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!

toomuchdisneynotenoughJack Wed 13-Feb-13 00:03:56

We have been to Just So for the last three years and are giving it a miss this year because it wasn't that brilliant last year! We are going to camp Bestival instead in our Knackered German van and are really looking forward to it!! No matte where the festival is we always have to cOme across the water from Ireland for it and Just So seemed to have lost its sparkle last year, so further south we shall go!!!

bedhaven Thu 14-Feb-13 05:12:36

We're off to Elderflower fields in Sussex again this year for it's second year. It's very small so perfect for adventures, everyone has kids (wouldn't recommend it unless you do!) they have supervised sports activities for kids and a real opportunity for freedom. It's partly in the woods which was wonderfully cool and shady on the hottest weekend of last year.
Good music (no one very famous), silent disco in the woods, Elderflower cocktails, 6am breakfast club! Storytelling and dancing. Can't wait for this year, there's lots of friends going and we have a new tent!

CarriedAwayAnnie Thu 14-Feb-13 19:56:19

What do you think of the Camp Bestival line up?

sillymummy11 Fri 15-Feb-13 21:15:58

There is no longer babysitting at Camp Bestival! The company that did it ceased trading- there was none last year. Plus there were NO cooking areas- you had to cook by your tent. Lots of people had the big double burner setups. I froze loads of sandwiches, choc spread, peanut butter, cheese etc and would take them out at the start of the day and they'd be unfrozen by lunchtime, which cut down food costs. We also took pasta etc. My friends from work went to Shambala last year. I'd heard that it was good for kids, but my friends said that everyone was off their faces (on drugs). Most of my mates were fine with this (no kids) but one wasn't. She said that some of the dealers were quite insistent and got cheesed off at her declining. Although in my younger days this wouldn't have bothered me...I think it would now.

erowid Mon 18-Feb-13 17:17:59

Bearded Theory in Derbyshire. Its a bit cheaper and smaller than those mentioned previously but is fantastic for kids. Its an early one (17th-19th May) so can get a bit chilly but its a good one to start the festival season with grin

YouBrokeMySmoulder Thu 07-Mar-13 20:13:30

Just wanted to come on this thread to join in really and to say that I didnt see any dealing at all at Shambala last year. Granted I wasnt in the dancey late night tents but there wasnt any where were were hanging out with the kids.

But yes it isnt a sanitised festival.

MummyPigsFatTummy Sat 09-Mar-13 11:51:46

Bedhaven, I have just lookled at the Elderflower Fields wqebsite and it looks great. Just wondering though, DD will be 3.5 by that time - will she be able to join in with the actuivities like, say the Sports Camp, or is that for older children, do you know? The website doesn't really make it clear but as under 5s are free, I wondered if they get less to do.

Really fancy it though...

bedhaven Sun 10-Mar-13 02:39:41

Hey MummyPigsFatTummy I'm not sure of the age limits as or DD was only 14months. Have a look at the flickr photo stream (google Elderflower fields) it looks like over 5's for structured sports but also looks like little ones can have a go! There was storytelling and kids zumba, we just enjoyed meandering (I was 5 months pregnant too). It was one of the hottest weekends last year so lots of horizontal band watching or wandering in the woods but calm enough to be able to watch DD explore from a comfortable distance.
The only thing there wasn't was a huge variety of food, I think there will be more this year but most ate tent side.
Hope to see you there!

GardenPath Sun 10-Mar-13 03:59:52

www.towerseyfestival.com/ is good, as is www.beautifuldays.org/ though the tickets sell out quickly and it's a bit 'hilly' for buggies/trollies. www.weyfest.co.uk/, small, lovely venue. Another lovely venue is www.wildernessfestival.com/ also www.watchetfestival.co.uk/ and somethingelseinthedean.co.uk/tickets-2/ very small and cheap. www.beardedtheory.co.uk/, small and good fun. www.fairportconvention.com/cropredy.php - not my favourite but good fun all the same - the fringe in the village is all free and can be as good if not better than the actual festie.

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 13-Mar-13 14:19:35

Ooh thanks bedhaven. I am really keen to go. Hopefully we will see you there!

victoriasmith Tue 19-Mar-13 17:05:42

Hi we went to Just So festival last year and really loved it, we hadnt been to the old site which i know alot of people were dissapointed about when it was moved, but we had a lovely weekend with our 1 year old son. We will be going this year with our 2 year old and 1 month old baby!

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 02-Apr-13 12:09:27

Hurrah! Tickets booked. Off to Elderflower Fields at the end of May. Can't wait - so excited! Fingers crossed for good festival weather this summer!

TheFowlAndThePussycat Tue 02-Apr-13 20:32:30

Ooh, I gave up mumsnet for lent & this thread took off again! We booked Beautiful Days in the end & I'm really delighted with the line up - although admittedly Glastonbury has somewhat overshadowed that now! I'd be too terrified to take the kids to Glastonbury though.

We're now planning our holiday around it.

jodee Tue 02-Apr-13 20:41:05

Can't help on the camping front (we do go camping, just not at festivals!) but we went to Cornbury Festival in Oxfordshire for the first time last year, just for the day, and had a great time, it felt really safe for kids (mine was 12 last year and he went off and did his own thing). Yes, a little "yummy mummy" (that is definately not me!!!) Going again this year just for the day, had to be picky so just going on the Saturday.
Also going to Wickham Festival for the day, which is near Fareham, Hants (folky/rock feel).

serin Wed 03-Apr-13 22:29:40

We are going to Jamie Olivers feastival. the line up is surprisling good for those with teens; Basement Jaxx and Rizzle Kicks!

IsisOhIsis Sat 03-Aug-13 23:48:46

I'm going to Shambala (have been many times but this will be my first with a child - 2yo dd). I can't wait! It's really family friendly, there's loads to do for adults and children. I'm going to stay in the family camping bit. I've never seen any pushy/insistent drug dealers, there will be that sort of thing going on but I would think the vast majority of festivals would have drugs, anyway? I definitely can't see it being a problem around the more family oriented areas, maybe just around the stages late at night, if at all? It really is a lovely festival

Nannyplumismymum Fri 28-Feb-14 11:55:53

Another post to say we love Shambala - and have never ever seen any drug dealing going on.

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