Review: Bestival Toronto 2016 — The Cure, Grimes, The Wombats

June 15, 2016
By

Grimes at Bestival Toronto - photo Stevie Gedge

Grimes on stage at Bestival Toronto – photo Stevie Gedge, Bestival 

Who: Bestival Toronto, Sunday
Where: Woodbine Park, Toronto
When: 12 June 2016
In one word: Dreamland

Whether you wanted to rock out, dance it out, meditate, or perhaps even get married – Bestival had it all this past weekend. Bestival returned to Toronto on June 11th, and 12th with the “Summer of Love” back in action. Woodbine Park was quickly transformed into a dreamland filled with countless decorations, and activities. I can easily say that this was the most fun filled festival that I have ever been to. Prior to this year, the festival was held near The Beaches, which made it a pain for festival goer’s to reach however, with easy access to the TTC, those in attendance were much more pleased — the organizer’s definitely did a better job planning this year!

The Sunday lineup attracted a variety of different crowds of all different ages between its EDM portion, bands such as Daughter and The Wombats, and legendary rock band The Cure. The festival was accessible to all, which is what makes it as successful as it is. Not only is it extremely accessible however, there is always something going.

FOOD

There was an extremely large variety of food. For someone who loves food as much as I do and is looking for many different options at music festivals, they nailed it. There was a large amount of food trucks with basically anything you could want, including vegan and vegetarian options as well! Additionally, they had Churro Ice Cream cones, how amazing is that?

The Cosmic Commune

The Cosmic Commune was definitely one of my favourite aspects of the Festival. This was an area filled with venders selling hand-made accessories (slightly pricey), cool activities for free, and “pop up party and performances”. I had the opportunity to take part in a Sound Healing Workshop, which is something I had never experienced before. I loved the idea that this was open and free to everyone. It took place in a tented area, and it was interesting, calming, and unlike anything I had ever experienced before. In addition to the Sound Healing Workshop, you also had the option to see the Cowboy Mouth perform, tale place in Harmonium Hypnotism, and much more. I also loved the addition of The Cosmic Café which sold fresh vegetables and healthy snacks, which I love to see at Festivals.

I had the opportunity to see Silver Elvis and his Rocket Car several times, as well as many other strangely dressed and costumed folks, which added to the fun and interactive vibes of Bestival.

The Bestival Chapel

The Bestival Chapel was a very fun aspect to the festival. People had the option to sign up for “weddings”, and any festival goers were able to attend. I attended one wedding and I must say, it was a very fun and welcoming experience. I walked into the blown up chapel with open arms, and watched as a goofy wedding took place, following a dance party.

Knitting Tent

I was not aware prior to this festival that there would be a knitting tent, which I thought was so cool! Anyone was welcome to knit with tools and advice available to them, and able to sit on couch’s inside or outside the tent. It is a great idea to sit down, relax, and take a break from the festival madness while still being able to listen to the live music.

Music

I loved the diversity of music within this festival which included EDM, Alternative, Rock, Classic Rock, and more. Whether you wanted to jam out to The Cure, or party it up in Bollywood with several different DJs, or even both- you could!

The Wombats put on a fun and energetic set, and were definitely crowd pleasers. Not being a personal fan of the band, I still enjoyed their rock/pop style set.

“I have a cold, so if I sound like shit don’t judge me” said Grimes, who sounded amazing regardless of her health. Her set began with the entrance of her background dancers, which caught the crowds attention with their sharp and distinct moves. I had a strong appreciation for the fact that Grimes included dancers within her set as dancers are not featured as much in festivals/smaller shows, they are usually seen with only larger artists in arena shows. It added another element to Grimes’s already amazing set. She was so fun and filled with happiness, and put on an amazing show. Although in the beginning it was difficult to hear her vocals due to technicality issues, it was fixed throughout the set and did not affect much of the presentation. Her weirdness and quirkiness is always a crowd pleaser.

There were many different DJ’s playing throughout the entire day however my personal favourites were Pusher, Weston & Teston, and Lee Foss on the Bollywood Stage. Personally I am not a huge fan of EDM however, I really had fun during these sets. Pusher most definitely deserved a larger crowd but, Weston & Teston was an extremely fun way to end the night after The Cure’s amazing almost 2 hour long set.

The Cure at Bestival Toronto - photo Stevie Gedge

Expectedly, The Cure put on an awesome show. Unfortunately there were some issues with sound throughout the set as it would cut out, but it really did not result in being that much of a distraction because they were just too good. Their sound was so clear and crisp (aside from technical issues), and I still can not get over how amazing the guitar sounded throughout the set, especially during “Just Like Heaven”. It was also nice to see a crowd filled with people of so many different ages viewing such an old band, because it shows that there is still appreciation for older music.

© Gemma Mastroianni, Music Vice

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