Camp Bestival 2012 festival review

'A must for families favouring festivals'

Camp Bestival 2012 festival review

Photographer:Jim Stewart

Daniel Smallbone - 02 August 2012

Rob da Bank’s Camp Bestival, the sister festival to its much bigger brother Bestival, is an absolute delight and a must for families favouring festivals.

The luscious green grounds surrounding Lulworth Castle on the Jurassic Coast provide the scenery and the backdrop to the main Castle Stage, as music and entertainment delight all ages over one long sun drenched weekend.

Friday saw hundreds of children plastered with eyeliner, glitter and white face-paint as they stood to watch Adam Ant (4/10) deliver, but they leave disappointed, consoled by their make-up artists and parents. Not a good start but it could only get better. Enter Hot Chip (8/10) with electro pop hits ‘Ready For The Floor’ and ‘Over & Over’ jump starting the crowd into a frenzy of rave proportions, neon glow sticks stuck firmly in the palm of everyone’s hands. Stooshe (7/10) are a colourful trio who can keep the Festeenies entertained with their R&B/pop hits and Jon Boden’s Bellowhead (10/10) proved why they are five times winner of the BBC Folk Award. The 11 piece contemporary folk band bounced and danced around the stage playing every instrument you can think of.. yes, even a frying pan! The Big Top tent saw the opening of the Olympic Ceremony on the big screens with people draped in Union Jacks. Those who entered also had a musical feast of their own as a British music medley displayed the incredible and unique bands Britain have produced over last 50 years. DJ Yoda (9/10) played into the night with the Tran-Siberian March Band to produce an audio spectacular of big brass and beats.

Kid’s favourites Mr Tumble (CBeebies' Justin Fletcher), who gained one of the largest audiences of the weekend after a stampede of Pamplona proportions with children in fancy dress trolleys being hauled downhill by parents wishing to get a front row seat. The crowd were warmed up by the Gruffalo and Saturday children’s presenters Dick & Dom. Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff (7/10) made sure the excitement for the Olympics continued as he sang his cover of ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ synonymous with bobsleigh film Cool Runnings. Shortly following were Brighton Duo Rizzle Kicks (8/10) who got the whole crowd involved playing imaginary trumpets up and down the Castle grounds. A triple treat of funky disco moved into the night as Earth Wind & Fire (8/10), Chic (10/10) and Kool & The Gang (7/10) played a back catalogue of seventies and eighties dancefloor classics. Chic featuring Nile Rodgers stole the show sandwiched between the other two acts, with modern covers and classic hits finishing with a plethora of people coming on stage for the finale, including the Rizzle Kicks and any roadie who was free.

Another warm day on Sunday saw families queuing across the grounds to see the Fantastic Mr Fox Opera set deep into the woods next to the festival site. Medieval jousting also gained large crowds as people flocked to see Michael Winslow AKA Sgt. Larvelle ‘Motor Mouth’ Jones the man of 10,000 sound effects from the Police Academy series as he recreated a fight scene from Star Wars. The legend Rolf Harris (8/10) was next on the Castle Stage expanding on his antipodean folk and aboriginal inspired songs and also included a bit of Irish folk songs too. The crowd had almost dispersed by the time King Creosote (6/10) took to the stage and even those started to disappear as the music was too chilled out for most and the crowd left in need of a pick me up for the last night. They didn’t have to wait long as Scroobius Pip (7/10) pipped and perked up the crowd before the Happy Mondays (8/10) entered the arena. Through all the years of excess and party it's remarkable how Shaun Ryders voice holds up and the band are happy to allow youngsters on the stage to imitate Bez’s famous maraca shaking dance. The ultimate finale was the fireworks which seem to get bigger and better every year and could have given the Olympic Opening Ceremony firework display a run for their money.

The website lists 101 things for kids to do, believe me their was more, it is no wonder everyone enjoys their family time at Camp Bestival. It was yet another success for Rob da Bank and is an absolute joy for parents wanting to carry on to go to festivals and introduce their young to not only music but all the arts and so much more. A deal with the local council and Lulworth Castle will see the festival continue for the next four years and many hope it will carry on for years after.


Click here for our full Camp Bestival coverage.

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