Bestival and Camp Bestival organiser, Radio 1 DJ, Association of Independent Festivals co-founder and all-round festival guru, Rob da Bank is a busy man. This is how he's spent his last seven days...
Another fast moving week in the world of festies – as a promoter I can’t tell you how different 2009 feels to the relative calm of the last two or three years. Then again I’m sure if I spoke to Michael and Emily Eavis they’re probably enjoying this year much more than last year when they were much slower selling out – I read that Michael lost a stone in anxiety about ticket sales. I’m not losing any beer belly yet – we’re on a similar course as last year but the general air of mild panic about the recession is keeping me on my toes.
Creamfields have been bold with a discounted ticket scheme for loyal festivalgoers in the north of England, think it shows the usual astute thinking from James Barton and his team. We announced the double Manc whammy of Elbow and Doves yesterday with the former headlining the Sunday night. It’s a bit of a departure for us having a massive ‘band’ band closing the show but I think it’s the perfect, magnificent grand finale for this year.
It’s easy for announcements to get lost in the crowded marketplace and there have been some other great announces from Glastonbury (Doves, Lily Allen and White Lies), Latitude (Magazine and Spiritualized), Creamfields (Basement Jaxx and Tiesto), Benicassim (Elbow and Maximo Park) and the IMS Grand Finale in Ibiza (Jaxx again and Richie Hawtin). I wonder how the foreign shows like Benicassim that can normally rely on loads of Brits travelling over will fare this year.
Personally, I’m crossing my fingers I'll get to EXIT in Serbia and the Sziget Festival on the banks of the Danube this year – European shows do in the most part seem to look after artists much better than us and I’d like to pick up some tips.
I see that Festival Republic, owners of Latitude and partners in Glasto have bought into Electric Picnic in Ireland and Hove in Norway, two of the best shows about. I played a back to back set with Fred Deakin of Lemon Jelly at a very wet first year of Hove in 2008. As rain flooded through the roof of the rickety backstage shelter we played a random selection from Ray Charles to Tamsin Archer (Fred’s weird but strangely popular choice) but I could see the potential of the beautiful wooded site surrounded by fjords, the fact it lasted five days and the great bill. Definitely a smart move by FR.
This week, Sunday Best label signing Kitty Daisy & Lewis were confirmed on the amazing Paul Tollett creation All Points West near New York, as the next installment of Coldplay falling in love with them and inviting them on their entire North American tour. I happily confirmed to DJ before Orbital at the Get Loaded In The Park show on Clapham Common on Aug 30, and I hear The Killers sold 40,000 tickets in one day for their Hyde Park [Hard Rock Calling] show. Did I hear you say recession?
Popping my head over the parapet outside of my festival bubble I realise it’s my sons' third and first birthday parties so there are balloons to blow up, hedgehog and pirate cakes to ice and then I’m gonna strip off and do a sundance in the garden to ward off the April showers. I’d stay indoors for the next half an hour if you live nearby. Til the next time!