Answer to “Where am I?”: Camp Bestival, Lulworth Cove, Dorset

Set on the Jurassic Coast, Lulworth Cove is one of England’s biggest tourist attractions. Every summer, a 3-day music festival is held on the Lulworth Estate.

This year, the festival was headlined by Blondie (awesome), Mark Ronson (who played a fabulous set in homage to his friend, the late Amy Winehouse), House of Pain (“Jump Around” was THE song of the festival) and Primal Scream.

So the NYC Marathon 2012 training has started in earnest. I have, thankfully, fifteen months to get into shape, but with my travel schedule so packed, it will be a strain.

The first job was to load up my MP3 player with all my favourite music. Without the likes of David Bowie, Simple Minds, Elvis Presley and NWA egging me on, the chances of me finishing a 26.4 mile race would be quite slim.

I started my career in journalism writing music reviews for my University student newspaper. It was the 1990s and Manchester was the place for music. The likes of Oasis, Happy Mondays and New Order were leading the world in entertainment. Over two years I had words with the likes of Barry White, Bowie, The Stone Roses, Prince and Nina Simone. What fun my student life was!

Going to music festivals became a major part of my summer. Glastonbury, of course, was a highlight, but my most memorable gig was Madness in Finsbury Park. The group was so loud that buildings shook and it was reported that a minor earthquake had occurred in North London while they played an encore!

I have often pondered who would headline Varunfest.  Dean Martin  – certainly, Freddie Mercury – possibly, Elvis – definitely. If there is a Heaven.

Camp Bestival has been running since 2008 and is the little brother of Bestival which has been running for seven years on the Isle of Wight. This year, thirty thousand people (a third under the age of 18) descended to one of the most beautiful parts of England to have their socks rocked off. Being an opportunist, I applied for a press pass so that I could stand in the stage pit and take some photographs for this Leica Blog.

I don’t usually feel inadequate, but when I saw the pack with 32 inch (plus) camera lenses, I feared that my D-Lux 5 may not be up to the job. As it turned out, except in the dark, my Leica delivered fabulous quality photographs – rivaling the professional kit that surrounded me.

This year, the crowd was wowed by Blondie (a pensioner now but still going strong), Mark Ronson & The Business Intl. (a fun set), Groove Armada (just brilliant), ABC (alive … just), House of Pain (one hit wonder but what a hit) and Primal Scream.

Festivals are no longer just about music though; there was ballet, comedy, poetry, drinking (a lot of drinking!), juggling, well-being, jousting, puppet shows and dance classes. I signed up for an “old skool hip-hop” lesson. Not only was I not the oldest one there, but I was also not the only one there with two left feet! I managed to jump to the left (or was it right?), shake my “thang”, slide up & down and move in slow-motion to end on a clap. It was hard work, but my rendition of Rapper’s Delight in the shower finally has a new dimension!

The Estate is twelve thousand acres in area and I walked everywhere. I worked out at least ten miles of sauntering, hopping, dancing and queuing for the toilets. Half a marathon a day is not bad!

-Varun Sharma

Varun Sharma is the host of Inside Luxury Travel – a television show that focuses on high-end travel. The show airs in over 160 countries, in 18 languages and is beamed into 390 million homes worldwide. He has now stayed in over 500 luxury hotels & resorts … and has in the past year flown in a fighter jet, gone diving – without a cage – in Tiger Shark infested-waters, had dinner with a dingo and has cooked with over 50 Michelin-starred chefs! He likes nothing better than playing a round of golf with his pooch Gemima by his side, cigar in mouth and flask of single malt Scottish whisky to hand!