THE companies which once ran the hugely popular Bestival and Camp Bestival music events are set to be dissolved with no money for the unsecured creditors owed an estimated £1.18million.

Camp Bestival drew thousands of people to Lulworth Castle from its debut in 2008 to its financial difficulties in 2018.

It returned under a new operator a year later.

It was a family-friendly offshoot of Bestival, which was held at the Isle of Wight from 2004 and moved to Lulworth for 2017 and 2018.

The businesses which previously ran both events were put into administration in 2018 by Richmond Group – controlled by Dorset billionaire James Benamor – which had provided them with £2.1m in loans secured against their assets.

Rick Astley .Picture by: Finnbarr Webster Photography.

Rick Astley .Picture by: Finnbarr Webster Photography.

Richmond Group Debt Capital later offered £1.1m to buy the assets of the businesses, though it subsequently reduced the bid to £958,824.

It bought the assets from the administrators through a new business it controlled, called Safe Festivals Limited. The proceeds of the sale went to Richmond Group as the company’s only secured creditor.

A month later, Richmond Group sold the controlling stake in Safe Festivals Limited, in a deal which put founder Rob da Bank back in charge.

James Benamor – who founded the Bournemouth subprime loan company Amigo and appeared on TV’s Secret Millionaire – said at the time he had only ever wanted to support the festivals and help them succeed.

Unsecured creditors of the Bestival companies included ticket agency Ticketmaster, which was estimated to be owed £1.2m.

Dorset Police owed £140,000 after Bestival

At the time the businesses were in administration, police and crime commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “I am incredibly frustrated that in a time of budget challenge, the equivalent of 10 per cent of the value of a normal two per cent precept rise is still owing to the force.”

The latest update on Bestival Group Limited, by joint administrator Julie Palmer of Begbies Traynor, said: “It was not possible to rescue the company as a going concern given the debt owed to the secured creditor.

“The most appropriate objective was that we realise property in order to make a distribution to the secured creditors.”

People arrive at Camp Bestival, Love Robot, 25/07/19, Picture: FINNBARR WEBSTER/F30371.

People arrive at Camp Bestival, Love Robot, 25/07/19, Picture: FINNBARR WEBSTER/F30371.

Bestival Group Limited is being moved from administration to dissolution.

Rob da Bank brought back Camp Bestival to Lulworth in 2019, but Bestival has yet to be revived.

The Covid crisis forced the cancellation of Camp Bestival in 2020 but it is due to to return to Lulworth this summer.

Fatboy Slim, Groove Armada, Kelis and Sophie Ellis-Bextor are among the headline acts announced for the event due to run from Thursday, July 29 to Sunday, August 1. Tickets were already selling out last October.