My summer playlist is sorted now thanks to Camp Bestival. I love to group my tracks into playlists on my iPhone, usually around a topic like ‘running’ or ‘summer’ so that if I want something pumping to motivate me on a 5k run I have a selection of uplifting tracks … and enough of them to last for the whole run! My summer playlist is usually quite mellow with a bit of Latino thrown in… I like the fusion of pop/rock and Latin American music and it always makes me think of hips swaying, long warm nights and sunshine.
Now I’m back from Camp Bestival for our 4th time at the family friendly festival, I have a new playlist of tracks to keep me going through the dark nights to come this winter, to take me back to last weekend when we were partying in a field at Lulworth Castle without a care in the world. A cold beer in one hand and someone you love in the other… whether that be my husband or one of the kids!
This year’s line up had a mix of some ‘must see’ classics combined with the new and unexpected ‘finds’ which is precisely what I love about Camp Bestival. There is always an act that I discover at the event, an unexpected treat that I happen upon when I least expect it and makes me happy that I was there at that time to pick up on them, and ‘discover’ them, before they become massive! In 2011 we saw Ed Sheeran play the Big Top at Camp Bestival and adored his set – this was just before he exploded and became a huge star, and we love that ‘we saw him first!’
This year I made a point of going to see The Fabulous Lounge Swingers I first heard this band in 2014 when I walked through the Castle Field on Saturday afternoon and stumbled upon their set, although they have played the festival before. This is one of my favourite discoveries – they are a ‘big band’ style act, a little bit kitsch, a little bit modern and a lot Cockney! They are a true ‘knees up’ group – guaranteed to get everyone up dancing and it is physically impossible to watch them and not smile. I always seem to have a grin from ear to ear when I see them play – I turn into a fan girl!
During the course of their 45 minute set, I managed to get through the crowd, one person at a time until I got right to the front for their finale… Here is a video that I recorded of the last couple of songs:
I think that the atmosphere they manage to create is amazing, and this is in an open air venue – no walls to help nurture an inclusive vibe and help the sound fill the room. This band manage to make their sound fill the field, there were quite a few festival goers there when we arrived but by the time they finished their set the field was rocking – what an amazing feat.
But by going to see The Fabulous Lounge Swingers perform, we also found our new discovery for 2015 too. On the line up before their act was Clint Westwood. A comedian and singer/guitarist who we weren’t expecting much from but had us laughing and well entertained that night. He’s in the programme as a guitarist and line dancing expert but it was his humour that grabbed us. Very funny, mixed with fab music and a fortuitous find for our Saturday night. We’d definitely make a point of seeing him again.
Alongside the little treasures just waiting to be discovered at Camp Bestival are also the big name headline acts that draw in the crowds. This year the main stage acts were Clean Bandit; Bob Geldof, Kaiser Chiefs, Professor Green, Alison Moyet, Level 42, Ella Henderson, Soul II Soul, Underworld, Kate Tempest and Ella Eyre. My husband’s favourite was the Kaiser Chiefs who put on a stunning performance and I went back to the ’80s with Alison Moyet when she sang ‘All Cried Out’ and had me singing along with her!
One headline act that I missed off the list above as he deserved a special mention is an act we were not familiar with but when we realised his song, knew exactly who he was! This was The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Do you remember “I am the God of Hell Fire”? – a 60’s pop icon back again in 2015 to once again entertain the crowds. My husband watched his act and reported back “It was crazy… but in a good way!”
Whether we were at the Castle Stage (main stage) or enjoying a more laid back and eclectic vibe in the Caravanserai, or watching the world go by from The Day Of the Dead cocktail bus, there is always something to do, see, hear, taste and enjoy at Camp Bestival. It isn’t just a music festival – it is an experience for every sense you have. Three days of leaving the world behind to enjoy being suspended in time in an immersive crazy world of colour, dancing and being. No-one cares what you do for a living at Camp Bestival. No-one cares if your children look well turned out. No-one cares what you eat or about judging or gossiping or anything else that might affect your everyday ‘normality’. All I cared about at Camp Bestival was that my family were having a great time, that we saw the acts we all wanted to see and we all went to bed happy each night. And that, we did.
2015 Blog Ambassador: JuggleMum is proud to be an official blogger at Camp Bestival 2015. As an ambassador, my family and I visit the festival to share our experience with you. Camp Bestival is a family friendly festival that has entertainment for all ages from babies up. Learn more at their website