Rob and Josie da Bank

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Goldsmiths alumni and founders of Bestival, Rob and Josie da Bank, were awarded an honorary fellowship from Goldsmiths in 2016.

Rob and Josie da Bank met at Goldsmiths Students Union at 18 years old.

Whilst studying BA French Studies and History of Art, Robert John Gorham started playing hip-hop and funk in the city’s clubs under the DJ pseudonym Rob da Bank. Meanwhile, Josie joined Goldsmiths in 1991, where she studied illustration.

In 1994, Rob started his weekend club night Sunday Best at the Tea Room des Artistes in Clapham- a night credited with helping develop bar-based music culture.  

Josie designed the flyers and banners for Sunday Best. She commissioned artwork by top names in music, including Dido and her brother Rollo, before opening the bar Cocomo in 2000 – described as “one of the first hip bars in Shoreditch”.

The pair launched Bestival in 2004. The first event attracted some 10,000 music lovers, growing to 50,000 in just a few years. Over the years, the annual music festival has picked up a number of ‘Best UK Festival’ awards, including:  'Best Major Festival' at the 2015 UK Festival Awards, after previously winning 'Best Medium-Sized Festival' in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 and 'Best Innovation' in 2005.

The event has been headlined by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Elton John, The Prodigy and The Cure.

Outside of the festival, Rob hosted a Friday-night BBC Radio 1 show focused on left-field electronics until 2014. He then joined 6 Music, had a show on Spotify, and set up a music supervision company, Earworm, to create original music for television, film and computer games.