Bestival, the annual Isle of Wight music festival, that since 2004 has taken place at Robin Hill Country Park, will not longer take place on the Isle of Wight.
A statement was posted to Bestival Facebook page this morning explaining that a licence application has been submitted to move the September, four-day festival to the site of Lulworth Castle in Dorset – the home to the family focused Camp Bestival.
da Bank: “Super excited about our shiny new Bestival adventure”
The statement by Rob da Bank reads,
“Hot off the press – yes Bestival is moving! We can confirm we have submitted a licence application for a new site at the Lulworth Estate in Dorset and we’re super excited about our shiny new Bestival adventure. We have an incredible line-up, headliners confirmed and ridiculous new stages and installations coming your way in 2017.
“We remain fully committed to supporting the Isle of Wight through music, charities and projects and will be giving Islanders an exclusive ticket offer for the new site. Plus we’re working towards a new event for the Island. Watch this space.”
The news has been met with a mixture of joy and disappointment.
Many have blamed the ferry companies for the move.
Been on the cards for years
OnTheWight has asked Bestival HQ for the real reason behind the move, a Bestival spokesperson advised,
“Bestival has been considering a move for a number of years for a number of reasons. We feel this is the right time for a change that benefits both the business and festival-goers.
“It’s common knowledge that last year presented a lot of challenges for the festival marketplace, Bestival included. The move for us addresses some of the more commercial challenges but also the site offers us a world of exciting opportunities that will keep Bestival top of its game for the long haul.”
Nurtured by Islanders
Those who have been going to Bestival since the early days will know that it was Islanders who helped the festival grow and develop.
There’s no doubt that the Island’s fun-loving creatives helped make the festival what it became.
Troubled 2016 festival
Without any notice to punters, last year’s festival was drastically reduced in size, with many acts cancelled and the number of marquees reduced by 50%.
Some were deeply upset by the last minute changes, others (like us) found the lower numbers much more enjoyable and reminiscent of the early days of Bestival.
There will be a great many people very sad about the decision by organisers to leave the Island.
Thornton: “We all owe the Bestival team a huge debt of gratitude”
David Thornton from Visit Isle of Wight responded to the news, saying,
“2.7million visits are currently made to the Island every year; numbers are on the rise after a considerable decline over decades. More than 40 major festivals and events every season help to attract visitors from the mainland, and the Isle of Wight is fortunate to have so many companies, organisations and groups of volunteers who deliver popular events throughout the year.
“Bestival has played a significant role in putting the Island on the map, especially in the minds of young people. We all owe the Bestival team a huge debt of gratitude for their hard work and creative inspiration.
“Rob da Bank is a terrific ambassador for the Isle of Wight, and I am certain that he will continue to work with the Island in innovative ways. But, as one door closes another opens, affording us new opportunities to develop visitor markets that deliver growth in our visitor economy.
“At Visit Isle of Wight, we believe that September offers great potential for increased short breaks and longer holidays, and for the last two months we have been planning new campaigns to make the most of the opportunities in front of us.”
8.20 Comment from Visit Isle of Wight and statement from Bestival spokesperson on the reason for the move added.