Festival Preview: Camp Bestival 2011

01 July 2011

The notion of a festival being family-friendly smacks of the bizarre. Fields of rampaging teenagers smacked off their faces to godawfulindiemuzak is enough to send most middle-agers and their sprogs into seasonal hiding. But, firm in its belief that theres a place for us all, Camp Bestival throws a warm embrace round the nations music-starved parents and walks them soothingly to Lulworth Castle, home to the award-winning family-fest, for a sit down and a nice cup of tea. Well, and some fantastic summer tuneage.

This warm-hearted offshoot of the Bestival behemoth is only in its fourth year, but has already picked up a range of awards and, this summer, expects to serve 30,000 fun-hungry folk with a huge serving of musical goodies, and a range of kid-friendly sides including everything from puppet theatre to Mr Tumble. (God help us.)

Brought together by Radio 1s Rob da Bank, Camp Bestival shares the same eclectic musical ethos as its older sibling and the line-up is teeming with a Sunday Best-style mix of both new and nostalgia. This years setlist boasts a roster topped by Mark Ronson, Katy B and Primal Scream, while also finding time for ABC, Blondie and House of Pain. (Can you even hear their name without Jump Around starting up in your headspace?)

Keeping step with the trend for less typical festival bands, Wretch 32, Beardyman and Miss Dynamite will add some noise to sleepy East Lulworth, while a run of female starlets from Laura Marling and Eliza Doolittle, to Claire Maguire, will lull it back to sleep (well, maybe not Maguire, whose fearsome pipes are more likely to scare the poor Dorset folk into the sea). Indie-seekers, meanwhile, will still find some usual festival fare with the likes of Yaaks, Fenech Soler and cheeky northern lads Frankie and the Heartstrings all thumping the boards.

Beyond the music, Camp Bestival also packs in an impressive comedy line-up. Topping the bill is Jack Whitehall who, at 22, is too young to be a veteran, but already seems to have been about for an age. King of the one-liner, Milton Jones, will also be well received after a run on Mock the Week, while a number of future stars are also billed, including Canadian Craig Campbell and Seann Walsh, recent winner of the Chortle Best Newcomer award.

And of course, theres the kids. Amply serviced with everything from Peppa Pig to Zingzillas (who are just as bizarre as they sound), most parents must be hoping they can deposit their offspring in the Magic Meadow and run away. For, while the likes of Mr Tumble and Dick and Dom will delight and thrill those with a toddlers mindset, for anyone else the very mention is sheer horror. Still, theres also plenty to engage the whole family, with an exclusive Shrek the Musical performance, a circus, and a farm stuffed with soft and loveable animals.

Stick that in your pipe, Glastonbury.

Camp Bestival takes place from 29-31 July 2011 at Lulworth Castle, Dorset. Tickets and further information are available from Camp Bestival.

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