The Big Chill used to have a reputation as the natural refuge for thirtysomething ravers, but the times they are a-changing at Eastnor. Festival audiences have been squeezed across the board this summer and the modest crowds at some of the bigger acts at the BC proved that point. So where does the future lie? It's no longer a boutique event, but neither does it have have the firepower to match the bigger festivals. Some of the best performances came from soulful acts aimed at the army of younger festival-goers: a classy Dionne Bromfield; exuberant Janelle Monáe. Jessie J arrived on crutches and spent the entire set on a huge throne but still turned in a high-energy show. On Friday, Empire of the Sun brought their electronic glam-rock to the Deer Park stage, eclipsing the big beats and fancy light show of the Chemical Brothers. On Saturday, Idris Elba and Lucy Liu provided the glamour in guest spots with the Bullets, but Metronomy's sophisticated electronica was more impressive.
And so to Kanye... Signing the rapper was clearly a statement of ambition that divided Big Chillers (A-list headliner or corporate takeover?), but despite the rapper's ill-judged comments that suggested he was vilified as much as Hitler, he played the hits, gave a suitably over-the-top performance and left us with plenty to talk about. The final day was dominated by veterans Femi Kuti, Robert Plant and Sharon Jones.
Best act Empire of the Sun
Best discovery Aloe Blacc
Overheard ''You can't go back to change that nappy until I've finished my set!'' – DJ Tom Middleton