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AAA Music | 23 April 2024

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CAMP BESTIVAL 2013 – Live Review

| On 13, Aug 2013

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Yet again the highlight of my summer festival experience crashes full force on Camp Bestival 2013! This festival has built a firm association with the family/camping experience mixed with a bucket or two of finest tunes, a handful of surprisingly tasty pies, buns and savoury treats, and a wonderfully magical atmosphere of calm and fun – all set in fantastic surroundings with a nice big castle to the left and only the blinkin’ sea everywhere else! But, there are equally as many non- family types in attendance – gentle, naked souls who are even friendlier than last year’s lot. Honest.

It’s a little windy on the opening morning but is as hot as Hades himself, with the wind providing a well appreciated amount of cool across the event. The first golden hours were spent ducking in and out of tents and keeping in the shade as the sun was relentless, but this gave me a good excuse to  find my way around. The event is easy to navigate with tons of space for chillin’ and chattin’. And if you get a little tired from all the hard work, the nice organisers have even put out comfy chairs, sofas and bed type things all under their own hide-away umbrellas. This gives the event a really cozy feel making it easy to relax and meet up with tons of new friends.

Music and entertainment are as diverse and enjoyable as last year’s event, and it doesn’t take long before I (and my photographer buds) are engrossed in the goings-on as much as everyone else, even if we do have to work.

Fancy dress is always high on the CB agenda and this year’s theme is ‘Around the World’. Needless to say that there are a tight group of seasoned fancy dress practitioners eager to show off their hard work – it seems that onesies are the order of the day and the desired option amongst the crowds, which worked well as most generally spent a lot of the time rolling about on the ground and…doing other things. I on the other hand sported the finest in traditional cowboy get-ups and slung my massive pistola around like I owned the place pilgrim.

Music this year is split into two main areas: the Main Stage and the Big Top, with other smaller tents and stages (but still as bouncy) acts at the Insect Stage, the Band Stand, Bollywood…on and on. Three bands who couldn’t be more different in style and attitude – i.e. The Correspondents, The Farm and Ash – make afternoon appearances on the main stage, Friday, to a well gathered crowd of slightly sun burned  punters, but I’m sure most were waiting to get their 80s groove thang with Kid Creole who took the headline slot on the main stage and busted open a whole can of funky on the unsuspecting heathens.

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Saturday proved another windy, but o’ so hot day – the CB flags were in full swing providing a great back drop to the castle and main stage areas. It’s record breakers day as CB go for ‘the most paper aeroplanes in the air at one time’ thing. I got photos and everything to prove it and… well, to me it looked like tons – and it was! CB world record: priceless. Things are a little slow to ramp up today. Now, this is not a bad thing and makes for a great opportunity to visit the kids fields and craft tents and dress up places and cafe’s and bars…but mostly the bars. There is in fact so much going on at CB that it probably would take a week to find and try out everything. But I try and squeeze it into a few hours! How awesome am I.

The main stage kicks into life with melodic acoustic types, but before we know it the whole place erupts and the bigger than ever Cuban Brothers do the swearing and singing and get the happy going. We have a drink – its very hot you know!

We suss out tents and the Big Top, taking in the indie and dance vibes that seem to be the order of the day (and probably the night). We check out the biggest bubbles we have ever seen, which hit me in the face and sting my eye’s…ahhh, the pain. Great days! Back at the main stage crusty, old, filthy clothes themselves – i.e. The Levellers – hark on about stuff being too expensive and ‘how come I can’t get on the dole’ and ‘spare a few pence for my dog’s treatment’…I joke of coarse (?). The 90s fantastic do a great job of getting the bounce well and truly on, and dig up some forgotten gems – I even blurt our a few words myself. Its not long before we head over to the biggest of tops to get our now traditional dancing heads on and go for it in on stage in front of a few hundred of CB’s finest, joined as always by our lovely hosts and several large alcoholic delights.

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Sunday brings the big windy, and yip – still hot, but there is no stopping the CB party people as the main arena area was full from a very early hour… of watching The Jungle Book – THE MOVIE! I check out the Literary Tent for a few hours which is an excellent way to recharge your batteries whilst getting involved with some of the best street poets and top discussion you could hope to see.

There certainly is a vibe today…what would it be…yip, the bloody 80s. The 80s was a funny old time. High unemployment, no potatoes, bad haircuts, but good tunes! And CB are rolling them out one-by-one this afternoon…we got Nick Kershaw, Heaven 17Rocky Horror cover show courtesy of The Polyphonic Spree, then a bit of a change to DJ types and the lyrical thump master Labyrinth to end the Sunday stage slot. But stuff is not over yet as we are faced with the bestest fireworks display I think I have ever seen, ever. With a full light show and tunes and stuff – a great finish to a wonderful weekend.

This is truly an outstanding event, one of my favourites. Well done and thanks to all the lads and lassies from Get Involved. See you all again soon.

Review and Photos: David Livingstone