UK: On Monday December 1, the 11th annual UK Festival Awards will see one of the industry’s most recognisable faces, Rob da Bank, receive the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Festivals’ award, at The Roundhouse in London.
As the driving force behind Bestival and Camp Bestival, Rob da Bank is a name synonymous with some of the finest festival experiences in recent years, making it fitting that the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Festivals’ award will bear his name at the UK Festival Awards in a few days time.
The gong is “dedicated to an individual whose personal vision and energy has propelled the entire festival marketplace forward in a dynamic, creative and positive way”, words that ring especially true with Rob da Bank.
In many ways, da Bank’s efforts raised the bar when it came to ‘boutique’ festivals with the creation of Bestival in 2004. Sine then the event has risen through the ranks, via its hugely eclectic line-ups and kaleidoscopic atmosphere, to become the largest independent major festival in the UK. Its family-focused sister festival Camp Bestival has continually set the standard for family festivals, garnering recognition and many awards in its own right.
Many of the festival industry’s leading names have stepped forward to pay tribute to the man:
Melvin Benn, Festival Republic: “Very good news and very well deserved. Bestival is a great festival and Rob’s contribution to festival life in the UK is correctly being rewarded. Many congratulations”.
Harvey Goldsmith CBE: “Congratulations to Rob on winning the Outstanding Contribution to Festivals Award. He has set the benchmark high for Festivals in the UK and around the world combining his passion for music with a unique blend of activities. Best wishes to him.”
Scott Barton & James Barton (Cream): “We’ve known Robbie since his early journo days at Muzik Magazine and since then he’s achieved so much. His relentless belief in music and the scene was evident even back then. He’s a man of many talents and his creative edge is something that stands him above all others, something evident to everyone who’s ever been to Bestival. Remaining true to his beliefs he is a true musical ambassador and one of the nicest guys you could meet. Congratulations Robbie on winning this well deserved award for Outstanding Contribution, we’re excited to see what else you’ve got in store for us.”
Jim King, AEG Live/Loudsound: “There have been many worthy winners of this award over the years, but none in my mind are as deserving as Robby. His contribution through Bestival, Camp Bestival and setting up the Association of Independent Festivals have left a significant and positive mark across our entire industry. Congratulations on your award Robby. You deserve it so much and everyone at Loudsound offers our thanks for allowing us on the journey with you.”
Ralph Broadbent, Count Of Ten Group: “Rob has spearheaded the rise of one of the most successful festivals in the UK. It’s a phenomenal achievement in such a crowded marketplace but more than that, it’s raised the bar for festivals all around the country. The Outstanding Contribution Award is very well deserved indeed.”
Freddie Fellowes, Secret Garden Party: “Robby deserves this just on the strength and size of his shiny disco balls.”
Andy Rea, 2000Trees: “Rob not only curates amazing festivals, he fights the good fight for independent events and the live music industry, with the AIF going from strength to strength. Thoroughly well deserved.”
Sacha Lord-Marchionne, The Warehouse Project & Parklife: “I’m delighted that this year’s Outstanding Contribution to Festivals goes to Rob da Bank. Okay, he does that thing on that island down South but we all know that isn’t the real reason he has won this award. Let’s face it, Rob, very much like myself, has great hair.”
Simon Taffe, End Of The Road: “Rob Da Bank has been at the forefront of the Independent Festival scene for over 10 years now and he has always stuck to his own thing. I can’t think of anyone else who deserves this award more at this point! For Bestival and Camp Bestival to be where they are today in this competitive market is quite remarkable.”
Adam Gregory, Bloodstock: “For many years Rob has been someone who the rest of us mere mortals have taken much inspiration from. Well done Rob on your achievement, truly fitting and well deserved.”
Reece Miller, We Are FSTVL: “Rob has been a huge part of this industry and what he has achieved with his team will leave a legacy that will be long remembered. Bestival is a major player in the European Festival market and this award is richly deserved. On behalf of the entire team at We Are FSTVL, a huge Congratulations to a household legend!”
John Empson, Eden Sessions: “Congratulations to Rob, a true innovator and gentleman for this much deserved award.”
Shane Murray, Ibiza Rocks Group: “It’s all about the love. Robbie simply does everything he possibly can to push out and share his deep, passionate love for music. With him it’s clearly personal and that means it’s genuine, and hundreds of thousands of people have responded to that – raving, smiling, congregating. Never been sure about the jumpers though! Thank you Robbie. Truly deserved. Shane.”
Rob Star, Eastern Electrics: “I went to the first ever Bestival and have only ever missed a couple since, it was a big inspiration for me in realising that I could start a festival from scratch. The site is obviously amazing, but it also never fails to deliver with the line-up and more importantly, those magical touches that make festivals great. Rob is definitely one of the good ones in this game. Maximum respect!”
James Ralls, Victorious Festival: “As newcomers to the scene we have always looked at other festival organisers in admiration and in particular to Bestival. Hats off to Rob and Josie for organising what is probably the best festival in the country.”
Paul Knowles, International Music Community (IMC): “Rob Da Bank has stamped an identity on chillout left field music over the course of his illustrious career. His dedication to emerging talent in this diverse genre has led him to business ventures aplenty with Bestival and Camp Bestival being the cornerstones in his live music portfolio. Numerous accolades have been bestowed upon both Rob and the festivals he has co-founded and the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Festivals Award’ is another fine achievement for a man that has done so much within this important facet of the live music sector.”
Luke Betts, Mutiny In The Park: “In the last two years Bestival has become our real influence in how we approach running events, from our Astoria club nights to our own start up festival Mutiny in the Park. Rob’s a real visionary and that comes through in his end product. The infamous crew bar “the boneyard” is honestly produced to a better standard than some festivals’ VIP areas. The love that is put into his product transpires to every corner of his festival and also from the team around him who are a joy to work with.”
Tickets to the UK Festival Awards in the evening are sold-out but a limited number remain for the UK Festival Conference during the day, available here.