Camp Bestival 2018 ...Eight things we LOVED!
It’s just over three weeks since we set sail for Camp Bestival and what a fun-packed start to the summer holidays it was. This was our first time at a large family festival (having started small and local for the last three years) and it was a weekend we won’t forget – for SO many reasons!
Based at Lulworth Castle in Dorset - Camp Bestival is the brainchild of rave royalty Rob Da Bank and his wife Josie and is the much younger sibling of the iconic Bestival (which took place the weekend after Camp Bestival).
For us, the massive appeal of travelling to Camp Bestival was that there was something for every member of the family age 3 up to 41 from headliners Rick Astley and Clean Bandit through to slapstick fun with Dick & Dom and Andy and the Odd Socks!
So here are our BEST bits…
1. Natalie (age 36) – Dancing to Huey Morgan’s NYC Block Party in the Bollywood Tent (whilst the kids went to the watch the Wall of Death!) It was Huey’s first stint at Camp Bestival and it was off the scale – cue arms in the air (we didn’t care), singing loudly and all the moves!
2. Martyn (age 41) – Stumbling upon superstar DJ Jaguar Skills in the Big Top on Friday night – the tunes, the lazers, the BASS – need we say more!? Epic!
3. Ray (age 2 ¾ ) – Mr Tumble on the Castle Stage. We will never forget this little man’s face watching his hero performing to the sea of pre-schoolers and their parents! If you’re happy and you know it came nowhere close – this boy was beyond ecstatic!
4. Christian (age 39) – Dressing up as a family – where else is it acceptable to dress up as a flock of parrots and pirates at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon!! The sea-based fancy dress en route to HMS Bestival was awesome and don’t get us started on some of the pimped up kids’ trollies!
5. Florence (age 6) - The Big Wheel – the early morning ride on the iconic ferris wheel stood out as Florence’s highlight. From the top you have one of the best vantage points of the whole festival and this little daredevil loved her Daddy rocking the gondola (much to her brother’s safety conscious cries!).
6. Laura (age 40) – Dancing with the kids at Big Fish, Little Fish’s family rave to Basement Jaxx. Natalie and I saw Basement Jaxx perform 15 years ago in South Africa, pre-wedding and kids – and introducing our little ones to the sounds of Red Alert and Jump N Shout will be forever etched on my memory!
7. Teddy (age 6) – The World’s Biggest Bouncy Castle – every kid (and big kid) loves a bouncy castle and this castle is something else – it was definitely worth waiting for!
8. Noah (age 9) – Noah’s best bit was also the World’s Biggest Bouncy Castle but also the AMAZING gluten free pizza he consumed on a couple of occasions over the weekend! It’s always a bit more tricky when you have a food allergy but there were loads of GF street food vendors which made life A LOT easier!
That leads us on nicely to the food… to be honest unless you have a brilliant cool box to keep things refrigerated we wouldn’t advise taking too much food – other than snacks and drinks. We took pastries and brioche for the kids’ breakfast (Dorset Cereals were doing an amazing campsite takeover with free cereal, yoga, live music and games) and dried pasta and sauce for a quick dinner. Otherwise we ate in the amazing Feast Collective our favourites included Anna Mae’s Mac n Cheese, Seadog and Makatcha.
In terms of drinks – again only take what you can keep cool – we took a supply of Adnams Gin and Tonic in a can – portable and perfect for bunging in the rucksack! Plus a couple of boxes of wine for drinks at the tent!
Sadly our Camp Bestival experience was cut short thanks to the 80 mph winds that hit us and our little tent (RIP tent) on the early hours of Sunday morning. It was so sad to jump ship early – especially as we were really looking forward to Orbital, Simple Minds and the Sunday night fireworks BUT the right decision was made and we’re looking forward to our first fireworks next year… as we’ll definitely be back in 2019 – hope to see you all there too.
Mum’s the Word's Camp Bestival Hacks...
· Bring a trolley/wagon – this is essential. At our very first festival we rocked up without one and then realised it was a good mile from the car park to the campsite – rookie error! We got our trolley from George at Asda and it’s survived 5 festivals this summer and is still going strong! They also double up as perfect transportation/sleeping space for kids and all your stuff (waterproofs, back packs, parrots!)
· Arrive at Camp Bestival on the Thursday - set up, read the Captain’s Log, study the map – plan what you really want to see. There is so much to see and do we hardly touched the sides by arriving and setting up on Friday…
· Bring plenty of warm clothes – even when it is boiling during the day – the evenings are MUCH cooler. We put the kids in the amazing Bright Company's long sleeved PJs and they were super cosy! Plus raincoats and wellies are always a must even when the forecast says only 20% chance of rain!
· Get to the showers early – to be honest – who can lie in, in a tent! We hit the showers at 6.45am – didn’t have to queue and were impressed by how nice they actually were!
· Carry toilet roll/tissues/anti-bac gel – there is nothing worse than your child needing a poo and there is no toilet paper to be found anywhere!! Thank you to the lovely people in the queue that saw my desperate face and gave me a pack of tissues! To be honest most of the time the toilets were fine but always better to be prepared!
· Earplugs are a must for family camping – we always seem to be in the tent next to the crying baby!!
· Ear defenders for kids – we haven’t got any of these but will invest in some for next year. We don’t have babies, but some of tents are very LOUD and the kids would have enjoyed it more with ear defenders.
· Camping stove – although we didn’t take a lot of food with us, we have got a brilliant Campingaz Party Grill that we’ve taken to every festival this year. Really simple to transport and use – for us it means a lovely cup of tea or coffee in the morning (before you’ve worked up the stamina to hit the festival) and is also perfect for quick pasta dinners, sausages as well as hot water for washing up!
· Chargers – festivals are all about switching off and spending time as family but (unless you have a proper camera) you are going to want to take lots of pictures to remember it by… don’t forget to pack a portable power bank!
· Finally, forget about routines and rules, embrace the chaos and the fancy dress and enjoy making those memories! We haven’t stopped talking about our Camp Bestival adventure since we left and that’s what it’s all about!
Camp Bestival takes place on July 25th – 28th 2019. You can get your early bird tickets now (there are only 100 left) you can also use the monthly payment plan to reserve your families place at Camp Bestival 2019 with a 10% deposit payment click here for more information.