Miranda and her young family headed to the Alresford Music Festival at the weekend. Have a read to see if she can tempt you to try a family-friendly festival this summer.
I can’t profess to being a die-hard festival goer. Back in the day, I went to a couple of small ‘summertime gatherings’ but that’s about it. However, in recent years, I’ve listened to friends animatedly talk about the various festivals they’ve attended with their families and, I have to say, I’ve been sorely tempted to give it a whirl with my own tribe. But, what’s it like…going to a festival with kids? Is there enough for them to do? Will the music be too loud? Do the parents get a break? Is it ultimately more hassle than it’s worth? Well, there was only one way to find out…
On June 10th, my husband and I, along with our three children (7, 4 and 1) walked in through the gates of Arlebury Park in Hampshire to attend the one day Alresford Music Festival. Billed as being ‘fun filled, safe and family friendly’, we were all excited to see what this popular festival had to offer. Once the five of us (plus buggy) had cleared security, and with our festival wristbands firmly in place, we were at liberty to explore the festival ground.
Immediately, I was struck by the terrific atmosphere; everywhere I looked, kids and adults alike were having a great time. Laughter and chatter surrounded us as we wandered around; people were clearly here to chill out and have fun, and it felt great to be a part of such a vibrant, yet relaxed event. With the weather on our side, the rain coats were stowed away and the sun cream and sun hats were put to good use. We’d struck lucky in Alresford!
As for the children; was there enough on offer for them? You betcha! From a climbing wall, bungee trampolines, soft play and zorbing, to face painting, glitter tattoos, music workshops and bouncy castles…there literally was something to suit all ages; from teenies right up to teenagers! Our two boys were overcome with excitement; in fact, the only issue for them was choosing in which order to do all of the activities on offer!
Of course, one of the main reasons many people attend festivals is to hear the wonderful mix of live music. On the grass in front of the stands, families set up home for the day to listen to the bands who’d come to play at Alresford; delicious looking picnics were laid out on chequered rugs, drinks flowed and the odd replete gentleman could be seen having a little shut-eye, well why not?!
With five stages this year, the audience were well and truly spoilt for choice. Bands from near and far entertained the crowd with their rich and eclectic sounds. Headlining the day was the brilliant Molotov Jukebox who wowed the evening audience with their energy and mix of soul, funk and Latino sounds. The afternoon crowd couldn’t get enough of the London-based band, Kasai Masai, with all ages dancing to the band’s infectious beats. My personal favourite was the group Necktr – a modern soul, nine-piece band with a fantastic singer at the helm. We certainly burned some calories dancing to the music!
A great selection of food stands lined the sides of the stages, with an intoxicating mix of aromas from around the world wafting on the air; noodles, burritos and curries vied for our attention but I did notice the ever-popular British fish and chips stand (and the bar!) had the longest queues!
As the evening drew in, we reluctantly started to pack up and make our way home with our three exhausted yet happy children. As we left the festival grounds, we were passed by the older generations, hampers in hand, coming in to enjoy a few hours of live music under the Hampshire sky, how nice!
So, would I recommend trying a festival with the family this summer? Absolutely. However, I’d suggest doing a little bit of homework first; take a look online and see if it the music is to your taste, are there some good activities offer for the kids, and is the weather looking promising? If YES, then book the tickets and enjoy…