Camp Bestival unveils the first wave of Circus Greats

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Boy George

A veritable wealth of incredible treats for your delectation this coming July 31st to August 3rd guaranteeing you a festi-holiday experience like no other at a castle camp site by the sea.

Welcome to the greatest family show on earth! With our acrobatically astounding Circus theme already announced we have a veritable wealth of incredible treats for your delectation this coming July 31st to August 3rd guaranteeing you a festi-holiday experience like no other at a castle camp site by the sea. Announcing our Friday and Sunday headliners, the first live acts and DJs, family fun and circus entertainment galore, our seventh Camp Bestival is set to dazzle and delight!

Camp Bestival Ringmaster Rob da Bank says: “I know the Camp Bestival family have been on tenterhooks about our first announcement, so ladies and gents roll up roll up to the Camp Bestival Circus and come inside…or should that be outside! I always pay close attention to the Camp Besti forum and social media to see what people want, so I've followed orders and booked two of your most requested acts, and coincidentally, two of my favourite bands ever, JAMES and BASEMENT JAXX. Two huge internationally renowned acts with huge back catalogues who are going to slay the crowd at Camp Bestival, topping a line-up boasting the best fun for kids, a brand new area for teens and so much more… hope to see you in July... and August!” 

Everybody knows that we love a bit of a dance down Lulworth Castle way, so we are overjoyed to announce that dynamic dance duo Basement Jaxx will be our Sunday night headliners. Getting the crowd whipped up for a firework finale, Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe have a plethora of globally tested dancefloor smashers and an incendiary live show that are going to bring untold joy to all at the Castle Stage on Sunday evening, so don’t miss out. 

Basement Jaxx may be wrapping things up, but the job of getting the party well and truly started falls to indie giants, James! A perennially requested act by the Camp Besti faithful, the man like da Bank has only gone and landed the magnificent Manchester dons and we couldn’t be more excited! With a sing-along catalogue that’s the envy of the entire pop world, James will effortlessly have you bellowing choruses from Sit Down and Come Home to Born of Frustration, She’s A Star and beyond! This one has legendary headline performance written all over it. 

Commenting on their headline slot, James’ guitarist-violinist-percussionist Saul Davies said: "We've not done Camp Bestival before but it has a great reputation so we're well up for this show. I'm sure it will be one of the highlights of the summer for us. One to bring the kids to...and maybe even leave at!"

We will also have live music from the amazing Johnny Marr, fabulous chanteuse Sinéad O’Connor, Mercury Prize nominee and soul sensation Laura Mvula, former Beta Band kingpin Steve Mason, Jamaica’s greatest band The Skatalites, bass hero Peter Hook & the Light, mythical funksters, los hermanos Cubanos, The Cuban Brothers, knees-up specialists Chas & Dave, pop powerhouse (and snappy dancer) Sophie Ellis-Bextor, indie stalwarts The Wedding Present, sample geniuses Public Service Broadcasting, the newly experimental voice of an angel Charlotte Church, erstwhile Portico Quartet member and the most hotly tipped man alive Nick Mulvey and legendary knob-twiddling noise conductors The Radiophonic Workshop. Plus there will be performances from Denai Moore, Jaipur Brass Band, The Fabulous Lounge Swingers, Fé, Musafir, Joanne Joanne and Mdou Moctar, with many more still to be announced. 

We’ll also have DJ action from the majestic Boy George with partner in crime and VG Records co-founder Marc Vedo, the incredible Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and lord of reggae David Rodigan MBE, who will present Ram Jam. Plus, throwing it down on the platters that matter will be Awesome Tapes From Africa, our very own Rob da Bank, The Shellac Collective, Coley from Luv*Jam and hours of late night fun at the Silent Disco. And there are plenty more DJs coming your way, so watch this space! 

As ever, for our Lulworth Castle jamboree, that’s not nearly the half of it! The Camp Bestival roustabouts have spent many a month scouring the globe for the very best in family fun, gathering a host of spectaculars and shows guaranteed to enchant every single one of you. So, we’re delighted to say that Horrible Histories is back by extraordinarily popular demand performing their new show, Barmy Britain: Part Two! A grisly spectacle reviving a whole host of ghastly characters, so you can enjoy a horrible history of Britain with all the nasty bits left in! And, of course, the utterly legendary Mr Tumble will be clowning his way to the Castle Stage once again causing unrivalled excitement amongst Camp Bestival’s discerning tots. 

Helping to celebrate a phenomenal 50 years of Roald Dahl’s best-loved tale in 2014, we are hosting a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 50th Birthday Takeover on Saturday, with a whipple-scrumptious selection of exclusive treats, including a super pop-up exhibition, a Charlie Craftathon and lively storytelling sessions courtesy of the Roald Dahl Museum. There’s also a Bedtime-Story special, with Jo Whiley, Howard Marks and our very own Rob da Bank reading the ENTIRE book over the three evenings of the festival. And Lucy Mangan will be talking about her new book ‘Inside Charlie’s Chocolate Factory’. 

And, don’t miss our favourite elf and fairy duo Ben and Holly, hosting the main stage with, for the first time ever, the actual voiceover actors from the television series, Preston Nyman and Sian Taylor, providing LIVE voices for these life-size characters. Plus we will have a wild and interactive journey of snakes, sharks, elephants and whales with Michaela Strachan's Really Wild Adventures, our most-beloved circus troupe The Insect Circus, who have a brand new show called Grand Tour, Camp Bestival favourites Kawa Circus spreading their happiness and joy and our friends at the Royal Albert Hall who are returning with Albert’s Band for an exciting Circus themed orchestral extravaganza. 

And we’re still not finished! Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, to celebrate our Circus theme in glorious Camp Bestival style, we’d like you to put your hands together please... to welcome our wondrously fabulous new venue, The Greatest Tent on Earth! Beneath its canopy you will witness jaw-dropping circus shows, astonishing extravaganzas, tremendous theatre performances and delightful characters galore. 

Behold: A brand new, specially commissioned, eye-popping, ear-tickling evening performance; Gandini Juggling Remixed by Rob da Bank; irresistible new theatre show Hugless Douglas making its festival debut; hoola hooping marvel Marawa the Amazing; the exhilarating street dancing of Funk da Cirque; the highly acclaimed BRIT School who will share a unique, never-been-seen-before Circus themed performance; elite song and dance group West End Kids; Christian Lee’s new magical miming comedy show POP!; alternative Tween star, Catherine Bennett; lassoing antics from Cowboy Max; our local Dorset singing maestros Funky Little Choir and many more besides! Sat proudly at the top of the Kids Garden, The Greatest Tent on Earth is brand new, super-exciting and is guaranteed to amaze, entertain and astound you all weekend long. 

Published on 14 February 2014 by Ben Robinson

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