In the quiet town of Lulworth in Dorset normally reserved for quaint country walks and visits to the local pub - an unmissable experience occurred, Camp Bestival. The remote, rural location of Camp Bestival makes it all the more surprising when you first arrive to the colours and mayhem of 20,000 party goers and families all soaking in the vibrant music and sunshine.
Getting through the admission gates and sporting a top of the range £30 tent, I made my way through the crowds on an early Friday morning to the lively smooth music of Delilah. As is usual with Camp Bestival once inside anywhere can be selected across acres of fields to pitch up, so somewhere near the showers seemed the smart choice, as the queue for these on a hot summers day morning was rather long! I trecked down to the main Castle Stage, the large open air platform where some of the main family orientated acts play. Camp Bestival is always featured for its diverse selection of kid and family safe acts, and this year was no exception with something for everyone.
The beats were dropping from all around the fields the entire day with some fantastic tunes from Ryan Keen and other top acts. Newcomers to the festival scene were undetectable as every act both new and old helped create the incredible atmosphere that soaked the place. Children, adults, students and every walk of life was there dancing and enjoying the festive acts and displays that were put on. This years theme was 'funny Olympics' and everywhere it was clear people were enjoying themselves. In amongst the mayhem and fun was the Baker Brothers with their receipt for perfect bread! and the gorgeous Gavin from Gavin and Stacey!!! (Matthew Horne) who seemed such a genuine chap, talking about his fame and lessons learnt, absolutely captivating.
The evening Olympics display was the only dampener across the entire weekend (along with a couple of time misprints in the £10 guide making it easy to miss an act you hoped to see). The idea was simple, to screen at 9.00pm the Olympics on a large screen in the Big Top tent. By the time the event had started the tent clearly had too many people in it. It was clear that the smallish screens were not big enough for the captive audience, so a quick message flagged up to mention an additional screening in another tent (where the organisers had cancelled a child’s evening film screening). Despite people walking in front of the screens the event was simply captivating and the speakers made the event incredible to watch. The unexpected problem was after the initial ceremony and as the flags started to arrive at the stadium, the screens were cut completely and an act started. There was no notice that the screening was carrying on anywhere else, so many people groaned as they felt that had missed the Torch arriving and Beckhams part in the service. I quickly ran to the other tent to catch the rest of the screening and gradually others joined to watch the grand finale. By the time the opening ceremony had started to finish the video feed was cut and everyone had to walk to the main fields, which was an unfortunate end to the Olympic Festivities. However, those dubstep fans will enjoy the dirty bass offered at 1am from Netsky and their awesome Dubstep tunes pumping from the Big Top.
Camping out and enjoying the sunshine I woke hastily early on the Saturday to catch main event after main event throughout the day. The afternoon was simply buzzing as Camp Bestival enjoyed possibly the best weather it could have asked for. The afternoon activities saw children of all ages (including grown adults) joining and taking part in the events around the festival. Highlights including jousting and incredible, inflatable church, complete with crazy drunk vicar's to marry any unsuspecting individuals, so ladies - a quick heads up for next year to catch your fella unaware! The afternoon was accompanied by some smooth music to relax to and get excited by alike, until the Rizzle Kicks came on mid afternoon and blew everyone away with some incredible tunes that simply rocked the entire Camp Bestival to the very foundations, inflatable trumpets everywhere!!!!! This continued through to the evening where DJ Yoda continued to simply demonstrate the breathtaking sets that made him famous.
Sunday was an incredible end to the the awesome festival, with the likes of Rolf Harris (my A-lister) rocking the Castle Stage with 'Tie me Kangaroo down sport' and 'Sunrise' along with many classics that packed an entire field.... amazing stuff. Also Russell Kane managed to pack the Literacy tent with talk and a limited reading of his new book, so please pick up a copy if you see it, it was an incredibly funny 50 minutes. Sunday was of course topped by the amazing Projection Mapped animation with timed fireworks display. If you haven't been to Camp Bestival before, the entrance fee is worth it for the finale itself.
Overall an incredible experience, recommended and I shall be there next year! Well done Rob Da Bank.
Published on 06 August 2012 by LynnD