DORSET’s biggest festival proved a resounding success yet again as thousands of people turned out at the Lulworth Estate for some family-friendly music and entertainment.
Visitors to Camp Bestival enjoyed a huge variety of music from Sinead O'Connor and De La Soul to Boy George, Basement Jaxx and Johnny Marr.
Meanwhile there was jousting, a Ferris wheel, dance workshops, face painting, comedy from acts like Milton Jones and even novelty weddings to keep the whole family entertained as the sun shone almost all weekend in Lulworth.
The Cuban Brothers had the audience in stitches on Friday and James were on top form for their fans, while former Smiths' guitarist Johnny Marr brought some shoegaze spirit to proceedings.
On Saturday Sophie Ellis Bextor lightened the mood with a mix of folk and dance tunes, transforming her costume from Russian doll to disco siren right on stage.
Laura Mvula stole the show with the haunting melodies of her songs, accompanied by harps, strings and her ethereal voice.
The crowds loved every minute of it, making it a tough act to follow, but Sunday's lineup ticked all the boxes, with cockney crooners Chas and Dave providing their full repertoire including firm favourite Rabbit to applause and encore.
Basement Jaxx closed the weekend in spectacular style, bringing down the house with a lively mix of classic songs and new material.
Festival-goer Sapphire Hovie, 26, from Moreton, said: “I've been here the whole weekend and came last year as well.
“It's been really good, I loved Basement Jaxx, they were the best band.”
Hog roast stallholder Mark Jones, 46, from Bincombe, said: “We do a lot of festivals but as this is on our doorstep we thought it's an ideal opportunity.
“There's been a steady stream of customers and it's very professional this year.
“It's a great family festival and there's always something different each year.”
Emily Harrison, 25, from Exeter, said: “I've never been before but I came with my partner and his daughter and we've enjoyed the family events like Mr Tumble and the insect circus, it's been fun.
“I'd definitely come back.”
The Weldmar Hospicecare Trust also attended the festival, raising over £4000 for the charity selling headbands, sunflowers and garlands to revellers over the weekend.
Review by Patrick Gough:
THE rain clouds were chased away this weekend, as festival-goers enjoyed the sunshine of Camp Bestival at Lulworth Castle.
Aimed squarely at music-lovers with families, the three-day event saw a colourful array of bands, performers and workshops.While the evenings rocked to the sound of Johnny Marr, Basement Jaxx and De La Soul. The day was purely a family affair.Cbeebies favourite, Mr Tumble proved to be the star attraction with an energetic main stage performance on Saturday afternoon.
Children and parents swamped the Castle Field area and joined him in a thronging singalong of children’s classics such as Grand Old Duke of York and Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.
This year the fancy dress theme was circus and it set the tone of the proceedings in the adjacent sprawling fields of the Upper and Lower Kid’s Garden.
With a mind-bending array of tents and activities, this year Camp Bestival more than lived up to its billing as ‘the greatest family show on earth.’ You could take your pick from soft play areas, giant sandpits and entertain the kids with the quirky goings on of the Bigtopmania tent and the Greatest Show On Earth tent. Camp Bestival has evolved over the years and you can tell that they instinctively understand the needs of parents at a festival.
As such, there are plenty of places for overwhelmed and overheated families to have some quiet time in areas such as Baby Chill Out, the Guardian Literary Institute and even Knackered Mother’s Wine Club. Curious minds can also stumble upon activities such as the Beard & Moustache Competition, Art Town and the Insect Circus.
A particular family highlight proved to be the Wild Time In The Dingly Dell area. This managed to be educational and fun, which is no mean feat at a festival.
Children could get hands on with traditional arts and crafts while roaming free in the woods. Seeing parents and children reconnected with nature was a heart warming sight.
Camp Bestival continues to offer good value with so much to see and do. This year has to be the best yet with families sure to return.