Rob da Bank (real name Rob Gorham) is renowned for being a Radio 1 DJ and founder of Bestival and Camp Bestival, alongside his wife – the creative director and producer of the festivals, Josie da Bank (which is her real name. Jokes – it’s Josie Lynwode). Rob and Josie met at Goldsmiths University and attended Glastonbury together every year, including the year 2000 where Rob proposed to Josie at the festival. They now run festivals together including the family friendly Camp Bestival at Lulworth Castle in Dorset.
We spoke to Rob about festivals and raising families and how toddler tantrum’s are more challenging than the world’s most famous artistes…
First up, incase the readers don’t know how many children do you have and what ages are they?
Hold on I’ve lost count! Ah yes it’s 4, and i believe that might be the final total…. Arlo is 13, Merlin is 11, Miller is about to be 9 and Eli is 3 in July! Yes that’s 4 boys…
How do you and Josie manage the juggling act that is raising four boys and continuing to work and play hard? And if you were to say you regularly dropped one ball what would it be?
Well I’ve always liked to be busy so that’s handy… I did recently give up alcohol so that i can be 100% focussed, as you do need to just keep on top of everything. Josie and I split the responsibilities and try to help each other out on all fronts but it can be a bit of a merry-go-round at times. We haven’t yet left a child in a supermarket or festival but never say never. I’m not a very good cook so thats probably my weakest area and my strengths are boshing through things and getting them done.. so homework, washing up, tidying and school runs are my forte.
We know that you like to showcase new talent at the festivals you organise – who is the most memorable band you have booked at the start of their career and do you have any ‘one to watch’ recommendations for Camp Bestival this year?
Probably Florence… (Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine). I’d met Flo very early on in her career during her first few gigs and got her in to do my Radio 1 show. We shared similar hedonistic tastes at the time so we got on like a house on fire. She played quite a few of our Bestival’s and Camp Bestival’s, she was practically resident there at some stage! She performed ‘You Got The Love’ at Bestival for the very first time before it was a huge hit. I’d go and see Lauran Hibberd at Camp Bestival this year – she’s on fire right now and a fellow Isle of Wighter to boot!
Who choses the themes for Camp Bestival and who is your favourite superhero? (Camp Bestival always has a theme and this year the theme is Heroes Vs Superheroes)
All that’s a perennial hot potato topic between me and Mrs da Bank. we tend to do one on and one off although we can never remember who came up with which one. I’m quite old school much to my kid’s embarrassment so I’d probably go for a 1960’s Batman (I wasn’t alive then by the way) as I love his outfit and he had the best car/chopper/boat then.
Would you prefer to deal with a pop star having a diva strop or a toddler having a tantrum?
Ha! Great question. I’ve had to suffer a few tantrums in supermarkets, airports and on planes so those are always painful. To be fair to the big stars we’ve booked from Elton and Stevie Wonder to Missy Elliott and The Jacksons – they’re always nice as pie to me. But maybe that’s because we do such a good job looking after them :)
If you could carve out one moment of family life to dip back into whenever you wanted what would it be and why?
Well, the births of each child have all been fairly special moments and I’ve helped deliver 3 out of 4 of the babies and two of them were delivered at home. Then again the mess and blood might not be a welcome memory. Childhood moves so quick but I love all the different phases for their good and slightly tricker moments!
What are the ‘slightly trickier’ things about raising four children?
Time! I wish I had 4 of me to really be attentive to each one’s demands… Sometimes it’s like having 4 baby birds in a nest all wanting the worm and you can’t divide it up quick enough. One day it’ll all slow down and i’ll miss it.
And the best thing about raising four children?
Family hot tubs, pizza night, getting in the camper van to go to a festival, blowing bubbles, swimming in the sea at sunset, sleeping in our garden and chasing chickens!