Camp Bestival is ready for ‘festival fever’

Camp Bestival

Camp Bestival

Summer signals festival fever across the country and there are more than ever to choose from these days but Camp Bestival continues to be one of the best.

The family-focused Bestival spin-off is still the pick of the bunch when it comes to offering something for everyone – from toddlers to grandparents.

The secret of its success is the sheer variety it offers up during four days of fun and frolics in the picturesque surrounds of Lulworth Castle in Dorset.

This year’s event runs from July 31 until August 3 and offers an array of entertainment including bands, DJs, comedians and much more besides.

The line-up includes a fair smattering of artists with Irish connections too – from Sinéad O’Connor to Nick Mulvey and Sean McGowan.

Rising Birmingham star Laura Mvula is also on the bill, along with late eighties Midland favourites Pop Will Eat Itself.

Sinéad O’Connor’s appearance at the festival follows a storming show at last year’s Bestival, suggesting the Grammy award-winning Irish singer, who really does plough a very individual furrow, is back to her best.

Festival-goers can expect to hear some of her memorable hits spanning a 27-year career to more recent material from her 2012 album ‘How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?’ and her latest album, ‘I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss’ – set to be released on August 11.

Other big names on the Camp Bestival bill include Basement Jaxx, Courtney Pine, D:Ream, De La Soul, James, Johnny Marr, Peter Hook & The Light, Public Service Broadcasting and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

Acts who might not be so well known but almost certainly deserve to be checked out include Shamus O’Blivion & the Megadeath Morris Men and Stompin Dave and his Bluegrass Band.

At the tender age of 26 Nick Mulvey is already a Mercury nominated musician as one of the founding members of jazz rioters the Portico Quartet.

Now branching out on his own Nick’s solo output is a completely different proposition, although he retains a percussive edge to his acoustic, fingering picking guitar playing style, his music is informed by both his love of the likes of Bob Dylan and Nick Drake and his Cuban and African tutors who taught him while he studied for a degree in music at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

Seán McGowan is an acoustic singer-songwriter from Southampton who started gigging in late 2010 with Dean Paul accompanying him on acoustic guitar. Within a year of their first show they found themselves supporting Shed Seven and were made Unsigned Artist of The Week by Absolute Radio.

Billy Bragg tipped Seán as ‘One to Watch for 2013’ in his John Peel lecture broadcast worldwide by the BBC, and tracks from Seán’s ‘People’s Music’ EP have been receiving more and more airtime on radio stations around the UK.

Seán, who is still just 20 years old, has regularly been playing to sold out crowds in his hometown as well as gigging with the likes of Billy Bragg, Frank Turner, Reverend & The Makers and Beans on Toast.

In line with previous years, the festival adopts an annual theme and this year it’s Circus , so expect to see clowns and acrobats -a-plenty around the festival site as well as the odd ringmaster or two and perhaps even a lion tamer.

Other familiar Camp Bestival favourites return in the shape of the Cuban Brothers.

An eclectic mix of DJs includes festival organiser in chief Rob Da Bank,

Elsewhere at Camp Bestival younger audiences can enjoy everything from Mr Tumble to Horrible Histories’ Barmy Britain Part Two and main stage hosts Ben and Holly to Michaela Strachan’s Really Wild Adventures.

In addition there’s all manner of offbeat shows spanning everything from dance to comedy as well as a variety of workshops, storytelling sessions and talks. There are also fairground rides and attractions a-plenty for children.

The Guardian Literary Insititute returns again and offers an array of speakers and poets as well as Jo Whiley, Howard Marks and festival organiser-in-chief Rob da Bank are reading us Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at bedtime,

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