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What I'm looking out for at Camp Bestival


From John Cooper Clarke to Janine Butcher, Richard Hawley to Mr Tumble, here are this year's most anticipated moments

Camp Bestival is the impish younger brother of the ever-expanding Bestival shindig, and lacking its sibling's capacity to attract marquee headline names, it puts its faith in eclecticism. Seriously, all human life is at this weekend's bash, whether your personal musical boat is floated by Richard Hawley, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, the Polyphonic Spree, Nik Kershaw, Mark Owen, I Am Kloot, Musical Youth or John Cooper Clarke. The decade-spanning variety is so head-spinning it's almost psychedelic – Camp Bestival's expansive lineup is either channelling the late, semi-lamented Guilfest or impersonating a particularly scattergun episode of TOTP2. Here's what I'm most looking forward to.

Lateral thinking on the wheels of steel

The involvement of festival founder and organiser – and Radio 1 DJ – Rob da Bank means that the DJ lineup is way more invigorating than the normal tired roll call of Calvin Harris and Swedish House Mafia. The weekend boasts venerable figures such as Grandmaster Flash spinning old-school hip-hop, David Rodigan (MBE, don't you know) rinsing out roots reggae and lovers rock, and Fabio and Grooverider revisiting the halcyon days of drum'n'bass – not to mention Auntie Maureen playing sounds from the 1930s on a wind-up gramophone (and a laptop). You almost expect "Woo!" Gary Davies to pop up with his bit in the middle.

Kiddie wonderland

Camp Bestival is the most child-focused of the main music festivals, and harassed parents hoping to persuade their offspring to fidget through Billy Bragg on the main stage later can look to negotiate a trade-off involving Horrible Histories, Alice in Wonderland (the Camp Bestival summer panto) or Dick N Dom. Infant devotees of making farting noises with your mouth will be enraptured by Shlomo's beatbox adventure for kids, and never underestimate the star appeal of Mr Tumble: basically, if you are under five years old, meeting him is like meeting a Beatle.

Going grime in the country

Grime and the countryside: can these worlds ever meet? This summer, Wiley has not proven the most persuasive ambassador to rural parts for east London's hip-hop/R&B scene, flouncing away from Glastonbury without playing after tweeting "fuck them and their farm" and denouncing the crowd at Cumbria's CockRock festival as "pagans", "invalids" and "cretins". Dorset may quiver in trepidation, but luckily Hackney's emissary to Camp Bestival, Labrinth, is a very well brought-up young man who is unlikely to go potty-mouthed on its ass.

Poets, authors and talks

Camp Bestival is fast heading towards Latitude terrain in its embrace of talks, poetry and literature. This year, Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards is advising festival-goers how to fly, and Guardian scribes Simon Hattenstone and John Harris are at hand, talking about how to interview and staging the Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll quiz respectively. Please note that "How to play a baddie with Charlie Brooks" features the actress who plays Janine Butcher in EastEnders, and not Rebekah Brooks's legally beleaguered husband.

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