Being a teen mum meant I missed out on a few things. I didn’t go to UNI (I just scraped through qualifying from Hairdressing college whilst I suffered with morning sickness in between perms), I didn’t go travelling to India like I planned, I was in feeling my baby dancing in my belly whilst my friends were dancing in the club downing vodka… all these things I didn’t miss at all but not going on the annual festival trip stung majorly. I was 18 and all my friends were finishing school after getting their results and heading to celebrate at Reading festival like we did every year. I had sold my ticket and was laid up in bed teary with FOMO and feeling sick. I never regretted my decision but it was normal to feel a bit of FOMO. I thought my days of visiting festival was long behind me until I discovered Camp Bestival!
Camp Bestival is a five day festival in Dorset’s wonderful Lullworth castle grounds with families in mind. There’s performances from the clean bandit and basement jaxx to the likes of Mr Tumble! They had a fabulous range of free activities, meet and greets with famous characters like Peter Rabbit right down to circus acts, big fish little fish raves, silent discos and much more! We dragged Vicki (@thehairstylist_vc) and her 2 year old Maggie with us.
Things are very thought about with them having an NCT tent with baby facilities, a child toddler play area, kids compost toilets and fun free things too do. It was totally cool and acceptable to let the kids sleep in the wagons whilst parents carried on partying.
Unfortunately in the wee hours of Saturday morning Vicki and I woke up with the horrendous storm and MAD winds. I had a huge panic attack and got totally freaked out! Luckily the girls stayed asleep but it was scary. Lots of families were packing up or leaving demolished tents! Our tent was damaged in the front but we powered on through and got glittered up as it was being fixed in the evening for us. Decorated up as mermaids we drank gin in the Gin tent, raves at BFLF, went on some rides. We headed back to get glittered up again in a sequin dress and feed the kids to find the wind was on an amber warming and going at a 45 MPH our tent wasn’t going to stay put and it didn’t feel safe to stay with the kids. We agreed that if we didn’t have the kids we’d of stuck it out and would of been too pissed to care but the kids safety was at the forefront of concern. With solid 36 hour rain scheduled we loaded the buggies up with all our stuff and made a dash for the car. How we physically managed too with the kids is nothing short of a miracle but we got loaded up and set off home with the roads clear. In the morning sadly the guys of camp bestival decided with the safety team that they couldn’t open the arena again. It was sad but ultimately the right choice to make.
Here is my advice
food + drink
Pack a cool bag with snacks, drinks and easy breakfast and lunch bits to save on forking out on food vendors whilst you are there. We brought a little gas hob to do the essential coffee in the morning, 100% bring mugs from home as it’s much nicer than a paper cup, we also bought easy breakfast bits like apples, chocolate brioches, bananas and porridge pots. Lunches we had Chewymoon goodies, biscuits, crisps and general snacky things. For dinner we got things from the vendors like chips, pizza etc. There was plenty of organic, vegan, health choices too. It was very hard to find a kids meal as such especially since it was a family friendly festival so be prepared to split your food with the tots. On the way down we stopped for Burger King and then at the camp site we had a little picnic.
SUPER unpopular opinion but pushchair over wagon. It is far easy to push than pull and they are ridiculously heavy! We rented one to transport our stuff out the car to the site and it was majorly heavy going. On the way pack to drop it back off Delilah came with me and dragging it with just Delilah was horrendously hard. On the dash home I loaded my buggy up (mothercare nanu so not particularly off road material) with ALL our stuff including Delilah in it and pushed it back to the car against the wind which was easier. Its also a familiar place for them to nap in.
Next kindly gifted us some cool new threads to wear (anyone spot their pop up shop there?!) and anything else mermaid related, sparkly or comfy for bed was packed. I packed a fleeced onsie for Delilah because even though it was a scorcher leading up to the festival it still gets pretty chilly at night. I forgot to pack our raincoats stupidly but we survived whilst Delilah had her PomPom Poncho! I bought a toiletry bag with mini shampoos and that then another with make up and a life time supply of glitter. We got wellies and sandals too for foot wear.
If you have #treayoself once in the year let it be Camping Plus. The hot shower, running toilets and guaranteed pitch of your own choosing plus a car park space. It is 100% worth it! Get a good quality tent that can stand the test of bad weather conditions too. Make sure you pack towels, water, sleeping bags and your own pillows! Pack earplugs and a sleeping mask to ensure you have a good night sleep. We was by a pretty noisy family so it was handy! I also got Delilah ear defenders to sleep with late in the arena.
If I can give any advice it would be to MAKE A PLAN! We missed out on so much because we was disorganised! I wished we bought lanyards with times on sooner because we missed a fair bit by being unfamiliar with timings. We did have a great time seeing Sara Cox and Rae Morris though! We visited the Girl Talk mag tent where we made some snazzy glitter badges and took a selfie in their photo booth. We saw a wedding and had a boogie in the inflatable chapel which was pretty fabulous! If I had brought Paddy we would for sure be getting married there. There was lots to explore and get up too, we really had a fabulous time especially visiting the Lickalix ice lolly van to cool us down after all the circus skills learning.
It is totally fine and mega easy to take kids to festivals. Much easier than what you probably think! Kids are adaptable (Delilah and Maggie loved sleeping in a tent, staying out late and being silly), as long as you are prepared camping is soooo easy and they will have a great time!
We had sooooo much fun it was just a shame to cut the journey short. We will be back next year! The show goes on and they are already making plans for Camp Bestival 2019, which takes place from Thursday 25th July to Sunday 28th July at Lulworth Castle.
This coming Friday 3rd August at 10am to say thanks to all Camp Bestival-goers for being brilliant, they are starting a very special 72-hour pre-sale with adult weekend tickets available to buy for the amazing price of £150!!!
For a little bit of clarity we was gifted these tickets, the clothing, lollies etc but we use these brands already and we would of bought tickets anyway because its a fabulous event.