Camp Bestival Review

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Camp Bestival Review

Camp Bestival 2012

Britain’s most child-friendly festival

Camp Bestival is held every year in the beautiful and historic grounds of Lulworth Castle in Dorset. It prides itself on being a child-friendly music festival, and from the vast amount of children we saw, along with our own youngsters of course, all having as much fun as you could throw at them, they certainly stand up to their claims.

We arrived in our motor home on a glorious Thursday afternoon. My friend and I had 3 little ones between us, my six year old and his best friend from school, and his little brother too. From the moment we arrived we were not disappointed, considering the thousands of people inside the festival, getting all those cars and motorhomes inside was no problem at all, we hardly hit any queues; it was most painless. The organisation was impressive.

A good fifteen minute walk and we were at the entrance, to be greeted, thankfully with a huge camping supplies stand – we had of course forgotten a number of things. Oops.

Once inside the park, the music line up was terrific, from Adam Ant, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool and the Gang, Stooshe, Rizzle Kicks to Jimmy Cliff, Rolf Harris and countless other bands and DJ’s in various tents around the festival, with the Happy Mondays fabulously finishing off the weekend – right before the incredible firework display. There was music for everyone’s tastes and the kids were welcome everywhere. Our boys particularly seemed to enjoy the Bollywood tent most of all – they strutted, jumped, pointed and air guitar’d their way through two DJ sets of music ranging from 70’s disco to rave and glam rock! They loved it all.

In addition to the music, for the kids we saw Mr Tumble, Dick and Dom, Beauty and the Beast panto, Shrek the musical, the Gruffalo live, and Goldilocks and the three bears. There was also a dedicated kids zone with an incredible amount of free activities from a coconut shy to craft tents, bouncy castle, circus tricks, a crazy bike zone (where I had to prize my son away from), and much more. There was also a fairground area which wasn’t free but was a welcome addition for the kids.

There were tents and stands providing so much entertainment, our favourites other than the big tops which were home to the live acts, included the Mash stand where the kids could pretend to be rock stars and be recorded playing their instrument of choice, and the Netflix tent which provided a great place at the end of the day where the kids could unwind by watching any one of 7 or 8 wide screen TV’s all set in little tents with huge cushions to lounge on while us mums were able to enjoy a glass of wine as the sun went down… Heaven.

So each day we planned our day around the shows we wanted to see, but in between time we simply wondered from one zone to the next, this in itself was an experience because each time visiting an area we would catch another new show or something we’d missed before; from the medieval jousting and insect circus to the Indian acrobats performing utterly amazing acts – usually involving a very long vertical pole with a chap balancing on the top of it in various poses; it was simply breathtaking to watch. Plus the silly Olympics for kids with completely bonkers games for them to play and even a huge blow up church with two nutty vicars who will actually marry you there and then should you and your beloved want to…

The whole weekend brought beautiful weather, we enjoyed wonderful sunshine throughout which made us thankful that there were so many water stations all over the park where we could easily fill up our water bottles. The sunshine enhanced the already welcoming and colourful site, which was tastefully decorated with flags, streamers and huge tulips that lit the way home at night fall, all set against a backdrop of the green rolling hills of the Dorset countryside; it really was an idyllic scene and a perfect venue.

Camp Bestival really is the place to go for kids. We met so many people there who go religiously every year, and now I’ve experienced it for myself I can understand it completely in fact more than that, I am already planning for next year and I can’t wait, my son feels the same, we even had tears when we got home afterwards because he missed it already. It is truly a magnificent long weekend away, but don’t expect to rest at all, it is full on from the moment you wake up, till you find your way back to your pitch at night, you will have little rest time!

So camp Bestival, we thank you and we miss you and we’ll see you again next year for sure. And who knows, maybe I’ll see YOU there next year too!

Have a great summer!

Jane x

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