We’ve been back home from Damp Bestival (thanks T’Pau – love you for giving me that little nugget!) for a few days now, the washing is done, the camping stuff has (not) been put away and we’ve started to eat vegetables again, so it’s time to bring back the memories of Camp Bestival 2017 while they’re still fresh in my mind!
Camp Bestival is, without question, the puppies nuts. If you have kids & you still love to party like a god damn rockstar, then you need to get yourself a tent and get yourself down (up?) there.
We’ve been once before and you would think we would have learnt from our mistakes last time, meaning this time round we were practically camping experts wouldn’t you?
You’d be so wrong. SO flipping wrong. Clearly should have gone through an essentials list with a little bit more care!
Last time we went I packed SO much rain stuff, you know, just in case, and none of it made it out of the car it was so hot. This year, I packed almost NO rain stuff (rookie error no.1) and, yes, you can guess what happened, it rained non.stop. Now, I’m all for a bit of rain. I’m a redhead, if I were to choose the most comfortable weather for me and my paper thin skin, it would be slightly grey & overcast until the evening when it can get warm because the sun has gone in. Selfish maybe, but hey, I got sun (wind?) burnt while putting the tent up, so, ya know.
So, this year, waterproofs aside, we were organised. We had the tent of dreams. I’m talking three bedroom penthouse style tent. I’ll be doing a whole other post on that baby soon, but if you’re looking for a tent that can withstand 45mph winds and enough rain to flood a field, then look no further than Vango – our bad boy had us covered. I’m not going to lie, I was dreading putting it up, especially as we hadn’t had a ‘practice run’ as my Dad likes to say. Every time we planned to try, it rained. And we didn’t want to get it wet. *cough*.
I was imaging all sorts of arguments and cross words muttered under the breath between the bloke and I, if you’re going to row at any time, putting a tent up is going to be one of them isn’t it? But we didn’t! Not once! Admittedly, he got the hump with me a little bit when I couldn’t get the clippy things on and off, but, you know, nails?
Tent up. Air beds inflated. Air beds with headboards no less, thanks Blacks! Sleeping bags unrolled. We were like machines! We hired a trolley (love that Camp Bestival literally thinks of everything) to hoik all the stuff from the car to the tent. Bish, bash, bosh. Cider in a plastic cup by 2.30.
We even improved on last time by remembering the cool box. So we had milk and everything! See? Milk or wellies. You decide which is the most important…. (it was totally the wellies).
So, Thursday was spent wandering around the site, watching the finishing touches being done, finding a few new things that weren’t there when we last went, and planning what we wanted to do // see // eat for the rest of the weekend.
We had a lovely welcoming drink at Kidifornia where I caught up with Emma, Alison and Aby and then made our way back to our tent only to find out my little twinnie Carrisa was camped 2 minutes away, so, naturally, we had a little al fresco gathering before hitting the hay. Gin & rum included!
Point 1: Kate cannot sleep in a sleeping bag.
Noooo she cannot. I’m the type of person who can’t sleep in clothes because I get *so* tangled up. I’m not the type who sleeps in one position all night. Lets just say this. I had a small panic attack when I couldn’t get my arms out of the sleeping bag. I had a small panic attack when I woke up and realised the hood part of the bag was round the front and therefore covering my face entirely. I had a slightly larger panic attack when I couldn’t get my arms out to remove said hood, and realised my feet were also twisted. We won’t even discuss what happened when the zip got stuck. Next year, duvet for me. Everyone else loved their sleeping bags.
What is wrong with me!?
We woke up (some of us more traumatised than others) on Friday morning, headed to the loos (not going to lie, never an enjoyable experience but you do become hardened to them!) stuck a saucepan on for some hot water and felt like amazing campers. Until we realised it was quite windy and trying to boil water on a little gas stove, outside, takes a while. Slightly warm coffee anyone?
Honestly. I don’t know why we’re so incompetent. We’re quite intelligent people. Seriously!
Other people had kettles. Kettles! (Adds to list for next time) But we, thanks to the bloke I married, had this beauty! Made in a tent!!
Then the weather hit. I wouldn’t be giving you the full monty if I didn’t mention the weather. Oh my god did it rain. We’re not talking a little light shower. We are talking non stop pissing down. The kind of rain that washes off make up (and all the pretty glitter!) and leaves your bra dripping wet, despite being under a t-shirt (my pj t-shirt because apparently I’m an idiot who doesn’t own any long sleeved tops) a jumper, a pac-a-mac AND a bright yellow poncho purchased in desperation.
So what do you do when it rains? You drink. You drink and dance to All Saints like you’re back in the 90’s and you don’t have 2 kids. Those kids are happy getting wet (up to a point!) and there’s nothing else to do but embrace it. There isn’t, unfortunately, many places to shelter from the weather at Camp Bestival, mainly because it’s a summer festival and we should be outside, but also because when it rains, EVERYONE hits the big tents in a bid to get warm and less wet. There’s no dry option.
If you were a decent packer, you’d have wellies, jumpers and proper rain coats and you wouldn’t even be discussing this. Slaps self round face with a wet sock. Borrowed from husband because you didn’t pack any of your own……
We managed to stick it out to the end of All Saints, we wanted to see Mark Ronson but we were SO cold and wet so we admitted defeat and went back to the tent. We were the last ones standing in our group though, just to put that out there! Go us!
It was decided, after a really hair raising night, that we would pack up Saturday morning, spend the day there and leave in the evening, as we weren’t staying on Sunday anyway (the bloke was back to work on Monday) but, as we were packing away, the rain started again, the mud was everywhere and we just couldn’t face another day of being wet and cold. So we bailed early. I was SO sad to leave, I really felt like we hadn’t had the full Camp B experience, and I know from our last visit, how flipping amazing that experience is.
Camp Bestival is nothing short of AMAZING. There is so much to see and do, we really didn’t get round to even a quarter of it. It’s so beautiful to look at with unlimited photo opportunities, an Instagrammers heaven, it’s such a shame the weather wasn’t playing ball. Next year, I’m either taking a trailer with all of the summer AND winter stuff, or, I’m going in a campervan. It’s 50 / 50 right now. But we will be back, we love it so much.
Top tips to take away from this post:
- Pack for rain. If you do, it might not rain. Probably.
- Take your own booze. It’s quite expensive to eat and drink there. But, obviously, their designer g&t’s are much nicer than Lidl’s cider.
- Wear ALL of the glitter/neon face paints/glow sticks/crazy clothes. You will not be out of place, trust me! I’m missing my glitter so much. It doesn’t quite work at Sainsburys. Glitter beard IS happening next year. No matter what he says.
- Prepare yourself for a lot of walking. Up and down those hills. At the end of the weekend when you’re almost broken and the thought of dragging everything back to the car, you may want to use some marital bribes. That’s all I’m going to say.
- Take some activities for the tent in case of rain. My screen-kids were climbing the walls because I banned iPads and phones. No wifi, no charger, no way. A bit of colouring or crafting could have helped.
- Windbreakers. Take them.
- Explore, explore, explore. You will find so much to do! Just head out for the day and see what you can find. I think that’s better than making a list, because you’ll never know what you could miss. It is so well thought out and just so perfect for families. You will love it. Trust me!
- Take a kettle FFS!!
If you’re thinking about booking for next year, the early bird tickets go on sale today! Sign up to the mailing list to get all the info!