Camp Bestival crowd

You’re a parent. You’re no longer allowed to attend festivals. It’s the rules. Sorry. Well, that’s actually not strictly true. Rob Da Bank’s genius creation of bringing together his world of Bestival and the perfect school summer fete is back. That may sound like some kind of evil experiment but it works. Celebrating its fifth year in the Dorset countryside, multi-award winning Camp Bestival returns to the picturesque Lulworth Castle with what you’d expect from Rob Da Bank. An eclectic mix of the world’s best acts in music and comedy, children’s tv favourites as well as theatre, dance, arts and some intriguing stalls. The festival is not only recognised as a safe and fun environment for the kids, but makes sure teens, parents and ‘grown ups’ aren’t forgotten. Even after accepting you’re 30 years old and have your face painted as Spiderman, you can enjoy some slightly more adult moments in the spoken word, live bands and adult humour.

Headliners Happy Mondays, Kool and the Gang, and cult geeks Hot Chip provide the climax to an eclectic line up to satisfy everyone. Rizzle Kicks, Spector, Lianne La Havas, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and even the heavy breathing hero Rolf Harris. As with previous years, Camp Bestival encourages a theme, and with it being the year of the Olympics, in London no less, Da Bank has aptly selected the ‘Silly Olympics’ as this year’s theme. The festivals very own Blue Coats ‘Lost & Found’ will host the Silly Olympics, with events ranging from “pea shot-put, blindfolded long-jump, Jane Fonda gymnastics,  feather javelin, pantomime horse racing & dress-upage, wonky cycling, and of course their signature binocular football, you’ll be going Olympics-crazy for their games! Spandex essential.” I repeat, spandex essential. If only the real Olympics were this good. And moustaches and sweatbands wouldn’t go a miss either.

DJ sets from The 2 Bears, Mathew Horne and the not to missed Jaguar Skills & His Amazing Friends; as well as Scroobius Pip, Chris Redmond, Joshua Idehen, John Berkavitch, Jodi Ann Bickley, John Osborne, Alex Gynther and John Sinclair who will be sharing the finest selection in spoken word. Jimmy Carr and Rufus Hound provide some darker comedic material for the adults and ‘Comedy Club 4 Kids’ ensures the kids get a giggle too. Shrek The Musical, The Gruffalo Live, a theatre production of Fantastic Mr Fox, and parents hero/nemesis Mr Tumble provide a collective reverie for the kids to enjoy. With so much going on, it’s worth checking the website to make sure nothing is missed.

Lulworth Castle

There will be an hour’s silence on the site between 6:15pm and 7:15pm on the Saturday due to Lulworth Castle’s Church service which has taken place for hundreds of years. Despite the lack of noise during this period there’s still plenty to do to keep you and the kids busy. And at this juncture in the evening it may well be approaching some attendee’s bedtime – If you’re worried the shorter humans will miss out on a traditional bedtime story then fear not! Who else would you want giving your child a bedtime story than Mr Nice himself; sophisticated drug baron Howard Marks, rallying the children to sleep with his dulcet Welsh tones.

If you’re concerned your little one may get trampled in the mad rush to set up your tent, Camp Bestival provides ‘Camping Plus’ – at an additional fee you can guarantee yourselves a healthy amount of reserved camping space. You’ll get a guaranteed plot relatively near the car park entrance and all the plots can be individually booked so you can ensure the whole of your party are camping side by side in adjacent plots. All this, plus quick and easy access to exclusive showers, flushing loos and a top notch cafe so breakfast will only be a few brisk strides from your tent door. Nice eh? However, that’s not to say regular camping for the muggles is like putting your child through ‘Nam, and enough to put them off ever attending a festival ever again. “There will be 4 different types of camping field (plus a Campervan area) at Camp Bestival 2012 – each with car parks relatively close by to reduce how far you’ll need to walk with all your kit (phew!), and each with their own sets of showers, loos (many of which will be of the eco-friendly and non-smelly compostable variety), tasty food stalls, a bar and more.”

Here’s the boring part – An adult weekend ticket with camping is priced at £175 or £185 if camping from Thursday, a weekend with camping child ticket for those 15 to 17 (on 26/07/2012) is priced at £110, or £115 if camping on Thursday. A weekend with camping child ticket for those children 11 to 14 (on 26/07/2012) is priced at £95. All teens (aged 11 to 17) must camp in the same area as their families with a maximum of 2 teens per adult (over the age of 30). All children under-11 (on 26/07/2012) can attend for free (but must have a ticket). These ticket holders must be accompanied by a Ticket holding parent or guardian over the age of 21. An advance car parking pass is priced £10 per car (or £15 cash on arrival), and campervan ticket is £80 per vehicle.

With the festival finishing in the wondrous climax of a firework display from Lulworth Castle, it’ll be an experience to make Disneyland look like a caravan holiday in Bognor.

Remember, the clock is ticking, so grab your tickets while you still can!

For more information and tickets click here.