Live Review: Bestival Competition Final

Last night, the Quay Arts played host to a wonderful array of Island talent all battling it out for slots at this year’s Bestival. Split into three categories, and judged by four of the industry’s finest, the packed crowd were in for a good night.

The judging panel featured Level 42 and bass legend Mark King, focusing on the live bands category, world renowned DJ Doorly and Bestival head-honcho Rob Da Bank, targeting the DJ category, and Isle of Wight Radio’s Glyn Taylor, taking care of the spoken word contestants.

The first live act I caught on the night was Lauran Hibberd and her band, who have come a very long way since their first performance together at the IOW Festival Live & Unsigned competition just last month. She gave a fantastic performance of the original track The House I Built When I Was Small, and her unique vocals resonated across the theatre, captivating the whole audience.

Lauran Hibberd and her band performing at the Bestival competition.

The third live act on the night was Ever, an artist who I have been wanting to catch for a while. I have to totally agree with Fret-Buzz’s Jake Priddle in that she reminds me of Grimes a little, and her fantastic performance left the audience wanting more. The penultimate band on the night were PORTABLEhigh, featuring yet another passionate performance from lead singer  Louisa Jane, it’s a shame this energy didn’t flow in some of the other elements of the performance. It was a solid performance though, and looked very professional in front of the projected screen behind them.

Ever performing at the Bestival competition.

Finally, it was time for NaNNik to take to the stage who, admittedly, was the only artist of the night I hadn’t heard of before. With probably the loudest set of the night, both myself and the rest of the audience were left surprised by the energy and professionalism he and his band brought to their performance. Expect big things from him!

It’s also worth mentioning the quality of DJs and spoken word on offer last night. DJ Hancock in particular gave a solid performance, opening his set with a snippet of Faithless’ Insomnia and his fluent transitions were well received by the lively audience gathered by the decks. You can check out a cheeky clip of his set on our Facebook page.

Following a short break, the judges then came back to introduce the winners:

  • Live Act Winner: Lauran Hibberd (Awarded with a slot on the Main Stage)
  • DJ Winner: Just Eden (Awarded with a slot in the Bollywood Tent)
  • Spoken Word Winner: Kestrell (Awarded with a slot on the Amphitheatre)

Congratulations to all of the winners and performers, it was great to see so much fantastic Island talent all in one place!

The winners on stage with the judges.