Previews

Preview: Camp Bestival 2008

01 June 2008


Bestival has proven to be one of the more successful of the recent explosion of summer music festivals. With that in mind, the team behind it is extending its portfolio with the inaugural Camp Bestival.

One thing Camp Bestival certainly has going for it is its location. Set in the lavish surroundings of Lulworth Castle in Dorset, festival-goers will benefit from some gorgeous views of the local Jurassic coastline.
And those who do go along are promised something a bit different. For one thing a 10,000 capacity will ensure a more intimate atmosphere. But what it’s really going for is the family market, offering a kids area, a sports day and the castle’s very own animal farm. This is a wise move, perhaps tapping into a market that is under-catered for – those of us who are young, or at least young at heart, and maybe even, shudder, cool enough to appreciate good live music, but with children to look after, are unsure about the crowds and the hedonism that go hand-in-hand with some of the larger festivals.

The “Camp” part of it is clearly not a reference to staying in tents, because well, frankly, that wouldn’t really stand it apart from all the other weekenders. No – taking in a Hi-De-Hi vibe, the theme of the place is going to be summer camp. Blue coats abound. Attendees are even faced with those two little words that nightmares are made of – “fancy dress”. And with a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party theme it’s not clear whether that’s for those who actually are kids, or those of us who wish we still were.

In any case, it’s not all about the kids. Everyone is welcome and with a remarkably eclectic music line-up, everyone should be kept happy. Curator, Rob Da Bank has gone for an unusual and interesting selection of artists. The headliners over the three nights are the legendary Chuck Berry making a rare festival appearance for us Brits, the consistently wonderful Flaming Lips, and a Brit Award winning Kate Nash, who will hopefully be bolstering her live act with some new material.

Supporting that bonkers bunch are some more big names including Suzanne Vega, Hercules and Love Affair, and following up their Glastonbury appearance, The Imagined Village whose members read like a who’s who of modern contemporary folk. The rest of the bill is dominated by some of the cream of the underground scene such as musicomh.com tips Black Kids and Florence And The Machine, and electro queens Ebony Bones, thecocknbullkid and Ladyhawke. Then we have the likes of Emiliana Torrini, Kevin Rowland and Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip. It really is a good line-up.

Throw in spoken word, literature and comedy stages (the last of which includes a performance by none other than Roy Walker) this newbie promises to be a lot of fun in a great setting, and could offer a welcome addition to the summer diary.


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