CAMP BESTIVAL – Evening Standard, 5 Aug 2013

Camp Bestival is a topsy-turvy world in many ways, where you can stroll easily to the front row at 10pm but Mr Tumble causes a roadblock first thing. It’s precocious Lola to Bestival’s cooler Charlie, the six-year-old sister of DJ Rob Da Bank’s original event on the Isle of Wight. It’s also the pinnacle of the boutique festival concept in a stunning sea-view setting.

Here the essential accessories were not wellies (great weather) but a pull-along trolley containing someone who continually wants an ice cream.

Kids ruled, listening to storytellers in the Dingly Dell, making musical instruments out of vegetables in the Science Tent and watching tiddler TV superstars such as Dick and Dom and the Horrible Histories team.

This meant the music programming seemed secondary but enjoyable. If it put a smile on your face, it was in, whether it beThe Polyphonic Spree covering The Rocky Horror Picture Show, DJ Yoda racing through seemingly every dancefloor favourite ever, Mark Owen offering Take That hits as well as his upbeat solo material, or a man covering rap classics with a posh accent and a ukulele.

The silly vibes meant it was surprising that Richard Hawley left his jokebook at home during a perfunctory headline set, butLabrinth made up for it on Sunday with urban pop that was the life of the party. A closing firework display on the castle ramparts was a fitting last hurrah for a young audience whose eyes and ears may never be the same.