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Camp Bestival 2012

(140 Posts)
Grockle Sun 25-Mar-12 16:46:14

Is anyone going?

I've never been before and have questions...

Do we need camping plus?
Will the showers be a nightmare?
How much does food cost?

Any tips?

AlexandraMary Sun 25-Mar-12 16:48:33


We're first timers too. And first time campers as well. Eek.
We're going with a few other families and have gone for camping plus so we can all be together.

I'm nervous and excited, but looking forward to compiling my shopping list....

fivegomadindorset Sun 25-Mar-12 16:51:32

Going but as we live there will not be camping. I know that peole in camping plus had a lot easier time than the normal camping. They have got a lot stricter on teenagers this year aswell after many complaints last year.

Take as much food as you can as it is expensive, sadly no childrens portions and prices anywhere as far as I could tell.

Grockle Sun 25-Mar-12 16:55:35

Maybe we'll do camping plus then. I can rough it but would rather not. Thank you both. I did think of you, Five & wondered if you'd be there smile

fivegomadindorset Sun 25-Mar-12 16:57:25

They have got new rules on alcohol this year sawell so check out their website.

Grockle Sun 25-Mar-12 17:00:21

Ooo, will look, thank you

Blu Mon 26-Mar-12 15:22:01

Is it possible to sleep, at all, when camping at festivals?

AlexandraMary Mon 26-Mar-12 22:32:01

What tents do you all have?

Grockle Wed 28-Mar-12 20:03:38

I have a Vango Icarus 500 - 5 man tunnel tent. And maybe a little 3-man igloo too.

ladyandthechocolate Wed 28-Mar-12 20:33:30

We are first timers too! Me, dh and 4 dc in a bell tent in camping plus. Really hoping we enjoy it and it's not too stressful with the dc as they are all under 4. Also hoping for dry weather!

tiredteddy Wed 28-Mar-12 20:44:09

We went last year. I loved it. Food is mega expensive so take as much as you can. Maybe aim to make your own breakfast, sandwiches etc for lunch to take with you and buy dinner? I was in a camper van and it was a long hilly walk to the main field so not really practical to go back for meal times or forgotten items.

It's ok to sleep as you will be SO knackered! Do any of you have small children? Loads of people had those pull along cart/ trolleys which seemed ideal for the little ones. The kids are all mad into bubbles with the sword things so you could take some bubble mix for refills.

Mobile signals are really bad so arrange meeting places. Erm can't think of anything else. Hth.

StrawberrytallCAKE Wed 28-Mar-12 20:51:05

Definitely get a pull along trolley if you have little ones. Dd slept in hers last year while we watched Mark monsoon and Blondie wrapped in her fluffy romper suit on blankets with a pillow.

Have you seen the camp bestival forum? I found it really helpful. if you want your children to have a good view of the kids shows on the main stage get there really early...people queue and then run into the field?!

Lots of self cleaning wipes and dry shampoo, the toilets and showers were vile (although it was my first and only festival and I've heard they are some of the best so thats personal opinion).

Grockle Wed 28-Mar-12 21:07:16

Thanks for the tips. Where do you buy the carts from?

ladyandthechocolate Wed 28-Mar-12 21:26:01

Do dc need ear defenders? I can't imagine we'll be moshing at the front so I'm thinking probably not!

StrawberrytallCAKE Wed 28-Mar-12 23:07:34

We bought dd ear defenders but she hated them and we sat at the back of the field so didn't think they were really necessary.

We bought a radio flyer online from a garden shop, it has two seats, a canopy and seatbelt but most people used old garden trollies which were bigger and filled with blankets and pillows looked much comfier. The wheels seemed more sturdy on the garden trollies too and some were decorated beautifully with fairy lights or in army camouflage. If I were to do it again I would get a garden trolly and do it up!

Grockle Sun 01-Apr-12 21:03:08

Tickets booked! I'm definitely getting a trolley. It'll be useful for other things too. No idea where we'll store it but will worry about that later.

I can't find info on the website - is there a fancy dress thing at Camp Bestival?

DontCallMeBaby Mon 02-Apr-12 08:58:17

Yes, there's fancy dress, but it's optional. Didn't do it last year and this year the theme is Olympics, which I wouldn't touch with a bargepole!

Be back later when I've got a keyboard, as long as everything I have to say hasn't been said already!

Grockle Mon 02-Apr-12 16:24:41

Oh, disappointing. I don't think I can dress for an Olympic theme either.

DontCallMeBaby Mon 02-Apr-12 23:47:17

I have a keyboard!

I went for the first time last year with DD (then 7), friend and her DDs (7 and 4). Getting from car to campsite was HORRENDOUS. We knew the site was hilly but really weren't prepared for how difficult it would be getting our stuff from A to B. Plus we had no trolley and were about as far from the trolley hire as it was possible to be, so we'd used up our first half hour's hire just getting trolley to car (I think we had the trolley for something like 3 hours on the first day and 2.5 on the last - the guys hiring them took pity on us and undercharged on both occasions). This year my mate has an allotment and she IS going to buy a garden trolley and we ARE going to fit it in my car, if it kills me.

Normal camping was fine, even though we were on a hill, but we were going to go for Camping Plus this year for certainty of pitch and being closer to the car. However the cost went from 10mx7m for £120 to 5mx7m for £100 - she has a 4m bell and my tent is over 3m wide so we just cannot squeeze onto one pitch, and we can't afford £200 extra. We didn't use showers - lots of baby wipes, and I washed my hair in a bucket. Loos were occasionally dodgy, but more because if you have 30,000 people using a series of portaloos, some are going to get nasty, rather than poor maintenance. My only proper festival experience prior to this was Reading in 1994 and I STILL remember how bad those were.

Sleep was no problem. We were shattered. I took earplugs, for some reason they worked brilliant for three nights and did nothing on the last.

We took a picnic tea for the first night, and some snacks for the rest of the weekend, but mainly ate out. It did add up but I really don't think the prices are as outrageous as people say (I eat out quite a lot, but my friend less so, so I don't think it's just me being oblivious). There were kids portions from the fish and chip van, Pizza Express pizzas (could be shared, or not, if you're DD), the Mash Shack was definitely kid friendly. DD is highly fussy and I didn't have trouble finding her something to eat (um, although she did have strawberries and marshmallows for lunch on Sunday - long story). Some of it was really good - I have very fond memories of a burrito (such perfect festival food) and a Thali Cafe curry.

Fancy dress I couldn't see myself ever doing, for similar reasons to the not cooking and taking loads of food - we didn't take everything but the kitchen sink, but still had SO MUCH STUFF. Practical clothing, definitely, not fancy dress! That said, DD ended up spending most of the weekend in fairy wings and fluorescent pink false eyelashes. I reckon you can have fun dressing up without it actually being fancy dress - my observation is that people at festivals dress like toddlers, social norms go out of the window, you wear what you fancy. Fairy wings, jeans, wellies, tutu, t-shirt and sequinned waistcoat - perfect. smile

Oh, and I am definitely going to be sidling up to five this year for her resident's tips on how to get in without sitting in the QUEUE OF DOOM.

Grockle Tue 03-Apr-12 08:15:53

Fab post, thank you. Tips noted. Must buy cart!

winefairy Wed 04-Apr-12 11:40:45

I agree wholeheartedly about the food. It is expensive but not prohibitively so and all the snacks/lunches we took with us last year lay uneaten in the tent as they didn't seem as appealing somehow. A favourite with us was the farmshop type tent that sold filling salads (the mayo rich versions) and pastries big enough to share. WI tent cheap too. The phone app. has a voucher for free kids fish and chips.

Camping Plus was lovely. We chose a pitch fairly near the arena but it was still quiet enough to sleep. We took our Radio Flyer wagon but didn't use it. It was impossible to maneuver through crowds in the dark and people tripped over it constantly. Friends hired the more substantial trolley from Trolley Hire which worked better but you can buy that type too although they are incredibly bulky for the car. Our DD (4 at the time) preferred to stay up and watch the acts though and would have a little nap in the afternoon to recharge.

Showers fine and queue not too bad first thing in the morning or just after arena opened. Didn't bother that much though. blush

I would also second taking general dressing up items for dc's. Olympic theme far too tricky and vague but the dressing up is still fun.

DontCallMeBaby Wed 04-Apr-12 13:01:10

The one bit of self-catering we DID do was booze. grin I part-froze the bag from inside a wine box (offputtingly, the bag turned out to be transparent rather than the silver I was expecting, so it looked like a giant urine sample) and we had that for the first two evenings, and the first glass of the third. By then, as well as running out, it was getting a bit warm, so we moved onto the second wine box, which was red. Other than that I treated myself to a cider a day on site.

At the end of it all, what with my wine every evening, my cider a day, several portions of chips, WI cake, lovely lovely pie and all the rest - I lost 4lb over the weekend. Never mind the gym, hauling yer mate's belltent up hill and down dale is the way to go ...

winefairy Wed 04-Apr-12 13:33:13

Oh, yes. The frozen wine! An essential. We froze two boxes of white because we couldn't fit the Icey-Tek in the car due to the blasted Radio Flyer taking up all the room.

Not this year, no siree. Radio Flyer is staying put and I shall be the smug one sipping chilled wine all weekend. DD will have to walk. Priorities, priorities.

Grockle Wed 04-Apr-12 14:43:18

Frozen wine - great idea. Will add that to my list.

Is a trolley not worth it then? I was going to get one for DS(6) - we'll use for other things too but if it's a total PITA, it might not be worth the aggro

DontCallMeBaby Wed 04-Apr-12 14:56:22

I wouldn't personally put a 6yo in one. There were an awful lot of them last year, they are SLIGHTLY annoying but understandable when loaded up with toddlers, a 6yo I think you just have to put up with the fact you might have to go back to your tent a bit earlier than you'd like. My friend's youngest was 5 last year and it was really easier having all three kids on foot - we could pick our way through to gaps in the crowd to watch acts, whereas if you had a trolley you just have to get there and camp out for the day. The shenanigans people had to go through to get OUT of the middle of the crowd if they had a trolley, or even just a buggy, were quite something.

Whether you need one for getting to and from the car is another matter. smile We didn't do camping plus, so had no idea how far from the car we would end up (fairly far, as it happened) and we were two adults, three kids, two tents, so a lot of kit. With just the one tent* and if one of the adults happened to be SEXISM ALERT a big strapping bloke you might fare a bit better than we did.

* Googling tells me your Vango weighs 14kg, my tent weighs 8kg and my mate's bell weighs 17kg ... how people managed to put up Montana 6s and the like I do not know

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