THE stages are up and the count down has begun to the fourth annual Common People Festival in Southampton.

Up to 10,000 people are expected to descend on Southampton Common on both days of this weekend’s event, headlined by The Jacksons and Lily Allen.

Organiser Rob de Bank has been on site since last weekend overseeing proceedings and told the Daily Echo that this year is particularly busy.

He said: “We’ve about 100 people working on-site setting everything up.

“We’ve been slaving away here since the weekend and it’s been very hot – luckily we had a spot of rain to dampen down the dust and everything is looking good.

“It may seem busy now with people whizzing on and off the site but it’s really just the calm before the storm!”

At the same time as Common People, Southampton, Rob will also be running Common People in Oxford this weekend. He also curates Bestival and Camp Bestival.

He said: “I’m back home on the Isle of Wight for my son Miller’s eight birthday. Then I’m in Oxford setting up there- and I’m going to my brother-in-law’s wedding in Liverpool on Thursday afternoon and flying back to Southampton on Friday morning ....I rarely sit in a deckchair reading a book!

“I have a particularly busy week but I like being hands-on – I’m a hands-on dad too to our four boys.”

The festival looks set to attract the same numbers as previous years and tickets are still available.

Rob added:”We are expecting about 10, 000 people a day. We are still selling really well.

“The royal wedding and the FA Cup final were taking people’s head space for a while but ticket sales are now speeding up again.

“I’m really excited about this year’s festival and it’s nice to be back on the Common as this is where I first started DJ-ing and music career began.”