What can I say about Camp Bestival . . . . beautiful, action packed, energising, surprising, perfect location . . . . could you ask for any more? This was my first Festival and I definitely was not disappointed, it was perfect from the start right through to the end, even the few small rain showers didn’t spoil a moment at this outstanding festival! Camp Bestival is set in the spectacular surroundings of Lulworth Castle in Dorset.
The fun started as soon as we arrived walking around the beautiful setting finding somewhere to pitch our tent being completely blown away with the effort that so many people had put into their tents – fairy lights, lanterns, welcome signs . . . that’s when we realised that the crowds here are truly in the festival spirits and loved this very special festival.
On the Friday we started by just exploring the site, it is truly inspiring the amount of love and care that has been put into this event by Rob da Bank and all the crew; it would be difficult not to realize how much this festival means to so many people – especially families. The vibe at the festival is very chilled and it is obvious everyone is just there to have a good time; during the whole time we were there I didn’t see anyone that was trying to start trouble, everyone young and old were just having fun.
The festival is ideal for families as it has so much to do and see, it has obviously been designed so that you can take your little ones and see some incredible acts but also has plenty to entertain the children and Granny. However don’t let this put you off going if you aren’t all loved up with little ones running around your feet as we went as a young couple and had a fab time. There are also lots of teens and single people looking for some fun when the lights go down . . . . and the campsite has been designed well so there is a families and non-families part which helps if you don’t want to be kept awake by drunk teenagers and also on the other side if you don’t want to be a woken up by a 6 year old screaming and running around your tent at 7am when you are feeling slightly hung over.
The first day we watched so many acts but the ones that really stood out for us were Labrinth who really made the sunshine and made the crowd go crazy especially in his geeky get up – very cool! Ed Sheehan on the Big Top stage, a very laid back and talented guy and then in the evening watching the mind blowing Michael Winslow (beat boxing guy from Police Academy) which was so good, it was great to just sit down and relax with some drinks and just enjoy. . . . a great start to our Camp Bestival experience and that’s without even mentioning Blondie!!
Saturday was even more fun filled than the first day, the amount and variety that is put on at this festival is wonderful. I am an arty farty type and there was plenty to inspire and get involved in: lots of arty activities, workshops and plenty of special souvenirs to buy to take home especially the hand made wooden wands and swords that that one stand were making, they were so busy that they were working all through the night to keep up with the demand. The Literacy tent seemed really popular with top authors, comedians, etc, and there was even a tent with the English National Ballet that were running workshops across the 3 days and on Sunday afternoon performed a small bit of Swan Lake with the Zing Zillas on the main stage that had everyone up on the tips of their toes spinning around.
There really was so much going on that no one could ever get bored or have time to do it all, some of my favourite bits included the ‘Playstation presents Cocktails and Dreams’ indoor area that showed different films like Toy Story 3 on a large screen. To add to this, everyone was relaxing on huge beanbags! One of the moments that I thought was really breath taking and summed up the whole atmosphere at Camp Bestival was during the Singstar ‘Take the Stage’ competition. A little boy went up and sung a JLS hit which totally blew the roof off the place; everyone was on their feet, screaming and clapping for the little boy as he gave it his all and even did the dance moves! He was incredible and anyone that reads this who was also there will agree that he will return to this festival one day and be on the main stage; he was so good that my hubby and I were actually late to the Newton Faulkner set because we wanted to stay and watch his whole performance!
Saturday’s big acts that we were blown away by were Ms Dynamite that was so energetic on stage, she was fab live; a real star! Eliza Doolittle with a quirky outfit, House of Pain that had 30,000 people jumping around, Mark Ronson with funky abstract costumes and stage, DJ Yoda who was awesome, and Groove Armada.
Sunday we packed up our tent and headed off for another whirlwind of a day, lots more acts to see, it was another perfect day. We chilled out quite a bit in the afternoon; we laid down on our blanket in the blissful sunshine and watched some mind boggling tricks at the Freesports Park where there are pros but also workshops for kids – the free running workshop was very popular.
On Sunday evening we spent most of our time at the Castle Stage (main stage) and saw more top acts Wretch 32, Katy B, Beardyman and the act that closed the festival Primal Scream. After Primal Scream were the fireworks which were magnificent but what stole the whole show for us was the animation that was projected on to the whole of the front of the castle; playing a story that the fireworks were incorporated into . . . it was honestly the most wonderful thing that I have ever seen. I have been to many places and events such as Disneyland, but this final surprise at Lulworth Castle (which is only 30 minutes away from were I live) was in my opinion the most incredible thing I have ever seen! It was truly spectacular and a little girl next to us when it started turned to her Dad and asked “how are they doing that, is it magic?” this girls question really summed up the whole event for me and my hubby it was truly magical!
When we left the grounds there was such a buzz in the air, living locally we decided to travel home on the Sunday night which meant there was no queuing to leave as most people stayed in their tents and left the next morning . . . so if you want to get away without having to wait a top tip is to pack up Sunday morning and leave when its all finished . . . saying that I could of easily of stayed another week! The only one negative I had during the whole 3 days was waiting 2 hours to have a shower . . . but I’m guessing that’s my fault for wanting to shower at a festival. My hat goes off to Rob da Bank and all the crew and I look forward to retuning next year that’s if I can’t get across the small bit of water to the IOW for Bestival in September.