Camp Bestival is a great weekend away for those who like the festival part of music festivals and who want to go to a festival with children. The music is a distant second to the broader festival experience but that is just as well if you have younger children who are unlikely to enjoy the usual sound levels of live music. I saw Adam and the Ant and a bit of Hot Chip, but not much else.
We went with OMB and his friend AC and his dad, TC which meant that we were able to spend some time without the children if we wanted to and to explore more generally, but in the end we spent most of the time together as the best of the festival was the family atmosphere rather than things specifically for the adults. However, we did leave on the Sunday and missed out the closing fireworks and the Happy Mondays as the boys had had enough having arrived on the Thursday and already having had three full days of festival.
There were lots of activities for children including crafts and circus skills, free bouncy castles and a really good wall of death motorbike show (surprisingly free). There was also jousting, circus acts, comedy and poetry (we all really enjoyed Harry Baker from the Elephant Collective and his poem about dinosaurs and his reimagining of Ed Sheeran’s song A Team with desserts replacing some of the lyrics – I’m still tickled by the line “Meringue, but you never rang back”). The food on site was also a cut above normal festival food in particular the Young British Foodies tent which had amazing food (special mentions to the best ribs I’ve ever had and the crab which TC and Mrs B would have carried on to a third helping of given half a chance).
As you can see, we were in the festival mood with our FieldCandy tents which got a lot of admiring comments, although we were in a very small minority in not setting up home from home with massive family tents! It was a rather middle class event – or rather, it was pitched at the sorts of families who regularly go on camping holidays. Everything seemed well-organised and the facilities were good. However, we were also lucky to have had very warm, dry weather. Particularly with our small tents it might have been rather harder to have kept the boys’ spirits up had it been wet and muddy without us having somewhere dry and clean to retreat to.
This is part of the Flying Seagull circus troupe’s show. It was so much fun we went to see it twice. They manage the rare combination of being great performers and doing very good work for charity without being preachy or sanctimonious.
This is as close to Mr Tumble as we could manage – it was probably the most crowded the main stage got all weekend! I still think he’s planning on staging a coup some time around 2030 once his loyal followers have grown up.
You don’t get jousting by a real castle at Glastonbury!
Hey, look, some more traditional festival goers!
But why would you want to?
The Wall of Death!
OMB and I doing a spin painting.
Move over Damien Hirst!