The company who loaned Bestival money prior to the festival entering administration have offered to buy the brand – saying that they hope to continue Camp Bestival, but remaining silent on the future of Bestival itself.
Rob Da Bank’s annual music event launched in 2004 and has welcomed the likes of The Cure, Massive Attack, Outkast and Florence & The Machine as headliners. Originally taking place in the Isle of Wight, the festival relocated to Dorset in 2017. The more family-friendly sister festival Camp Bestival has also run on the Dorset site since 2008.
At the weekend, it was reported that administrators would appointed to Bestival Group, Bestival Ltd, and Camp Bestival, after loans tycoon James Benamor filed the administration notices at the High Court. According to filings at Companies House, Richmond Group Debt Capital – privately owned by Benamor – extended a loan of up to £1.6m to the festival back in February of last year. Now, Richmond are looking to take over the brand.
“Richmond Group has today made an offer of £1.1m to purchase the brand and assets of Bestival Group, with the intention of running the successful Camp Bestival going forward,” a spokesman has told NME. “Under this offer, all Camp Bestival 2019 tickets sold so far will be honoured.”
RG CEO James Benamor added: “We have been fans and supporters of Bestival since the beginning. Our children have grown up with wonderful memories of these festivals.
“Bestival is an example of Dorset being world class and we are keen to ensure that this fantastic institution goes on to delight families and local businesses, for many years to come.”
When NME asked if this meant that Camp Bestival would continue but Bestival would not, Richard Group were unable to comment further. Rob Da Bank and Bestival are yet to comment on the latest development.
These reports follow the cancellation of Camp Bestival’s final day earlier this year. Bestival’s family-orientated sister event was closed due to severe weather conditions in July. At the time, organisers promised to issue refunds “as quickly as possible”.
Bestival 2018 saw performances from the likes of London Grammar, M.I.A, Grace Jones and Plan B. Fans had hoped for more events to come, after Bestival announced that it would be going cashless in 2019 – and for the next five years.