BESTIVAL, the last major festival of the season, makes its Dorset this weekend. Organiser Rob Da Bank

WHEN I speak to DJ and Bestival organiser Rob da Bank, he’s in the car busy

juggling childcare during the school summer holidays while organising one of the country’s biggest music festivals.

And there’s a lot of pressure this year because this year's festival which started yesterday, is being held in Dorset for the first time.

Around 30,000 festival-goers will descend upon the Lulworth Castle site.

Making the decision to transfer the festival, which is known for encouraging revellers to don fancy dress, was a long time coming, Rob said: “We live on the Isle of Wight and we love it. But the decision to move it has been a long time coming.

“Robin Hill on the Isle of Wight was a super venue for us but it was becoming

unsustainable taking everything over there. With everything in life I think it’s meant to change and move on. We saw an opportunity with James Weld and the guys at Lulworth and we took it.”

It is hoped that Bestival will echo the success of its family friendly sister festival Camp Bestival, which is held at the same Lulworth Castle site and celebrated its 10th birthday at the end of July.

The medium term plan is to keep Bestival in Dorset, Rob said: “We wouldn’t want to go through the upheaval of the last year again, we love the site and we want to keep it there. We hope to have more good years with Bestival in Dorset.

“When it rained in the first year of Camp Bestival the site held up really well. That was reassuring for us that it could take the rain.

“We’ll be making full use of the Lulworth Estate site, we’ll be using all of the forest and ups and downs of the hills and valleys of Lulworth, we’ve got a new temple stage, and we’ll be going back to our roots.

"This year we’ve got the world’s biggest bouncy castle and biggest disco ball and a giant Kanye West head. It’s going to be a really vibrant site with lots of fun things.”

Portsmouth-born Rob, 44, says there’s many acts he’s looking forward to seeing this year.

Bestival in Dorset will see indie group The xx coming full circle and headlining The Castle Stage seven years after they debuted at Bestival in 2010.

He added: “I’m looking forward to seeing The xx again - when they played at Bestival we had one of the biggest crowds we’ve ever had. Of course A Tribe

Called Quest will be performing their last ever UK show, which is something to look out for.

“It’s some of the acts further down the bill who I really look forward to - Ray BLK and of course, Annie Mac, who will be at our new Temple area. The ones I really love seeing are ones I’ve never seen before, that for me is really exciting. It’s also a

case for me searching out quirky venues where they can perform, like The Caravanserei, it’s got such a lovely feel to it.”

Rob says he’s going to be busy during the festival making sure everything is running smoothly.

He said: “I will have some time to check out as many of the acts as possible and have a beer in the evening, this time around with it being on a new site and totally

new to everyone we’re going to be watching everything very closely and making sure it all works.

“So I don’t think I’ll have much time for partying. A year’s work as gone into it for four days. It probably sounds like I’m trying to make it all into a sob story!”

Rob says he feels a lot of pressure making Bestival memorable.

“The pressure does seem to build as the festival season starts in May and now there

are so many festivals in the calendar and some of them come and go the longer you

do it.

“I know that with Bestival

it’s the last one of the summer and it’s kind of viewed as a last hurrah. I just hope the weather is good and it will be an Indian summer this year.”

Rob says Bestival wouldn’t be possible without his wife Josie, who is responsible

for much of the look of the festival.

“Josie is one of the unsung heroes of Bestival, she pretty much runs the whole show! The whole thing seems to come together from the artwork through to the

logistics because of her. Josie runs a lot of the business.

She’s probably more stressed than I am right now!”

Two weeks after Bestival ends, the brand will be going global with the first Bestival

Bali taking place in Asia.

Rob said: “The plan is for me to go, but you never really know what’s going to happen with my family. We’ve got four kids now, we had a new baby born last year so I think I’ll just have to see how everyone is getting on.”

It could well be that there will be someone to pass the festival legacy on to when

Rob decides to put down his organiser’s clipboard for good.

Rob said: “Hopefully my son Arlo will get involved it in one day. He posted a list of his dream festival line-up on my Instagram account and it got the most likes I’ve ever had.”

Rob still does regular DJ gigs but says he’ll have to start reviewing his hectic

schedule soon.

“I just did a gig in London yesterday, I still like to keep involved but I’m aware that

there’s a lot of musical talent up and coming who want to work. I still really love

DJing but there are so many younger players around. I’m not going to be hanging up the headphones just yet but I think I will be slowing down with it soon.”

n Bestival, Lulworth Castle runs until Sunday. See