Since 2013, Bestival’s electronic music stage has had a nautical theme, with a vast ship’s hull made from shipping containers and a lighthouse that doubles as a helter skelter. This year, however, the HMS Bestival will be replaced with the Spaceport, a new stage with a giant rocket at its centre.
“I like to change the big things every three years to keep people interested,” says da Bank, who has been running Bestival with husband, DJ Rob da Bank, since 2004. “The funnest bit about having your own festival is designing new stages – well, it is for me, for my husband it’s booking all the bands he likes – and I wanted to do something different that would make a really big statement,” she adds.
The rocket will be made by Spacial Installations from a steel frame and 13 20-foot shipping containers. It is based on drawings by da Bank, who designs the festival each year.
Logo design by Charles Williams
“I did all the drawings to begin with (not the technical ones) until we got to a point where we knew exactly what we wanted it to look like. Then we gave it to Spacial, who we work with every year,” she explains. “The substructure and engineering that’s gone into it is quite in depth, so it’s not been easy, but I was ready for that challenge.”
The rocket will be accompanied by a light show devised by Paul Normandale, who has worked on Bjork and Coldplay concerts and collaborated with Adam Smith and Marcus Lyall on the Chemical Brothers’ Born in the Echoes tour last year.
2016 poster with artwork by Charles Williams
“We always have a lighting designer on stage but usually, we only commission them at the end. This time I thought I’d find someone I really admire and bring them on at the beginning.