Camp Bestival: Tips to survive a festival with children

IMG_2174 There’s a tendency to WANG ON about how brilliant a festival like Camp Bestival is. I should know. It’s all I’ve done since I got back two days ago.

So in the interests of balance, here’s a nuanced look at how best to prepare for going to a festival with your children in tow, and also a clear demonstration of what can go wrong if you are a family of IDIOTS like us…

  1. Preparation is everything

IMG_2237Festival food and drink can be expensive. We took three coolboxes full of provisions/snacks/bribes to last us through the four days we were away. We carefully froze twenty Capri Sun pouches and two pints of milk, to act as freezy blocks for these cool boxes.

We idiotically left each and every one of these in the freezer at home.

Lesson: Warm coolbox. Bad times.

2. Tickets

camp bestival tips
Running with misplaced abandon towards the entrance gates

It’s quite a long walk from the car park to the festival gates. With hindsight, if I had my time over again, I most definitely would not have Lost The Bloody Tickets somewhere in between the car and the gate. And I definitely would have found them on the long walk back to the car. Or on the way back to the gate again. Luckily, I didn’t even have the confirmation email either, so getting replacements at the box office took quite a while too. Good job I had the children with me, they LOVE long walks.

Lesson: Do not attempt anything. Ever.

3. Take more blankets than you ever think you will need

Yes it’s August. I know – it’s sunny. But when you experience the fresh hell that is your child being sick IN YOUR TENT four times in the night, those blankets come into their own. (Incidentally, the same rules apply to baby wipes, gaffer tape and cable ties – if your problem can’t be fixed with any of these things, you are simply not using enough baby wipes / gaffer tape / cable ties). On the plus side, once the child is out the tent, they can vom literally anywhere with gay abandon as you are IN A FIELD, but still….

Lesson: Nobody likes a sicky sleeping bag.

4. Child Trolley

camp bestival tipsHusband has spent more man-hours this year pimping our child-trolley whilst ‘at work’ than actually ‘working’, and, complete with bastardised mobility scooter electrics, a homemade canopy and some carpet underlay for padding, it proved the subject of much envy.

None of this helped however when the youngest child liberally pissed himself whilst in it, soaking everthing in sight, but see point 4 about the blankets.

Lessons: 2016 upgrade will feature cup holder. And brakes. And reverse gear. Possible wine rack.

5. Chill the hell out.

camp bestival tipsFestivals are about relaxing, taking a break from routine, staying up late and in the case of Camp Bestival, spending quality time with your children whilst dressed like a wildling and covered in glitter (four gins in). Whilst this is all well and good, you need to make sure that if you need to nip off for five minutes to use the toilets, leaving your husband in sole charge of the two children, make sure that when you come back, he is still in charge of two children. Definitely do not let him lose the 3 year old. That causes all kinds of panic.

Luckily, Camp Bestival is completely set up for this, and the Boy One was safely delivered by the amazing staff to the pets rehoming tent/kids help tent, complete with identifying wristband.

Lesson: Go easy on the Stella. Never leave your husband unattended. Ever.

All this aside, Camp Bestival is quite literally the happiest, shiniest, most spangly brilliant place on earth for the four days we were there, and if you have children, WHY ON EARTH have you not been? Early bird tickets on sale soon, or spread the cost over the year with a weekly payment plan – we’ll definitely be back for our third round next year. See you there?

See for yourself how great it is here. Then just bloody go! You won’t regret it.

camp bestival tips
And Other Idiots Go Wild

Camp Bestival tips

Camp Bestival Tips

Camp Bestival Tips
Never underestimate how many glowsticks it takes to entertain a child through a headline set
Camp Bestival Tips















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15 Comments Add yours

  1. Michelle says:

    This is a great post – had me really giggling! I know the situations themselves were not funny (when is wee or vom ever funny?!) but your tips had me laughing along! Despite all the probs, so glad to read you had a great time 😀


    1. Lindsay says:

      Thanks. I had a fairly major sense of humour failure at around 4am on the third vom, but other than that, there’s not much that a swift Pimms or seven can’t fix. Even mopping up a lake of wee with an ever dwindling supply of baby wipes doesn’t seem so bad when it’s set to live music…


  2. Baha! This may be the best Camp Bestival post I have read! Love your honesty 😉 Awesome trolley I must say – we followed a few motorised contraptions. Maybe you need to get an electric cool box rigged up to the trolley?! 😉 x


    1. Lindsay says:

      You may joke, but I seriously had to talk husband OUT of doing just that! He had major man envy when he met someone with all-weather tyres AND suspension on theirs. What a loser.


  3. karaguppy2015 says:

    Great post – I looked enviously at your wagon too after one too many trips up that blasted hill – I do have good calves now. We forgot pillows and didn’t have enough blankets – it was much warmer last year!! Thankfully we recommended the cool box and ice packs


    1. Lindsay says:

      Ha! Husband says his calves were aching like a bastard after bracing the enormous weight of said motorised trolley DOWN the enormous hill… #FirstWorldProblems


  4. Love your ‘alternative’ list style!! Great post


    1. Lindsay says:

      Thanks Nadine!


  5. Great tips! I agree, husbands should never be left unattended


    1. Lindsay says:

      Never ever. Especially not after a lunchtime drink


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