We have recovered from the mighty family knees-up Camp Bestival with a suntan, grubby knees and an assortment of festival paraphenalia. Rob Da Bank has put together an incredibly fun, crazy, colourful, musical family weekend that attracts droves of the middle-class raver generation with their Boden wearing off-spring.
The sheer scale of child-friendly activities was mind-boggling – from live music, to circus delights, to balloons, hula-hoops and bubbles, fancy dress, mini-discos, story-times and the legendary Mr Tumble – all mixed up with delicious food and washed down with Pimms and ciders.
To be honest I had a pretty low expectation of enjoying the weekend. I couldn’t see how festivals and kids would mix. As a mother, festivals involve all the things I try and avoid – noise, crowded places and over-tired children. Yet from the moment I arrived the good vibes, the colourful jolliness and laughter was infectious and we pretty much were in good moods all weekend (which can be quite rare in our family!)
Obviously there were a few dark festival moments. The arrival was a serious endurance test – lugging all the gear up a steep hill and trudging miles to find a camping spot, with two hungry children in tow, was a truly hellish experience. And my two year old getting his hand stuck in a portaloo door (nasty). Yet the highs outweighed the lows and we enjoyed the weekend soaking up the atmosphere in the sunshine, cheering along to the Cuban Brothers and Mr Tumble, catching The Gruffalo, the musical delights from Parliament, Ellie Goulding and Seth Lakeman and relaxing in the Little Big Top while a crowd of kids clapped with pleasure at a triple bill of Peppa Pig. We will be back next year for sure although we might book the Boutique Camping or copy one clever mum who brought her babysitter along for the ride.
Here’s my edited highlights from Camp Bestival.