Exclusive: Bestival 2019 isn’t happening

Police sources have confirmed to The Tab


Bestival 2019 won't be happening, The Tab can reveal.

After the company went into administration and was bought by another events firm, speculation has risen over whether the legendary festival would be returning for 2019.

Word was thin on the ground, with the BBC saying at the end of November: "there is currently no word on the future of Bestival."

Now, Dorset Police have confirmed to The Tab that the new event owners have said there are "no plans to run a Bestival 2019 event."

Over the years, Bestival has seen headline sets from the likes of Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Wiz Khalifa and won sackfuls of festival awards.

Yet all had not been rosy in recent years. A disappointing 2016 edition led the organisers to apologise on Facebook as attendees criticised the size, stages, and sound quality.

It prompted a move to the mainland, and the festival relocated to Dorset's Lulworth Estate, with the capacity shrinking from 80,000 to 35,000.

In 2017, Louella Michie, the daughter of a Holby City actor and described as "the north London girl who was friends with everyone", died of a drug overdose and was found in the woods at the festival.

As a result of unpaid debts, the company went into administration in the Autumn, and was purchased for £1 million.

Documents submitted by administrators reveal the extent of the debts, and the ridiculous cost of running a festival.

Among a host of out of pocket musicians, Bestival owed £175,000 to London Grammar, £105,000 to Plan B, and a singular pound to Kurupt FM.

Over £300,000 was owed to a security company, and over £120,000 to Dorset Police, who told The Tab they haven't been paid any of this.

2019 would have been Bestival's 15th year. However, its sister festival, the family-friendly Camp Bestival, will be going ahead with headliners Jess Glynne and The Human League.

Yesterday, it was revealed that another Bestival venture, Common People Oxford, wouldn't be back for 2019.

However, Bestival's long term future remains open, and the festival may return in coming years.

Dorset Police told The Tab: "The payment of our 2018 policing services invoice, totalling £141,176 is still outstanding and we’ve not received any full or part payment towards this.

"We have been informed by the new event owners – Safe Festivals Ltd that there are no plans to run a Bestival 2019 event."

Bestival's owners have been contacted for comment.