Family festival tips with Camp Bestival’s Josie Da Bank

Camp bestival

Festival season is upon us – but can you take the kids? As people pull on their wellies and get ready for a summer of music, we caught up with Josie Da Bank – curator of Camp Bestival – to get her advice on how to have some family festival fun.

If you haven’t been to a festival before it is definitely something you should try with your family. Treat it as something to look forward to in your summer calendar.

Alongside her husband (Radio One DJ Rob Da Bank) Josie Da Bank has been running the hugely successful Bestival music festival since 2004. After having kids though, Josie quickly realised that many parents still wanted all the excitement, music and fun of a festival… but in a family-friendly atmosphere.

So Camp Bestival – the baby brother to Bestival  – was born. Josie kindly took some time out of her busy schedule to chat to us, AND gave us some Camp Bestival tickets to give away to some lucky winners too!

COMPETITION TIME: We’re giving away a family ticket to Camp Bestival, so don’t miss your chance. Enter the competition today!

How did Camp Bestival come about?

Bestival started 10 years ago. Once I started to have children and I felt I wanted something more family friendly. I had a lot of friends at the time in the same position, and that’s where I was at in my life – so it was a natural step.

From a parent’s perspective, what’s the most appealing aspect about family friendly festivals?

josie da bankFor Camp Bestival we have lots of children’s activities to keep them entertained and happy. Usually with festivals they start at about 12pm – whereas we start from 9am and make sure they’re entertained throughout the day, with performances ending at midnight.

We also have kids’ toilets, which are much more accessible and less scary than a big portaloo!

What do your kids think of festivals?

They really like them, although they’re still quite young. This year they seem to be getting into it a bit more, and they always like to come up with ideas.  Now they’ve also started to show a big interest in music. It’s a real family affair – the grandparents come along too!

What are your festival essentials that you can’t live without?

I’d say warm clothes, sunglasses, a hip flask with something warming inside, and fun things to wear.  Plus it’s nice to bring along cosy bedding for the children, so they feel a bit more at home when sleeping away from home.

How do you fit in organising such major events around your family?

I work from home a lot and work a lot in the evenings. Working with my husband makes a big difference. It’s just getting that balance right – the same as any job, really!

Do you like camping yourself? Or are you more of a glamping fan?

Yes, we’ve got an old VW camper van and we live on the Isle of Wight, so we enjoy camping together there. I do like to take my home comforts with me though – I have my own kitchen in the van, though you can usually get nice food at most festivals nowadays. Plus the boys love packing up!

For parents that have never been to a festival before – and may be a bit worried about their kids’ safety – what would your advice be?

Camp BestivalSpeaking for Camp Bestival, it’s very safe, and not too big. It’s well managed and we have lots of lost children tents and a lost children policy in place. We always reunite kids with parents within an hour. Security have been doing it for years and are always looking out for families.

What inspires your Camp Bestival themes? Do the kids get involved?

This year the theme for Camp Bestival is Around the World. My son Merlin is getting in the spirit of things and dressing up as a Panda from China! Our friend’s daughter is going as a Russian Doll. There is lots of creativity and they really like it.

Any final words of wisdom for families and the festival season?

If you haven’t been to a festival before it is definitely something you should try with your family. Treat it as something to look forward to in your summer calendar.

Josie da Bank is the Creative Director of the award-winning family festi-holiday Camp Bestival which takes place on August 1st to 4th at Lulworth Castle, Dorset. For more information head to

To be in with a chance of winning a family ticket to Camp Bestival (which includes 2 x adult tickets plus up to 4 children), all you need to do is simply answer the question below. Good luck!


This competition is now closed. Thanks for entering and good luck!

PS: Feeling lucky? Don’t forget to check out the rest of our brilliant competitions!