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REVIEW: Camp Bestival 2012, Lulworth Castle, Dorset
THE SUN shone again for a typically triumphant Camp Bestival at Castle Lulworth in Dorset.
Rob Da Bank’s family festival has become an annual highlight for us and for many thousands of others, judging by the positivity which emanated from the site for the duration of this year’s event.
As we sat on the grass in the sun, looking out across the Big Top towards the huge waving flowers dotted around the area - including an ingenious giant unfolding yellow hammock flower - we took a
deep breath of admiration at the sheer beauty of this place, allowing ourselves to be suffused with its amazing combination of calm, energy and a spirit of fun.
Even when we were packed into an area (events like the Gruffalo always draw a vast crowd) surrounded by hundreds of buggies and carts, it never felt
Revellers, who enjoyed outstanding weather for this year’s festival, flocked to the castle stage for entertainments as varied as CBeebies’ Mr Tumble, Rolf Harris, Adam Ant (in full Highwayman outfit, swoon) Hot Chip, the Earth Wind & Fire Experience featuring Al McKay, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers and Kool & the Gang, and the amazing Happy Mondays on the Sunday evening – complete with an on-form Bez.
Dick and Dom, whose appearance kick-started a game of Bogies in the camp sites, were guests at one of my favourite stop-off points, the East Lulworth Literary Institute. I wasn’t going to miss Camila Batmanghelidgh, the founder of the inspirational charity Kids Company, when she popped in there for a chat, and she didn’t disappoint at all.
It was brilliant to hear her amazing life story so far, boarding school in Dorset, grafting in nurseries aged 15, refugee status, pseudonyms at university and working, early on, to provide therapy for men who had sexually assaulted children.
The Institute tent is ideally located for us each year; one parent can plop on a sofa and partake of some culture while the other takes the two year-old to the soft play tent for some ball pool and sand action!
Genuinely, I cannot think of anything which would prevent me from feeling that Camp Bestival gets better year after year. For 2012, new additions which filled me with joy were the Young British Foodies tent and the Cath Kidston tour van. I’m a Cath devotee, so loved queuing up to have a special Stanley the dog tattoo. I think I was about ten the last time I wore a temporary tattoo and it was a little bit thrilling.
The assembled foodies were proffering pizza from ovens, speciality pies from Cornwall, homemade fudge, fresh bread, beautifully smelly cheese and fresh honey soaked waffles with frozen yoghurt
berries, granola and berry coulis.
We may have walked for miles around the site, but we needed to after we’d indulged with all that, plus little visits to the Hummingbird Bakery and to buy a chicken burrito (our annual favourite)
and some churros with chocolate sauce!
Once again, we marvelled at the ingenuity and variety of activities for younger festival-goers, which takes some beating. In a day, you could walk a trapeze, make a balloon creation, a sticker
creation, help concoct a performance in the little circus tent, assault a huge inflatable, watch a film, enjoy some music, draw, paint, learn about insects at the insect circus and attend a Royal
Where was a Camp Bestival when I was growing up?! It goes without saying we’re already looking forward to next year.