Camp Bestival is the nom de plume when it comes to summer festivals designed for families with kids.

This year’s festivities may just be your Olympics saviour from 26 to 29 July. Let’s pray for some sunshine…or at least not too much of a mud bath then!



Do festivals and kids go together? A burning question in a summer when festivals may not even go at all when you’re up against the British rain-minute-shine-a-minute-global-warming-shenanigans.

A new breed of festival though, coming from party veterans wanting to cater for their new found parenthood, sees an increasing list of summer festivals catering for kids. And the interesting thing is that adding a ‘kids’ programme to the festival list often means a more interesting curve to the usual festival fodder.

Talking of veterans, Camp Bestival is the nom de plume when it comes to kid’s entertainment at summer festivals. Lulworth Castle opens the gates for the fifth Camp Bestival on 26th July, with all the credibility that comes with its famous organisers in the personas of Josie and Rob da Bank.

The da Banks have curated a wondrous programme that plots music from the likes of Happy Mondays, Hot Chip and a Saturday Night Fever disco extravaganza with Kool and the Gang and Chic, plus Rolf Harris and Rizzle Kicks all adding to the Camp Bestival excitement. There’s a really unbelievable list of kids entertainment from the mainstream to the unexpected to keep the ankle-biters happy all day long. By mainstream, we go as straight down the line as the omnipresent Mr Tumble and bouncy castles (always a winner!). By the unexpected – well take a look – from the Fantastic Mr Fox Opera to medieval jousting. Plus all the usua list of imaginatively pitched storytelling, extraordinary crafts, magic and poetry. Are festivals the Butlins for the new century then?

Rob da Bank says: “I can’t believe how much amazing stuff there is to do at Camp Bestival this year! From bouncy castles to UV bubble bikes and beyond you won’t know which way to turn but you’ll never run out of fun!”

That would be a yes then! But really, if you’re worried about the camping, take a look at the CampBestival website where there are loads of options. We are not looking at the usual festival ‘roughing it’ at Camp Bestival (unless you really want to). There’s a choice of camper vans, tipis, yurts – all the glamping possibilities – and showers. So no panic there. And in case you really are thinking of joining the fun, here’s just a glimpse of some of Camp Bestival’s top activities for kids:-

Camp Bestival Panto – ‘Beauti and the Beast of Lulworth Castle’

Daemon or Doppelganger? – The brilliant clay self-portrait give you a wonderful mucky time! Get your hands dirty and let your imagination run free with the clay, you never know what might appear… surprise yourself!

English National Ballet Workshops – Coming to Camp Bestival for the fourth year running with a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to learn from the masters.

Fantastic Mr Fox Opera ­– An exclusive performance of Roald Dahl’s classic tale.

Kid Carpet & the Noisy Animals show – Lo-fi electro-pop purveyor Kids Carpet has swapped his normal live show for the enchanting adventures of gorilla, bear, hedgehog and badger as they make friends, cause mischief, contemplate the world and finally rock out at the grand dance contest.

Medieval Jousting – No castle is complete without its own Knights so we’re thrilled that the Knights of Lulworth Castle will be demonstrating their awe inspiring jousting.

Silly Sportsday with the Lost & Found Bluecoats – Our favourite professional wallies, Lost & Found, will be leading our Silly Sportsday action at Camp Bestival this year.

Square Peg Circus present Rime – Square Peg, seen last year in the Little Big Top, will be gracing us with their spectacular new outdoor show.

Stefan Gates The Gastronaut – Renowned for his love of extraordinary food, Stefan (award winning BBC presenter and writer) will be demonstrating his fantastic gastronomical stunts in the Little Big Top.

The Bopps – Mischievous duo The Bopps are the masters of slapstick comedy and music for the nippers, but mums and dads might recognise Stan Cullimore, who was a founder of pop group the Housemartins!

The Gruffalo Live – The Gruffalo Live show is back by unprecedented demand, with a magical theatrical adventure on Sunday morning on the Castle Stage.

Videopia – an interactive movie making activity that casts, shoots and screens DIY tributes to Hollywood classics. Step aboard the vintage Bedford horsebox for the full silver screen treatment. Grab some co-stars, pick your favourite film and get suited and booted before acting your socks off in front of the camera.

Wookey Hole Circus – Wookey Hole Circus are all under the age of 18 and are an unbelievably gifted bunch making their Camp Bestival debut in 2012! From magic tricks, to cloud swing, aerial silk performances, unicycling, juggling and balancing acts, these youngsters will wow you with their fast, fun and furious antics.

Fireworks Finale – The captivatingly coruscating joy of the Fireworks Finale on Sunday night has to be seen to be believed.

You never know – if someone out there fancies sponsoring us a bit of a luxurious tent for the weekend, we might just make it down. Would be lovely to try out the Camp Bestival experience with a couple of fluxlings in tow!

Visit for lots more information. Day and Weekend tickets available from Ticketline or Ticketmaster, adults £60 (day) or £185 (weekend includes camping), children various depends on age but free for under 10s.