We went to Camp Bestival at the weekend and I have many photos to share so posts on The Dingly Dell and Moments Captured will follow shortly, but for now I thought it best to start with what I thought about the festival.
This is my fourth time at Camp Bestival and I am one of the official Camp Bestival bloggers again this year which means that my family are given free tickets in return for our honest thoughts and coverage, but in the past we've also been paying visitors. The one thing that I have foremost in my mind when covering a festival such as this is that festivals cost a lot of money. Tickets, parking, food, drink, bits and bobs whilst there, they all add up and for many a family festival can cost around the same as a weeks family holiday. And so I'll be totally honest from a critical and personal point of view.
First, the positives:
The random extra touches - the man operated dinosaur and giraffes, the drum procession and all the 'little' things that spring up around the site when you least expect it.
The sheer amount of stuff for kids to do.
The food is always amazing, it puts other festivals to shame.
The compost loos and the extra kids compost loo's this year were much appreciated - after all when they need to go - they NEED to go.
The Dingly Dell, my single favourite thing (a post about that soon I promise)
The closing fireworks show - outstanding as always. My mind boggles at how they get fireworks to go off in time to music.
The new additions this year. The hot tubs, the llamas, ferret racing - all fab.
The family atmosphere that makes you feel confident that yes, you can let your kids explore the campsite a bit and not twitch anxiously when they disappear from site.
The Morris Dancers, a firm fave with me, the represent the eclectic soul of the festival.
Festival loos' - well stocked and clean. Not once over the 3 days we were there did I walk into a loo without toilet paper - plus I didn't have to walk back out of one in horror once. Good times.
The Freesports Park always amazes me, I love how it caters for the older kids - and how fearless some children are!
Knackers Mother's Wine Club wine tasting. What can I say? The lovely Helen talking all things wine whilst thrusting glasses of it upon you is always a treat. Informative and funny I was happy to meet my wine-sitting-downy-buddy Jo who was fab. And thanks to Helen for introducing me to Dan Snow, local chap, who I can confirm has a strong and dashing grip. Handshake people, handshake...
And now, the negatives
I didn't particularly like the line up musically. This is something I say most years (as you will see if you see my previous coverage).
I think the festival has grown too big for the space. Castle Stage, Kaiser Cheifs is a good example, it was heaving as you would expect but stand at the back and not only do you struggle to see the stage and one screen but we couldn't hear what the band was even saying between songs and even the songs themselves were hard to hear. I personally think that the festival has reached the point where it needs a third music stage or reigning in on the size.
Trolleys, camping chairs and blankets. If you have small kids I get it, the trolley is a godsend, we have used one ourselves in the past. If your children are above trolley age after a few chunks of your shins have been removed then actually it wears a bit thin. The number of times we tripped over trolley handles around the Castle Stage doesn't bear thinking about.
Anti-peace-and-love vibes. I've seen it in previous years and again this year. Your child loves Mr Tumble more than life itself, I get it, just don't trample over my child's hands to get your child into the 20 cubic millimeter space in front of us.
The Charity area seemed to be moved from it's usual thoroughfare spot to a corner behind where it usually is in favour of some Volvo sponsored stall. I couldn't help but wonder how this impacted those charities this year.
Early Bird Tickets for Camp Besitval 2016 are available from Friday 7th August from
You may also be interested in my Photos from the Dingly Dell, Camp Bestival 2015.