Five of our Favourite Festival Moments

We've cherry picked five of the best moments of the festival season as it winds down for another year.

Jimmy Coultas

Last updated: 2nd Feb 2016

Image: Fleetwood Mac @ Isle of Wight, Credit James Bridle

It's been a vintage year for festivals in the UK. The green fields have been busier than ever with revellers braving the elements to soak up the sounds of the biggest stars and icons in music, drinking far too much, and making brand new friends at this magical time of year. 

As October draws closer we're bidding farewell with our pick of the bunch. With so many highlights to look back on (head here for all our festival reviews) this has been a tough old list to compile, but one that's re-awoken some of our most fondly remembered moments of summer 2015. 

The Chemical Brothers at Glastonbury

Whilst a certain Kanye West was busy stealing the headlines with his controversial turn at the world's most iconic festival, it was another group that in fact delivered the best set of the entire weekend - The Chemical Brothers.

Knocking around since the dawn of the nineties, you'd be forgiven for thinking that one of electronic music's most prolific acts would be running out of steam by now, but their set was to be a sobering reminder that their ever evolving interpretation of the rave is more relevant and powerful than ever. 

The production was next level, the energy levels were off the charts, and the sheer scale of their back catalogue and quality of their newer records meant there wasn't a single lull during the onslaught of acid drenched, rave heavy, electrified dance music. See that in their 2015 interpretation of 'Under The Influence' above.

Read James Clarke's Glastonbury 2015 review here.

Tom Korni at Bestival

Credit: Tom Korni

Rob da Bank's flagship festival always offers up innumerable highlights. From the music to all the bits in between, it's a glorious festival full of character in a truly laid back atmosphere that belies the size it is.

With the likes of Missy Elliot, Skrillex, Underworld, Duran Duran, Tame Impala and a wicked unannounced turn from party hip hop icons House Of Pain, the main stage packed a serious punch, but the gig that's stuck with us happened well away from the spotlight, and came from 17 year old one man band Tom Korni.

With no loop pedals, backing tracks, drum machines, and certainly no autotune, the wunderkind set about covering some of the most timeless pop classics, from The Beatles to Pink Floyd, via Oasis and Arctic Monkeys in a way we've never seen before.

As a display of technical ability, it was mesmerising, but it was his audience engagement, and the glowing crowd approval that he courted like a rising star that made us wonder just how long he's going to remain in relative obscurity - we're guessing not long at all.

Read Andy Hutchings' Bestival 2015 review.

Kendrick Lamar at Leeds Festival 

It's not often that a headline set from The Libertines is overlooked when locking sights on the alt-rock fortress that is Bramham Park. Maybe we'd be talking about that performance if the crowd happened to be acquainted with the new record, but even so, it'd by no means eclipse the performance of Kendrick Lamar that came before it.

He's undoubtedly the most prolific rap artist of this generation and to see him do his thing live on stage was really quite something. Journeying his full inventory, it wasn't the To Pimp a Butterfly showcase we expected, but why restrict your hand to one album when you've got early hits like 'Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe' and 'M.a.a.d City' to fall back on?

One thing you can't draw from the album is a live performance of A$AP Rocky's 'Fuckin Problems' and an improvised jazz version of 'A.D.H.D'. Oh and 'King Kunta' is some spectacle being reverberated by a crowd more adjusted to a cup of Yorkshire tea than Compton. 

Read Ben Smith's Leeds Festival 2015 review.

Ricardo Villalobos at Cocoon in the Park

Credit: Cocoon in the Park

Has any DJ set been quite as divisive as this one in recent years? Ricardo Villalobos' set at the Leeds all day techno extravaganza ignited social media like never before, with the aftermath of him following on from Carl Cox causing ripples throughout the electronic music world with a glut of disenchanted ravers making their feelings known.

Our view was slightly different, and we were for the most part in thrall to the DJ's subtle nuances and deft touches, not to mention finally hearing him drop his own 'Dexter' for the first time in years. Which ever way you look at it Ricardo got people talking.

Read Jack Law's Cocoon in the Park 2015 review.

Fleetwood Mac at Isle of Wight Festival

Named year after year as perennial Glasto headliners, Fleetwood Mac headlining a UK festival was always going to be a big deal. The fact that it went to a gathering a little south than Pilton Farm was all the more astonishing, delivering a huge coup for the IOW event.

The festival in itself wasn't a classic, bad weather ruining the Friday and the decision to leave all to the rock Goliaths looked an increasingly risky strategy - a spate of tour date cancellations began to make their appearance less and less likely.

They turned up though, in every sense of the phrase. The returning Christine Mcvie was spectacular, Lyndsey Buckingham's guitar as mesmerising as ever and Stevie Nicks was a transfixing delight throughout as 'The Chain', 'Dreams', 'Landslide', 'Everywhere' and a rip roaring 'Don't Stop' at the end were delivered with all the gusto they deserved.

The Mac's enduring cross generation appeal and gloriously tempestuous euphoria makes them the perfect festival band, but that is no assurance they'd ever deliver to such resounding success on a huge stage. That made this magical two hours, our top pick of festival season, all the more beguiling.

Read Five things we learnt at Isle of Wight festival (review).

Festivals 2019