Camp Bestival logo

Camp Bestival logo

Are you suffering from the post Glastonbury blues?  Are you looking for a UK-based ‘staycation’ because you’re worried about the effect the Greek referendum is having on the Euro?  Alan Ewart tells us why you should grab your tent, pack the kids in the car and head down to Dorset for Camp Bestival.

Camp Bestival is held each year at Lulworth Castle in Dorset, a unique location if ever there was one. The festival has been running since 2008 and is often described as the little sister of the Isle of Wight version, Bestival.

It won the “Best New Festival” award in the UK Festival Awards in its inaugural year and the Best Family Festival no fewer than four times since 2009, including 2013 and 2014.  There is a good reason for those awards.  Put simply, Camp Bestival is not just a “family friendly” festival but a festival built from the ground up to accommodate the needs of families, including those with very young children.

The range of kids’ activities at Camp Bestival is truly mind boggling.  Check the website to explore it all but just a few highlights the little ones will be kept entertained by are The Cat In The Hat – Live, Dick and Dom and Mr Tumble.

Whilst there are things to keep the kids entertained right across the site, Camp Bestival dedicates large areas of the site to children’s activities.  The upper kids’ garden provides a safe and secure area to have fun in with sandpits, soft play areas and even a mother and baby chill out area!   Older kids are catered for with a funfair, circus skills, their own music club, discos and any number of fun and creative activities to ensure that even the most demanding of children are kept entertained from dawn to dusk.

Of course, Camp Bestival doesn’t just cater for the little ones, us big kids are looked after too.  Like any major festival Camp Bestival has more than enough entertainment to keep adults entertained throughout the day and into the wee small hours if you have the stamina.  Central to the festival entertainment is the music line-up.

Like its big sister, Camp Bestival provides an eclectic mix of music that caters for every taste.  This year’s diverse lineup features acts ranging from indie rockers Kaiser Chiefs to the electro pop of Clean Bandit.  From the Electronic Dance Music of Underworld to the classic punk sound of Bob Geldof and Buzzcocks.  From the Latin Caribbean rhythms of the Cuban Brothers to the quintessentially English folk music of Eliza Carthy there’s something for every musical taste.

To the live music lineup add DJ sets from top disc spinners like Andy Kershaw and Dave Hornby, add a dash of comedy from the likes of Marcus Brigstocke and Matt Richardson, a range of theatre shows, spoken word, talks and poetry and you have the mix for a perfect family holiday.

Camp Bestival is just a few miles from Dorset’s Jurassic coast, Lulworth Cove and the award winning beaches at Bournemouth, Poole and Swanage.  There are a huge a number of campsites and other holiday accommodation throughout the area so you could easily combine a visit to Camp Bestival with an extended stay in one of England’s most beautiful counties.

This video shows some of last years festival highlights.  This year’s festival lineup is available here.

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 What are you waiting for?  Grab your tickets from here.  Camp bestival is on the internet, on Facebook and they tweet as @CampBestival

Words by Alan Ewart: you can follow Alan on Twitter at @soundofmysummer or on the internet at soundofsummer.org and you can read more posts by Alan at his Louder Than War author’s archive

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