You know one of the biggest downsides of festivals? Camping. Well. Not so much camping but all the business that goes with it – overloaded cars, rowing as you struggle against the wind to get the tent up, snapping at each other as you try and get the tent back in the bag at the end of the festival, when you are already exhausted so the last thing you feel like doing is wrestling reluctant canvas back into a bag that is clearly far too small. This year we avoided all that nonsense by staying as the guests of Pitch Village at Camp Bestival.
Their invitation to stay with them was perfectly timed, as we had just realised we wouldn’t be able to get to the festival until Friday afternoon, and were worrying all the best camping pitches would be gone already (most people go on the Thursday these days), with visions of trying to squeeze our big tent into a tiny gap somewhere. Instead we breezed up Friday just before tea time, to a tent already set up and waiting for us.
Our Vango 8 man was more than big enough for the 5 of us, and we were also provided with bedding for us all. Snuggly sleeping bags and air beds to keep us comfortable. We still had a fair amount of stuff to bring, but the positioning of Pitch Village very close to the Boutique Camping entrance meant it was really easy to get our bits and bobs onto the festival site – unlike last year when we had to tackle the hill of doom with overloaded trailers – twice!! The tents were all pitched in such a way that everyone had plenty of personal space and an outdoor area to utilise for sitting in the sun or cooking. Our corner plot gave us plenty of room for all our folding chairs and a nice outdoor rug, almost creating a sitting room outside – we were spoilt with lovely weather all weekend!
The staff gave us a really friendly welcome, and always had a smile and a hello whenever we saw them all weekend. We had no problems, so had no need to call on them – but I got the impression they would be swift to help out if anyone hit a snag. The reception is open long hours, and offer a phone charging service (which is included in the cost of your stay – no hidden extras there!).
Not only do Pitch Village provide your tent and optional bedding upgrade, there are also other pluses to paying the extra to stay with them. I didn’t have to queue at all for the toilets, which while they were still portaloos, always had loo roll and hand cleaning gel in them and were clean whenever I used them. The showers did have short queues at busy times of day, but of a few minutes, not the hour or more of the main site showers.
A big hit with my teenage daughter was the pamper area – a lovely bright portacabin with big, clear mirrors all round and hair dryers and straighteners provided. She took advantage of the straighteners to sort out her tent hair and loved having proper mirrors to apply the all important festival glitter and face paints.
And the huge bonus for me was the on tap tea, coffee and hot chocolate. I am a coffee addict, and made very good use of this and the kids loved having hot chocolates before bed. And I saw lots of people using the hot water for pot noodles and instant porridge too – I will definitely be considering taking some of those things next year!
All in staying with Pitch Village definitely added a huge plus to our weekend. It does make for a more expensive holiday, but it totally removed the stress from camping and made the whole holiday so much more relaxed so is worth paying for if, like us, you aren’t natural born campers! I also like that using a service like this reduces waste – you always see a lot of abandoned tents etc left on site after a festival – this won’t happen with Pitch Village – when the tents and bedding have reached the end of their festival life, they are either handed on to causes who can use them to help others, or recycled properly if that is the only option. They also work with Toilet Twinning – twinning each of our festival toilets with sanitation facilities in communities that need them the most. Nice eh!
Love Miss Cisco XXX
We were guests of Pitch Village at Camp Bestival – to find out how to upgrade your festival experience with them visit their website – you won’t regret it!