The summer festival season is fast approaching, so we thought we’d have a chat with Rob da Bank, radio DJ and head honcho at Sunday Best. For 12 years, Rob has been organising the world renowned Bestival on the Isle of Wight, and has since gone on to organise Camp Bestival, Common People and Bestival Toronto. Check out the full interview below!
How did you get into music-was there a particular band or artist that drew you in?
I had quite a traditional upbringing and I used to listen to bands like The Beatles a lot with my parents. By the time I was about 14, I was listening to John Peel on Radio One. But I was listening to everything from a bit of pop, like the Pet Shop Boys, to acts like Pixies, The Cure and The Smiths. This opened out very quickly to electronic music, early drum and bass and then onto Madchester acts like The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays, and it just kept rolling, so I’ve always had very catholic taste. I’m always after whatever’s new really.
How do you go about putting together the line-up for your events- what does the process involve?
People don’t realise but it’s a year-round job and takes a whole team to do. We usually start by booking the bands and then deciding on fancy dress themes. This then evolves into the nitty gritty details of the event, like booking the toilets! After 12 years of doing it, you’d think it would get a bit easier and it would be nice just to press a big button to organise it, but things are always changing, there’s always competition and there’s always a great reward at the end.
There’s lots of young, up and coming talent on the Island, like Jack Barnes for example, what advice would you give to young people starting out in the music industry?
I don’t think Jack needs any advice, he’s a great example of a get up and go attitude and is full of himself, in a good way! He’s always asking me for a record deal and he’s a great example of how young people should present themselves. Generally speaking though, I think you’ve just got to be yourself and let your personality shine through- people are looking for something different. Years & Years and Jack Garratt are fantastic examples for people to aspire to, but it’s all about being yourself.
At Bestival you’ve got stages like Invaders Of The Future that act as a platform for new music, what’s the process behind booking these sorts of acts?
The Invaders Of The Future stage is good because it allows us to book local, national and international acts. Festival goers are always looking for something to discover over the weekend and love the option of going from watching headliners Major Lazer and The Cure to up and coming acts on these stages.
Bestival Toronto is now in its second year and Common People Oxford is new for this year, are there any plans to have more events in the future?
I can’t say dates or a location yet, but we are announcing a new event this year, due to take place this year. We aren’t putting it on just because we want to, but we feel we are ready for this and felt that we could spread our wings.
The Sunday headliner for Bestival is still under wraps, have any contracts for this act been signed yet?
No contracts have been signed yet, but this is something we’re looking to complete in the next couple of weeks, so hopefully we can announce it as soon as possible. It’s better late than never! Foals were announced in July back in 2014, so we’re not too worried just yet. It’ll be an act that everyone should like though.
We’d like to thank Rob for taking the time to do this interview, make sure you check out the line-ups for his events by looking at our menu at the top of the page!