One of the many consequences of the pandemic was the cancellation of the UK’s summer 2020 music festival season, leaving many of those who love taking their motorhomes on musical adventures sorely disappointed.
However, summer 2021 is surely going to be different. And if the organisers of Camp Bestival in Dorset’s Lulworth Cove have anything to do with it, then the party is definitely back on!
If you haven’t heard of Camp Bestival before and are wondering whether it’s right for you then read our handy guide to this family-friendly festival.
After you’ve done that, remember if you’re taking your beloved motorhome to a festival then you’ll need protection from all manner of mishaps.
Give Motorhome Protect a call to make sure your insurance for a motorhome is up to date before the music gets started.
What is Camp Bestival?
Camp Bestival is an award-winning British music festival that has been running off and on since 2008.
Set up as a family-friendly little sister to the now-defunct boutique festival Bestival, both were organised by BBC Radio 1 DJ Rob Da Bank and co-founder Josie.
While Bestival itself went into administration in 2018, Camp Bestival is still going strong. It’s held annually, in July, in the grounds of Lulworth Castle in Dorset.
Still very much targeted at families with small children, Camp Bestival features a bewildering variety of activities and entertainment throughout the event, including music, comedy, literature programmes and a dedicated children’s area.
Food stalls and tents are available all over the festival site so you’re never far from rest and refreshment when energy levels take a dip from all that dancing. Here are just a few highlights from the 2021 line-up to whet your appetite.
Live music and DJs
Superstar DJ Fatboy Slim, dance legends Groove Armada and songstress Sophie Ellis-Bextor are among the headline acts set to appear in 2021 along with The SugarHill Gang, Vengaboys, Friendly Fires, The Wurzles and Heather Small.
Smaller festival goers and their adults will be entertained by Andy & The Odd Socks, Fly-Kid, Fatgirl Slim, and lots, lots more.
Theatre and shows
See your little one’s face light up as you enter The Greatest Tent on Earth! Here you’ll find theatre shows, musical spectaculars and kids’ comedy.
If and when the rain starts there’s no funnier place to take shelter. In 2021, you’ll be able to see Dick and Dom, Sam & Mark, Brainiac Live, Mr Tumble and Mister Maker & Rebecca Keatley. And if you have a future superstar in your midst there’s also a Kids’ Talent Show to take part in.
The Caravanserai venue is brilliant, featuring brass rave music, crazy country-style copies of hip-hop songs, nursery rhymes with jungle beats and so much more.
While The Caravan of Lost Souls led by mad circus impresario Igor Rasputin is extraordinary, even if a little disturbing! And did we mention the Son et Lumiere Castle Fireworks Spectacular on Sunday night? A fittingly grand and epic finale to the festivities!
Attractions and activities
At the Lower Kids’ Garden you’ll find the amazing Art Town with its vast cornucopia of creative activities. It’s a great place to grab some shade if the sun gets too much. But try not to get covered in too much glue and glitter!
The Science Tent is a perennial favourite among all ages, particularly the slime-making workshop. Watch the host of wildly silly science shows here and experience that sense of awe and wonder.
Then onto the amazing NamNams and her friendly and colourful team at the face-painting tent. While you might have to queue a little, the designs are amazing and well worth the wait.
To complete your Camp Bestival makeover head over to The Dressing Up Tent. Here you’ll find capes, wings, shields and costumes of all sizes, an eyelash bar, make-up and hair department, sequins, feathers and anything to make you fabulous! What a great place to get ready for Saturday’s epic Fancy Dress Parade at 1pm.
If you have little ones under 4 then the Lower Kids’ Garden is also the home of the soft play tent. Alongside soft play there are ball pools, didi cars, tunnels, bouncy cows and slides.
There are also plenty of workshops including Diddi Dance, Sensory Time, Messy Play and Wild and Free Kids Yoga. So, even the smallest festival goers have a great time.
The World’s Biggest Bouncy Castle nearby is legendary and hugely popular. At nearly 13 metres it’s taller than the Great Wall of China and filled with 1143 cubic metres of air! There’s also a new ‘clubby’ area for teenagers, with a cinema and high wire.
You won’t have to run off far to join the circus, The Upper Kids’ Garden has it all. Bigtopmania Kids Theatre and Circus features circus skills aplenty to have a go at.
Why not try your hand at unicycling, walk the slackline, swing on a trapeze or ride a crazy bike? It’s also a great place to come across pop-up performances from singers, puppet shows and brass bands.
At the very heart of the festival site can be found the brilliant and magical woodland refuge Dingly Dell. It’s got the most amazing mud kitchen and specialises in creating fun in the wild.
Food and drink
With Fred Siriex, of Channel 4’s First Dates, curating Camp Bestival’s food and drinks offering this year you can forget your preconceived ideas of awful festival food. With the amazing treats on offer you won’t find a chewy burger or soggy chips anywhere on the site.
For foodies, The Feast Collective is undoubtedly the gastronomic oasis to head for. Here you’ll be able to gorge yourself on tasty treats from the best artisan food producers in the UK.
With big communal tables you’ll be able to experience a wealth of street food from around the globe without ever leaving the country. From India, Spain and Louisiana to Mexico, Korea and Wales there’ll be delicious delights just right for you!
Make sure to visit the brilliant DJ BBQ where you can chow down on some next-level cheeseburgers while listening to some of the best party classic tunes!
For sweet-toothed festival goers, there’s no shortage of puddings – with epic crepes and churros always vying for top spot. If gourmet pick and mix is your thing then visit Ask Mummy & Daddy.
With over 50 choices of sweets to suit all dietary requirements, they also boast the UK’s first cocktail candy floss, handmade lollipops and plenty more!
There are lots of coffee and hot drink stalls dotted around the site but our favourite is The Magic Teapot.
Here you can enjoy proper coffee and great teas, served with love in real mugs. But be aware, you could lose hours in this magical place listening and chatting to the brilliant musicians who play and hang out here.
For something with a little more oomph, head to the The Festival Collective Bar where you can sup on a range of exceptionally crafted beers from Sharp’s North Cornish coastal brewery. Or try some delicious cider from Thatchers cider farm in the Mendip Hills.
Yoga and wellbeing
When you need a break from all that dancing, drinking and eating it might be time to slow down with a spot of yoga.
There’s a huge range to choose from including family yoga, power yoga, dance yoga, kids Tai Chi and our favourite laughter yoga. You’ll be more chilled out than you’ve ever been after a trip to Camp Bestival!
Comics, authors and talks
This festival is also bursting with great comedy, talks and author events. Highlights of the 2021 festival include Dom Joly, Irvine Welsh, Man vs. Baby’s Matt Coyne, Felicity Ward and the hilarious Comedy Club 4 Kids.
What should you bring? And what’s not allowed?
Camp Bestival is a great family event but apart from your tickets you’ll want your motorhome to be well-packed for any and every eventuality.
Just like any normal camping trip, essentials will include earplugs, eye masks, painkillers, bottles of water, plasters, sunscreen and sunglasses, sturdy footwear and warm clothes for when things get chilly.
Because it’s a festival and noise can be an issue it’s important to invest in a pair of ear defenders to protect children’s ears (and help them sleep through noise).
It’s also a good idea to add these to your motorhome packing list:
- Bin liners.
- Washing up bowl and liquid.
- Water bottles.
- Bedding, towels and cutlery.
- Toilet roll, kitchen roll, anti-bacterial hand gel, and biodegradable wet wipes.
- Chemicals if you have a portable toilet.
- Foldable chairs and a small table for setting up outside.
- Cool box or bag for picnic stuff.
- Windbreaks and awnings (see our guide to motorhome awnings if you need help).
- Old rugs or blankets to keep the inside of your motorhome clean.
- Weather wear for any eventuality. From heatwaves to monsoons, it’s always better to be well prepared.
- Games, colouring books etc for when kids and parents need time to chill.
- Portable phone chargers and battery packs.
- Family-sized first aid kit.
- Backpacks for carrying dry clothes and snacks.
- Torches and lanterns. Getting around in the dark is always tricky.
Losing sight of your child at a festival is every parent’s worst nightmare. So it might be worth attaching a small GPS tracker to their clothing or giving them a wristband with your number on it.
Glass is not allowed anywhere at Camp Bestival. So, decant anything you are planning to take into reusable containers before you arrive.
There’s a no naked flame policy at the festival, too, so fires, flares, Chinese lanterns, and fireworks are not allowed. You’ll also need to leave pets at home (with the exception of registered guide dogs).
If you’re wondering whether to attend Camp Bestival in your motorhome then read our festival guide on the benefits of taking your motorhome to a festival.
Just like getting the right motorhome insurance, being prepared is key to a great festival experience.
Frequently asked Camp Bestival questions – and the answers
What are the dates for Camp Bestival 2021?
Dates for Camp Bestival 2021 are 29th July - 1st August 2021.
Where can I park my campervan or motorhome?
The General Campervan field is behind the main general camping area, Front Row Campervan Field is next to Camping Plus. The new Kids' Garden Campervan Field is next to the Lower Kids’ Garden.
How much does it cost to bring my campervan or motorhome?
A separate campervan ticket costs £97.50 plus booking fees for the General Campervan field. For Front Row Campervan Field it’s £250 plus booking fees. For Kids' Garden Campervan Field it’s £300 plus booking fees.
Are there any restrictions on the type of campervans or motorhomes?
Campervans or motorhomes must be specially adapted for people to stay in. So a transit van with a mattress in the back won’t do!
What size are the pitches?
You’ll be allocated 9 x 6 metres of space per pitch to use for your vehicle, awning and/or to fit any family tents. You must make sure everything fits within the pitch markings.
Are there full-service pitches available?
There are no electricity or water hook-ups provided. However, there are waste disposal units for campervan or motorhome toilets.
Can I come and go from the festival?
It’s not possible to leave and re-enter the festival in a campervan or motorhome.
Movements in and out the area are restricted until Sunday and Monday when people head for home. You can leave and re-enter the festival on foot provided you show your festival wristband.
Protecting your vehicle with motorhome insurance cover
Anyone visiting Camp Bestival will want to avoid accidents. That’s why, no matter how friendly everyone is and how much fun you’re having, you’ll want the best cover for both your vehicle and its contents.
Using our panel of insurers, we’ll search out the right motorhome insurance, tailored to your vehicle, needs and budget.
Our cover can include benefits like:
- Cover for camping personal effects up to £3,000
- Unlimited mileage cover
Call Motorhome Protect today for a motorhome insurance quote.
Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.