Chilled out parenting
I am a pretty relaxed parent (well, not if you saw me trying to get my kids to school). We eat roughly around five each night, I aim for the kids to be in bed around seven (ends up being nine with me losing the plot). When the sun is shining, we stay on the beach rather than go home because it’s a school night, mealtimes can wait a little but essentially I am always keeping an eye on the clock whether I like it or not. Once a year this goes completely out of the window for us, at Camp Bestival. We are heading there for our third year and cannot wait. We eat when we are hungry, the kids graze on pancakes and insanely tasty food from the food tents and we all dance until we drop.
Mud glorious mud
Last year was a tad muddy. There is no getting around it. For some people it was a disaster, their tents got wet, their stuff got wet, they got wet and miserable. We had a ball. Our tent was dry, the kids had full body all in one waterproofs on all weekend and stayed dry and happy (thanks Muddy Puddles we would have been lost without them), we danced in the rain and made the most of it. We do live in Britain after all, rain is not such a shocker when you are camping. Sunday lunchtime when we were rather weary and needed a new burst of energy, the sun came out and gave us all a break. Here is a snapshot of our festival last year, thanks Cat Davies for putting it all together for us.
What we did
The first time we went to Camp Bestival we did lots, we explored the whole site and the kids tried everything. Returning last year was like going on holiday to a place that you know, familiar and friendly, you can relax straight away. We paid to upgrade to backstage camping (we did Camping Plus the year before where you choose your own tent pitch). This made a huge difference to us. We were able to head back to the tent from the main stage in five minutes and we didn’t have to head out for the day with the trolley full with our stuff. The Fat Cat bar in the backstage area was one of our highlights, the music was amazing and it was a really chilled place to hang out away from the busier areas when we needed some space.
Why we love Camp Bestival
We love Camp Bestival because its set in beautiful Dorset. The grounds of Lulworth Castle are stunning and the fireworks display on the Sunday night is spectacular. Even with the mud we had a brilliant time. We have friends who go and we love hanging out with them. They have teens and its fun watching what they enjoy as well as my younger crew. My son has sensory issues and adhd. He can run and be as free as he likes as long as he is in eye shot. Last year he got lost in the dark running ahead from us back to the campsite. By the time we realised that he was lost (two minutes) and found the closest steward (they are everywhere), the steward was on the radio to a fellow colleague who had my son and was waiting with him. The festival feels safe, very family friendly and not the kind of festival where you have to explain to your kids why people are ill in the toilets.
Highlights from 2017
We loved the morning meditation and family time with Kate Taylor Coaching each day in the literary tent. On the Sunday afternoon I took the middle one to see Mr Maker on the MainStage (he worships him and wants to be an inventor), we then headed to the big top to wait for his next appearance on stage. The others had gone back to the tent to chill out for a while and the middle one and I were sitting on the floor (front row) to get a good view. The production team asked us if we would like to go on stage for a 60 second make. The boy couldn’t believe it. I was wearing a gold sequined top and for the rest of the day people recognised me from my 60 second maker appearance, hilarious and probably the closest I will ever get to being on stage again. I had a blast drinking gin, sheltering from the pouring rain with Hurrah For Gin, Dress Like A Mum and the hilarious Scummy Mummies
Bring it on Camp Bestival 2018. Just over one month to go. Outfits are being planned, glitter at the ready. We have paid to camp in the hospitality area this time, I am very excited.
NB. Camp Bestival kindly offered us tickets for the weekend. We paid for all other expenses, camping, drinks and travel. All opinions my own.