As we head towards Lulworth Castle on Saturday, I am not quite entirely sure what to expect. Billed as a family friendly festival, I can only assume that Camp Bestival will be aimed more at the children and families rather than just the avid music lover. With a sold 30,000 crowd in attendance we were quite excited to find out what Camp Bestival is all about.
It’s a nice slightly overcast day at Lulworth Castle and upon entering, immeditely we are surrounded by children lining up for the ice cream van! Making our way towards the main stage, the sound of children having fun echos through the grounds, the kids are being entertained with things like mini golf, music shows, puppet shows and storey telling. The main stage faces in the direction of the impressive Lulworth Castle, banking down a slight hill, familes have setup picnics, there is food and drink everywhere, blankets are layed down and people are having a wonderful relaxing time.
Over the weekend the kids had plenty of keep them entertained all day. A medival theme brought about an array of both parents and children dressed as knights, jesters, princeses and more. With Dick and Dom performing on the main stage, as well as an appearance from the Zing Zilla’s and The Gruffalo, you cannot help but simle as the kids lap up the entertainment and sing and dance along. An area specifically dedicated to the children is filled with rides and the ‘Little Big Top’. The Skrek and Fiona Singalong show is a treat and has the kids rocking along to ‘Im a believer’.
There is plently of entertainment for the younger and older adults as well, with performances from Blondie, Mark Ronson, Groove Armada, Katy B, Primal Scream and more. The lineup is aimed at both the young and old, and this winning formula has worked at Camp Bestival since its installment in 2007.
Saturday saw The Wonder Stuff get the older crowd off their feet with a great performance of hits, followed by late running Miss Dynamite whos short but energetic set had the teenagers up front and centre. The lovely Eliza Doolittle graced the stage and with her soulful voice played her hits ‘Skinny Jeans’ and ‘Pack Up’. A mass crowd packed to see reformed House of Pain whose lyrics might not have been appropraite for some of the children there, had the entire crowd (young and old) jumping to their hit ‘Jump Around’. Mark Ronson’s tribute to Amy Winhouse was fitting as she passed a week ago, but this didnt stop him from playing an entertaining set. Joined on stage by The View’s ‘Kyle Falconer’ Mark Ronson performed Valerie and had the entire crowd singing along with him. Sound issues at the begining of Groove Armada’s set put a small damper on things, however once they were sorted, Groove Armada were back to their best, playing to a crowd which had now thined out as the young ones took refuge to rest back in their tents. Jaguar Skills in the Bollywood tent had the crowd dancing so hard that sweat began to pour off the ceiling!
Sunday at Camp Bestival was more of the same, great music and entertainment for all. Wretch 32 took to the main stage and opened with his latest hit with Example, ‘Unorthodox’, he had kids and parents alike bopping to his hop-hop beats. One of the acts I was most looking forward to seeing was Katy B whose set was jam packed of hits from her album ’On a Mission’. Her hits Perfect Stranger, Lights On, and Katy on a Mission had the crowd dancing from begining till end of her 45 minute performance. Beardyman’s impressive layered and tech infused beat making ability and skills on the mic had the bass pumping from the main stage sound system. Primal Scream closed Camp Bestival playing their classic ‘Screamedelica’ album in full as well as diving into their back catalogue to perform hits like ‘Rocks’.
A massive fireworks display at the end of Primal Scream’s performance signalled the end of another excellent and well organsied Camp Bestival. Showering over Lulworth Castle, the fireworks combined with projected images on the castle wall and the sound of Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ made for a spectacular finale. For me Camp Bestival was one of the highlights of the festival season so far, combined with good music and a great atmosphere, this is one festival I would recommend!