The Great British Camp-Out | Virtual Festival

Neil McRobert4 min readWellbeing

What is it? A ‘virtual’ festival streamed right into your phone or tablet.

When is it? 8-10th May.

Where is it? Your backyard!

Lockdown has played havoc with the camping season this year. Now it is looking likely that major festivals will be postponed or even cancelled as we continue to deal with the challenge.

Our Plan B campaign is designed to deal with this exact kind of disruption to you outdoors calendar. As part of Plan B, we are delighted to partner with The Great British Camp-Out to offer a ‘virtual festival’. Over the May bank holiday weekend, you can stream live content, performance, workshops and more straight into your homes and garden. 

The best part – all proceeds go to supporting the NHS Charities, helping those who are protecting us.Every donation of £2 (or more if you like) will help NHS staff with food, assistance packages, sleeping pods and emotional support.

We hope you will join us in the outdoors-at-home for the celebration. Even in lockdown, it’s crucial to come together, however digitally it has to be. As organiser Ian Alcorn says "I love the community we have created and that we are helping people’s mental health during lockdown. Bring it on, I can’t wait!’

If you want to make a proper weekend of it, then why not turn your garden or your living room into a campsite for the weekend. You’ll have a great view of the action, a roof if it rains, and no disgusting port-a-loos to deal with. Have a look at our guide to backyard camping for ideas.

You can check out the full schedule above. Read on for some FAQs on how to get involved. We’ve also put together a brief snippet on some not-to-be-missed highlights.


How can I access the festival?

It’s simple – just visit one of the social channels for the Big British Campout and jump in.

Facebook – search Great British Campout for NHS staff. Performances will be streamed onto the page as a Watch Party.

Instagram - @greatbritishcampout

Twitter - @gb_campout


How can I donate?

Just go to the official Big British Camp-Out JustGiving page and pledge your ‘camping pitch fee’. A £2 fee would be gratefully received, but feel free to donate as much as you like.

The other major contribution you can make is staying at home. We all want to get out there, but as lockdown continues and some peoples’ patience begins to fray, it’s more important than ever to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and the NHS.


What’s on?

Kids Craft Workshop - Friday 11.30am

StudioJepson.Com - Faye Jepson is a former designer turned independent fabric retailer. She has a craft blog, runs a sewing Social Club and every day Faye sends out an email to help parents get crafty at home with their kids during lockdown. She’ll be making a little bonfire craft project with children on Friday. Get your toilet rolls out, we’re going very Blue Peter!

Woman doing a plank with a pug dog sitting on her back

Family Yoga – Friday 10.25am / Saturday 3pm (TBC)

Katy Flower is a yoga teacher from Nottingham. She has practised yoga for over 15 years and fell in love with the way it makes her body and mind feel. She teaches Vinyasa yoga but likes to incorporate a variety of techniques to build strength as well as super relaxing flows to feel all those chilled out vibes! When she’s not teaching or doodling she loves to spend time with her family and dogs, Piglet and Winnie, who often feature in her online yoga classes too.


Tom Dibb playing guitar in his campervan

Tom Dibb Session – Saturday 8pm

Tom Dibb’s style is described as surfy, folky roots with an alternative country edge. Saturday night will be Tom’s third hour-long gig for the Great British Campout. You’ll see him perform in his beloved camper Pickle, hear some original tracks and there’ll be some good chat chucked in too!

Cooking Outdoors Workshop – Friday/Saturday 5pm

Rumour has it that we’ll have an impressively famous host for this one. Let’s just say this could be some gold medal cookery! Time to get the BBQ out for the bank holiday and learn how to elevate that sausage sarnie.

Richard Howell acoustic performance - Sunday 6pm

Richard Howell is a singer/songwriter from Nottingham. As well as showcasing his original music on BBC introducing, Richard also plays hits from the 60’s to present day. During the lockdown he’s found himself immediately out of work but with plenty of time to write and record, and that is where he’s been focusing most of his time.

Snapshots of Richard Howell singing

Plus, plenty more. . .

Get ready for a great bank holiday weekend. Dust off your camping gear, the time has come. Remember to donate your camping fee, and protect the NHS.

Neil used to be a bookworm, an "indoor" type if ever there was one. After finishing a PhD he writes short stories about spooky places and odd people. Living in Switzerland, the Canadian Rockies and the north east region of the USA convinced him that there was something to be said for this whole outdoor thing. Now he runs everywhere he can, competing in races most weekends and endlessly planning the next great adventure to some far flung part of the world. Recent trips include Costa Rica, where he tried and failed to surf; Vietnam, where he almost got stuck in an underground tunnel; and back to Canada, where he came face-to-face with a bear. Watch this space for further updates on Neil's global bumblings and the occasional athletic success.