30 July 2018

Camp Bestival 2018 {Review}

This morning I woke up in a bed I hadn't planned to be in. Now before you get too excited, this bed was my own at home - but I should have been waking up in my cosy tent bedroom in the grounds of Lulworth Castle having slept off the last day of Camp Bestival 2018. But, the British weather struck in the way that only British weather can. We should have known really with the school summer holiday just beginning. The stark change from the barmy heatwave to incoming coastal winds and sideways rain meant that the festival was shut down on Sunday afternoon due to safety issues on the festival site - the campsite was a fairly precarious place to be too with damaged tents and flying gazebos. This obviously left 1000s of families gutted, including me as the Sunday has always been my favourite day where I spend the day sleepily wandering around finding those last minute things to do and taking lots of photos before it ends. However, the three days that preceded the shut down was full of glorious weather and we had the most amazing time!

Camp Bestival opened their doors on the Thursday with campsites ready to go from 10am. The car park price remained the same at £25 and getting in to park was relatively easy, given the amount of traffic when we arrived around 11am. Increased security measures and luggage searches slowed down the process of getting on-site with cutlery deemed to be a big culprit - leave your sharp knives at home next year or face having to remember to claim them back later to return them safely to your vehicle. We pitched our tents beneath the sunshine on the yellow campsite about equidistant from the cars and the festival site entrance and then we were ready to start our Camp Bestival 2018!

The sun remembered to play its part this year and shone pretty consistently from Thursday to Saturday and with the accompanying blue skies made the Camp Bestival site shine in all its colourful glory.

The Castle Field was home to the World's Largest Bouncy Castle and endless colourful flags fluttering in the wind against the blue backdrop. This area also housed the Ferris Wheel, Swing Chairs and other fairground rides all at additional costs of around £2+ a person.


Always a huge favourite with us, the Spinney Hollow did not disappoint. Awash with colour and nature this area is a collective of woodcrafters, ironworkers, macrame artists and sewers to name a few. On the Thursday evening we sat by the firepit to watch the fire burning ceremony with accompanying fireside jam - a treat for the eyes and the ears.

The boy and his friend booked themselves onto the bow making workshop where they were guided through the process of using hazel to make their bow and then given the all important lesson in how to use them. The bow making cost £10 with 'arrows' to buy at £1 each. This activity was definitely money well spent as the resulting bows kept the boys entertained all around the site with them searching for open spaces to practise their new skill.


The Dingly Dell is a woodland wonderland for all ages with the colourful Lizzie's Way always a hit with its colour, mud kitchens and potion making.

Continue walking through the woodland and you'll find Slow Motion; an area for relaxation, fitness, yoga, pampering, nature runs, hanging out in swinging cocoons and getting your first henna tattoo.

On Saturday evening, as the temperature dropped and the winds continued to pick up, we stumbled across The Magic Teapot; a fantastic structure containing musicians, storytellers and a great tea maker with the best array of plant milks - and a rather short kilt! Payment was by donation and sitting by the fire singing along to Britney's Hit me baby one more time was one of my best festival moments.


Camp Bestival has always prided itself in supplying a high quality range of food for the festival goer and this year they did not disappoint. The Feast Collective upped its vegan game this year with a huge selection of vegan food so I knew I wasn't going to go hungry. To save some pennies we ate breakfast and lunch back at the tent each day but evening meals, snacks and drinks were all bought onsite with a great range of vendors to suit all tastes and a range of dietary needs.

I devoured the jackfruit 'dirty' vegan burger from Biff's Jack Shack which at £10 for the burger and fries was a fantastic festival meal. I returned to Le Bao again this year for their delicious vegan tempura mushroom baos which were £10 for two plus £3 for cajun fries. I had my eyes on an awesome Indonesian coconut curry for Sunday but that will have to wait until next year!

Drinks were readily available all around the festival site, as well as the campsites, and I had the most amazing iced oat milk caramel latte from the lovely ladies at Cake and Coffee. I also spotted a tasty looking dark chocolate vegan cake but thought of my waistline and resisted that one!

The children hit the slushies for their sugar fix - £3 for a cup of sickly sweet luminous coloured iced slush. Churros were promised on Sunday - sorry kids! - but they had plenty of treats from the Farmer's Market tent on the campsite and the ice cream vans dotted around the festival site.


The kid's field is a huge area - so big it has to be split into two; the Upper and Lower Kid's Garden. We sat and watched my friend Sirius Astonomy teach us all about the journey into space and we inadvertently killed a marshmallow astronaut in a medical syringe - all in the name of science! I finally saw the Portsmouth Batala Drummers; after hearing the distant drumming from across the site we tracked them down to the Lower Kid's Garden. Here I sat and enjoyed watching and listening to the high energy musicians who are truly loving life.

The Guardian Literary Tent is always a joy with comfy sofas and armchairs, if you're lucky to get on one, to sit and listen to an array of talks. We popped in to see M.G.Leonard talk about her Beetle Buddy books - an author that is new to me but has inspired the boy to find her books and look out for her non-fiction book out in September.


The Magic Meadow saw the Nautical Gorilla Circus Show perform daily shows of trapeze artistry aboard a huge metal ship whilst inside Caravanserai Cirque Bijou entertained us late into the night with their wonderful mix of contemporary circus, street theatre and cabaret.


Camp Bestival wouldn't be complete without the music and we dipped into a range from Fearne Cotton's DJ set aboard HMS Camp Bestival to the Stereo MCs to Jane Weaver to Saturday headliner's Clean Bandit and even a little bit of HRVY whilst waiting for the teenage girls to emerge from the scream filled Big Top.


Sadly there were no fireworks but Camp Bestival 2018 was still an amazing event for families with children of all ages. The only downside was the weather which was out of everybody's control and everybody's safety had to come first.

So it just leaves me to say...
Once again, thank you Camp Bestival, as always, it has been a blast!

Disclaimer; I received a family pass to Camp Bestival 2018. As always, views and opinions are my own.

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