I love this picture, me at Camp Bestival last year, our first time. At the end of the festival we left in no doubt that we would return, it was the best of times. Time where we got to join our children in their childish wonder at the world. We are all so excited about going to Camp Bestival 2015!
So having survived the practicalities of Camp Bestival as a family of five I thought it might be useful to share our top festival tips. Anything that makes the practicalities of the festival smoother and easier means more time to do jump rope.
Top tips for Camp Bestival 2015;
1. Eating. Camp Bestival offers a massive variety of food to sample. My favourites purchased last year included a delicious mezze from The Feast Collective, spicy macaroni cheese, and a traditional festival pancake with chocolate spread and banana.
My top tip for enjoying the amazing range of food that the festival offers, without destroying your bank balance, is this. We took enough food for breakfast and lunch each day, nothing that required cooking (or effort), so cereals, fruit, wraps, peanut butter, crisps etc. Took a packed lunch with us each day. Then we ‘ate out’ for our evening meal. Eating out cost around £20/£30 a meal for two adults and three children. We also carried around water bottles, refilled at taps around the site, saving more money and keeping us hydrated.
2. Clothing. One word, layers. One of the difficulties with festival packing is that you never know what the great British weather will do. So be prepared for all eventualities by taking layers of clothing. The temperature will definitely drop at night so be prepared. Also take waterproofs and wellies, just in case, being damp in a tent is no fun at all.
This years theme is ‘in the wild’ and lots of Camp Bestivalers will dress up, and it’s impressive to see the effort that goes into the outfits, with whole families themed together. Last year I took a collection of princess dresses for my youngest, the only keen dresser upper of the family, and she looked every bit the festival fairy throughout.
3. Washing. Last year we were camped in general camping, a fairly long trek from the main stage etc. I did not see any showers in that area, so washing was limited. Don’t worry though, it’s par for the course at festivals, and as everyone on the site gets a little smellier it’s less noticeable as it’s a shared pong.
I always take my trusty camp wash bucket, a little flexible bucket which we fill with water each morning for face washing, and teeth brushing. At a stretch you can wash your hair using the buckets and a cup. The other useful item is baby wipes, good for underarm wipes (essential to prevent the pong) and general on the go clean up.
4. Camp set up. As I mentioned we camped a really long way from the main area, and it took use a good twenty five minutes trek up a big hill to get to the main area each day. So we didn’t spend a huge amount of time at our camp, leaving each morning and returning with sleepy children ready for bed.
My top tip would be to leave a solar power stick light or something similar by your tent, as it gets dark all tents start looking very similar and it helps to shine some light on it.
5.Enjoying everything the festival offers. Having looked at the line up for this year I’m very excited. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing Underworld and Kate Tempest. For the kids I’m looking forward to The Cat in the Hat – live and Steve Backshall (deadly 60 and all round kid’s TV hero). Then we will want to spend time visiting the wonderful attractions, such as the science tent (For Super Kid and Robo Boy who are both passionate about science), Dingly Dell (an escape from the bustle of the festival rather like a nice woodland walk with activities along the way), and as yet undiscovered treasures.
My top tip for this is to go with the flow! It’s tempting to schedule, plan, and panic your way around Camp Bestival. Sure you will probably end up ticking of more from your must see list, but it might prove a bit stressful. My preferred plan is to have a rough idea of the things I fancy seeing, and then to see where the day takes us.
Perhaps we will just book in one or two must sees per day, and spend the rest of our time meandering. For me this is the authentic festival experience, lazy slow days discovering and experiencing things that hadn’t even occurred to you when you did your planning. Chatting over slow picnics, whilst watching an outdoor show from a distance, jumping rope (I really did enjoy this moment), just enjoying and embracing the unexpected treats that turn up as you go along.
I am so excited, and I can’t wait to see you there! Tickets are still on sale, and for more information about this and the festival line up and news visit their website.
Also if you want a real flavour of the festival check out our video from last year:
*Disclosure: We have been invited to Camp Bestival as official bloggers this year.