So we are hurtling towards the end of term now – only two weeks left. What a shocker! Where has the last school year gone? Blimey.
The good news though is that means that we’re also hurtling towards the mega fun-filled family festival that is Camp Bestival. That almost rhymed.
I’ve already booked the sunshine (you can thank me later) and have started putting together my packing list. Got to love a packing list.
Today I wanted to share some of my personal tips based on previous experience. This might be especially useful for anyone attending Camp Bestival this year or thinking about it for future years.
I’m going to have to to start by talking about the trollies. The dreaded trollies. I think they are more than a bit marmite and I personally hate them but they are very much encouraged so you know, boo yah sucks to be me and you go ahead and fill your boots! People use them to ferry around their children/bags/other assorted paraphernalia and undoubtedly they are super handy for this, especially if you want to stay out late and you want your little cherub to sleep. You can snug your little babies right down in this and make them uber-cosy (don’t forget the ear defenders). Perfecto. Please don’t use them to break people’s ankles and flatten their toes because that’s just rude. I think they are a blot on the festival landscape, an obstruction and a nuisance but everyone else seems to love them so maybe it’s just me.
On a similar tack to the trollies – and probably what they were originally intended for – the car parks are nowhere near the tent pitches which means you have to lug/drag/cart all of your belongings and camping gear across hill and dale. And believe, it is VERY hilly. A trolley of some sort is pretty invaluable for this I would have thought. We’re campervan dudes so this doesn’t apply to us.
When you’re in need of tea and a sarnie or a piece of cake, head to the WI tent who excel at this. Nothing fancy, just good honest char and tucker. Just what you need sometimes. And very reasonably priced too. Served with a free smile.
Ok, so the inevitable. We’re going to have to talk toilets. I know. Yes, it’s a festival and we’ve all heard the horror stories but it ain’t all that bad at Camp Bestival. Alright, it’s fair to say it’s not always pretty but you know, I’ve seen a lot worse. Three super important things to remember here – open-toe shoes are not your friend when things get a bit soggy (and sometimes they do), carry some tissue with you and always carry your own hand gel as it quite often runs out. Follow those three golden rules and you’ll be fine and dandy.
Bring your own flower garlands for your hair. I found them quite expensive at the festival but they can be picked up quite cheaply on the high street. Also the thing about fancy dress, there’s always a theme at Camp Bestival which this year is Circus. Dress up if you like but certainly don’t feel like you have to as I really don’t remember seeing that many people dressed up last time. It’s a bit of fun but not compulsory by any stretch of the imagination and you definitely won’t be the only one not in costume, if you decide it’s not for you.
Glowsticks are handy to have with you. They’re great for entertaining children at night when you just want to relax with a glass of wine
and pretend you’re not surrounded by thousands of kids. We also used them as little night-lights back at the campsite.
We’ve got one of those fantastic cool-boxes that stay cold for about 5 days. These are ideal and if you’ve got space to bring one, bring it. There are plenty of food and drink options available at the festival of course but if you want to make breakfast or have an evening drink back at your pitch, having one of these cool-boxes will pretty much guarantee that you still have cold wine by Day 4. Priorities people.
An afternoon siesta never hurt anyone, in fact I recommend it. Take time in the day to head back to your pitch and chill out before getting gussied up for the evening stint. All that walking around, general merriment and fresh air takes it out of you.
My biggest tip though is to chill out. Relax. Honestly, you’ll get more out of it if you don’t stress about stuff.
Yes, there will be big queues for the food and toilets at times.
Yes there will be children under your feet for the entire duration of the festival and yes there will be a ton of pushy parents trying to elbow you out the way so their kids can get to the front of shows and activities.
Yes, people on the campsite will be noisy and inconsiderate. Especially if you’re in the campervan field where people like to sit with their engines running all evening.
Give. Me. Strength.
But if you can get past all the annoyances, you’ll have an amazing time, honestly!