Festivals 2013!

(42 Posts)
TheFowlAndThePussycat Sun 06-Jan-13 10:24:37

Back to work tomorrow, so time to book a festival!

We went to Camp Bestival in 2011 and really enjoyed it, but a change is as good as a rest as my granny would say so this year we are also considering Just So, Beautiful Days and Shambala. (Our kids will be 4 and 6 by the summer).

Has anyone been to any of these? Where are you going this year? Any suggestions gratefully received...TIA

CarriedAwayAnnie Sun 06-Jan-13 11:01:46

I'm taking 5yo dd1 to bestival. Not a lot of
help to you I know.

Its my first time camping and first festival so I hope I'm not being too ambitious. I'm thinking about paying for camping plus to make life easier for me. I'm assuming it's nearer to the carpark so less far to drag al our stuff.

I did look at going to the Lamar festival but its not in the summer holidays which seems daft to me.

TheFowlAndThePussycat Sun 06-Jan-13 11:25:12

We might still do Camp Bestival as we loved it so much last time, but just exploring other options. If we did we would definately go Camping Plus, it wasn't bad in the main section but we could have done with more space and better access to showers!

We ruled out Larmer Tree for the same reason as you, I might have pulled dd1 out of school for the Friday [bad mother] but its a loooong way for us to travel for a weekend.

Enjoy Bestival!

CarriedAwayAnnie Sun 06-Jan-13 11:53:42

Glad to hear you really enjoyed it, thats reassuring.

Thinking of starting a thread soon to gather insider information from those that have been before.

I will also lurk here looking for more information on the other feativals for next year grin

TheFowlAndThePussycat Sun 06-Jan-13 12:26:36

My tips would be; take as much food as you can, it is incredibly expensive! I didn't believe all the nice MNers who told me this before we went and we must have spent more than £200 on food over the four days - Ouch!

If you can, take a trolley, great for ferrying stuff & kids (even big-ish ones!) Again we didn't do this & I wished we had.

Not everything is free, e.g. The blardy helter-skelter, which I must have been on 14 times a day (with dd!) so be prepared for that.

Have a big flag by your tent so you can identify it - might not be such an issue for Camping Plus though.

Seriously consider using the babysitting service for one session, (we did Sunday morning) it was one of the highlights as far as the dds were concerned and if we hadn't we wouldn't have had a chance to see any of the comedy etc, or read the paper with a bacon butty (depends how patient your dd is I suppose, but mine aren't. At all.)

Buy a t-shirt early, they sell out of the kids ones early!

Any help?

rhinobaby Sun 06-Jan-13 14:04:10

Shambala is great, we have been every year for the last 5 years, small, easy to get around, family camping areas, loads of stuff for kids to do both kids area and around and about,centrally located so easy to get to, miles cheaper than camp bestival, lovely food stalls.it does not have an y'big names' like camp bestival or other music festivals but loads of stages featuring every type of music you can think of.

CarriedAwayAnnie Sun 06-Jan-13 18:07:45

Thanks TheFowlAndThePussycat smile

That's a really big help. I didn't realise how expensive the food is shock I better get thinking of food I can take and that will keep. Can you cook outside your tent?

Not sure what to do about a trolley. DD1 is 5 and I'm not sure if I will be able to push/pull her about in it. I think getting one to get from the carpark to the car will be essential though. Can you remember how much they cost to hire?

I was thinking of giving dd1 £5 a day for rides/tat and then she can choose what she wants to do without bankrupting me. Not sure how much stuff she will be able to do for a fiver though!

I'll have to look into the babysitting service as I haven't heard of that. Is it like a creche for kids of all ages?

Goog tip about the T-shirt, thank you thanks

Shambala sounds great. I think I'll look at that next year. I think one festival this year is enough to kill me off

Takver Sun 06-Jan-13 19:07:46

I haven't been to either but my friend who goes to lots of festivals and has dc about the same age as yours always raves about Shambala.

She went to Larmer tree last year and really wasn't impressed at all, she said it was all very yummy-mummy-slumming IYKWIM.

A bit off the wall as it is very small, but we went to the Green Gathering (as opposed to the now-defunct Big Green Gathering) last summer and that was very nice, small but very very child friendly, food not too expensive etc. No big name bands of course. DD amused herself in the kids area basically for the whole time at a total cost of zero, including an organised kids theatre thing for all of each afternoon.

TheFowlAndThePussycat Sun 06-Jan-13 20:31:13

Shambala's looking good, thanks Takver & rhinobaby.

I think hiring a trolley was £5 per half hour or something? As for cooking there are special areas, but everyone (else!) was cooking outside their tent. Again I think this would be a bonus of Camping Plus, more space for cooking etc.

Yes the babysitting was like a crèche, but an amazing one, fantastic creative toys and play, inside & outside space with a pager system for emergencies etc. It is one of the things that dd1 still remembers about the weekend!

TheFowlAndThePussycat Sun 06-Jan-13 20:39:42

Can you cook at your tent at Shambala rhinobaby?

CarriedAwayAnnie Sun 06-Jan-13 20:47:12

Thanks TheFowlandThepussycat smile

ninah Sun 06-Jan-13 20:50:39

take a gas cooker to heat up - pasta, couscous, for teas and coffees
brioche keeps longer than bread
take cereal
take a loo roll and a washing up bowl

BrawToken Sun 06-Jan-13 20:57:19

Kendal Calling was great last year. We stayed in Emperors field which suited us well! And very child friendly.

HappyTurquoise Sun 06-Jan-13 21:31:03

Anyone got any good festival suggestions for families with older children please (14 & 13)?

blondefriend Sun 06-Jan-13 22:13:01

We've been to Camp Bestival the last 2 years and will be going again this year. Our kids will be 2 and 4 this year. My DS has food allergies and was tube-fed so we needed to cook the majority of his food the first year. We camped beside a path and were able to cook using a Trangia. Other campers had full-blown gas stoves going. We also used the stove to make tea and made a batch of pasta and instant mash in the morning to keep him going after breakfast. TBH most kids will survive happily on cereal and cake for a few days. ;)

Fowl - don't know how you managed without a trolley. We have a double pushchair (Nipper 360) which has been fab so far although DD will be too big by 2014 so we will need to get a trolley.

The other things I will recommend is to get children's ear defenders before you go. They are much cheaper online and you can get an actual accredited brand name.

Happyturquoise - Camp Bestival is perfectly suitable for teenagers as well as younger children. There is loads going on.

blondefriend Sun 06-Jan-13 22:14:59

PS - the showers were great last year (2012). Just go at about 4-5pm rather than popular times. This suited us as it was the time to go back to the tent to get the kids tea and into their jammies for the evening sessions. They then slept in the buggy.

Himalaya Sun 06-Jan-13 22:19:20

If anyone fancies further afield Rock En Seine in Paris is fab.

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Sun 06-Jan-13 22:20:54

I've been to Shambala once (good but soggy the year I went) and go to Beautiful Days every year. Beautiful Days is my favourite festival - small, lovely location, very family friendly and the music is perfect for someone of my vintage and indie/shambly/crusty tastes. It's very down-to-earth (no glamping and VIP areas to be seen) and its easy to get out to Honiton Tescos (or to the local pubs if you fancy a pint and a flushing toilet).

TheFowlAndThePussycat Mon 07-Jan-13 08:29:11

Thanks everyone - BrawToken the line-up for Kendal Calling last year was amazing! It looks great, I will add it to the list. Given that Dh's comment was that Just So was 'a bit far north' it might be a struggle to get him on board with it though hmm. He's from Bolton btw!

blondefriend -we carried the kids in backpacks at Camp Bestival and they slept in them most days. It nearly did for me though, so definately going for a trolley this year. Plus they don't fit in backpacks anymore!

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Beautiful Days is at the top of Dh's list at the moment and I have to confess that the pull of the Levellers is strong. It sounds like you and I might be of a similar 'vintage' grin.

TheFowlAndThePussycat Fri 11-Jan-13 15:49:33

Shameless bump! Anyone else have any festival recommendations?

CarriedAwayAnnie Fri 11-Jan-13 20:36:55

I'll give you a little bump as well TheFowl smile

TheFowlAndThePussycat Fri 11-Jan-13 22:22:32

Thanks Annie grin

Grockle Sun 13-Jan-13 23:58:01

We are going to Camp Bestival again - we went last year for the first time & DS (then 6) loved it. We did have a trolley & it was brilliant. DS fell asleep in it at night so we could stay out a bit later than if we'd had to go back to the tent to sleep. Also, we put one of the sides down & used it (filled with blankets and cushions and Pimms) as a bench for DS & his new friends to sit in whilst we watched stuff.

We did basic camping last year and our flagpole was a must. We'd never have found our tent if we'd not had it. Try to pitch your tent at the edge of a path (or, ideally, a corner) so you don't get trapped in. Showers are fine - there is a bit of a wait but you can buy a cup of tea and sit down in the queue til it's your turn.

Buy things like neon facepaints and flowery garlands before you get there (Claire's Accessories & Amazon) because everything is hugely expensive.

My top tip... don't drink too much too early, otherwise you'll fall asleep during the pantomime and your family will never forget the day you were tipsy by 9.30 in the morning blush

FannyBazaar Mon 14-Jan-13 20:39:23

Went to Folk East last year which was great, small area so very child friendly, family camping area was very quiet so no queues at all for showers. Canpsite was very close to car park and shuttle bus from station dropped off right at entrance to camp site. Money back on cups so kids could collect and return these and buy sweets at very cheap sweet stall. Loved the lack of sponsorship, small independent stall holders and total non commercial feel. Venue has changed to Woodbridge for 2013.

Also Latitude, very muddy but we managed to keep clean even in our small tent. Bought a flag to identify our tent which everyone near us also used as a marker! We did actually enjoy the freebies at this one, washing up liquid from ecover, tonnes of free cereal bars handed out (saved on DS pestering for snacks), free breakfast from Alpro, gave away the 6 bottles of lucozade left outside the tent for everyone (6 for such a tiny tent!!).

We have a breakfast and one meal at the tent, one festival meal per day rule. We travel lightweight without a car, so no endless treks back and forward with stuff ;-). Camping/festival meal staples are; Boil in the bag Asian curry like Dahl Makhani, chapattis, dried vegetarian sausage mix, instant cheese pasta mug shots (add some fresh veg), instant mushroom rissotto, instant porridge, sachets of tuna in sauce/dressing, hot chocolate and instant soups.

snowqueenrollo Mon 14-Jan-13 21:36:17

yes you can cook outside your tent at Shambala. There is a dedicated Family Camping area but we usually camp as a large group in 'quiet camping' which has been fine for us with kids.

We're definitely doing Shambala (my son would never forgive me if we missed it!) and we've bravely bought tickets for Glastonbury. We usually do this child-free but DS really wants to go, and I am due to have a baby any day so we decided to go for it.

Croissant Neuf is delightfully small and low key, basically a camping holiday with a bit of entertainment thrown in!

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