Unfortunately the rain came thick and heavy on the final day of Bestival 2013. Of course, this being a British festival, the crowd was in no mood to let the rain dampen their spirits. Especially as the legendary Elton John (at his first ever UK festival) brought Bestival’s ten-year anniversary weekend to a perfect close.
Two hours of Elton John was no less than the icon deserved. Bedecked in a luxurious dark blue sequinned coat, he played with vigour and covered plenty of hits from his 45-year career. The audience were thrilled to hear him warbling Tiny Dancer and I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues.
His audience went truly wild for the foot-stomping I’m Still Standing. Anyone who had been hiding on the floor under rain jackets and umbrellas leapt into the air as soon as they heard the intro to the track. There was jumping, sing-alongs and large groups of people hugging (some still in their besmeared and rain tarnished nautical-themed costumes from the day before).
Up until recently, doubt was cast upon Elton’s ability to play the festival, having recently recovered from a bout of appendicitis, so many people were much relieved that they got to see this musical stalwart perform. His dedication to playing the festival was clear throughout the performance. He even admitted: “The only reason I’m doing this is because I was told it’s a brilliant festival to play!”
Of course, aside from his classics, Elton had a new album (his 30th solo album!) to promote. The Diving Board is due for release on 16th September 2013 and features the new single Home Again. The crowd took to it with vigour and, though the title suggested the nostalgic feeling of the coming morning, Elton ensured that no one wanted the festival to end.
Tear-jerkers such as Candle in the Wind and his final track Your Song saw families, couples and groups of friends swaying their arms in unity. The only fitting thing that could complement this wondrous set was the fireworks that burst forth across the arena as soon as Elton departed.
Our rating: *****
Photos: Ambra Vernuccio