Rob Da Bank's blog #15

United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Rob da Bank | 30 July 2009

Phewee that was a weekend and a half. Well more like 3 weeks to build, set up and get Camp Bestival down again. And that was after the 6 months of planning how the hell you get 5,000 kids to keep themselves and their 10,000 parents happy for 3 days. But we did it!
We’re sticklers for perfection and it wasn’t 100% right all weekend but with two and a half days of glorious sun and an amazingly diverse and fun crowd we just needed to get everything else right.
Festival moments for me:
1) Florence and the Machine in flowing white robes scampering around the stage like a woman possessed with the castle in the background shrouded in dry ice and the flags fluttering like some ancient pageant was about to happen. Mystical!
2) Mr Tumble’s surprise set on Saturday – never before have I seen so much happiness on so many kids faces – as our resident head Bluecoat Bobby Lost quipped – he’s Elvis for the nappy generation. (if you still don’t know who he is look on youtube!)
3) PJ Harvey – months in the planning Polly Jean Harvey delivered an exquisite 75 minutes of classics, new exclusive tracks and tracks from the White Chalk album on piano, guitar and a little drum machine that broke down and made her laugh quite a lot. Really affecting and had pretty much the whole site sat rapt in silence, if not inside the Big Top then sat on the hill watching on a giant video screen
4) Silent Arena – wow, what a revelation. I played my first Silent Arena set against my right hand men Duncan and Johnny Sombrero on Saturday night to 3,000 peeps with headphones on (so we didn’t wake up the kids!). From daft drum & bass to Dexys, Human League to Nirvana it was a right old battle and I want a rematch now! DJ Yoda playing a half loud half Silent set in the Bollywood Bar smashed it too.
5) Bon Iver. On just before PJ Harvey and probably my gig of the year. Justin and his band are the most incredible musicians making people literally scream with emotion. Magic.
6) River Cottage Café. The first outing for the River Cottage into festies and Hugh and his gang were onsite all weekend with sausage workshops, amazing mutton burgers and nettle beer. And he danced all night in the Silent Disco.
7) Chic -  many people saying Chic and Nile Rodgers is the best band they’ve ever seen. By then I was so exhausted I only caught half of it but reviewing it on a video I have to agree.
8) Under 18s club night Lets GO Crazy pulling in loads of teenagers to get dirty to Rusko and Boys Noize. Our own underage festi within a festi!
9) Frankie Boyle – the most filthy sick deranged jokes I’ve ever heard in my life which had me red with shame and laughter
10) I never thought I’d say it but I loved the English National Ballet dancing to my set of MGMT and Beach Boys just before the fireworks extravaganza to end ‘em all with the beautiful castle exploding in colours.
Right so that’s that one out of the way. Me and all the team feel like we’ve just hopped across Europe on one leg with someone bashing us round the head but we’ve only got 6 weeks to go ‘til Bestival so we’d better straighten up quick! See you next week. VF-ers

Rob da Bank


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