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…
- Preparation is everything
Festival 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.
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
Husband 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.
Festivals 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.
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Dicking about on Twitter here
Pictures of my breakfast on Instagram here.