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Company behind Bestival’s sister festivals wound up

By | Published on Wednesday 30 January 2019

Common People Oxford

It has been confirmed that the Common People festivals that previously took place in both Southampton and Oxford will not take place this year. The two events were sister festivals to Bestival and Camp Bestival, and the Common People company has followed the Bestival business into administration. Administrators have now said that, with no buyers coming forward, the two companies set up to run Common People are in liquidation.

The Bestival Group was forced into administration by one of its money-lenders last year. Said money-lender then acquired the rights to the Bestival events, but almost immediately sold them on to Live Nation, which had entered into a joint venture with the festival’s founders Rob and Josie Da Bank. That new joint venture has already confirmed that Camp Bestival 2019 will go ahead, although there has been no word on the main Bestival bash.

It seemed likely that the collapse of Bestival would also mean that the Common People festivals would not go ahead. The city council in Oxford has now confirmed that is so, in part responding to that news that the companies set up to run the Common People festivals are in liquidation with debts of more than £500,000.

A member of the executive board of the city’s council, which itself is owed in the region of £7000 by the festival, told the Oxford Times: “Everyone at Oxford City Council is absolutely gutted that Common People Oxford will not be returning. We spent many years building the relationships that enabled us to bring the organisers of Bestival to Oxford and we have been proud to host them in South Park over the last three years”.

She went on: “The city council is committed to bringing another annual festival that celebrates Oxford’s culture and diverse communities to South Park as soon as possible, and we’re in discussions with other festival organisers about this”.

Team Bestival launched Common People in Southampton in 2015 with a second Oxford edition subsequently being added. Although popular with the local music communities in both cities, Rob Da Bank did admit that he was disappointed with attendance at last year’s Oxford event, telling a local newspaper at the time that he felt poor – and, as it turned out, incorrect – weather forecasts had hit walk-up trade, negatively impacting on turn-out overall.

Confirming the Common People companies were now being wound up, a spokesperson from liquidator Begbies Traynor told reporters: “Common People (Oxford) Limited and Common People Festival Limited went into liquidation and the business and its assets were not bought by any other company. As a result there will be no Common People festival in 2019. We are unable to make any further comment”.