Monday, March 14, 2016

Bestival Lineup Annoucement

Screen-grab from approx. 2PM March 14
Bestival's Canadian cousin returns for a second Toronto edition with it's new Woodbine Park location, June 11th-12th. Friday they announced The Cure and Tame Impala as headliners, while the additional 33+ were named today. Once again Bestival can boast one of the most forward thinking, cohesive combination of progressive, boundary pushing artists, spanning a number of genres, while managing to cultivate an exquisite overall aesthetic. Last years engrossing aura tied everything together in it's omnipresence and is the only thing I think may suffer from this mainland edition. Crossing to the island last year was a rite of passage, inevitably invoking an unconscious suspension of disbelief as one stepped off their boat onto the island. The lineup however remains a draw for many different musical subcultures, yet again rivaling any other festival in Canada.

The combination of artists fills every box you could possibly check off. Massive, time-tested, legendary headliner (The Cure), incredibly hot, uber hip, legend makers (Tame Impala), progressive live acts (Odesza, Grimes, Porter Robinson, Madeon), genre leading DJ/producers (Tchami, Dubfire, Thomas Jack, Joris Voorn, Lee Foss, Giraffage, etc), trusted taste-makers (Anna Lunoe, Rob Da Bank) and swath of the best local talents (Art Department, Shaun Frank, Thugli, Pusher, HRMXNY, etc.).

After TRC made their predictions Thursday, I was determined to buy tickets if The Cure were announced. Despite being woefully unaware of The Cure, apart from what local radio and Hollywood had pushed, (Friday, I'm In Love and of course Robert Smith's Not In Love with Crystal Castles) I found I couldn't get enough of "Halo" after hearing it in a car one fateful afternoon. "Halo" seemed to strike a chord with me and quickly became one of my favourite songs, but for some reason I didn't venture any further into The Cure's massive library, at least until South Park suggested it. 
Taking Stan's word I listened to Disintegration one night on the bus ride from St Catharines to Toronto, and despite being between waking and sleeping it instantly became familiar and spoke to me through its incredible arc. It's become my go-to, after-the-club, come-down music, as I ride the red vomit comet home. So obviously I'm dead excited to see The Cure live in person; fingers crossed they play some amount of Disintegration.

Despite not going to Digital Dreams, one of my favourite sets from last year was Porter Robinson at the Monstercat showcase at Tattoo. I was moments away from going to bed and shutting down my computer when the my final twitter check discovered a live stream from inside of Tattoo. I ended up raving to the light of my computer screen for the next hour and a half, assaulting my keyboard, punching in the endless tracklist of awesomeness Porter dropped deep into the night. And although Bestival says he's doing a live set this time (see here), you can relive last year's rainy-day respite below.

Another act that I'm excited to see for the first time is Giraffage, I've only heard great things about his sets and love what I've heard specifically "All We Need" and "Lionhearted" from fellow Bestivalers Odesza and Porter Robinson, as well as "All Hands On Deck" "Impression Of You" and "So Cute!"

Then of course are those that I've already seen but know play amazing sets, Madeon, Tchami, Anna Lunoe, Shaun Frank, Thugli, Pusher and HRMXNY. Much like last year I'm sure I'll have to make tough choices as to who I see when, and bounce between stages. If the comparison to last year holds true, I can only hope the weather is more like the second day, not the first. That being said, as long it's not cancelled in some way, it will have beat both Veld and Digital Dreams. I sense there will be more names added to the list and since the price of tickets never go down, the earlier you act, the less of a financial commitment you'll have to make. I'd be surprised if word hasn't got out about how good last year was, and if the biggest headache (the ferrying) is out of the way, tickets will likely be moving quickly.