Sunshine, ice-cream, helter skelters & tantruns – The Big Feastival 2013

The Big Feastival wasn’t Master ATWWAH’s first festival.  At the ripe old age of six weeks he went to the Ben & Jerry’s Festival on Clapham Common to see the Fun Lovin’ Criminals.  That experience was pretty straight forward so I must admit it didn’t cross my mind that he may not be into the festival experience.

As my previous post explained camping wasn’t really his thing but I really thought festivals would be.  As festivals go, you can’t get much more family friendly than The Big Feastival.  It isn’t that big a festival with only one music stage, there are tons of places to find food and not a dodgy burger in sight, thanks to Jamie Oliver’s influence and the place is teeming with kids.

There is zero chance of a cup of wee hitting your head as the headline acts are on stage (yes, that can happen elsewhere) and although there was the odd whiff of weed every now and again the drugs police are not on red alert at this festival and there wasn’t a sniffer dog in sight.  I suspect that if there is any anti-social behaviour you get carted backstage for a lecture from Jamie and the threat of becoming an apprentice in one of his restaurants.

The highlight of the festival for Master ATWWAH and his cousin, Master W, was the hiring of a trolley which they rode around in all day Saturday.  There were quite a few toddlers being carted around in them and they did look pretty amusing.  It saved us having to carry them everywhere when they were tired and provided a good place for an afternoon nap as well as being great for dumping bags in.


The best bit of the festival

As Jamie Oliver is involved in the festival there was no shortage of food outlets, a lot ran by his ventures.  The food was definitely nicer than what you would get at some festivals but a lot pricier and as there were so many kids there it felt a bit strange that there were no real kids options at the food stands, or kids portions.  The best food we had there was from the paella stand which was really tasty.  And, unsurprisingly, the pizza from Pizza Pilgrim was a big hit with adults and kids.

The musical line up was varied with Basement Jaxx headlining the Saturday night and other names on the two day music festival bill including Mark Owen, KT Tunstall, Rizzle Kicks and Justin Fletcher from cbeebies.  It was definitely Justin who got all the kids dancing on the Sunday morning and he left the stage with an emotional farewell thanking everyone for his twenty years in kids TV.  Myself and Mr W couldn’t help chuckling that it was definitely his Wembley moment.

Master ATWWAH’s favourite music act was Rizzle Kicks.  He happily sat on Mr ATWWAH’s shoulders and sang along, well if you can call repeatedly saying ‘hump, hump’ to their most famous song, singing.

Rizzle Kicks

The alternative Rizzle Kicks?

The kids field was definitely calmer than the main stage field and had so much for kids to do.  There was a big tent sponsored by Tesco which had loads going on including the chance to milk a pretend cow.  A personal favourite of mine, Adam Henson from Countryfile, was there along with some of the animals from his farm which kids, and adults, could get up close to and cuddle.

The JCB tractor/digger toys were a big favourite and very popular.  And free.  There were also fairground rides which you had to pay for via tokens, even adults needing a token to go on the helter skelter with their little ones.


No pics please, I’m on a JCB

I’m still undecided if the festival is good value for money.  It was £130 per adult to camp for the weekend including the festival which doesn’t sound too bad but when compared to other festivals it does only have one stage.  Kids cost £15 for camping and the festival and would have been totally free if they were just going on a day ticket, which is really good value considering how much of it is aimed at kids.

The sunshine really helped to make the weekend.  I would definitely go again but maybe just for the day.  And, at two, Master ATWWAH  may have been a bit young for a full on festival weekend.  He was definitely a bit over-awed by all the people and noise.  I’m definitely putting Glastonbury on hold for a few years yet.

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