Camp Bestival, the family-friendly festival founded by Rob and Josie da Bank and now owned by Live Nation and SJM, featured brand experiences from a raft of sectors eager to engage festivalgoers at Lulworth Castle.
The festival, now in its 12th year, has long attracted brands such as Hotpoint and Pernod Ricard’s Brancott Estate, and this year saw a number of returning partners including Next, Duracell and Utilita delivering activations.
New experiences were offered by brands including snacks brand Kind, cider brand Thatchers and Greenpeace. The charity brought its "forest-friendly" skate ramp to Lulworth Castle, offering training sessions and open-skate afternoons, plus a vegan café.
Kind delivered an experience that underlined its "not only for profit" ethos, with a kinetic dance floor that harnessed the energy generated by the moving audience that in turn powered charge points for phones and other electronic devices. The activation was created by Sense.
Cornish pasty-maker Ginsters brought its shiny Airstream to Camp Bestival’s Magic Meadow and created a relaxation zone for guests to sample its new vegan pasties. Thatchers, meanwhile, made its Camp Bestival debut with a truck offering samples, including the new rosé variant, and an "Apple Drop" game where festivalgoers could test their agility and rapid response by catching foam apples that dropped from the top of a wooden arch.
Energy provider Utilita created the energetic "Spiinbox", a converted container that offered spin classes and "gently raving on bikes", with DJs including Rob da Bank himself. The activation followed last year’s "Power tree" installation and is part of the brand’s four-year partnership with Live Nation.
Print is most certainly not dead at Camp Bestival – with magazine brands delivering creative experiences for families. Family Traveller has partnered the festival since 2014, distributing its magazine in the official programme bag, and this year’s experience included a collaboration with tourism bodies Visit Florida and St Pete Clearwater. The relaxed space included T-shirt-designing and colouring plus a virtual-reality experience.
Immediate Media also returned to promote a number of magazines, among them CBeebies, Girl Talk and Match of the Day. Last year, Immediate kept its CBeebies experience separate from other brands, but this year opted for one presence to appeal to families and groups with children of all ages.
The "Next lounge" headed back to Camp Bestival for a second year, offering face-painting, magic tricks and, crucially, charging stations for devices – all in a colourful pop-up that also sold festival attire and accessories.
One of the busiest activations of the festival was understandably by a toy brand – LOL Surprise!. The US "unboxing" phenomenon created an immersive experience where children could take an exclusive first look at the new range of dolls, dress like their favourite character, visit a glitter station and walk on a catwalk.
The experience also featured a ball pit and prizes, ensuring large crowds across the three days, while a performance in the festival’s Big Top tent highlighted the scale of the brand’s partnership.
Jim Campling, president for UK marketing partnerships at Live Nation, told Campaign that music festivals have always been a source of bringing together individuals for a shared purpose. He added: "Partnering with brands that value live music and understand our generations of festival attendees is incredibly important to us."