….continued…You can read Part 1 of our Camp Bestival Experience HERE
The food as before was excellent, so much choice and the Dorset WI tent never ever disappoints. Good basic sandwiches, fresh as you like and tasty cake served with decent tea at fabulous prices. A really good value place to grab a spot of lunch. They were even making special children’s sandwiches to order for £1.50 – jam, marmite or chocolate spread. These went down a treat with my two when they were tired and hungry. We also loved The Feast Collective, there were some seriously good smells coming out of there and it was always bustling, I’d have liked to try more but sadly there’s only so much food you can eat! There’s a slight possibility that we visited Manna Kitchen more than once (okay, three times) to sample their Ultimate Brownies. Best brownies EVER. FACT Other food highlights included sampling some delights from Los Churros Amigos (YUM!). These were much much better than some churros I have had in the past and the chocolate sauce that accompanied them was delicious.
One of our favourite places to sit and relax was The Travelling Barn with it’s rustic setting and Penny Metal playing some rather weird music – I had to record it and Shazam it to find out what it was when I got home. It was strange but catchy and I am still trying to find out what it is. At some points, a rather bohemian looking chap who I discovered was DJ Chris Tofu would put on some damn awesome country music and it was definitely my favourite place to be when that was happening! But oh, the drinks prices. Ouch. £8 for a pint of Pimms. EIGHT WHOLE ENGLISH POUNDS? I can buy a whole litre of undiluted Pimms at Asda for £10. I very nearly wanted to ask where they had left their highwayman masks but I was far too polite to do so, therefore I just supped up my overpriced Pimms and enjoyed the music. They held various children’s workshops in the barn during the day including a very popular ukulele workshop.
Music-wise, we listened to James a little, though I have seen them before and Mr M stayed out to see De La Soul on Saturday night. The children were pretty tired by Saturday night and they’re not really my bag so I was happy to go back and chill out on the campsite. He said they were very good though and managed to get quite near the front of the stage. I’d like to see some more current (bigger?) acts on the main stage in the future but that’s probably just me. There wasn’t really enough draw for me on the main castle stage. I tended to prefer watching music on some of the smaller sets and enjoyed a peaceful evening watching Bach to Baby playing some beautiful classical pieces accompanied by some splendid singing on the bandstand. A very nice way to spend your time!
I was looking forward to seeing Basement Jaxx, though in reality it was so busy we positioned ourselves right at the back and couldn’t really see or hear them very well. The upside was that this did mean we had a most excellent position for the spectacular firework finale on Sunday night. This was definitely a major highlight, the fireworks were outstanding and set in perfect timing to music. Bohemian Rhapsody was a great choice with it’s big build-up. I’ve heard grumbles about the lack of animations/lasers this year being projected onto the castle and we were slightly disappointed that this was absent this year however I still think the fireworks finale was splendid, even with being hit on the head with landing firework debris, an added bonus? Ha. Camp Bestival posted a video which you can watch here so you can see it for yourself.
My big regrets are that I didn’t get to the silent disco AGAIN. I’m such a lightweight, by 10pm I was so tired from the day that I just wanted to snuggle under my duvet and I had very much intended to try out the spa and sauna but never got around to it – gutted! I thought it was a great idea so I’d be keen to hear from people who did have a treatment or a sauna.
One last point, for some reason, this year the wristbands were designed with a rather handy fixing that served to cut off all blood supply in your arm should you accidentally tighten it. As children do. We were told rather sternly when the bands were put on the children to not to let them tighten them because if we should find ourselves in the position where we might need to cut it off, they weren’t able to give us another. So there. Sucks to be you. Obviously children DO fiddle with these wristbands because they’re annoying with their long flappy bits dragging through your dinner, and therefore my son walked around with a too-tight wristband all weekend.
Oh and two last niggles – kids scavenging your drinks cup out of your hand for the 10p deposit. Not only out of your hand, out of the bins too. I’d be mortified and I feel like such a miser for saying this as I KNOW they are a festival staple and very very popular, well with children anyway, but those darned trollies. I hate them. My ankles hate them. Moving on….
There is simply so much to do at Camp Bestival that I cannot list it all here – endless workshops and crafts, quirky installations like the observatories you can climb up into, circus skills, shows, comedy, literary readings, the soul park as well as some great venues like the Bollywood tent, Caravanserai and Pigs Big Ballroom which was always buzzing and I wish I had spent more time there. There’s just more there than you’ll ever squeeze into three days. You’ll certainly never be bored at Camp Bestival and if you are, then you’re doing it all wrong!
I’ve tried to be balanced and honest in my review and I know it sounds like I am doing a lot of whinging. We did have an amazing time, honestly, but I can’t help thinking that this is not a cheap festival by any stretch of the imagination. We were lucky enough to be provided with press passes however the same trip (without bringing food and drink into the equation) would have cost me over £500. That’s a lot of dough. I can’t help but feel that for that much money, you should be able to expect better toileting and shower facilities than what is on offer. Especially as you pay a premium for bringing a campervan in or pitching up in Camping Plus. I know not everyone feels that way through.
Apart from the niggles we really enjoyed our time at Camp Bestival. Would we go back? Yes we most definitely would. If you never been before and you have young children (or older children for that matter – there is something for every age group, even teenagers) then I’d recommend it. Just bring your own bucket. And loo roll. And hand gel.
Disclosure: I was provided with press passes for my family to attend Camp Bestival which included a donation of £40 made by myself to the The Bestival Foundation. All words, views and images used in the post are my own.