Last Thursday we packed the car to the gunnels, leaving just enough room for us and the girls and headed south for a weekend of festival family fun at Camp Bestival. Excitement levels were high as we travelled over 250 miles to Lulworth Castle, so even after an early start nobody was catching up on sleep. The further south we got the brighter the sun shone and bluer the skies became, which was welcomed as there is nothing worse than heading to a festival when the weather is damp and cold!
In record time we had pitched the tent and collected everything from the car. Best decision so far had been choosing a pitch in Camping Plus that was closer to the car park, having last year been closer to the festival entrance. This made it easier for unloading the car of all the 'essential' kit we had brought. Later this decision was also very welcomed in that there was less noise from the festival late at night. Thankfully we were pitched before the rain set in, so making the tent more homely with bunting, lights and garlands was delayed due to the weather. But within a couple of hours the rain moved on along with the fog and the tent was looking much more stylish. So off we went to explore the parts of the festival that were open. For me this first glimpse, late in the afternoon on Thursday is in some way magical. Captivating the true essence of the festival as smiles beam on childrens faces as they see things for the first time or revisit another year older, seeing things with fresh eyes. The huge flags sway in the breeze as the clouds separate to reveal a deep blue, sun sparkled sky. Yes this is the moment I treasure most.
So with the tent feeling like home for the weekend and the sun returning there was much fun to be had. Here are some of our favourite moments from the weekend.
Fat Boy Slim
For me this was the highlight of the whole weekend. Katy B had been the perfect warm-up, taken back to my clubbing days with her cover of Let Me Be Your Fantasy. Then he arrived, the amazingly talented Fat Boy Slim. Sounds of those hacienda days of my youth filled the air as I danced with the sun setting across the hills and the castle lit up, reminiscing of my clubbing days. This was a moment I will never forget, thank you Camp Bestival.
With the line up announced several weeks ago, the girls were very excited to see that Jess Glynne was headlining on Friday night. A firm favourite in our house, her album on repeat for weeks, this was a moment that we would not be missing. We sang and danced the night away and Jess certainly did not disappoint with a brilliant set. Obviously the following morning I was asked to tie Jess Glynne plaits for Kitty, who had spotted how her favourite singer had her hair tied the previous night!
The Science Tent
Every year this just gets better. Workshops aplenty, which adopted the space theme of the festival and performances to captivate the most unlikely scientists. Kitty especially loves the science tent, getting to be hands on and exploring ideas. Of course this gets my stamp of approval and love how families can get to explore science together.
Kitty - Think I may need to grow before I use this fork!
Even in the evening, the vibe was cool at the Feast Collective,
with DJ BBQ providing the music and entertainment.
The Feast Collective
Again this did not disappoint and the food is delicious, exciting and quite frankly amazing. With aromas to captivate the senses, tunes from DJ BBQ that seem to fit just perfectly with the vibe of this street food market. Whether you wanted an ice lolly made from fruit and veg, a naan bread packed full of spicy chicken and salads, fish burgers that you can almost smell the sea in every bite, goat spiced of flavours that take you to streets in Africa, burgers loaded with melt in the mouth pulled pork or just an Americano. Bursting with flavour, the Feast Collective is definitely our favourite part of Camp Bestival.
When you need to escape the chaos, noise and sun for a little while, Dingly Dell is the perfect place to go. With pathways to explore, hidden delights in Lizzie's Way and fun activities from the National Trust, there is still plenty to do. Yet in Dingly Dell I always feel the pace has slowed, there is time to just be, moments to reflect. Even though our daughters love the craziness, the noise, the bustle of the festival they also love to escape to Dingly Dell. Just pressing pause here for a little while, recharging before we head back into the warmth of the sun and the bustle of the weekend.
Finally the big marquee that housed Bollywood in previous years was left unpacked and this whole area was amalgamated. Having seen in previous years the split between inside and outside of Bollywood it just seemed 100% better this year just being outside. A party atmosphere took over in the evenings, with a top line up of DJ's every night, especially as Trevor Nelson brought the Rhythm Nation to Bollywood on Friday night. Perfection!
Brancott Estates - The Red Shed
Showcasing their brand new virtual reality experience, Virtual Vines, at Camp Bestival, Andy and I had the privilege of joining Brancott Estate on Thursday night for the launch. I will be posting a full write up in the next couple of days, but the Red Shed was a great addition to the Castle Field.
We also spent time learning circus skills, in Art Town and saw some amazing bands and artists perform. I especially loved catching Ward Thomas late on Saturday afternoon and Amber loved Alice Jemima in the Big Top on Friday night. There is so much to see and do at Camp Bestival and we never seem to manage to do everything we plan to. Sadly this year we left early due to myself and Lucy becoming sick, perhaps due to the not so clean toilets, lack of running water for the taps and no soap in Camping Plus, as several people in the Orange zone were also ill on Sunday morning. I know that all these things sound a little bit too luxurious for a festival campsite, but these are some of the reasons we have chosen to pay the premium and book a pitch in Camping Plus for the past two years.
Even though we left early we had an amazing weekend. Every year the line up at Camp Bestival gets better and better, but so does everything else. Whilst we have come to expect old favourites, there is always something new, something exciting, to be discovered. A different theme every year obviously helps refresh the old favourites but I truly believe that there is something for everybody at Camp Bestival.
So thank you Camp Bestival for an amazing weekend, where memories were made that we will cherish forever.
Until next time, take care.
Disclosure - This year I am one of the official Camp Bestival bloggers, working with them to share my top tips and reviewing the festival. They have kindly given us a family weekend ticket, however all opinions are my own.