Last weekend we went to Beacons Festival, which is held at Heslaker Farm in Skipton, North Yorkshire.
Although we have taken the Children to day events, we have never taken them to a fully blown music festival before, as because Dave and I love them so much, this was to be a special weekend!
We had been worried about the weather, and the camping aspect, so we decided to take them on the Friday and then bring them home. My Mum kindly offered to look after them for Saturday night so this meant that Dave and I could also experience some of the Beacons Festival child-free.
The festival is pretty small (compared to the likes of Glastonbury anyway!) But it is great. Their ticketing strategy, planning and adaptations for Families and lessons learned from last years festival wrong doings have clearly been well thought about.
We decided to take the trike that Gabriel got for his Birthday for Willow as it reclines, and it also have decent wheels on it. It’s easy to push on grass and has storage too. Actually, it was really useful to have! Gabriel took his Toddlebike, and we also took the Ergo carrier in case either of the Children needed carrying at any point!
I also bought Gabriel and Willow some ear defenders. After careful consideration I went for the ‘KIDZ‘ style, simply because they are sized 6m-10yrs, rather than Banz who offer baby and Child sizes. The KIDZ ones were great, I even wore them myself at times! At £12 per pair I thought they were reasonable.
I also purchased an ‘info band’ for Gabriel, which was £3. The bands come in various prints, but it allows parents to write a phone number on it, in case the Child becomes lost. Once written on, it’s water-resistant. I chose a car print for Gabriel (he LOVES cars) and he was more than happy to wear it. In fact, I had trouble getting him to take it off!
We arrived at lunchtime, parked up and met our friends. We were given our wristbands, with the Children receiving their own ‘Diddy Rascals’ versions. They were adorable!
Beacons advertised this years festival as having ‘a range of activities and amenities catering to families and children, all within an intimately sized green-field site’ and they stuck to their word. The Children’s facilities and Family camping looked great, their play area, Family chill-out tents, Breakfast and Bedtime club, toddler play and fancy dress parade looked great! There was also a sweet shop just for Kids, and a play yurt and family friendly cabaret!
For the rest of us, the ‘Gourmet Street Food’ area was great. I especially enjoyed the Vegetarian food, although I was devastated when they ran out of falafel!
We spent most of Friday outside, listening to bands. However the weather turned on the Saturday and it rained most of the day. This meant we were inside the main tent most of the day. The music was good and we had a great time, drinking excellent cider, wine and chatting! Musical highlights for me were Bonobo and Gold Panda. There are two large tents, an outside live DJ area, the ‘You need to hear this tent’ and also the Speakeasy Social tent. They are well spaced out without it being a long walk in-between.
Friends of ours had a site installation on an evening on the Social tent. It looked great. There’s also the arts field which houses the film tents, other art installations, poetry readings and also my favourite area the pop up tea room which was staged by the Marvellous Tea Ladies (My lovely stall-holding friend Ange runs this fab tea room with her business partner). Although I felt this tent should have been held in the main arena, it was definitely an asset to the festival.
It was especially good to catch up with friends some of which I have not seen for over a year! (That’s what having two babies in eighteen months does for your social life!)
We had been on a mission to find the face painting on the Friday, and struggled! But on Saturday we succeeded! I was a flamingo and Caroline chose a tiger. I just wish we has been able to get Gabriel’s done on the Friday! They had some very cute Children’s designs!
We felt that the camping fields were well maintained, and I lost count of the number of litter-pickers I saw cleaning up. It was a refreshing change to see this!
The toilets were great too, I never once saw a ‘bad’ one! The festival had a great atmosphere, yet was not too busy.
My only criticism was I’d have liked more stalls, it’s always good to be able to have a look a lovely things for sale! But Beacons is growing each year, and I imagine it’s highly likely that next year there will be lots more to come.
We had a great weekend at Beacons Festival and will most definitely be back!