Can Camp Bestival inspire kids to make music?

MusicRadar heads to the Dorset coast to find out

Can Camp Bestival inspire kids to make music
It doesn't work, but we'll play it anyway.

With a helter skelter and carousel to ride on, dens to build and numerous hoops to hula with, it can be difficult to convince your kids that Camp Bestival is actually All About The Music. Spread over several fields, there's certainly plenty to entertain the younger generations, but could MusicRadar actually get its progeny to take an interest in the beats rather than just the bubble wands?

We quickly discovered that, if you want the kids to feel involved and inspired, the smaller tents and stages are the places to be. The main Castle Stage is great for the big spectacles - Underworld, Clean Bandit and Kaiser Chiefs were headlining - but trying to convince a 5- and 7-year old that they should be enjoying Mark King's slap bass playing (see below) rather than clambering all over a big truck/car play structure at the back of the crowd is tricky.

Get them closer to the action, though, and interest is piqued. The live band hip-hop offered by DJ Yoda Presents: Breakfast of Champions in the Big Top was a major draw (though ear defenders were required), while the Temple Funk Collective's brass-propelled covers set in the Caravanserai got us talking tubas and trombones.

Inspiration could be found in more unlikely places, too. We were expecting (and got) laughs at the Comedy Club 4 Kids in the Greatest Tent On Earth; what we weren't anticipating was a conversation with child number one about looper pedals, following Rob Deering's amusing use of his to brew up his Coffee Song (see above).

Those who wanted to hear about the more serious side of songwriting could watch Ella Eyre discussing her approach to the process at the Guardian Literary Institute (below), while all manner of music-making workshops were offered by the Rob da Bank Music Club in the teens-only refuge that was The Den.

Meanwhile, the whole family had a chance to see what happens when '90s rave culture meets a craft workshop via the almost indescribable Big Fish Little Fish, which took place in the Bollywood tent.

Throw in a bit of DIY electronics in the Science Tent and the chance to bash a decrepit piano that just happened to be sitting in a field and you've got a unique experience that the kids will remember long after the ice cream has been wiped from their mouths and the festival tan has faded.

And maybe, just maybe, they'll come away with a greater desire to make music. And to have just one more go on that helter skelter, obviously.