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Interview: Rob Da Bank


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Why did you start Bestival?
It was another one of those happy accidents that seem to happen to me now and again (like getting a show on Radio 1 or my toast landing with the Marmite side up for a change!). My wife Josie and I had all these amazing ideas of our ideal festival and we met some people John and Ziggy who had the dough to make it happen so it did! After going to festivals and putting on our own parties for 15 years it was the dream ending!

What is it that makes Bestival different or ‘special’ compared to other festivals?
Well I'm biased and not everyone might agree but I think it’s the funnest festival out there for sure. Glastonbury is easily the best festival in the world – even now with so much business involved it still is pure escapism and that’s what we wanted to create. A fun escape from normal life..with ace bands and DJs to boot.

What is the ethos behind the festival?
Good music and culture but most importantly a safe place for people to have a laugh and relax. It’s a very family friendly festival while still being a bit edgy. Theres no fixed plan or ethos – we’re only in our third year and we’re just letting it create itself with the people who come – sounds a but hippyish but it’s the truth! If 15,000 idiots turned up it’d be a rubbish festival so we’re relying on our crowd to an extent!

Tell me about this year’s line-up – how’s it shaping up and what are you looking forward too?
Well the fact that Ive booked the Pet Shop Boys and Scissor Sisters has kind of overshadowed what I think is a brave, forward thinking, extremely eclectic line up. I’m really pleased with the headliners but really Bestival is about searching out bands and acts you’ve never seen or even heard of.
I’d recommend the amazing African highlife sound of Kanda Bongo Man, the folk and rock of John Martyn, the eccentricity of the Mystery Jets, the downright genius of Kelley Polar’s electronic wibblings, Alfredo’s original Balearic set, Kid Creole, future star Get Cape Wear Cape Fly and Jim Noir and that’s just a few of the many things I wanna try and see!
Bestival is not just about the music is it? What other weird and wonderful happenings are part of this years event?
Well we’ve got our beautiful Spiegel tent with Come Dancing classes all day and a chance to try our your footwork in the evening! Theres a new 24 Hour Ambient Tent with the worlds best horizontal DJs and live acts, the Inflatable Church will be back for weddings and funerals!, Morris Dancing competitions, the Womens Institute tea and cakes and the worlds biggest fancy dress party with a circus theme on the Saturday night! And a shedload more…

What’s you best Bestival memory to date?
Standing on the stage as Basement Jaxx came on at the first one and looking out and seeing a sea of people who'd come to our festival. Amazing feeling.

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