Camp Bestival offers something for every generation

Camp Bestival Dorset 2022 review

By Simon Adams | Published: Tue 30th Aug 2022

around the site

Friday 29th July to Monday 1st August 2022
Lulworth Castle, Lulworth, Dorset, BH20 5QS, England MAP
currently £195.30 weekend with camping
Daily capacity: 10,000
Last updated: Thu 26th May 2022

Camp Bestival (Dorset), the UK’s go to family festival with something for every generation. This year I took my nine year old niece to the festival (her first festival and first time camping) which made this a completely different experience. Being able to see the festival through her eyes, the energy and excitement coming from every corner we turned.


Entry into the Camp Bestival 2022 was honestly a bit of a pain for Shay and I. After heading towards the event from London direction, my phones GPS stopped working. Although only 3-5 miles from the event, it took us well over an hour driving up and down country roads to find a sign directing to the event. With no queues to get into Yellow carpark (which was £25 for the weekend) and just a five minute stroll down the hill to the ticket office, which again had absolutely no ques. The campsites were a mix match of hundreds of full out set ups with multi-generational families, rocking huge tents with inflatable sofas, kitchens, showers, toilets etc. And then there are the minimalists like myself bringing the bare basics to make it a comfortable and functional enough stay for the two of us. Shay and I set up camp next to eFestivals photographer Jamie Cooney and a couple we had met last year, Pete and Kathryn who have two children, including a daughter the same age as Shay. Once set up we excitedly hiked into the festival. As soon as we got there, I found myself turning into a big kid exploring with Shay, going left right and centre excited to show her all the sites, scenes and experiences Bestival has to offer.

On the Friday, Camp Bestival played host to great acts such as a Faithless (DJ set), Razorlight, and Rag n Bone Man After a over a decade of festivals, it still will never seize to amaze me at how spread out the crowd is and the sea of dressed up trolleys carting children around. 

trolley carts

Magic Teapot – Heading over the hill of the main campsite I noticed a small quirky wood fired tea hut opposite the Big Top. I gave a donation for a coffee and found myself chatting away with the people around me. This was a nice touch which you rarely see at other events. It gives you the opportunity to take the weight off your feet, meet new people and enjoy a hot drink or two. 

Rag n Bone Man – Need I say anything else? The sound that comes from this mans voice is immense. After seeing him a couple of times in the past, it again surprises me how close you could get to the stage without bumping into others – Side note: We met him backstage pre show, I didn’t clock onto who it was until he walked on stage. 

Rag n Bone Man

Caravanserai – Want a haircut? Want to see trapeze artists? Want a full marching band? Just want to dance to a DJ? They have all this and more covered. This Aladdin’s cave of fun and entertainment is bordered by classic busses, open sided caravan and many make shift seating areas and stages. This is hands down my favourite part of the event.

Bollywood – During the day Bollywood plays host to group activities, classes, dance workshops and bands. As the sun sets, hoards of revellers in their early twenties to forties come out to play as the venue turns more into a nightclub or rave tent until the early hours of the morning. Again showing Rob Da Bank and the organisers have really tried to cater for everybody.

Saturday saw acts such as Kool and the Gang, Earth Wind and Fire, The Proclaimers and Mr B. The Gentleman Rhymer. With the wide variety of acts there is something for everybody.

earth wind and fire

Kids Theatre and Circus Area – This was by far Shay’s favourite area requesting to go back there at least once an hour (for THE REST of the weekend). With the crazy bikes, stilts, balance boards, tight ropes, jugglers and much more accompanied with a very crew going the extra mile to make sure all are involved and enjoying themselves. 

Proclaimers put on a great show with a few thousand clutching onto their lyrics word for word. Honestly, I was put to shame having only known two songs. It was nice to see multi generational families relaxing in the afternoon sun singing their songs together.

The Proclaimers

The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as we walked into the Big Top tent to see OH MY GOD! IT’S THE CHURCH! On stage. Imagine crossing a Las Vegas Elvis show with a traditional gospel choir - the glits, glam, beauty, showmanship, humour, fun, sounds and everything else wrapped up into this one great show. If given the exposure and opportunity, I believe they will become one of the big names on the festival circuit within the next few years.

The Retreat – a slice of sanctuary within the festival where you’ll see yoga classes throughout the day, people sleeping within the hammocks and meadow, massage yurts, wood fired hot tubs and even a que of people daring to dip into a ice baths. Shay and I went up to explore and ended up sitting for half an hour or so cooking marshmallows over a fire.


Shay and I spent Sunday wondering from area to area with no real objective. We went to a park hidden within the woods, we made music on random objects provided by Orchestra of Objects, we played endless games of snap (including with the neighbours) went on a few rides, we saw a few more acts, we even witness a Guinness World Record being broken. To end it off, we sat at the top of the hill in the campsite watching the fireworks before heading home.

Thank you for all for a great weekend and hopefully see you all next year!

review by: Simon Adams

photos by: Jamie Cooney

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