Camp Bestival

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Camp Bestival
Camp Bestival, 2014 Logo.jpg
Camp Bestival, 2014 Logo
DatesSummer - July, August (4 days)
Location(s)Dorset, England
Years active2008 - present

Camp Bestival is a British music festival, the "little sister" of Bestival, both organised by BBC Radio 1 DJ Rob Da Bank. It is held annually, in July, at Lulworth Castle in Dorset[1] and is targeted at families with small children.[2] In 2019 it had a capacity of 10,000.[3] It won the Best New Festival award from the UK Festival Awards in 2008[4] and Best Family Festival in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014.[5]

In 2018 Camp Bestival went into administration, leaving many workers unpaid. However, a festival of the same name, curated by Rob da Bank and his wife Josie, took place in 2019, at the same site and on the equivalent weekend.[6]


2008 Camp Bestival at night

The first Camp Bestival in 2008 included headliners Chuck Berry,[7] Flaming Lips,[8] Kate Nash, Billy Bragg, DJ Yoda, Kevin Rowland, Eliza Doolittle and Black Kids,[9] but was troubled by the overcrowding of the campsites leading to many people camping by their cars in the nearby carparks.[citation needed]

The theme was 'Mad Hatter's Tea Party.


The 2009 festival, held over the weekend 24–26 July, included musical performances by Florence and the Machine, PJ Harvey - in her only UK solo appearance of the year,[10] Chic, Will Young, Tinchy Stryder, VV Brown, Kid Creole and the Coconuts,[11] Mercury Rev, Goldie Lookin' Chain, Wild Beasts, Roots Manuva, Candi Staton, Bon Iver, Phoenix, Alessi's Ark, Alela Diane, Micachu and the Shapes, Golden Silvers, Seth Lakeman and Laura Marling. Comedians appearing included Frankie Boyle, Marcus Brigstocke, Lee Mack[12] and Michael "Atters" Attree.[13] Other events included a barn dance, a show by the English National Ballet,[14] and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage tent.[15]

Changes from the previous year included a late-night Silent Disco to avoid waking children, and the number of toilets were tripled.[16]

The theme was Animal Magic.


The line-up for Camp Bestival 2010 included Madness, Calvin Harris, Billy Bragg, The Human League, Lee "Scratch" Perry and The Cuban Brothers. The festival was held over the weekend of 30 July to 1 August.

The theme was Fairy Tales.


The 2011 Festival has now been extended to allow campers to arrive from the Thursday lunchtime, after complaints about the long time needed to get on site caused some festival-goers to miss some of the Friday attractions in 2010.[17]

Headliners for 2011 are confirmed as Blondie, Mark Ronson and the Business International and Primal Scream who will be performing the Screamadelica album in its entirety in celebration of its 20-year anniversary. Other performers include ABC, The Wonder Stuff, House of Pain, Eliza Doolittle, Bad Shepherds, Easy Star All-Stars and Ed Sheeran.[citation needed]

Comedy performers include Marcus Brigstock, Milton Jones, Marcus Walsh and Jack Whitehall whilst there will be spoken word from Laura Dockrell, Simon Day and Sam Leith plus a continuation of the popular "How to..." series with speakers including Howard Marks.[citation needed]

Family entertainment included Mr Tumble, live performances of The Gruffalo and Shrek: The Musical and "100 Free things for Kids".[citation needed]

The theme was Medieval.


2012 Camp Bestival had an Olympic theme following the London 2012 Olympic games. The 2012 headliners included Kool and the Gang, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Hot Chip, The Happy Mondays, Rizzle Kicks, Stooshe and Rolf Harris. Other entertainment included Jimmy Carr, Mr Tumble and Russel Kane plus entertainment from The Gruffalo Live, and Shrek the Musical.


The 2013 Festival was held over the first four days in August and themed 'around the world'. This year featured the addition of the dance space and science tent but the removal of the 'Little Big Top'.

Headliners included Richard Hawley, Levellers and Labrinth, Other performers included DJ Fresh, The Farm, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Mark Owen and Gabrielle Aplin. This year also featured a world record attempt for the most paper aeroplanes flying at once in support of the new Disney/Pixar movie Planes.

Other performers included London Grammar, JAWS, The 1975 and Clean Bandit.


Camp Bestival 2014 ran from 31 July - August 3 and had the theme of "Circus". The festivals 2014 headliners were Basement Jaxx, De La Soul and James.

Other acts and artists appearing across the weekend included Johnny Marr, Sinéad O'Connor, Pop Will Eat Itself, Laura Mvula, Steve Mason, The Skatalites, Peter Hook & The Light, The Cuban Brothers, MNEK, Wilkinson, Chas & Dave, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Nick Mulvey.


Camp Bestival 2015 ran from 30 July to 2 August. The headliners were Clean Bandit, Kaiser Chiefs and Underworld. The theme was Go Wild![18]


Camp Bestival 2016 ran from 28 to 31 July. The headliners were Fatboy Slim, Tears for Fears and Jess Glynne. The theme was Space.[19]


In common with most UK festivals, the 2020 event was cancelled, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[20]

The event[edit]

Camp Bestival features a variety of activities and entertainment throughout the festival. Apart from a 4-days long multiple arena line-up, the festival offers comedy shows, literature programmes, kids areas, multiple workshops and performances.

Food and drink vendors are available all over the festival site.


  1. ^ Meech, Ruth (17 July 2009). "Lulworth Castle all set for Camp Bestival". Dorset Echo. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  2. ^ "Camp Bestival 2009". BBC Dorset. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  3. ^ "Camp Bestival 2019". eFestivals. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  4. ^ "Camp Bestival 2008". UK Festival Awards. 2008. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  5. ^ Wilson, Jen (6 February 2009). "PJ Harvey Confirmed For Camp Bestival". Archived from the original on 19 July 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  6. ^ "Camp Bestival kicks off at Lulworth Castle". Wessex FM. 25 July 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Chuck Berry dazzles first day of Camp Bestival". NME. 19 July 2008. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  8. ^ "Flaming Lips: 'Camp Bestival best festival we've played'". NME. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  9. ^ "Castle hosts family Camp Bestival". BBC News. 20 July 2008. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  10. ^ "PJ Harvey debuts new songs at Camp Bestival". NME. 28 July 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  11. ^ "Castle hosts family Camp Bestival". BBC News. 25 July 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  12. ^ Sharp, Rob (23 July 2009). "Bestival: This year's festivals boast an array of non-musical delights". The Independent. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  13. ^ "Camp Bestival 2014". Camp Bestival. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  14. ^ Morton, James (27 July 2009). "Camp Bestival hailed great success". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  15. ^ Hendy, Arron (25 July 2009). "Thousands at Camp Bestival". Dorset Echo. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  16. ^ de Lacey, Martha (27 July 2009). "Camp Bestival is big on charm". London Lite. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  17. ^ "Tickets". Camp Bestival. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  18. ^ Camp Bestival 2015 entry at eFestivals
  19. ^ Camp Bestival 2016 entry at Festicket
  20. ^ Coronavirus: Camp Bestival 2020 event cancelled - BBC News

External links[edit]