Why Camp Bestival is great for kids

It’s been half term and the sun has shone. We’ve been camping and I’ve been thinking about summer festivals. When ever I mention festivals on twitter, the question always comes; do they work with kids? and positive “love festivals” tweets back. This summer we are returning to Camp Bestival.

I love a festival, I feel quite passionately that they are a fantastic opportunity for children. A weekend of fun, offering a range of experiences, which children can dip in and out of at their own pace. I think they work really well for kids.

An excited and packed crowd await Mr Tumble

An excited and packed crowd await Mr Tumble

A couple of years ago I took Noo to Camp Bestival, he was 2 and half, it was an amazing weekend (read a bit more here). I’ve been peaking at the Camp Bestival line up for 2013 and discovering some new things. Because at five it will be such a different experience for him. Based on what he already loves; Horrible Histories theatre show. A dinosaur zoo so real it promises it be a bit scary!

To offer him something new; what pops out is the Royal Albert Hall Ginormous. I like the sound of that, we don’t have much classical music in our lives. Black Eagles Circus acrobats from Tanzania – everyone loves a awe inspiring acrobat!

I love the opportunity to get involved and Noo is at an age when he can, so I’ve made a note of a film club that small people can take part from the BFI. We like to Dance. There are dance workshops from the BRIT School. Contemporary dance workshops from Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures.  For the first time at any festival, the UK’s leading contemporary dance companies and schools with gather to form a Dance Space.

I can’t think of another place that Noo would have the opportunity to experience all that.

Camp Bestival has a magic all it’s own. This year Camp Bestival is planning to create a Dingly Dell, a magical woodland refuge. By day, find stories and woodland craft. At night,  fire and sculptural creations. What child wouldn’t find that fascinating?

My two year old. A cat for fairy tale theme.

My two year old. A cat for fairy tale theme

Of course, there is a musical line-up fresh for 2013; Richard Hawley, Billy Bragg, the Cuban Brothers, The Farm. In a DJ vibe that takes me back to a weekend at Sonar in Barcelona; Fabio and Grooverider. Perfect in sunshine with a cold beer. Sharing my musical loves with my son.

Camp Bestival 057

Magical Camp Bestival

We are going to Camp Bestival! Have I tempted you? Why not come too!

If you have a festival question drop me a note in the comment box. Do you love festivals?

Disclosure: We’ve have been given a press-pass to Camp Bestival. All words and opinions are my own.


  1. Caroline

    I’d love to go but festivals are getting so expensive now you really have to commit to a 3 day weekend to being your annual holiday which don’t get me wrong is worth it but I work so hard year around I want a week holiday so would rather spend £400 on something that I can make last longer. Gone are the days you can get day tickets for next to nothing too!! (ha sorry rant over 🙂 have fun!)

    1. helloitsgemma

      Thanks Caroline, it is expensive. I feel last time I went we did get value for money, simply because there was so much to do. The event is longer now, from Thursday and finishing on Monday – so it is a long weekend. But I take your point. 🙂

  2. Actually Mummy

    I was thinking Bestival was for older children, but it sounds not? We’re doing Just So this year and I think mine might be a bit too young, so I was thinking Bestival next year. What do you think?

    1. helloitsgemma

      Firstly, Helen there is Bestival on the Isle of Wight – which is aimed at an adult crowd. Camp Bestival has a family focus. Which might be the source of your confusion?
      I took my son when he was 2 and a half and he loved it, the weekend highlight is Mr Tumble. There is a whole field of children’s activities, art/dance/theatre/dressing up/music. It really had something to appeal to children of all ages. For older children and teenagers there was a BMX/Skate displays, football and a climbing wall (if I remember correctly).
      The fairy land area def, met the needs of younger and older with stories and art displays, creating stuff. There is even a breast feeding and baby changing area. I remember we spent a happy hour in a soft play tent.
      Festivals are huge business they know their customers, Camp Bestival really leads the field in family festivals and the impression I got was that it knows it’s audience. Loads for kids, of all ages, and the music is aimed at a certain generation – yes, there is dance music but also music that’s familiar from my younger days – thus keeping the parents happy!
      I think your kids will love Just So because it has a family focus and will know how to appeal to children of all ages.
      I would lay money on you getting the festival bug and would very much recommend Camp Bestival. I’m not just saying that because I have a press pass. I’ve written about it previously just because I love it. Have I convinced you? X

  3. Emma

    And this is where I am so disappointed in my parenting… My teenage years were spent at festivals, we went to festivals before we had children and then before we got the chance to take the children to any, we left the UK. There aren’t many in this part of the world, I am so cross with myself! 😀

  4. Bibsey Mama (@BibseyMama)

    Oh I would LOVE to go. Dance workshops!? Bibs would LOVE a dance workshop! Stuck in sunny Spain I’m afraid. Looking forward hearing all about it from you.

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