2 August 2017

Camp Bestival 2017 ~ Review

The last of the mud has been washed away and I am now ready to look back on, and review, our Camp Bestival 2017. It was our eighth visit as Camp Bestival celebrated their tenth anniversary but somebody forgot to book the sunshine for the weekend. The rain, and mud, definitely impacted the festival but we were determined not to let it spoil our fun for Camp Bestival 2017.
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers
As usual, we arrived Thursday morning to a slight queue getting onsite where we handed over our £25 parking fee before parking at the top of the car park - usually I would moan at this but this year with the forecast of rain we were were happy not to drive to the bottom of the hill. With the van unpacked with its first load we picked up our wrist bands, passed security with their increasing searches and found a camping spot; this year we decided to camp closer to the car park and walk further into the festival site which saved us having to take our camping gear down the infamous hill which we knew would be a mud-bath come the end of the weekend. With the tent safely put up and two more trips back to the van we were happy campers - in the wind, hence the leaning tent. The husband had to return home for work for 24 hours so it was just me and the children until Friday afternoon. We took our first wander around the campsite and found it was set up in its usual format with banks of portable toilets, water points and food and coffee stalls.
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers
The long weekend saw us exploring familiar places, watching new bands, developing my girl's experience of live music and crowds, eating new foods, drinking new drinks, perfecting our diablo skills and surviving the mud.
Here are some of our favourite places and moments.

CARAVANSERAI
Built from vintage caravans and carousels, Caravanserai was a delight for our ears and eyes. We chilled out and watched the trapeze artists and jugglers from Cirque Bijou whilst enjoying a range of music.
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers

SLOW MOTION
A favourite from past years, Slow Motion is an area to chill out and I gravitated towards the yoga awning on Friday morning. The children were safe to sit on the edge whilst I joined a Vinyasa Flow session. It was all going beautifully until the heavens opened during savasana and, being an awning and not a tent, this spoilt the moment for those on the edges. This was my first grumble of the festival; the yoga would have been so much better in an enclosed tent, as in previous years, and due to the heavy rain that continued I sadly didn't return. To dodge the rain we headed into the Vegan Society tent where we read people's reasons for being, or taking a 7 day challenge to be, vegan.
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers

THE KID'S FIELD
A huge area for the festival kids but with plenty to entertain the adults too with craft beer and cider stalls, Jam Jar Bar, Literary Institute and Feast Collective. The two fields are full of activities from the world's biggest bouncy castle to fairground rides to activity tents. We headed down to the Science Tent to see our friend, Sirius Astronomy, tell us all about the solar system and how to make our own comet. The Literary Tent is always a cosy spot to sit and chill with an array of guests. This year the girl and I popped in again to see the Scummy Mummies - who are always guaranteed to give you a good giggle! And there was plenty of space for the boy to practise his diablo skills having upgraded from last year's wooden sticks to metal sticks from the popular Firetoys stall.
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers

MUSIC & MISCELLANEOUS
Across the years we have experienced a range of music at Camp Bestival at the Castle Stage and the girl is increasingly keen to get in among the crowds to see some performers. This year her - well chosen and not all influenced by me! - choice was Kate Nash. We headed down towards the front of the field in the pouring rain for a fantastic performance with the girl noting how great it was that Kate had a female backing band. 
Another joy of Camp Bestival is the unplanned finds - musical pop-ups in the courtyard from Ladies on the Lawn, the Funky Little Choir singing in front of the famous I Love Camp Bestival sign, finding a new act you like the sound of, this year Louis Berry, in the Big Top and catching the Beard and Moustache competition hosted by Sara Cox
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowersCamp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers

FOOD & DRINK
Being vegan for the first time at Camp Bestival I was a little anxious about what I was going to eat. We did our usual thing and brought our own breakfasts and lunch provisions with us but we always eat out in the evenings. I needn't have worried as this year there were loads of vegan options from coconut and mushroom Rendang and baos from Le Bao - which I had and were delicious - to vegan kebabs, sushi and bunny chow. It was great to see an increase in the availability of vegan options so well done Camp Bestival! The non-vegans in the family enjoyed their mac 'n' cheese, Higgidy Pies and cheese toasties. The cost of these meals ranged from £5.50 to £9. Before hitting the craft beers and ciders in the evenings - £5- £5.50 - we enjoyed coffee and chai from the great Mr Teas and the girl has discovered a love of iced chai which the kind folk made for her at the Camper Coffee Co. even though it wasn't on the menu - nice to see they had oat milk as an option too which the girl chose and it was delicious. Coffees and hot drinks ranged from £2 - £5.
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers

NIGHTTIME
Always a great experience, nighttime at Camp Bestival transforms the site. The world's largest disco ball reflected the lights beautifully amidst an eerie smattering of smoke and the Dingly Dell is always worth a look in the dark. As always it was decked out in beautiful lights and creations but unfortunately the play park was plunged into darkness at this hour.
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers

Saturday night saw our last experience on the festival site this year as sadly we had to leave on the Sunday due to work commitments. Usually we would pack up and head back onto site for a few hours and have previously watched fireworks before driving home - which included animations on the castle again this year. But due to the weather, although Sunday had glorious sunshine, and the mud in the car park we made the decision to get out before too many vehicles got stuck. We then got stuck. Luckily help was at hand with some passing lads who helped pushed us back onto the grass and the 4x4 team were ready with their towing equipment should we have needed it. Luckily though we managed to snake through some gaps in the car park before hitting the laid down track at the exit points. 

Our only negatives this year were due to the weather. The Camp Bestival team tried to prepare for it in advance with additional road tracking and woodchips but with thousands of people walking through wet grassy fields and hundreds of vehicles driving across the car parks it is going to turn to mud. So, as always, be prepared for the weather and take oodles of extra patience with you!

Thank you Camp Bestival, as always, it has been a blast!

If you fancy it for yourself in 2018, where I'm sure the sun will make a full-on return, pre-sale tickets are available from Friday August 4th 2017 here.

Camp Bestival 2017 Review // 76sunflowers

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Disclaimer; I received a family pass to Camp Bestival 2017. As always, views and opinions are my own.

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