50,000 Head To Bestival Over Next 4 Days

Keeping Bestival-goers safe and on the move are priorities for this year's dedicated police operation during the world-famous music festival on the Isle of Wight.

At least 50,000 Islanders and visitors are expected to gather at Robin Hill Country Park near Newport for live music and entertainment between Thursday, September 6, and Monday, September 10.

Rob da Bank says:

"A funny old year for festivals but we got there! We are sold out for the eighth year running - no mean feat and thanks to everyone who's bought a ticket. So now it's time to get wild, dress up, let your hair down, prepare to party like it's, well, 2012 and hopefully witness things that no one else on earth has ever seen! See you on the grass."

Organisers said:

With over 20 stages of good times spread across 10 magical fields, there will be headline shows from the incomparable Stevie Wonder, Florence & The Machine and New Order plus exclusive appearances from Sigur Rós and The xx.

Stevie Wonder

There will also be sets from Friendly Fires, Nero, Soulwax, Justice Live, Two Door Cinema Club, The 2 Bears, David Rodigan, Skream and Benga feat. Sgt Pokes And Youngman and so many more.

Plus, there'll be madness and mayhem galore at the Wishing Tree, Swamp Shack, Slumba Rave, Come Dancing, Club Dada, Time for Tease, the all new world of Bollywood and the Ambient Forest. It's going to be an epic four days of Wildlife!


Police are working within the well-established emergency liaison team at Bestival alongside event organisers, other emergency services, Isle of Wight Council and transport operators to maintain public safety and prevent crime.


Officers from Hampshire Constabulary's Roads Policing Unit (RPU) are on patrol regularly to remind revellers not to drive home if they are planning a weekend of excess.

Police will be conducting drink-drive operations over the weekend and anyone over the limit can expected to be arrested and taken into custody.

However, Bestival-goers will have a chance to see if they are fit to drive by taking a voluntary breathalyser test as they leave the venue and head to their cars.

Inspector Martin Goodall from the force's Roads Policing Unit said:

"If you want to make sure you're sober, voluntary breathalyser tests are available again this year at the Bestival campsite police office for anyone who genuinely wants to drive but is unsure if their alcohol level has returned to zero.

"All you have to do is breathe into the kit and we'll let you know whether or not you're safe to get behind the wheel. You won't be arrested if you're over the limit, but you will be told not drive.

"Everyone takes a risk when they get inside a car, but if you choose - and make no mistake, it is a choice - to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol you're more likely to crash and more likely to kill or seriously injure yourself, your friends and anyone who happens to be in the way."


Hampshire Constabulary's Isle of Wight Event Planning Inspector Paul Savill said:

"Illegal drugs are never tolerated at island festivals, which have a relaxed, family-friendly reputation with low levels of crime.

"Police aim to protect people from the dangers of drugs at festivals on the Isle of Wight. Hampshire Constabulary continues to co-operate closely with event organisers to intercept and seize illegal and harmful substances. We're grateful for the considerable and consistent support of the organisers.

"Experienced specialist officers and drugs dogs are on duty again at entrances to the event as part of a dedicated police operation agreed in advance with Bestival promoters. Officers have the right to search anyone suspected of being in possession of drugs.

"However, our policy also aims to avoid being obtrusive and confrontational. Amnesty bins are provided in advance of these check points to give people the opportunity to surrender illegal substances.

"We continue to offer advice and support through independent drugs counsellors to anyone at risk from substance misuse. This approach is recognised as best practice by other police forces."


Sales of so-called 'legal highs' remain banned at the Bestival. If reports of any sales are received, security stewards and the police will take action.

Inspector Paul Savill said:

"Legal does not mean safe. Do not experiment by taking a substance when you cannot be sure of its contents. The effects are unpredictable, dangerous, and possibly fatal.

"Some people think that legal highs will help them enjoy the weekend even more, but the consequences for your health, life and loved ones could prove devastating.


Inspector Savill added:

"Most people coming to the Bestival want to enjoy the music and soak up the atmosphere, but some, unfortunately, have more sinister motives.

"We do everything we can to prevent people from becoming victims, but it is inevitable that some crime will take place. There are, however a few easy steps you can take to make the festival safer for you."


- There is no way you can make a tent 100 per cent secure so only bring what you absolutely need.

- Do not be tempted to leave valuables in your vehicle either.

- Do not challenge people looking through tents - report them to Bestival staff or the police immediately.


- Label your belongings, including your tent, with your postcode.

- Thieves are after unidentifiable property, so make sure the markings are obvious and indelible.

- Before you come to the Bestival register your property such as mobile phones and cameras for free at www.immobilise.com and help the police to return stolen items to their rightful owner.


- Do this now: on your mobile phone key in *#06# and your unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number will be displayed.

- Make a note of this number so that if you lose your phone or if it is stolen you can contact your service provider to have the phone immobilised.

- Whilst on site keep it in a buttoned/zipped pocket, secure bag or use a lanyard to keep it secured to your clothing.

- Tracking software and apps are available for laptops and SmartPhones. If you're bringing yours consider downloading this software to help the police reunite your property should it be stolen.


- There is safety in numbers. Say ‘hello’ to your neighbours to build a community feeling and provide greater security around your tent.


- Do not keep all your money, bank cards and valuables together - spread them around in different pockets.

- Before going to sleep, place them in a plastic bag and hide it in your sleeping bag with you.

- There will be lockers available on site for rental – please use them!


Inspector Paul Savill said:

"We treat the Bestival as though we were policing any other close-knit community with tried and tested neighbourhood policing methods.

"There are uniform foot and cycle patrols in and around the event 24 hours a day, and a police campsite office at the base of path from Campsite Entrance One between the Wishing Tree and Red Camping Sites. This is situated next to the main medical centre, lost property and welfare tents.

"Bobbies on the tweet beat will again play an important part of our interaction with Bestival-goers and the wider community.

"We had an incredible amount of positive feedback to own dedicated @FestivalCop Twitter channel at the Isle of Wight Festival. People appreciated officers answering questions, giving top tips on how to stay safe, and updates on the advice and support we were giving to people affected by the adverse weather.

"Please follow us @FestivalCop during the Bestival."


Inspector Paul Savill added:

"It's always important to remember that the rest of the Isle of Wight is not neglected during a major festival

"We have enough officers and staff on duty to respond to emergencies as normal so do not be reluctant in reporting crime or anti-social behaviour."

To report a crime, dial 999 in an emergency, or 101 for non-emergencies. Mini-Com users can call the police on 01962 875000. Information can be given anonymously by calling the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.