Lessons From Camp Bestival

Last weekend we went to Camp Bestival. This is not a review but if you want one here are two to pick from:

It was ace, we loved it, the sun shone, I learned to hula hoop, we hung out with friends and got a little bit drunk while the kids ran around wearing tails.


Dorset is a long way from Yorkshire, there was norovirus.

Choose the one you want, if you are a festival type person and have somehow ended up with small children Camp Bestival is a brilliant weekend – imagine all the festivals you’ve been to before and simply replace all the people who are off their faces with children and that’s what you’re dealing with.

If you’ve never been to festival before and are searching online for what to expect then all you really need to know is this: pack wellies and a sense of adventure – not knowing what to expect is sort of the whole point of festivals.

In fact festivals are brilliant places for discovering things so here are the lessons I learned from Camp Bestival.

Lesson 1

My son starts school in September and I have been feeling a bit sad about it, we are saying goodbye to the baby part of our children’s lives. But Camp Bestival taught me that actually our children are still very, very young. Unfortunately the way we learned this was by walking very slowly around a hot field watching them take it in turns to have a meltdown.

At 4 and 5 we might be losing our babies but we’re swopping them for little people that are fun to hang out with. If you don’t mind a bit of crying.

Lesson 2

Children fucking love bubbles. That is all.

Lesson 3

If you take an inquisitive 4 year old to a festival toilet he will want to look down into it for a good 20 minutes whilst debating which poo is his.

This is officially NOT a fun thing to do, he will also suggest visiting every single toilet on the site  – a bit like one of those children’s treasure trails you get when you visit a National Trust property only with tiny, hot, shit-filled cabins instead.

Lesson 4

Everyone is dealing with the same problems. At any one point you could hear parents of children of all ages having the same 3 conversations:

If you continue like this we are going back to the tent!

But I just asked you if you needed the toilet!

No you’re not having any bubbles!

Lesson 5

Threatening to take them back to the tent doesn’t work. Yes they are having bubbles.

Lesson 6

If you drink half a bottle of red wine & 2 large G&T’s before trying out the World’s Biggest Bouncy Castle you will convince yourself you have norovirus and have to go lie down in your tent while you listen to everyone else having an amazing time at Fatboy Slim.

Lesson 7

Three days is a bit too long for little ones –  by Sunday morning both kids were crying and demanding to be taken home. Except we couldn’t leave because Daddy wanted to have sex with Bananarama.

His plan involved standing in the crowd sending out secret sex vibes whilst doing all the dance moves to Love in the First Degree and jiggling a grumpy 4 year old. You will not be surprised to learn this did not work* but fair play on him for trying.

So there you have it our first proper camping festival trip. It was ace. We will return, possibly with a map of all the on site toilets on site so we can tick them all off. Whoop! Whoop!

*To my knowledge.


3 thoughts on “Lessons From Camp Bestival

  1. Excellent! I do often think I’d love to take my kids to a festival but then I think I must be mad. I’d take my 4 year old but I want to wait till my 1 year old is less, erm, feral.

  2. Brilliant! We also went and I can vouch for every point you make! We had 5 children aged between 4-7 between us all and I think we spent more time in the loos than anywhere else!

  3. The kids entertainment sounds great at this festival!
    We went to A Summer’s Tale for the second time this year; it’s a pretty relaxed four day festival with 5 nights of camping, and like last year both us and the boys absolutely loved it (they are age 6 and 4). They complained when it was over that it had ended too soon 🙂
    http://www.asummerstale.de/en, if you fancy a trip to Germany…

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