Glorious Mud Didn’t Hold Back Memorable 10th Birthday Celebrations
That being said, on the day of our arrival our spirits were lifted thanks to sunny weather and a pleasant surprise in the form of a festival survival kit courtesy of Waitrose.
In true Camp Bestival style, the atmosphere was friendly and safe, making it a great place for families and young people alike to let their hair down and celebrate great music, food and comedy, while having stacks of fun.
My favourite place throughout the weekend was undoubtedly Raindance at the Bollywood Tent, which was packed every day and night, with what felt like a car park of festival trolleys, prams and push chairs at the back of the marquee, full of sleeping children donning ear protectors as their parents danced nearby.
Norman Jay MBE
During the Saturday afternoon Norman Jay MBE, played an unusually slow set to start with – I think the crowd wanted more because of the rain. But after a while, it was obvious we were in the company of a proficient atmosphere architect as he upped the tempo and kept everybody smiling.
Later in the evening Raindance reigned supreme with early rave scene legend, Liquid (Eamon Downes) playing four tracks during his set, including one from his new album Energy Flows. Eamon was welcomed to the stage by his adorable five-year-old daughter, Bella, who introduced him in Italian (she was raised in Rome), while being held in the arms of her uncle-figure and Raindance host, Billy Daniel Bunter.
Liquid began with Closer; followed by Liquid is Liquid (his personal all-time favourite), then his most popular big-room piano anthem, Sweet Harmony, which made the crowd go wild. He wrapped up his set with a dub- influenced jungle track from his new album that left us all wanting more.
Buy Energy Flows on a limited vinyl pressing here.
Watch my interview with Liquid here.
Shades of Rhythm (Rayan ‘Gee’ Hepburn, Nick Slater and Kevin Lancaster) had a captivating and warm stage presence, while playing all of their big hits, including The Sound of Eden, Sweet Sensation and Homicide, to a welcoming crowd. One of the memorable moments during their show was an acapella performance of The Sound of Eden by lead vocalist Gee who dedicated the song to a couple who had just got married at the festival!
As one would expect from Mark Archer, aka ‘Altern-8’, he played a goose-bump enticing set full of old hardcore favourites and rave classics, which everyone loved.
Scratch-masters 2 Bad Mice, left us all in awe with their amazing turntable antics and singer Rachel Wallace shook the tent with her upfront bellowing style and feisty vocals with I feel This Way and Don’t Stand in My Way.
Leftfield headlined the Castle Stage on Sunday night and were in one word – incredible. Read my full review here.
Thanks to pressure from my 10-year-old niece, and wanting to get into the family spirit of things, I had my face painted (featuring a cool dragon) courtesy of Siobhan Collett and Nam Nam’s.
Showcasing the Silent Volunteers
Camp Bestival brings together many groups of volunteers that make the event extra special. The Isle of Wight Youth Trust for example, manages the lost property office, and I am forever indebted to them because they found my car keys that fell out of my pocket on the first night!
Music Angels is a social enterprise that provides battery packs and a mobile phone charging service, which for most festival-goers is as important as having a tent to keep you warm and dry at night. All of their profits go towards helping children in Rwanda.
The food was exceptional at Camp Bestival and one of my favourite food stalls was French Crêpes where crepes take centre stage. Each night I enjoyed a delicious mushroom and cheddar cheese crepe – a lovely and indulgent treat before heading to bed.
La Grande Bouffe
On our final evening, we treated ourselves to a mouth-watering tartiflette – a traditional French dish from the Alps made with potatoes, reblochon cheese, lardons and onions - from la Grande Bouffe (The Big Nosh). This efficiently run food stall with its exquisite and authentic foodie offering is a must.
The fireworks and animated finalē was set against the backdrop of Lulworth Castle and is carefully engineered to a soundtrack of popular tunes and poignant messages about the environment and citizenship. It made for a memorable ending to what was a great few days - no matter what the weather.
Listen to my exclusive Rave Britannia Camp Bestival 2017 DJ mixes here.
*Camp Bestival took place between 27th and 30th July at Lulworth Castle in Dorset. During Camp Bestival I was hosted by Camp Bestival. All opinions are my own.