Josie da Bank

Posted by
Stylist Team

Josie da Bank, producer and creative director of Bestival and Camp Bestival, joined us recently for a live web chat for our Lunchtime Masterclass. See the transcript from the chat, below.

The festival lifestyle runs in the da Banks blood. Josie's husband, BBC Radio 1 DJ and Bestival founder Rob da Bank, proposed to Josie at Glastonbury in 2000. Before that they’d been to the festival every year since they’d met aged 18 at Goldsmiths in London, where she was studying fine art and textiles and he was studying French.

When Rob started his end of the weekend club night Sunday Best in 1995, it was natural that his art graduate girlfriend would help out by drawing peace signs interspersed by pictures of their mates on flyers and banners. And when he released his first compilation on Sunday Best Recordings she did the cover. A perfect marriage of music and art was formed.

The public lapped up Josie’s work and commissions for large canvases rolled in including one for singer Dido and her brother Rollo which told the story of their songs in Josie-style images. And when they took Sunday Best to Ibiza in 2002 her designs adorned beach umbrellas and deck chairs. In fact they proved to be so popular that they had to be chained down to stop them from being stolen.

Sunday Best was the breeding ground for Josie’s organisational skills. She made cakes, concocted cocktails, introduced fancy dress and created ice fountains. Spurred by the club’s success, she opened Cocomo in 2000 - one of the first hip bars in Shoreditch - designing the space and cocktail menu. So when the da Banks had the idea at Glastonbury 2003 to start a festival, it was obvious that Josie would produce the show.

Josie's illustrated hippie chic world of Bestival appears on everything from adverts to the website to hand-drawn Christmas gift cards and kids’ t-shirts. Her responsibilities as producer and creative director of Bestival run from mundane decisions about toilets and how to save money on ferries to devising fantastic areas to hang out on site. It’s Josie’s job to make the Bestival experience ingenious and she loves sourcing interesting places to stay like yurts, teepees, pod pads, beach huts and her own tents furnished with double beds and bed linen.

This glam camping aspect of Bestival prompted her to set up marquee company Bollywood Tents with her best friend Natasha Hill. The tents are sumptuous velvet affairs designed by Josie and embroidered and sequined in Jaipur, India.

The web chat is now closed but you can see the full transcript from it below.

The line up for Bestival 2011 includes The Cure, Bjork, Pendulum and Primal Scream. For a family-friendly version of Bestival, parents and their kids can buy tickets for Camp Bestival, running at the end of this month - for updates, follow @campbestival on Twitter.