'We needed to start a new chapter': Rob Da Bank on the future of Bestival

'We needed to start a new chapter': Rob Da Bank on the future of Bestival

Bestival promoter Rob Da Bank has spoken to Music Week about the event's site move and date change ahead of its landmark 15th edition next month. 

Scheduled for the Lulworth Estate in Dorset from August 2-5, the festival will feature acts including London Grammar, Silk City (Diplo & Mark Ronson), MIA, Grace Jones, Plan B, Chaka Khan and First Aid Kit. 

It will mark Bestival's second year at its new home after departing the Isle Of Wight in 2016. 

“We needed to start a new chapter,” said the DJ, who founded the event with wife Josie in 2004. “I love the Isle Of Wight, I'm bringing my kids up there. But the massive competition that’s come on in the last few years has meant that you’ve got to be really lean and mean and fight for every ticket. So I think moving to the mainland will open up that market. 

“On the flip side, I was sad to see it go from the island. I know the ferry journey on the way there was a lot of fun for a lot of people and part of the trip. But lugging your rucksack up a hill, getting on a bus, getting on a ferry, getting off and getting back to where you live, I think that broke a lot of people. So the boring old site where you can turn up in your car and walk to the site is sadly maybe a preferable experience for some.”

New for 2018, it has been brought forward from its traditional September date to the beginning of August. 

“We used to love being the last festival in summer but felt that people get festival fatigue by September and we didn’t want to be stuck out on our own,” explained Da Bank. “Plus, we have a site which is up and running in July so why not make the most of that? 

“I felt like we needed to be more in the summer holidays. Students and teachers used to not be able to come to Bestival because it was held literally just as schools and universities went back. There are a lot of people who can come who couldn’t before and I’m excited, it’s another Bestival experiment that I hope will go right.”

Click here or see this week's issue of Music Week for the full interview with Rob Da Bank. 

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