Sunday, 18 August 2013

Camp Bestival 2013 - review

I LOVE Camp Bestival, I have been lucky enough to attend every year since it first began and Evan has grown up on the festival circuit and looks forward to this as our family summer holiday.

We arrived on Thursday, living locally allows us time to do a couple of trips so with a car brimming with camping equipment and people (we both took a friend) I drove over and dropped them off to set up. I drove back home for the food and tables! our friends arrived at 11pm and they pitched, so all asleep before 2am.  This bed time became the norm all weekend.
Friday, dawned bright and sunny and we had a morning exploring the site and marvelling at the amount of things to do for kids and adults alike, you can explore the grounds, go to a talk, watch Knights on horseback jousting, or  just lay back and listen to music whilst chilling with a selection of food & drink (of which there is an abundance!)  OR you can pick from the hundreds of other entertaining attractions going on every minute!

If you do want to experience woodland stories or a specific act make sure you head off EARLY!

I was lucky enough to have front of stage tickets for two to watch Ash on the main stage.  Again, we were blessed here as another one of our group also won this prize, so we pooled prizes and myself and Dawn took the two teenage girls along.

  They were gobsmacked that they were allowed down the front to watch from the press pit.
 Ev and his best mate decided on buying onsies from one of the stalls and walked around dressed like this all weekend!

Whilst Dawn & I had the luxury of watching Billy Bragg from onstage!

I have always allowed Evan more freedom at Camp Bestival than anywhere else we attend as the atmosphere is so family friendly/orientated that I fee very safe with him there. 
The only thing I would be negative about (and nothing actually to do with the festival) are those campers that still bring Chinese Lanterns and light them around the camp site. This really freaks me out and only a matter of time before somebody is seriously injured by them setting fire to tents!

Saturday arrived all too soon, with us up bright and early to meet up with Matt from Camp Bestival to claim yet another prize, in the form of a drink on CB.  This was gratefully received as the bar prices at the site weren't cheap and packing light had meant that alcohol was not on our packing list.  Armed with our vouchers myself and Lynn debated keeping hold of the blokes vouchers (they were too lazy to get up!) but were good and shared them out back at the tents.

Yet more wandering around marvelling at the sights and sounds, a visit to the Skylanders area for Ev and Dom, our 10  year olds and then back to the tent for a well deserved BBQ!

The Levellers were next which was amazing - I realised it was 21 years since I had first seen them live at Glastonbury - I didn't feel old though and danced my butt off!!
Sunday arrived even faster than Saturday had....and again after a leisurely morning we headed off to throw paper aeroplanes for a world record breaking attempt before a side of stage view of 1975 in the Big Top, (wow just wow!), a meeting with the band (wow and even more wow!) and the dancing more at DJ Fresh!

We all watched Labrinth from the front of the stage, This was followed by a wonderful spine tingling fire work display and animation on the castle which just gets better year in year out! Just the icing on the cake of a wonderful weekend.
I've read lots of reviews of this festival on other blogs, and seen the comments on Facebook about the facilities but cannot believe these people were at the same festival.  The toilet facilities have been slammed everywhere I look, yet having attended hundreds of festivals and with Glastonbury still fresh in my mind these were heavenly.  I didn't even try the "posh loos" but the on site staff near our tent were constantly cleaning the loos, and not once did I open a door and run away.  The queues were always manageable and none of our group ever had a problem.  The showers were fantastic, of course, they are always going to be busy first thing in the morning but if you were prepared to pop over later then it was easy.
Food at festivals is always diverse in taste and price, but we found some stalls that were very reasonable, The Soup Library and our absolute festival fave Tea & Toast always delivered.  The Schuh welly exchange was fantastic and these proved to be life savers when the heavens opened as we packed up on Monday.

Fest-taxi were the only true disappointment.  I used them on Thursday and they were excellent but Monday getting hold of one was impossible.  We watched in dismay as one poor disabled lad was turned away and told that even if he waited they wouldn't be able to help him.  On site security were fantastic at this point as they carried his belongings to his car for him, but the taxi could easily have made just that one journey. I really feel that if you paid on arrival you should be given the option of a return on Monday.

At no point did I feel anything other than safe, my children were safe and my belongings were safe.  Phone charging was hit and miss, so it was a good job my children were safe as I wasn't so worried that I couldn't reach them.  The phone charging point was £5 for half hour and three times we actually walked away with phones that hadn't charged at all, so I do wonder if it was working properly.

Camp Bestival is marketed at families and certainly lives up to that perfectly.  

That said, our group although a family were older, teens and young adults and oldies and we all came away happy and looking forward to next year.  

Huge thanks go especially to Matthew Sanger and the team at Camp Bestival, they put on an amazing show that just keeps getting better!