“Calling all wild boys and wild girls… prepare to get down and dirty at Camp Bestival 2015…” So comes the battle cry from Camp Bestival founder Rob da Bank, and so say us!
Crowned Best Family Festival at the UK Festival Awards 2014 (again!), the little sister of Bestival on the Isle of Wight ‘Goes Wild’ this year in its fairytale location of Lulworth Castle on Dorset’s Jurassic coast.
A host of Camp Bestival’s well-loved favourite attractions return, including the legendary Bollywood, The Big Top, The Greatest Tent on Earth, Pig’s Big Ballroom, Art Town, Insect Circus, the Science Tent, Medieval Jousting, and the Soul Park, as well as theatrical performances from The Cat in the Hat and, giving parents a night off, bedtime stories read by Sara Cox and Dick and Dom at the Guardian Literary Institute.
‘Kids are king’ is the proud mission statement of this uber family festival that attracts 30,000 adults and kids every summer. There’s no denying that the young ‘uns have their share of delights – including an exclusive preview of Julia Donaldson’s The Scarecrow’s Wedding and lots of larks with festival stalwart Mr Tumble – but there’s plenty for grown-ups too
Musical Maestros Highlights include Kaiser Chiefs, Level 42, Alison Moyet, Bob Geldof, Soul II Soul, Ella Henderson, Underworld, Clean Bandit, Professor Green, Wretch 32, Kate Tempest, Ella Eyre, Cymande and many more live acts. DJs Andy Kershaw, Artwork and Balearic Brothers will perform sets, while little ones can enjoy raving with family disco supremos Big Fish Little Fish.
Featured Fun Comedy comes from Jamali Maddix, Kerry Godliman, Eastend Cabaret, Marcus Brigstocke, Matt Richardson, Pete Cain on the main comedy stage and the Comedy Club 4 Kids for the littler fun makers!
The Zones There is The Big Top; The Castle Stage; The Greatest Tent On Earth; The Bollywood Tent; The Card Yard; Travelling Barn; Caravanserai; Oberon’s Observtory; Art Town; Freesports Park; Teenarena; Pig’s Big Ballroom; Baby Chill Out; Camp Spa & Sauna; Dingly Dell; Face Painting Tent; Guardian Literary Institute; Lego’s Imagination Factory; Mini Castle Stage; Peacock Pavilion; Pimp My Trolley; Soft Play Area (under 5s); Science Tent; Rob De Bank’s Music Club; Soul Park; Spinney Hollow… plus more!
- Catch the special preview performance of The Scarecrow’s Wedding by Scamp Theatre, an epic love story based on the picturebook by dynamic duo Julia Donaldson x Axel Scheffler. The show will make its big stage premiere at Edinburgh Fringe later in August.
- The Upper Kid’s Garden on the lawn behind the castle is devoted to the little-uns with the likes of BigTopMania where kids can learn a circus skill, a bouncy castle (to match the not-so-bouncy one in front of it!), bikes and go-carts, plus a separate Toddlers’ Area
- Meanwhile, the Lower Kid’s Garden delivers entertainment for slightly older children: the Insect Circus, Art Town – where paint and glitter is the order of the day, the Kids Catwalk, fairground rides, as well as activities for the under 5’s
- The Greatest Tent On Earth! – the centrepiece for all circus spectaculars
- The Dingly Dell is where art and craft activities take place, all accompanied by spectacular storytelling
- There are plenty of shows to catch, including: Horrible Histories, Barmy Britain Part II, Ben & Holly Live and West End Kids
- Oberon’s Observatory takes night owls on a space odyssey – both around the festival and the night sky
- Caravanserai has fairground rides that all the family will want to take again and again…
- The Travelling Barn’s acoustic acts will inspire the kids, not to mention all the hill-billy barn dancing into the night
- Freesports Park offers ‘have-a-go’ sessions at bouldering, parkour, BMX-ing, skateboarding and slack-lining. There will also be demo sessions with some of the UK’s most talented pros in a wide range of these popular ‘youth sports’
- Haven Falconry lets kids get up close to beautiful birds of prey in some daring displays of first-rate flights
- For teens, there is the utterly amazing Rob da Bank’s Music Club where kids can join in the workshops including Music Appreciation with Rob da Bank himself to Ukulele to Street Dance workshops as well as Master Classes from celebrity DJ’s and talks from musicians, agents and managers on everything from Scratching, MCing, Beat Mixing, Lyricism, Spoken Word and Singing to Street Dance and Live Music – and all in a parent free zone!
- The Den… man, it’s so unfair to be an adult! This is where the 13-17 year olds get to go and learn the likes of making a Music Video!, Blogging (with Teen Vogue), as well as DIY Festival Fashion
Dining Tables The Feast Collective returns under the curation of culinary luminaries led by chef restaurateur Martin Morales with a menu of exceptional, artisanal food from across the UK. There’s DJ BBQ, Seadog, The Cauldron, Biblos, The Cake Shop Bakery, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen and The Knackered Mothers Wine Club to name a few. Plus, new for 2015, Jo Ingleby will be the kids ambassador at The Feast Collective. Bristol-based chef and winner of the BBC Cook of the Year 2015, Jo works with children under the age of four at Redcliffe Children’s Centre in Bristol where she leads the ground-breaking Food Project, where children explore fresh seasonal produce and cook on a child-height induction hob.
Happy Campers As the name suggests, Camp Bestival places a lot of emphasis on making sure your campsite experience is the best it can be. There are four different types of camping field (plus a campervan area and a caravan/trailer tent area), each with relatively close car parks, plus showers, loos (many of which will be of the eco-friendly and non-smelly compostable variety), good food stalls, and recycling points. Also available is Camping Plus, which gives you a guaranteed self-selected plot plus dedicated car park. The Boutique Campsite has luxurious Tipis, Yurts, Squrts, Cloudhouses, Podpads and Bell Tents, while the Tangerine Fields Campsite has ready-pitched and fully-equipped tents plus Gypsy Caravans.
THE PRICE TAG
Adult (18+), £195 | Student, £180 | 15–17 year-olds, £113 | 11–14 year-olds, £88 | 5–10 year olds, £20 | Under-5s, Free, but ticketed
Photography Credit: Camp Bestival |
*** Want to see more family-friendly festivals for 2015. Check out our 12 We Love… Summer Festivals round-up ***