Camp Bestival Diary Part 3: Saturday Evening

You join me back in the field by the crochet trimmed Castle Stage!

Sophie Ellis Bextor, someone who I have never really thought good or bad on in the sense that I wouldn’t buy an album but am not offended if she comes on the radio, stormed the sunlit stage.

I would love to ask her how she still looks about 19 at this point, she looked fab compared to us by now weary festival dwellers. And dear Robbie is wrong, she definitely does not have legs like his Gran, unless she was blessed with an enviable pair able to dance for some time in sparkly heels. I was pleasantly surprised by her act, I loved the disco styled melody she did at the end of her set, throwing in Moloko was a good call. Everyone in the crowd danced like loons including Littlest. I am now left wondering both where she got her vintage first stage costume from and how I can look good enough after children to wear a spangly leotard with ease.

Next it was time for tea and back to the camp where dinner was served in the tent whilst the Brats joined their new found Yellow Camp mates from next door.

It was still hot most of the afternoon and well into the evening, but knowing how open the field is we wrapped the Brats in onesies and brought their blankets ready for the evenings entertainment. We briefly stopped around the field to admire the scene of a wedding party going into the blow up church and so Littlest could wave at more Policemen, then took our spots in the middle of the crowd for Laura Mvula.

Now, I like Laura, I find she’s a bit like Amy Winehouse in that soulful mixture of old and new she conjures into your ears with her velvet voice. I’ve seen a few people suggest she was a bit dull for later in the field and they’d prefer something to dance to. But, after an afternoon full of high energy, it was quite nice to sit back and relax whilst she whispered in our collective ears.

A consummate professional not at all bothered by technical niggles, Laura was a cool breeze on a hot day, and I am now in a rush to download as much material as I can find.

By now, the Brats were yawning and, up until earlier today it would have meant rock, paper, scissors between Elder and I over who got to see Headline act De La Soul. But, no, they now have ear defenders-yippee! So with blankets on the floor, warm and cosy as they were, they nodded off.

At this point, things got a bit tense as those technical buggers had reared their goblin like heads again, and the start time moved further and further away.

Too Many Ts, acting once again as Compères did a marvellous job of trying to keep an increasingly concerned crowd happy with jokes and songs, and I would not have liked to have been them.

Finally, at just before 10.45 instead of 10.15, the mighty and frankly unbeatable De La Soul stormed onto the stage and the crowd went bloody wild with joy (including myself).

I utterly love their brand of hip hop, I have the vinyl original of Three Feet High and Rising twice as I love it so. I also didn’t mind Little Mix in Hyde Park so much due to their (not quite as good unless you are Mini) version of Ring Ring Ring.

They smashed it, I liked their newer stuff but did jump far more over such classics as Saturday, Ring Ring Ring and Me Myself and I.

However, the set was meant to last an hour and sadly, it came to an abrupt halt at 11.15.  I’m not going to moan too much, but it was disappointing for me and many others in the crowd, and many thought they were possibly taking a break before coming back, but it was not to be.

Amidst chants of “Say No Go” using their much loved classic song, we made our way back to the tent.

It can’t be helped that tech issues arise in a field full of people, but I would have thought letting them stay on for their full hour wouldn’t have been an issue when other fields carried on into the small hours (in fact, we were at the bottom of the hill in Yellow Camp but could hear everything going on at the big top and in the Soul Park quite clearly).

That’s not to say we didn’t enjoy what we did see, it was everything we had looked forward to and more, but it did make it a little more annoying that it was cut short.

So, we woke the Brats up and took them tent wards still half asleep, discussing how next year we will definitely buy a trolley and transport them!

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Camp Bestival Dairy Part 2: Saturday Day Time

Hello from a now very sunny and hot Lulworth and Camp Bestival where we’re lucky enough to be having a ball.

Saturday started off with scary levels of rain and cold, at points from 5.30am I was convinced the tent would blow away. We’re in yellow camp at the bottom of a steep hill, so we definitely pitched in the wrong place.

Happily by 10am it was starting to clear and after a jaunt for a breakfast must haves in nearby Wareham, it was back to wander round the camp.

We took in the Upper Kids field, the beautiful cathedral and then off we went to the Roald Dahl museum.

The Brats love Roald Dahl so enjhoyed the exhibit, albeit a small one, and loved dressing up as Oompa Loompas and Willy Wonka.

We then popped by to see an old fave of ours in the shape of multi talented  Rory McLeod, who treated a large crowd of devotees in the Big Top to a brilliant performance of his brand of personally penned folk songs. There is not a single instruments he can’t play, including the spoons. The song Mum certainly brought a tear to the eye. We were lucky enough to meet him afterwards amongst a big crowd of fans, and finally Elder got to ask for a signed CD for a close friend.

Next up was the group Too Many Ts, who were good at getting the crowd ready for the next big act, Sophie Ellis-Bextor. They put me in mind of Rizzle Kicks actually, and I’m pleased I got see them for the first time.

Sophie is on now, and look out for the next part of the diary, which will include Sophie, Laura Mvula and De La Soul (so excited!).

Camping and Festivals With Kids: What You Need, What You Don’t And How to Enjoy it!

As you may know, our mad family have been asked to be Camp Bestival Bloggers this year. It means I’m starting to think about what we need for the time we’re away, what we’ve brought before and then didn’t need, and what to do so everyone has a grand old time. So, maybe its your first time camping or going to a festival, with or without kids, and you’re not sure what you need? Read on and find out my top tips:

CLOTHES- What to bring, what to ditch
As Elder has already started to remind me the minute I started looking at eBay for my Festival Wardrobe, less is more, especially where a festival is concerned.

I have made the error before of bringing a massive suitcase full of stuff, which for the main part just gets left to crumple.

For us Mums, I recommend a good pair of boots or wellies, plus some flat flip flops or ballet flats which are comfy and don’t take much room. The boots are handy if it rains, and also, on the loo run in the night so you don’t step on a bit of rubbish in the dark, or the grass is wet.
I also swear by a maxi dress, a t-shirt or vest, shorts (if you’re brave), OR one pair of jeans,and undies of course. Its definitely comfort that is all important.

For Dads, its a pair of trainers Elder swears by (just don’t make the mistake he did several years back of wearing canvas ones. Leather is best for all weathers). A pair of jeans, a pair of shorts and a couple of t-shirts, with a hoodie optional of course.

For kids, bring a onesie- they are great for watching night time concerts as they can be worn with wellies, and then when they get tired you just tuck them in to bed without the fuss of getting changed. For Mini and Littlest, I bring a mix of shorts, jeans and tops, as well as something warm to put over the top.

Its advisable to bring a light waterproof jacket too, it can be chilly in the morning, and if in the UK you can never rely on the weather being sunny.

Forget having too much stuff, pieces that can be mixed and matched over the weekend are great, don’t bother with fancy clothes that you’d rather not ruin with mud. And remember, most campsites now have washing facilities for as little as £2 a wash, so you can always give things a launder.

TENT
Before setting off with a tent you haven’t used since you trekked round Europe in your gap year in 1995, put it up and check for leaks, holes and broken zips. There’s nothing worse than turning up, setting up and realising your tent is ready for a bin, not a family of expectant campers.
Also, make sure you have all the pegs, poles and tags you need- or you could end up having to buy a tent at short notice for much more.
If you find any bits missing, you can always replace them cheaply on eBay.

Bring some colouring books for rainy days

If you are a new camper, don’t buy a tent on anything other than how easy it is to put up. If you have never had to grapple with cross poles, and zips, and Velcro, get a recommendation from previous buyers on line for ease of use. Also, don’t let price concern you- sometimes, the cheaper tents have less fiddly bits and are serviceable. Our tent has about four poles, but it also has a sleeping area and a living room too, and is big enough to fit us all in comfortably.

ACCESSORIES
Do not do what we did the first time we went to Camp Bestival. We had no car then, so used a shopping trolley (minus the basket) for the tent and everything else went on the back of Littlest’s buggy. Thus, we had nothing to cook on.

Food at festivals is not cheap. You are stuck there for several days and they know it. So, bring something to cook on, even if its a number of disposable barbecues. You can easily buy a purse friendly little gas stove from eBay. We even have collapsible pots and pans, and we take a rucksack that doubles as a picnic set.
We bring selection boxes for the kids breakfast,  3 in 1 coffee tubes, lots of tins of hot dogs, meatballs, corned beef, and beans, as well as pasta and bacon too.

A torch is a must for night time tent finding missions, make sure you try the batteries before you leave.

You can bring an air bed, we only bring a double one which is big enough for the Brats, but remember to bring a pump if you do. Otherwise, sleeping bags are essential and you can bring a foam bed roll, which doesn’t take up much room but saves your back!

TECH
If you really can’t be parted from some form of 21st century civilisation, or you are bringing a camera, its worth checking whether the festival you are off to has any charging stations. Some more modern campsites now have free wifi, but it can be sporadic depending on how many other people are trying to log on.

We find an in car charger a must have for phones, these are generally available in Poundshops now and you can get one with several adaptors to suit different phones. Most festivals wont have electric hook up (whereas campsites do but will charge extra for your pitch), and you can’t park the car besides the tent, but in the case of Camp Bestival, the main music doesn’t kick off until midday. That means you may have time to fill beforehand if your kids still wake up at 7am like mine.
A quick hour back at your car wont hurt- take it in turns to do the honours of charging.

For cameras, take a few extra SD cards as they soon get filled. Just look after them when you remove them, perhaps put them in the glove box?

DON’T LEAVE TECH OR OTHER ITEMS ON SHOW. Yes, you’re at a campsite, its all friendly but sadly thieves can and will pinch anything if they have the chance. Just as you would when visiting your local shopping centre or parking outside your house, leave it on show, expect it to go. 

COSTUMES
Overall, have a good time, make sure you bring plenty of spending money, try and see as many attractions as possible and join in with some of the crowd based circus acts and art.

If there is a theme (Camp Bestival’s theme is Circus), then you don’t have to join in, but believe me its fun! In 2010, we dressed as fairies and had a right laugh. Getting your costume sorted early will save your pounds, but, should you catch the costume bug late, there are plenty of stalls offering a plethora of items for all budgets.

THE ACTS: How to Catch Them Live
Do not make the mistake we made at our first Camp Bestival. We wanted to see Madness, the headline act. We had brought plenty of drinks for the kids. We had a buggy cover so Littlest could snooze. We were right at the front for the acts before. And then we decided to go and get something to eat and stretch our legs. 

Massive festival fail.

Headline acts are headline acts for a reason, and the crowds will appear out of nowhere. We ended up trying to get back into the crowd, and got so far before giving up. It meant I had a lovely walk back to the tent, whilst Elder- keen to see his boyhood heroes, dove back into the throng. Make sure to get there early, get a space, and stick to it. If one of you or the kids need the loo, don’t all go together. Remember landmarks so you can plot your way back too. 

Are you off camping or to a festival for the first time? Or are you seasoned camper? Spotted anything missing above? Then comment below!

We’re All Off to a Summer Festival- Camp Bestival Blogger 2014

Longtime readers of this blog may recall that, four years ago, when Littlest was still in a buggy and Mini, well, actually Mini was still Mini, daft as a brush and prone to Diva tendencies, our family went to Camp Bestival on behalf of Johnsons.

We loved it, and have always meant to go back again.

You know me though readers- organisational skills of a house brick, so it didn’t happen.

I then spotted a tweet from the Camp Bestival team themselves, inviting bloggers to apply to cover the event and review it for them. 

I didn’t think I’d be lucky enough to be chosen but I applied mid way through last year. Then, as I’m famous for, forgot all about it.

Until last night, when an absolutely brilliant and completely unexpected email dropped into my inbox. It seems that the Lazy Girl household is off to Lulworth Castle again to see the likes of Sinead O’Connor, De La Soul, James and Sophie Ellis Bextor, not to mention cracking comedy and shows fit for all ages.

Yippee!

For the third time last week, I did a little happy dance. The Brats jumped up and down screaming (God knows what they’d do if we did a “We’re going to Disneyland” advert on them. I think they’d faint). Elder immediately said he was going to bagsy front row for De La Soul (to recapture his lost youth no doubt and bust some questionable moves- if you watch this video, he’s the one dancing in a dark jumper from the start with long hair, circa 1989). 

Camp Bestival is the brain child of DJ Rob Da Bank, and is so great for families its been voted best festival year in, year out. It can be difficult to take two kids to a festival due to it being busy and muddy and not at all child friendly, but Camp Bestival caters to the kids from newborns to even the most uneasily pleased teens.

Mr Tumble will be there, along with a fun fair, a kids Catwalk (which no doubt we will have to pry Mini off of daily, if not hourly), and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Roald Dahl releasing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, there are a number of events surrounding the book. Mini is especially looking forward to the likes of Jo Whiley reading excerpts from the book at bedtime over the three days.


We will be hopefully blogging from the event itself, so look out for tweets and the like from July 31st to August 3rd.


Fancy the event yourself or want to see who we’ll be rocking to? Then head on over to the Camp Bestival website for more, or follow their tweets at Twitter.