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Camp Bestival future secured by Live Nation deal

By | Published on Monday 22 October 2018

Camp Bestival

The future of Camp Bestival has been secured, after its founders announced a deal with Live Nation and SJM.

In a statement, Josie and Rob Da Bank said: “With the help of Live Nation Gaiety and SJM we will really be able to bring more of our creative vision to life with the support structure needed going forward. Our aim has been and will always be to create the best ever family festival. We look forward to sharing this new chapter with you”.

This follows uncertainty about the 2019 edition of the Camp Bestival festival. It emerged last month that finance firm the Richmond Group, which loaned the Bestival business £1.6 million last year, was attempting to push the festival company into administration. Richmond Group then announced that it had “made an offer of £1.1 million to purchase the brand and assets of Bestival Group, with the intention of running the successful Camp Bestival going forward”.

Although the Da Banks were not involved in that statement, and have never publicly responded to it, the BBC reports that the proposed sale was actually completed last week. The Bestival Group was then seemingly immediately acquired by Live Nation Gaiety – the live industry giant’s joint venture with Irish promoter MCD Productions – and the UK-based promoter SJM.

In their statement, the Da Banks said that they are “THRILLED to finally announce today that they are back in control of Camp Bestival”. It’s not clear if they mean financially or creatively. Live Nation Gaiety has acquired various independent festivals in recent years, generally taking a majority stake. However, the involvement of SJM may split things more equally.

A spokesperson for Live Nation only said, “LN-Gaiety and SJM look forward to working with Rob and Josie on Camp Bestival”, so that’s not exactly confirmation of anything.

The deal seemingly means that those awaiting refunds relating to the final day of the 2018 Camp Bestival event may now see their money. The last day of the festival was cancelled, as it took place on one of the few weekends this summer with extremely poor weather. Responding to one person asking about this on Twitter after the new deal was announced, Rob Da Bank said that it would be “just a few more days” before refunds are fully paid out.

A question still remains over the future of the main Bestival event, from which Camp Bestival spun off. In its earlier statement, Richmond seemed only to be planning to save the latter, and only that festival is named in the latest statement too. Though that might be because it is Camp Bestival where tickets are already on sale for 2019.