We have been attending Camp Bestival for the last 8 years and were waiting on tenterhooks to see if this year’s one would be going ahead, after last years cancellation due to COVID.
It was a nervy wait, as the easing of lockdown restrictions was delayed, but on 19th July, things finally went our way and Camp Bestival was GO!
Camp Bestival is a family festival held at Lulworth Castle in our home county of Dorset. It is set mostly outside, with a few tents hosting indoor shows and activities, which made us feel more confident in attending. Entry requirements for this year also included proof of a double vaccination on the NHS app, proof of natural immunity or a negative lateral flow test taken prior to travel for adults and children over the age of 11.
Of course, having two weeks notice to put together a festival would be challenging to any team and some of the acts could not attend due to travel restrictions, or positive cases in their households but although disappointing, we wanted to see Sophie Ellis-Bextor who kept us going through lockdown with the kitchen disco’s and the Vengaboys, it really didn’t detract from our enjoyment of the festival and we also found that people were far more respectful of each others personal space.
The kids have grown up with Camp Bestival and have their own favourites. They may have outgrown Cbeebies favourites Mr Tumble and Andy and the Odd Socks, but that doesn’t stop them from dancing and joining in, but it was Dick ‘n’ Dom (minus Dick) that really got the party started with a dance off featuring some banging tunes.
Another festival favourite is Lizzie’s Way, who specialise in creating fun in the wild for the young and young at heart.
It’s the ideal place to spend quality time with your family, away from the crowds, where children can play together and let their imaginations come alive.
It is close enough to the Castle Stage that you can hear the sets and we got to listen to Sara Cox’s party-starting 80s pop extravaganza as the kids played and recreated photo’s from yester year.
It is also a great place to try new things, and this year it was axe throwing, which was great fun and much harder than it looks.
Camp Bestival has three fields with entertainment for the kids, the Lower Kids Garden, the Upper Kids Garden and Wild Tribe.
Wild Tribe is a craft village which hosts a diverse range of hands-on rural craft workshops for all ages and previous years have seen us make swords, shields and dream catchers. This year is was willow bow and arrow, which the kids mastered almost immediately and kept them occupied during quieter moments in the day.
The Lower Kids Garden
This is the area which normally provides the most variety of entertainment for the kids, with shows in the Greatest Tent on Earth, fairground rides, science shows and food and festival memorabilia stalls.
Although we enjoyed this field, it’s probably the area we found most of the usual activities were missing. There are normally brands offering free activities for the kids, the insect circus and pop-up acts, but they were not here this year.
We were relieved to see our favourite food vendors though – their corn is amazing!
Upper Kids Garden
The Upper Kids Garden is home to the circus skills area, where the kids can try their hand learning circus skills, whilst the adults relax by the Food Collective, which are a collection of artisan food and drink producers from across the UK.
Camp Bestival is also about the music and comedy acts too. Scummy Mummies put in a sterling job of keeping the crowd entertained between acts and Dom Joly was hilarious as he described how he scared an eskimo.
Stand out acts for us were The Wurzels, one of whom was celebrating in 82nd birthday!
They did a cover of Kaiser Chiefs Ruby, but changed the words to Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Oo-Arr, Oo-Arr, Oo-Arr – we can’t stop singing it.
London Garage Orchestra followed and although they were the polar opposite, were just brilliant too.
Following Camp Bestival’s Stay At Home Easter Sleepover event online, we were keen to see Fat Girl Slim (Nelly Cook) and her set didn’t disappoint either, with her Dad on hand to lend a hand.
We found it easy to stay away from crowds of people during the day, but things did get trickier at night, as more people gathered at the Castle Stage, especially for Fat Boy Slim and the fireworks.
We chose to sit nearer the castle than the stage this year, where we could still get views of the stage and the lights and listen to the music, but we had more room to spread out.
The highlight of any Camp Bestival are the spectacular fireworks on Sunday night and they didn’t disappoint. Eliza was really impressed by how the fireworks exploded in time to the music and Sebby loved that some of his favourite film characters were lit up on the castle.
Camp Bestival 2021 may not have been perfect, but after 18 months of uncertainty and lockdowns, it was wonderful to be back, let our hair down and see the kids having fun.
If you are ready for another weekend of unrivalled family fun on the grounds of Lulworth Castle, early bird tickets for Camp Bestival 2022 are now on sale! Grab a ticket and join them from 28th -31st July 2022 here: https://www.campbestival.net/tickets/buy-tickets
Disclaimer: We were guests of Camp Bestival for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and opinions are our own