We got home late Sunday night from another brilliant weekend at Camp Bestival. It was our second visit and we loved it just as much. Syd woke up this morning asking to go back today, he does not want to wait another year and frankly I am with him!
I simply love this festival. It is THE festival of choice if you are wanting a festival experience that truly caters for kids of all ages. There is magic and wonder around each corner, so much to explore and admire and take part in, plus all the usual big bands on big stages type thing that a festival requires. The toilets are on the whole clean by festival standards – I recommend the compost ones as being nicer than portaloos! The campsite is well organised and spacious enough to not feel too crowded in by your neighbours. The festival site itself is huge, and while there are obviously busy places such as the main stage and the children’s areas, there are also plenty of less populated spots for grabbing a few minutes peace, and wherever you go there is some new treat or vision waiting to delight you!
Similarly to last year, there was not that much that appealed musically to an old punk like me – we enjoyed Pop Will Eat Itself Saturday afternoon and had a right royal knees up to Chas and Dave on Sunday – but I would love to see The Damned or similar crop up on a future line-up. Having said that, it isn’t a festival that is solely about the music – it is also about creativity, food, cabaret, nature, craft, and most of all FUN. We managed to catch a few minutes of Milton Jones, whose off the wall humour had us adults chuckling away, but sadly went over the head of a toddler meaning he dragged us off to look at sparkly things before we had had our fill! We also enjoyed the music on the bandstand in the lower kids field, and were entertained by the various unique performances and experiences that seem to pop up all over the place – the Insect Circus and Oberon’s Observatory being two quirky faves.
Syd had a whale of a time. There are so many places for a small chap to play – he loved the toddler area, and the play equipment in the Piriton Sneeze Free Garden and spent a swathe of Sunday afternoon riding a cow in the huge soft play marquee. We took in Duplo and sand pits, bubbles and circus skills – he didn’t stop – well, apart to ask for more churros to up his energy ready for the next assault of the children’s fields. He had his first ever go on a Helter Skelter, and adored it – a huge grin on his face as he bumped down on his Dad’s lap!
We ate well – chips and dips and churros and huge oven roasted corn on the cobs and the best veggie burger I have had in a long time. There is a huge variety of food stalls to choose from, and the majority offer reasonable priced meals – and plenty of it is healthy. The bar is pretty pricey at £4.50 a pint, so is definitely worth taking some of your own booze with you to drink on the campsite (remember the no glass rule though), but it was almost worth the price for the beautiful cups (see pic below)
Betsy, my seventeen year old, enjoyed it too – it doesn’t just cater for small kids – there is a dedicated teen area and extreme sport exhibitions and all sorts for them to enjoy. If asked I have no doubt her highlight was the finale. Having missed it last year we were determined to stay, and it was totally worth it – they effectively exploded the castle with fireworks and flame all to the soundtrack of Bohemian Rhapsody – it was unbelievably epic and well worth the late arrival home! (you can watch a video of the finale here – I watched it back yesterday and totally got goosebumps!)
All in it was utterly awesome sauce, with sprinkles on top, I cannot recommend it highly enough as a perfect family festival experience. Go next year, I will see you there! A limited number of special priced early bird tickets for 2015 go on sale later this week, I will be back to remind you. Based on this years ticket prices it can seem like a big purchase, but let me remind you this is for 4 nights of enormous fun in the Summer Holidays – compared to some of the quotes I have had for similar length holidays at holiday camp type places it is a positive bargain and far more my cup of tea!
Love Miss Cisco XXX
We were delighted to be guests of Camp Bestival this year,
but have got our own tickets in the past, and it is well worth it!