You have to be confident to put on a festival in September, a time when most of the ‘big boys’ have had their fun in July and August. Bestival is the last big UK festival of the summer, taking place over four days in Robin Hill Country Park on the Isle of Wight, organiser Rob Da Bank tells us why he feels that his festival is so special. With an ever growing reputation, every year, the Best’ is saved till last.
The big challenge for Rob Da Bank was how to top last year’s success. Stevie Wonder and four days of glorious sunshine were always going to be a tough act to follow but with Elton John, Snoop Dogg and a whole host of top bands and DJs, this year looks to be an amazing event. Bestival has a solid reputation based on choosing acts with true star quality rather than picking buzz bands or flash-in-the-pan successes. Duke Dumont has been announced as a recent booking and Rob professed his excitement about his appearance, along with M.I.A., Sinead O’Connor, Disclosure, Bastille and Wu Tang Clan. You are not likely to find a more diverse line-up anywhere else in the world.
Even with all the big names, Rob puts a real emphasis on new talent, ‘I love spotting the underdog early and seeing how big they become by September. I’d keep your eyes and ears peeled for Drenge, Jagwar Ma, Merchandise and Lewis Watson, all of whom could really break through by the end of the summer.’ The festival also focuses on an inclusive and party atmosphere, never running the risk of becoming over-commercialised as Rob explains. ‘I see it as I saw it at the beginning – an ever evolving artwork that we build on each year and a huge playground for all our friends and family and musical heroes to share love, music, good food and a pint of cider or four. We’ve capped Bestival’s capacity so we can keep that unique vibe. I just want people to keep coming who love new music and fun’.
I asked Rob how, in this time of financial austerity, he would convince someone to choose Bestival over any other. ‘It’s the most magical, escapist non-stop party fun you can have legally. And it’s on an island away from the doom and gloom of mainland England. Suck it and see!’ I’m convinced, I’ll see you all there.By Joni Roome