U.K. Fest Bestival Coming to Canada

Duran Duran kicks off Olympic concerts in Hyde Park in July 2012

British festival brand Bestival is expanding into North America.

Organizers will stage a two-day fest this June at Hanlan's Point Beach in Toronto, Canada for what will be the event's first expansion outside the U.K. 

"We have waited 12 years to decide to launch another Bestival outside the U.K," comments Rob da Bank (real name Robert Gorham), Bestival's organizer and a DJ with BBC Radio 1. "It took a really special city, and an even more exciting site, with Toronto and Toronto Island, to make us take the leap." The line-up has yet to be announced for the new June 12-13 leg on the shores of Lake Ontario. 

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"So," he continues, "the waiting is over and we are so excited to be launching in North America in June, with a classic Bestival line-up waiting to thrill, intrigue and party."

An offshoot of the Sunday Best label/club events firm headed by Rob da Bank, Bestival launched on the U.K.'s Isle of Wight in 2004. In the years that followed, the brand has built a tradition for good times and quality electronic dance music, and various industry awards have flowed its way. And as one the last fests of the summer, Bestival has carved a reputation for bringing out the most colorful of party-goers, many of whom wear fancy dress for the occasion. 

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The Canadian leg has been a long time coming. Da Bank told Billboard back in 2008 he was looking for a location in North America. "There's a lot of different offers and we have a lot of ideas ourselves," he told Billboard at the time. "The north American market is one we've particularly been looking at and we've had a few offers. Watch this space."

This year's U.K. Bestival fest is held Sept. 10-13 in Robin Hill Country Park and headlined by Chemical Brothers, Underworld and Duran Duran, and carries the "summer of love" theme. In 2008, Bestival expanded its portfolio with a family-oriented offshoot, the July 30-Aug. 2 Camp Bestival at Lulworth Castle in Dorset, south west England. 

The new Toronto edition will be staged in conjunction with Canadian promoters Embrace and SFX entertainment.