​Arts & Culture

Published: August 2, 2022 | Updated: August 3, 2022

Gallery: What a festival! Record-breaking year as 30,000 people flock to Camp Bestival 2022

This year’s Camp Bestival set a new world record for the largest disco dance with 598 festival-goers strutting their stuff. Picture: Victor Frankowski.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Smiles, glitter and plenty of dancing – it was all there at this year’s Camp Bestival held on the Lulworth Estate.

And so was Patrick Gough, pictured right, for Dorset Biz News, as upwards of 30,000 festival-goers attended the four-day extravaganza in the sunshine.

As Patrick reports, the event also proved a big hit for businesses and charities taking part.

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What a year for Camp Bestival with even a world record broken, writes Patrick Gough.

Since 2008, the festival has been a major draw for families across the south coast and further afield.

A chance for children and parents to let their hair down, the festival is the brainchild of former Radio 1 DJ Rob da Bank and his wife Josie da Bank.

The couple, who live on the Isle of Wight, sold Camp Bestival to the American promoter, Live Nation in 2018, but remain the figureheads and creative curators of the festival.

Known for its quirky programme of entertainment and strong musical line-up, this year was no exception.

Headline acts included Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Sister Sledge, Earth Wind and Fire, Kool & The Gang and Razorlight.

Saturday saw a Guinness World Record broken for the largest disco dance, hosted by pop star Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Rob and Josie da Bank.

In celebration of this year’s desert island disco fancy dress theme it took 598 festival-goers to strut their stuff under a giant mirror-ball and set the new record.

Speaking about this year’s festival, Rob da Bank, pictured, said: “Camp Bestival Dorset festival-goers are record-breakers.

“It was amazing to see families and people of all ages come together and show off their best disco moves under the dazzling glitter ball.

“As well as having a huge amount of fun, we’re incredibly proud that the attempt has raised funds for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.

“Huge congratulations to all dancers involved.”

Behind the scenes is an army of local volunteers, traders, stage engineers, bar workers and staff that bring the event to life each year.

And judging by the sea of tents and campervans, Camp Bestival is also a central part of many UK family holidays to Dorset.

Feeling the positive economic impact of the festival were Kirsty and Mark Evans, pictured, who own Great Western Camping in nearby Dorchester.

They said: “Camp Bestival is great for business as it brings in lots of tourism.

“As a camping shop, we benefit enormously having a festival nearby.

“We’ve sold sleeping bags, blankets, lanterns, tents and tent pegs to festival goers.

“The festival is also family-friendly, has a great atmosphere and supports local food and drink producers.”

One of the most popular daily events at the festival was the silent disco run by Poole-based Shush Events.

It’s enjoyed a long working association with Rob da Bank and Camp Bestival.

Owners Simon Coleman and Mark Eaton, pictured, said: “We started out doing silent yoga for many years and then spoke to Rob da Bank about bringing our silent disco to Camp Bestival.

“It’s grown every year and we now have huge queues before we start each session.

“We’re incredibly lucky to have these teams of loyal festival-goers who come every day of the festival.”

The headphones provided have three coloured channels with different DJ’s to choose from.

It leads to an eye-popping variety of moves on the dancefloor.

Mark said: “We encourage the crowd to have a good time and we try to lift them up.

“I’ve had parents tell me that it’s the first time that they’ve danced with their children, as they all have different musical tastes.

“This year we’ve noticed more of an emotional release in people, which I think has been the result of the pandemic.”

Businesses aren’t the only winners from the festival.

Camp Bestival also raises a large amount of money for charities and local community projects .

The focus this year was on the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, Dorset Children’s Foundation, The South West Food Collective and Ecolibrium.

Many familiar additional local charity projects were also supported.

Helen Mortimer, Development Manager of Poole-based Diverse Abilities, pictured with her team at the festival, said: “We’ve been here for the last few years.

“Camp Bestival has been keen to support us from the start and it’s great to be represented at the festival.

“It’s a chance for us to raise awareness and create opportunities to signpost our services.

“There are also a lot of people with disabilities who attend.”

Lucy Culkin, CEO of Jurassic Coast Trust, pictured, said: “Our involvement comes from our patron, James Weld, who owns the Lulworth Estate.

“Being at Camp Bestival allows us to engage with families and explain that we’re on a World Heritage Site.

“Many people aren’t aware of this and the grassroots engagement helps to widen the message that we can then follow up digitally.

“Camp Bestival has something for everyone and it’s great to get children interested in the local area.”

There were also many smaller charity initiatives taking part such as Pimp My Trolley, which is run by James Anderson-Barr and Victoria Vincent from Mudeford.

They operate a one-off stand at the festival that caters for the design needs of the hundreds of trolleys that are used to transport children around the festival.

James, pictured, said: “We started around 2014, essentially as a craft tent for kids in the children’s field.

“We now specialise in customising trolleys with roofs proving very popular this year with the hot weather.

“The whole family can get involved with adding bunting, lights or colouring.

“Dorset Scrapstore kindly provides many of our materials and all the profits we make go towards the charity, Dorset Rewilding.”

  • Tickets for Camp Bestival Dorset 2023 go on sale this Friday, August 5, at 10am. For more information please visit dorset.campbestival.net
  • Pictures courtesy of Patrick Gough, Victor Frankowski, Leora Barmeister and Rich Rogers.

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Picture Gallery – Camp Bestival 2022