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Camp Bestival – Saturday – where Middle England goes to party

First night sleeping in a proper tent for almost 30 years, this doesn’t include posh tents on campsites in France a la Canvas or Eurocamp and it wasn’t too bad, I had the essentials for a good night’s sleep:

1.  Very tired out children – went to bed gone midnight after spending the day running around in the fresh air.

2. A Monkey Shoulder cocktail or two, actually I think it was two, can’t remember.

3. Blackout eye shades

4. Wax ear plugs

We took along the essentials for an enjoyable breakfast – the espresso maker – no, not the huge electric one, the stove top one, coffee and frozen fresh milk that slowly defrosted over the weekend.  We brought home milk we didn’t use and it was still cold, very impressed.

Eventually got down to the festival around lunchtime as the children were having too good a time playing around the campsite with other children. Arrived just in time to see Dick and Dom – BOGIES!

I hate to admit it but they were brilliant, loved them, Small Boy and I had a great time yelling ‘Bogies’ very, very loudly.  At one point they picked on the group of adults standing by the Merchandise Tent as they were being very ‘grown up’, Dick and Dom were’nt having any of this so they yelled over at them that they were the ‘mosh pit’ and they had to act like it, not sure if they did but we really got into it and had a whale of a time.  Zingzillas came on next, bearable but good excuse to duck into the Press Tent to get out of the rain.

Today is FANCY DRESS DAY – I tried lots of costumes on in the Smiffy’s fancy dres

s costume tent but the one I really wanted, the Black Knight from Monty Python, was bloke sized and was massive, also incredibly hot, the only girly frocks were too big as I’d left it too late so put up with false eyelashes and very long blonde curly wig, medium sized girl opted for rainbow afro and matching rainbow lashes and big girl went for the longest feather lashes possible, small boy stuck with a sword.

Rain stopped so small boy went to the Balloon Workshop where they were building a huge caterpillar, he made a dog with a lead which didn’t last long unfortunately, but he had a good time.


Newton Faulkner – @newtonfaulkner was fabulous, unfortunately I had small boy who had a total paddy about listening to music and as I’d promised to take him back to the tent and play cards while getting supper ready I left Pete, Grant and the others in the Big Top and missed his rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody which was apparently brilliant.  Must catch him another time.

Smerins Anti-Social Club – funk band from Bristol – one of my biggest regrets is that I only caught the end of their show, wished I’d got there earlier but this is the disadvantage of a family festival, the adults don’t get to do what they want to do, ie sit on a picnic rug with a constant stream of Monkey Shoulder cocktails and listen to music all afternoon and evening.  We have to cater to children too who want to spend the whole time either at East Lulworth when the Comedy is on or in the Kids Garden in the circus space. The couple of tunes I did hear were amazing and the whole of the big top was jumping.  Catch these guys soon.

Cuban Brothers – these guys are an @campbestival legend and soon saw why. Who cares if they are actually from Cuba or more likely from Essex but their show, a mixture of music, comedy, dance and pants was superb.  Not sure how old @thecubanbrothers are, they’re not spring chickens, but boy can they roller skate and breakdance, we had to dash off half way through to get over the Main Stage for Mark Ronson so missed the part when they stipped down to their pants, not sure if that was a good escape or not.

Mark Ronson and The Business International – wow, just wow, everyone was there, Dave McCabe from The Zutons started off the set with his version of  ‘Valerie’, I admit Mark Ronson seems to have the personality of a plank but his music if fabulous.  My Big Girl was firmly entrenched in the Comedy Tent as she hates him but if she could have seen him play the drums I think she’d have come round. He did a tribute to Amy Winehouse which had a lot of the audience feeling very emotional and I’m sure there were quite a few tears, played Back to Black, saying that ‘she should have been here tonight’ and finished with her version of Valerie led by Dave McCabe.  Actually, it was led by the audience, they decided that as all knew the words this would be our tribute to Amy and the audience would sing it – oh boy did we do it justice. Excellent.

Groove Armada were on next but didn’t catch much of it. Rounded up children from the Comedy Tent and, oh what a surprise, headed back to Monkey Shoulder for nightcaps.  Hit a bit of a crisis point here with 5 children starving hungry and in need of hot chocolate. Lo and behold as if by magic we discover the best place to eat of the whole festival – the Tea Caravan next to the Welfare Tent which just happens to be next to Monkey Shoulder.

The Tea Caravan is run by the lovely Eileen who is in charge of the Welfare Tent, this is where you go to find lost children, get First Aid and retrieve lost property, Eileen set up the tea caravan to help people out who are waiting for their children to be brought here and everything is £1. That’s a mug of tea, hot chocolate, toasted teacake or two rounds of toast with marmite, butter or jam £1.  A mug of tea elsewhere is £3.50 at least.  This place was heaven. So 10 round of toast and marmite and 5 hot chocolates later we’re off to Monkey Shoulder for cocktails with 5 happy children, soon to have 3 happy grown ups.

Eileen didn’t believe me when I said I thought this was the best catering on site, but it’s true, tea and toast is just what you need at midnight to give the children sufficient strength to walk the 1.5km uphill back to the tent, either that or a doner, however, toast is much less dangerous.

This was about to become one of the best nights of my big girl’s life and certainly the best at the festival.  As we walked into the Monkey Shoulder Tree House there were 4 people dancing, one of them was Jack Whitehall.  Big girl didn’t realise until I pointed him out, she looked round, ran over and threw her arms around him then legged it.  Poor Jack, he looked rather bewildered.  I went over and apologised for her and explained that he was the only reason she came to Camp Bestival.  He didn’t quite believe me until I told him that I was serious and she wasn’t coming until she found out he was playing Friday night.  I asked him if he’d mind having a photo with her and he said that he’d be really happy and was touched that he’d inspired her to come just to see him.  Jack Whitehall went over hugged my big girl and she’s got a photo that she’ll treasure for a long time.  Thank you @jackwhitehall.