Rob da Bank - Bestival / Camp Bestival / Association of Independent Festivals
Cripes, I think this is the first time I’ve sat down in a week! Welcome to my first weekly blog for Virtual Festivals, where I will report back on my experiences out in the fields and back at my desk in my roles as Bestival / Camp Bestival promoter, as a DJ, and also as founder of the newly-formed Association of Independent Festivals.
Last weekend was a whirlwind of trains, planes and dodgems as I headed to the ace Bloc Weekend in sunny Minehead … In a Butlins of all venues! Actually this looked more like a mini version of the Dome combined with a fairground and half of Disneyland. Must be perfect for thousands of little kids and their parents in the sun but had a slightly bizarre slant with 5000 ravers running riot (in the nicest possible way) round the fake pirate ships and sliding down the 30mph water slides with cans of Red Stripe.
A superb festival though and apparently much improved on previous years in terms of the site and it was sold out! Good work. I caught ace sets from Rusko, Drums Of Death, Pole and the first Future Sound Of London show in ten years before tipsily mashing up drum & bass, dubstep and African techno to a very clued up crowd. Check the highlights on my Radio 1 show this Sunday at midnight.
I hotfooted it from there via home in London to give the kids a peck on the cheek and then down to the Isle Of Wight for a charity gig. I love the Islanders for many reasons but their free spirited embrace of all musical styles is one of their best traits so I can play whatever I want when I DJ there. It also means I can be as selfish as I want within reason with the Bestival line up and they’ll welcome whoever it is from Kraftwerk to Bjorn Again, Squarepusher to Fleet Foxes.
I’m also chuffed that the Isle of Wight Festival has got the Pixies playing – the Islanders deserve to see the best music every year and 2009 is shaping up to be a vintage year. Which reminds me I have to dash soon and decide which of the two headliners I’ve managed to whittle it down to will be best for Besti.
Just seen that Doves have self-confirmed for Bestival which is news to me but if they wanna come bring it on! Overall a great week for festival announcements and I hope for everyone’s sake that the inventive line ups and sheer graft that festi promoters put in will pay off in what everyone sees as a somewhat tumultuous year.