Creators of Camp Bestival and festival legends Josie and Rob da Bank give you their top tips for family festival going. As parents of four
Camp with mates
Camping with mates is a much cheaper option than babysitters or a nanny … and more fun. At Camp Bestival we set up Camp da Bank (we’re lucky that we get to pick a plum spot for this) and invite friends, family, hangers on and pretty much half of the festival to corral us in with a huge array of tents, yurts, camper vans, caravans, Airstreams, tipis and the odd sleeping bag just rolled out on the floor. Everyone looks out for each other’s kids, mums and dads can take it in turns to go out for the night and the other halves all hang out together.
To help keep the energy up for all the walking, running and dancing you’ll do, snacks are essential. Breadsticks and rice
Whilst we’re on the subject of glorious sunshine, don’t forget sunscreen and hats. You’ll be spending most of the day outside so this is vital.
Some festivals don’t allow you to bring food in but we’re pretty relaxed at Camp Bestival and a lot of people cook meals each night and have very civilised dinner times with all the family before they hit the stages again. I shouldn’t say this as a festival promoter as I want people to use the great food we’ve booked but having the occasional meal at the camp might save money too.
Water, water everywhere
Bring plenty of water. We’ve made a special request to mother nature for sunshine so you’ll need to keep yourselves and the nippers hydrated. There are water points throughout the campsites where you can refill your bottles for free.
Keep the kids happy! Now if I could sell a magic potion that did that I be a very rich man. How do we keep our kids happy and occupied during long boring car journeys and then guarantee their eternal bliss onsite? We got taken by surprise on the first Camp Bestival when suddenly our car parks had filled up in half the time they were supposed to and so did the campsites. We then realised that everyone was bringing two cars, twice as much camping gear and even the occasional kitchen sink (yes I have seen them onsite)…to make sure the children didn’t want for anything and all our adult luxuries were fulfilled too! So come prepared… and don’t forget the kitchen sink
A list of essential items to pack always starts off nice and neat and concise and quickly escalates to a bible of lists in 3 volumes. Please don’t take lots of expensive electronics to festivals – you won’t have time to use them and it’s not worth the risk of losing them. Of course, with the English weather being the way it is you will need to pack everything to wear from a bikini and shorts through to a sou’wester and galoshes. It’s best to pack layers so that you can add and remove as required. Don’t go to your local camping shop and be persuaded to buy a compass, crampons and three packs of hand warmers for a tenner. You won’t use them
Keeping it simple
Having said all that above when my mum and dad took me camping (yes back in the black and white days of the late 70s and
We all know that kids like to get a bit mucky and although there’s showers at Camp Bestival, wet wipes are a quick and easy option as all mums and dads know. It’s also quite incredible what you can do with a bin bag!
Go with the flow
Don’t make too many plans to see your favourite bands – you won’t enjoy them if your kids are hassling you cos they’d rather be on THE WORLD’S LARGEST BOUNCY CASTLE. Always better to go with the flow than stick to rigid plans