As the summer and consequently festival season draws to a close, I have a confession to make. I don't like festivals. There I said it. Too often, they're over crowded, filled to the brim with people who are trying to rip you off and I don't even want to get started on the general sanitation levels. With all this is mind, I was rather surprised when I agreed to go to Bestival. Although I have been going to festivals for 7 years now, I thought last year's Download Festival would be my last. I was wrong and thank God for that.

Bestival prides itself on being that little bit different. It isn't particularly genre specific when it comes to music, nor is it particularly people specific. All sorts are free to come along and enjoy. As a result, you don't feel trapped in another dimension filled to the brim with various likenesses of others like you do at say Reading and Download. It's very refreshing indeed. Nor are you trapped in a scenario where a limited amount of musical genres are shoved down your throat for 3 days. The chances are, if you look hard enough for something at Bestival, you'll probably find it.

From hard hitting beats to ladyies' ta-ta's and tea, Bestival, more than any other music festival I have ever experienced, is a celebration of everything that the population loves about festivals.

So, what about the music? With such a diverse choice it was hard to choose what to go see. I could reel off stories about the headline acts, and I will, eventually. However, for me, I got so much more off the smaller acts. So, as a result I'll start with them.

David Holmes, as I'm sure you'll know is not a small act, but I thought I'd start off with him. I'm really rather uncertain as to why I am, because other than one of the major acts (I'll explain later), I was really rather disappointed with him. David Holmes has built up a reputation for playing fantastic funky grooves. Every time I have seen him previously, that's exactly what I have experienced. Easy to enjoy, fun to dance to. Imagine my surprise after walking into 'The Big Top' to be confronted with a wall of booming noise, which wouldn't sit uncomfortably in an Aaron Funk DJ set. I don't have anything against that kind of sound, nor Venetian Snares but that isn't what I'd expect from David Holmes. Needless to say I left and went to see Optimo in the Bollywood Bar instead.

Having never heard Optimo live before, I was intrigued by what I would experience. However, I was confronted with everything I had hoped David Holmes would be. Dancy, funky beats that really got everyone into the festival spirit. Swaying away, slightly inebriated I and my festival entourage found ourselves drawn back to the 'Big Top' to take in the musical stylings of Tim Westwood.

It's easy to pick on Westwood. He's about a million years old, the son of a white middle class family and his continued existence in the music world is a mockery of musical evolution. However, his 'importance' to the UK hip-hop scene cannot be underestimated. For a long time now, he has been the UK's main link with the US Hip Hop Industry. So, lay off him for a bit, plus I have known him to put on a decent show. Sadly, not so on this showing. Westwood's choices of tracks were so laughably commercial and passť that it was almost cringe worthy staying there and watching the set. Bar a few decent Ragga selections, most of his set was filled with cheesy early 2000 hip-hop that wouldn't sound out of place at a sweet sixteen birthday bash. With the Chemical Brothers on at 10.30, I stayed and took it all in, leaving the arena feeling less than impressed with Timmy.

The Chemical Brothers were a different proposition altogether. I've never seen them live, nor did I have any particular desire to do so. So, I watched on with a mind untouched by bias.

The Chemical Brothers put on a great show. Visually they were absolutely superb, images of robots marching on the screen accompanied by lasers flashing through the crowd were enough to sell me the show. But the musical and intensity was there too. The set obviously well planned had everything. From old classics to newer material from a rather below scratch album, in my opinion anyway, it all seemed to fit perfectly.

I'd like to say I know what happened next. I don't. Everything goes blurry at the end of the Chemicals' set. A few tents here, a beer there and a meander around the woods. Bestival, and the Chemical Brothers in particular had really got me into the festival mood. With two headliners left, a fancy dress day and much much more to come, I'd already been convinced by Bestival's growing reputation as the place to be this summer.

Along came Saturday, and with it, the promise of Madness (the worst kept secret since Posh Spice's boob job), The Cuban Brothers, Joe Driscoll, and the Beastie Boys.

I'll start with the Beastie Boys. I was really looking forward to this, and can only really look back on the performance with disappointment. Plagued with technical issues, poor set choices and self indulgence, the Beastie Boys really didn't live up to the hype. They certainly didn't have to do much to gee the crowd up. Come on, it's the Beastie Boys. If that can't excite you, I can only assume you are a cheerless, miserable scrooge who takes pleasure in the drowning of kittens.

Besides that, the Cuban Brothers did an absolutely incredible job before them. Lionel Richie covers through to James Brown dedications. They provided the crowd with just the sort of spectacle you would expect from £115 a ticket. The Beastie Boys on the other hand, seemed incredibly lacklustre and not really with it. A point best shown in a 3 song instrumental set that saw a large portion of the crowd disappear into the woods along with me.

The same can be said of Joe Driscoll. Now, don't get me wrong, I like Joe Driscoll. It's just that nothing he does really makes me sit back and take notice. There's nothing spectacular about him. He reminds of sitting in my University Halls listening to some guy with an acoustic guitar bark out another slightly amusing hip hop cover. Obviously he's better than that, but if you've heard or seen Joe Driscoll you can obviously see the comparison.

However, if you see past that, it is quite impressive. The 'Loose Tea Party' tent was perhaps an ideal setting for his musical talents. And to this day (3 days on) I'm still slightly peeved that I cut his set short to go get a decent standing spot for the Beastie Boys. Only a rather ill feted rapping attempt on his rendition of 'The Whole World' went down badly in an otherwise very solid and enjoyable set.

Highlight of the day, other than the incredible Fancy Dress Parade, was always going to be Madness. A fantastic set which read like a who's who of Madness songs set the crowd jumping off the walls. There's not really much else I can say about it. It was fantastic seeing people young and old skanking to tunes of yesteryear.

More than anything else, the performance of Madness personified what Bestival is all about. Young and old coming together with differing music taste, questionable fashion sense and absolutely no attitude. Everyone there for the sole purpose of celebrating Bestival, which itself is a celebration of everything that is fantastic about the Festival season.

No matter what Sunday had in store, you always had the feeling that it could never top Saturday. Maybe it was the fact that I hadn't slept in two days, and the only liquid that had passed my mouth was unavailable on sale to anyone under the age of 18, but Sunday slipped me by without me really noticing.

The headline act, Primal Scream, just didn't excite me and the general Sunday line up seemed rather bare. However, there were glimmers of hope in the general Sunday dreariness.

The Beastie Boys redeemed themselves with a much better set on a sunny Sunday afternoon. An instrumental set littered with some favourites went down much better, and without any technical glitches. DJ Yoda showed his talent once again in an incredibly frustrating set. The problem with Yoda, is that he seems incapable of playing a song for more than 30 seconds. Everyone knows about his talent, it would be better if he showcased it in bite size chunks, rather than continually exposing the audience to it.

Moe Foe on the 'Bandstand' made for wonderful watching on the hill. A fusion of soothing female vocals with drum and bass beats means they'll surely go on to achieve bigger things. An act I genuinely enjoyed over the weekend. Alice Russell in 'House of Bamboo' was sublime as ever, as were Sombrero Sound System, who got a flagging audience really going in the Bollywood Bar'.

And that was it. Minus an ill feted shisha bar exchange at 3 am on Monday morning, my Bestival was over. Do I still dislike festivals? Of course. I hate the fact that I feel I can't go to the toilet for 3 days (I have never used a festival toilet in 7 years of going to festivals). Will I go to other music festivals ever again? Probably. Will I go to Bestival again? I'm booking my ticket on September 14th. So should you.