Apple has quietly begun to deepen its partnerships with UK live music events as it attempts to consolidate its market-leading iTunes Store service.

Most recently, Apple supported the critically acclaimed Bestival event on the Isle of Wight.

Apple representatives prowled through the crowds, handing out iTunes vouchers that entitled the recipient to three free songs from the Store. Some attendees, such as the two police officers pictured here, were given plastic cards that entitled them to 25 free songs.

In advance of the festival, a run of online ads featured iTunes and Bestival, these appeared on numerous music-related websites in the UK.

Site visitors who clicked on the link were taken immediately to a dedicated space on iTunes where they could buy and download songs created by artists appearing at Bestival.

The festival featured a massive diversity of talent, with the Pet Shop Boys, Scissor Sisters, The Fall, Gogol Bordello and Lily Allen all delivering outstanding performances on the main stage.

Beyond the main stage, audiences were thrilled by performances from the likes of Misty's Big Adventure, Ulrich Schnauss, Future Sound of London, Jim Noir, Son of Dave and many more.

The event also took the world record for the world's biggest fancy dress party, with 15,000 revellers dressed in hundreds of colourful costumes. Pet Shop Boys singer Neil Tennant, resplendent in an Admiral's uniform, ruefully confessed he felt "underdressed" for the event.

Image credit: Lisa Rocket