CAMP Bestival celebrated its 10th birthday with a trademark eclectic line-up of musical masters, food treats for all tastebuds, and top family entertainment.
For anyone who has been to Camp B before, you’ll know to expect a varied selection of the hottest up and coming artists, as well as excellent nostalgia and tribute acts and the 2017 edition of the Lulworth festival was no different.
But for the first time in the last decade, the weather was truly not onside heavy rain and howling winds played havoc with camping and parking, and a special mention must be given to the volunteers and crew who helped so many out of the muddy quagmire across the weekend.
Having accidentally stumbled across the brilliant fun of Dat Brass at the new Oberon’s Observatory stage, Friday really kicked off at the main stage with Sheffield’s Reverend and The Makers, whose swaggering india ska hits ‘Heavyweight Champion of the World’, ‘Shine a Light’ and ‘Open Your Window’ went down a storm, as weather conditions began to do the same.
And if the party wasn’t fully under way, Camp Bestival’s favourite sons The Cuban Brothers livened up the increasingly damp crowds with their inimitable latin sounds.
Leading the pack of ‘nostalgia’ acts, All Saints enthralled the main stage crowd in the Friday pre-headline slot, playing through their back catalogue of pop perfection.
Super-cool and on the pulse song writer/musician/producer/DJ Mark Ronson closed out Friday night with a DJ set of fresh and funky sounds.
Saturday always has the per- ceived ‘strongest’ line up, and this year was no different. The main stage started off with a morning of entertainment for the festival’s younger visitors; the likes of Mr Tumble, Dick and Dom, and the School of Rock Musical all thrilling the kids.
Following Saturday’s brief sunny interlude (a welcome reprieve from the tent shredding wind and rain of the night before), The Smiths Ltd appropriately welcomed back the overcast sky with their gloomy yet incredibly accurate tribute to Morrissey and Co, with back-to-back covers of all the legendary Manchester band’s hits.
The fast-rising folk starlet Alice Jemima signed to Rob Da Bank’s Sunday Best record label, made her main stage debut, before Kate Nash rocked up the Castle Field. Nash was making her return to the festival, having previously headlined the very first Camp Bestival back in 2008; her neatly evolved, punchier sounds were an unexpected treat.
The Bootleg Beatles one of the top tribute acts going rattled through the unmatched back catalogue of the Fab Four, with and adoring crowd singing back near enough every word.
Holly Johnson best known as frontman of 80s legends Frankie Goes to Hollywood played an excellent pop set in the pre-headline slot, clearly taking many of the parents in the crowd back to their youth.
And Saturday’s headliners the Nutty Boys, returned to Camp Bestival’s Castle Stage for the first time since 2011, smashing through their collection of second-wave ska hits.
We caught a portion of their set before heading to the Big Top for that stage’s Saturday headliners, The Skints. The East London quartet played a superb set of heavy dub-ska-punk, full of excellent original material, spliced with the odd cover including Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together’, and crowd-pleaser ‘No No No’ by Dawn Penn.
A year on from Penn’s own performance at Camp Bestival where she was cut short before playing her biggest hit, you had to smile!
As the rain was still lashing down, it seemed only right to stay at the Big Top for the silent disco, and Dick and Dom had a rapturous crowd eating out of the palm of their hands with a slightly more ‘adult’ show than their earlier slot!
And finally Sunday! The clouds parted and revellers were met with glorious blue skies for the last day.
Paul Young and Los Pacaminos brought a little Americana to the Castle Field, before Right Said Fred, and then The Lightning Seeds completed a trio of diverse sounds.
The youngest ever X-Factor winner, Louisa Johnson, followed by chart-topper Anne-Marie, played pop-heavy sets in the Big Top to legions of fans.
Back on the main stage, a little moment of magic seemed to occur, as original Beach Boy, and musical icon, Brian Wilson took to the stage with his incredible band to play ‘Pet Sounds’ in its entirety. In a moment that genuinely seemed to be written in the stars, the clouds that had been gathering steadily for an hour or so parted, with the stage bathing in brilliant sun halfway through the set! Those Beach Boys harmonies really have something special about them!
Whilst Wilson’s vocals are not near what they once were, the fantastic band he shares the stage with lifted the performance to incredible heights, and hearing the classic album in full, in little old Lulworth, was a real treat.
Following the theme of albums in full, but at a different end of the spectrum entirely, Leftfield closed out the main stage with a performance of their own seminal masterpiece, ‘Leftism’. The dub-fuelled, chilled sounds were a perfect ending to the festival, leading nicely into the closing fireworks ceremony on the castle.
Despite the weather gods not getting with the programme, Camp Bestival celebrated in style here’s to another 10 years!