamir, Lane 8, Nathan Barato, Matoma, Museum of Love, Hunter Siegel, Shaun Frank, Kill Them With Colours, Humans, Tops, Whilk & Misky, Tei Shi, River Tiber, Harrison and Coleman Hell.

The Bollywood Temple, celebrated Bestival’s life-long love affair with the golden age of India.  We took time to marvel at how each piece must have came over from the UK in containers.  It was magnificent.  Even if you weren’t into the beats – staring at the structure for long enough you could slowly start to feel your legs loosening up.  It was even cooler to see a DJ tucked into the Temple spinning tunes as party goers shook their bottoms.

Additionally, the Bestival Inflatable Church where you can get hitched and the Yarn Bombing Tent where you could hang out with Toronto’s coolest crafters was fun!  It felt like Bestival was giving us everything in their pockets.

The acts, shenanigans, romps on the grounds, giggles during photos – gave us normally quiet and reserved Canadians a gentle nudge to live a little during Bestival Toronto’s weekend with us.  It was a great refresher that we can shake our tale feather just as good as folks outside our city – maybe even better when in good company.

Bestival Toronto did a tremendous job in bringing the best of the UK’s festival vibe to Toronto.  With issues of getting party goer’s home on the ferries on Friday night aside – there are indeed some rough edges that need to be smoothed out.  That said – the excellent detail, cohesiveness, ambiance, electricity, amazing artist line up and creativity – Bestival Toronto gets a huge thumbs up.  Till next summer!

Bestival Toronto

Hanlan’s Point Beach, Toronto Islands, Canada

June 12-13, 2015