Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Camp Bestival 2015 Review

What an amazing time we had at Camp Bestival again this year. I thought it would be hard to top last years experience, but it turned out to be just as magical, in a different way. We had absolutely no sleep for four nights, survived on tinned curry, danced our comfy shoes off, sang our hearts out, laughed until our jaws ached and laughed and laughed some more, over and over until we could barely breathe. 

This is our second year as accredited Camp Bestival bloggers which means we get tickets for the family free of charge, however we loved last year so much that we recommended it to our older kids who paid full price for their tickets to join us this year. Our review is 100% honest and we are happy to share both the good and the bad.

Last year we took younger children and had an absolute blast, this year we took older kids 15 - 25 and it was a completely different experience all together. We still had an amazing time, it was just different, definitely more 'rock & roll' with teenagers in tow. I'll begin with the positives, and I must say they far outweigh any negatives which you will find further down.

Camping - We arrived on Thursday afternoon and set up camp as close as we could get to the start of the main arena. Pitching your tent this close is fine if you have older kids but I wouldn't recommend it if you have a baby or a toddler as it is very noisy here all night long. For a quieter nights sleep you should camp further away from the action. 

The nights can get very cold and for the first two nights we went to bed fully dressed and shivering, we were kicking ourselves for not taking an extra quilt. We ended up buying a blanket for £18. There are various water points dotted around the campsite and in the main festival area which was clean and lovely and cold.

The loo's were great this year and the toilet attendants were fantastic. I didn't experience one overflowing pan as you do at some other festivals. Attendants were checking each loo after almost every use. This made the whole festi-loo experience much more bearable and was a huge improvement on last year. 

As there were a few of us (3 x tents) we set our tents up around a gazebo, then closed the open side with a wind breaker (available from the Happy Camper shop for a tenner). This gave us a private communal area to cook, chat about the days events and to play cards during quiet times.

Camp Bestival Teenagers - Our teens really enjoyed their experience. They moaned about the camping side of things and said if they go again then they will make sure they take more bedding and a comfy airbed but after spending a few hours in the mornings getting themselves together they wandered off to catch some acts, often finding us later completely thrilled and excited about something they had seen or heard. You know how moody some teens can be, often loving to hate something parents endorse, well mine have come home full of the festival blues and wanting to return. Big thumbs up to Mum & Dad! I silently scream "Yes!" as I punch the air. A parent win!

Photo Credit - Camp Bestival
Security - It was our teens first experience of a festival and Camp B is a perfect introduction as it is so safe with lots of security/stewards on hand. We become separated from one of our teens during the Clean Bandit show in the evening and I went into a huge panic because she didn't know her way back to the tent in the dark, running to the first steward I could find, barely able to get my words out I blurted "We have lost a teen!". They were fantastic at calming me down, reassuring me that our teen will be fine and if they have to search every corner of the festival they will. Luckily, that wasn't necessary as our teen was sensible enough to make her way to the castle and was happily sitting there waiting for us. I was left feeling completely confident of the safety of teenagers at Camp Bestival.

Our Favorite Acts - We all agree that Professor Green was the highlight for us this year. The girls went weak at the knee's because he cried on stage, as one girl who was sitting on her Dads shoulders sang along to every word of all his songs and Pro Green got all emotional. My girls were not massive fans of Professor Green before we saw him at Camp Bestival, but now they want to see him concert. 

Only The Young were very good, as was Wretch32, Clean Bandit, Alison Moyet and Kaiser Chiefs. My fifteen year old fell in love with JoJo Macari who was playing at the bandstand and she managed to bag herself a free signed demo which really made her entire weekend. 

I totally loved the drummers (Batala Portsmouth, an authentic Brasilian Samba-Reggae troupe) who at various times over the weekend drummed their way around the festival, and every time I heard them I'd jump up from whatever I was doing to catch a glimpse. They were fabulous. 

Food - There is so much good food to choose from at Camp Bestival for all budgets and tastes. It can get very expensive to eat entirely from the stalls, but if you are on a budget like us you could buy a couple of trays of chips and cook some tinned food back at the tent to eat with it. 

Our ultimate favorite grub this year was Gourmet Grilled Cheese @UKGrilledCheese , the most delicious grilled cheese sarnies you will ever taste and they don't scrimp on the cheese either which was delightful. Chunky Chips and Wicked Dips, the smoothie stall and Nando's were also very popular with us. For us juicers there was also a juice bar in The Feast Collective who sold yummy fresh juices. The fishfinger sandwich stall was there again this year, as was the wonderful WI tent where you could get a lovely bacon roll and a cuppa at a very reasonable price. 

Negatives - Bollywood tent could do with being bigger next year as it is extremely popular in the evenings, our 20 year old Daughter and her 25 year old boyfriend were really disappointed that they struggled to get in. Bigger and/or more screens at the castle stage would be hugely appreciated for those at the back (I don't remember it being an issue last year, I'm sure the screens were bigger?). We did find it a little annoying that there was a huge merchandise shop smack bang in front of the castle stage. I appreciate that many people like to buy the festival T-shirts but I think it would be better viewing if it was placed elsewhere. 

Other than those very minor negatives we had an absolute blast and most definitely agree that this years Camp Bestival was excellent value for money. The entertainment provided all day, until late into the night was second to none.

Rob da Bank says: “What an incredible weekend, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much wild fun going on in one place. Sun, fun and a totally brilliant crowd who were up for the party made it the best year ever. Thanks to all the artists and crew but especially you lot for making it so special. We’ve already got plans under way for next year, so watch this space!”

You can guarantee your place at the UK’s official Best Family Festival next year, held at Lulworth Caste, from 28th-31st July 2016, when Early Bird tickets go on sale this Friday 7th August at10:00am. There are only a limited number available, so head to Ticketline or call 0844 888 4410 and book your Early Bird tickets before it’s too late!

*We are official Camp Bestival bloggers and were provided with tickets to attend the event for the purpose of this review. Our thoughts and opinions are entirely our own.

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  1. As I say every year when I see the posts, we would love to go and were big festival goers in our Youth, but it is soooooo far away from us

  2. Brings it all back seeing your photos! We really lucked out on the weather this year didn't we? My teens enjoyed The Den, and we all loved the fireworks!

  3. I've read so many awesome posts about Camp Bestival, I'm going to try and get there next year x

  4. Oh happy days! We went to Camp B last year but were gutted we couldn't make it this year. Looks like you had a brilliant time - love your bunting and hopefully next year we will be there xx

  5. This is a great post - really gives an idea of what it was like and sounds like such, such fun!!

  6. I only learned of Camp bestival as it was happening, but it looks fantastic. I do worry about the crowds and my foster son though with his special needs he gets a little agitated xx

  7. Oh what a great post. As always you seem to capture the emotion and feel of a place so well. Every year I want to go to this and every year I leave it too late. Must try and get there next year as POD will be five and we're only in Surrey too so not too far away.

  8. It looked like a fabulous festival and s much fun!

  9. I had my teen in tow - and it made me painfully aware that I should have had two children, and not just one - just so he would have someone to have hung out with! I did encourage him to head over the The Den, but he wasn't so keen, which is a shame.

    I love the Batala Portsmouth as well - we saw them as soon as we walked into the festival, and I kept listening out for them during the weekend - they were awesome! x

  10. So great to see it from a teens point of view as I want to keep going and going as the kiddos grow older! Wasn't it cold?! And the drummers were AMAZING! Your photos are lovely by the way x

  11. t certainly looks like an amazing time was had! I still won't sleep in a tent though ha x

  12. It looks so colourful and so much fun.

  13. This looks like a shed load of fun

  14. We had a great time but found our teen didn't want to go off alone so struggled with him - those drummers were amazing weren't they

  15. It looks amazing! Thanks for linking up x

  16. Bestival always looks so much fun - I will have to try and get myself there one day! x

  17. Looks like you had the most amazing time!



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