Where do you live and with whom?
I live in the wild west of the Isle of Wight with Mrs da Bank (Josie) and our three, soon to be four, boys: Arlo, Merlin and Miller…. Plus a few chickens, a rabbit, some turtles and a runner duck called Ted.

How would you describe your home?
Eclectic. It’s an over-used word but it sums up the Moroccan rugs, stuffed animal heads, Indian bunting, British paintings and other-worldly mess from all over the shop.

What was the first festival you went to?
Glastonbury, when Josie and I were 18. We’d just met and we drove down in my rusty old Citroen 2CV, jumped the fence and had the weekend of our lives. We never wanted to leave, and have been back every year since for the last 24 years.

What’s the secret to successful festivalling with kids?
Pacing yourself. Packing the right gear. Occasional nips on a hip-flask of something alcoholic. Teaming up with mates and their kids. Leaving at night so the kids fall asleep in the car… And go to Camp Bestival cause it’s got it all!

Campervan/yurt/tent… How do you camp?
It all depends on the weather and the situation. We go camping on the Isle of Wight in our trusty old VW van, Stella, with the kids. Some of us stay in the van and some in a bell tent. There’s normally a fight over that. We’ve stayed in teepees, yurts, one-man tents and winnebagos at all our festivals. I’m actually happiest in a bell tent with family and mates.

What are your festival must-haves?
I’ve just come back from a very quick Glastonbury trip and I’ve got a blister the size of a two-pound coin on my heel so a comfy pair of boots or wellies. After 24 years I still haven’t learnt!

Where’s your favourite place to travel as a family?
It’s a toss up between India and Thailand. Anywhere where they love kids as much as we do and don’t mind the occasional dropped glass or late night bedroom disco.

You launched Camp Bestival with your partner Josie – what’s the key to successfully running a family business?
I’d be lying if I pretended it was all rosy and just one big happy family effort; it’s really stressful working together 9 to 5 and having a family and spending all our time together… I suppose we love the same things so that helps.

Which tunes would you pass down to your kids?
I’ve already passed down a lot of Bowie and Prince, which they’re all over. My next task is to get them into Lou Reed’s Walk On The Wild Side might be a good place to start for a family like ours…

Camp Bestival 2016 runs from 28 to 31 July, in Lulworth Cove, Dorset. For more information, and to buy tickets visit: campbestival.net/tickets

More in Features

From book to screen

By , 28th February 2023
Free resources and tips for would be screenwriters, from a complete novice - and some professionals - as I navigate the process of adapting my novels for TV and film

Observer New Review Q&A

By , 22nd March 2022
An interview with Stephanie Merritt about Edith and Kim, the perils of writing about family, and why female spies often get overlooked

Researching Edith and Kim

By , 17th November 2021
From a compendium of stories about life at the Bauhaus to a Modernist memoir by the founder of the iconic Isokon, here are some of the books that inspired my forthcoming novel