Review: Camp Bestival 2010

We sent along AG-certified reviewer Camilla Ley and photographer Emily Cross along to the-other-weekend’s Sunday Best bash in Dorset to see what was going down. Here’s what she came up with…

Where’s Wally?

Camp Bestival is the spin-off of Bestival, the Rob Da Bank-curated sensation that’s been running on the Isle of Wight for the last six years. On 30th July 2010, Camp Bestival returned for its third year to the beautiful surroundings of Lulworth Castle in Dorset. The fact that the festival sold out months ago paid testament to the sterling line up on offer.

Although the summer traffic held up the start (and the end) of the festival and the stewards seem to know as much about what was going on as we did, you could feel the friendly atmosphere as soon as you walked on to the site. The whole campus had this amazing boutique feel, almost as if everything was handmade and just like the original Bestival.

The fancy dress theme was carried out all weekend.  People seemed to take this very seriously and the amount of effort installed was major; Shrek was present, along with zombie brides, countless amounts of animals and numerous babies with fairy wings attached were sighted. There was even a tent named ‘The Dress Up Box’ which was completely packed of all sorts of weird and wonderful things, presumably to dress up in.

A child dressed as a contortionist attracts the biggest crowd of the day…

With many tents dedicated to children alongside merry-go-rounds and children’s entertainers which were all packed in the ‘kids garden’ there’s no surprise it won Best Family Festival 2009. Camp Bestival, yes, is well known for catering towards families; however, it has evolved into a pretty good place to be for boozy students and hardcore festival-goers too.  The Bollywood Tent is where you would find these creatures dancing along to DJ’s such as Jakwob. His set was incredible, he opened up with a dubstep remix of Bob Marley’s Jamming, followed by his trademark remix of Ellie Goulding’s Starry Eyed. He certainly got the large crowd skanking and fair play to him, considering it was still light outside. Not too long after, the soul/boogie feels of Zero 7 also had everyone bobbing.

Jakwob knob-twiddling

Ellie Goulding herself on The Main Stage gave a good performance, providing a cover Midlake’s Roscoe mid-set amongst her own radio-friendly hits, which folk really lapped up, shortly followed up by Calvin Harris, who didn’t seem to ever stop dancing. Other highlights included the rather talented The Apples, and of course Madness, who gave us an amazing performance. The “Most Memorable Band” accolade had to be handed to The Blockheads, originally Ian Dury & The Blockheads, the band kicking off proceedings with Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. With the lead singer wearing a pinstripe suite and the peace sign reflections in his glasses looked pretty funky, just to match his equally-funky, star-shaped tambourine, the set was received with riotous applause.

Calvin Harris doesn’t dance nearly enough to shake off the need to pee…

Suggs challenges the Camp Bestival crowd to a balancing-on-one-foot competition…

The Band Stand caught my eye as we were browsing the site, which was a nice change to the surrounding stages. We stayed to watch The Seeders, who are a quirky folk band. They too joined in on the dressing up, all wearing stocky beards that they had knitted themselves and gave an vigorous performance with their instruments as their props.

The friendly communion of the festival and close-association atmosphere along with the intimate setting was the best part about it. I watched a dance-off emerge where a street dancing teen and a young B-Boy, aged around 7 years old of course, started a friendly battle. Then as more dancers took part, soon enough they were doing back flips and within no time a large crowd gathered cheering the boys on.

The punk-rock contingent recognise a good scissor-jump when they see one…

Continuing with the public co-operation, all the tents closed at midnight Sunday, and the masses of people that where still up found themselves circling a massive bonfire,  burning sofas and arm chairs and anything else that looked slightly combustable, along with a guitar player who managed to keep the swarm entertained.

With a stomping array of artists and top-notch atmosphere, I would recommend the festival to anyone, not just families.

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