Did 18 year-old Robert Gorham think he would return to Goldsmiths as Rob da Bank and run his own festival? Maybe. Either way, on June 17, Bestival will be taking Goldsmiths by storm — turning the campus into a hotbed of audio-visual creativity.
Husband and wife team and Bestival founders Rob and Josie met in the Student’s Union 18 years ago. Now they are premiering their unique brand of entertainment on campus.
Rob says Goldsmiths held a special place for him and his wife, and that the creativity made it ideal for hosting the festival. “It feels right to create something with the place where it all started,’ he says.
Rob sees south-east London as a “whole and breathing sound system.” He continues: “Goldsmiths and south east London influenced me massively when I started out. That’s why this place means so much to Josie and me.
“I was just this little middle-class white kid from the south coast. I didn’t really know what I was into, and south London, Deptford, New Cross, really shaped a lot of my music. The shops, the people, the music coming out of people’s cars, the street vibe, Deptford market, everything really.”
Back in February, the couple were asked to be honorary fellows. He says: “The graduation ceremony and seeing everyone and seeing people graduating a couple of months ago was very fun. We created there, we had a lot of ideas that later on went onto our festivals and businesses.”
The collaboration felt right. “Goldsmiths really wanted to do an event and wanted people they knew about to be involved and that was us. It was really simple.” says Rob.
The days events this Friday (June 17) include cocktail buses, Indian street-food stalls as well as talks and film screenings. Bestival and Goldsmiths Student Union have been posting teasers, sneak peeks and small glimpses at what Goldsmiths’ Green will look like in only a couple of days:
“We’ve been trying to gather artists that reflects Goldsmiths and Bestival at the same time. People that are creative. It’s not a strange collaboration.” says Rob
“I think Goldsmiths and Bestival will work well together.” He continues: “This is where we come from and it feels great to come back. We create events around the world but Goldsmiths is where we do feel most comfortable: where people like having fun and good music.”
Bestival is expanding. Taking Toronto by storm only last week, Rob explains how important it is to choose who you work with: “We don’t do a lot of collaborations, we like to keep ourselves quite exclusive.”
“I think it really reflects Bestival. The talks we’ve got during the day time and the cocktail bus and the street market — it sort of sums up where we’re at and definitely where 21st Century festivals are at as well.”
Looking at the line-up, it very much feels like a reunion and it’s exactly what it is, Rob says:
“We really like GhostPoet. Rosie [Lowe] actually went to Goldsmiths so she’s really excited to be coming back. Goldierocks went to Goldsmiths as well.” Once from Goldsmiths, always from Goldsmiths — it will always be there to welcome you home.
Tickets are available at Goldsmiths’ Students’ Union or online.