Beacons Festival: THE Family Festival of 2014!

We’re quite seasoned festival goers here at the Crowtherclan, just when we were asked to review this year’s Beacons Festival we jumped at the chance!

Beacons is an intimate, but quality festival which is held on Heslaker Farm in Skipton, North Yorkshire over four days from the 7-10 th August 2014.

We attended the festival last year and had such an amazing time so we’re already really looking forward to it this year. Willow was just seven months and Gabriel two when we attended our first ‘proper festival’ together. We drove to Skipton armed with Banz ear defenders, we took an Ergo baby carrier and also a Smart Trike and our Toddlebike for easy transportation of the babies. We didn’t regret it, it was great fun! There really is nothing like the magical aspect of a festival for young and old alike after all! The kids loved the entertainment, the attention they received from other festival goers and also the ability to be able to just ‘run free’ in the beautiful Yorkshire surroundings.

Just look at how tiny our little ones look last year!
beacons3

The festival really gets a good balance of kids and adults needs. We may be parents, but we still want to hear great bands and dance to djs in the dance tents later on (taking it in turns obviously!). Beacons Festival doesn’t compromise on this, it’s small enough to just ‘nip’ to the tent, gourmet food areas or kids fields, but also large enough for the festival experience loud music and also, like many of us love to do at a festival, have a good old wander!

The year Beacons is looking better than ever, with a dedicated kids arena and family camping it looks great. The kids arena ‘Hunter’s Field’  boasts a 7am kids cinema club for early risers, plus puppet shows, storytelling and morning play sessions, all available from 8am! THIS I am excited about, our children wake early, especially when camping with the blaring sun on the tent so I think this is a great idea.

As Gabriel and Willow are both under five (19 months and just turned three) it’s also great to see that for under fives, facilities are plentiful. There’s dedicated children’s toilets, a toddler library, ball pools, toys and also loads of soft seating and baby changing facilities available. For those ‘gasping for a cup of tea’ parental stress moments, there also a ‘pay as you feel’ tea stall for parents and carers.

For older children, there is the ‘Ladybird Tent’ this is an incredible hub of performances, workshops, shows and games for kids, parents and everyone in between. This year the Ladybird is open 9am-6pm each day for high engagement play, great workshops and glittering performances, all led by the dazzling ladybird crew!  Also in the evenings from 8pm there will be more family focused party times (because the folk at Beacons know no-one goes to bed at 6pm when it’s not a school night!). At Beacons each day has a different fancy dress theme with associated activities, including the amazing bottle rockets, circus Olympics, the carnival dance off, the Kids vs. Parents Tug-O-War, the Ladybird’s Fantastic Family Friendly Cabaret on Friday at 8pm, and the Animal’s birthday party on Sunday which I think sounds amazing!!

Elsewhere in the field, you can find more fantastic provision for families too. This year Beacons have a completely free village of inflatables for everyone up to fourteen years old to enjoy to their heart’s content! There will also be the inaugural ‘Kids vs Parents or anyone else’ 5-a-side tournament, which includes a raft of great prizes including free pizza and beer vouchers for redemption at some of the gourmet food outlets within the arena, and the grand prize of tickets for Beacons 2015!

Last year one thing that was clearly obvious to us was the cleanliness of the Beacons site. Litter pickers were out in force daily, ensuring the gorgeous Yorkshire setting remained just that. The family area is open to everyone to enjoy, and to make sure it is extra welcoming and comfortable for families, Beacons will also be running extra litter collections, have extra stewarding and helpers on hand to help maintain the safe environment for everybody. I think that reassurance like that, is a wonderful, wonderful thing!

Something else that really surprised me last year was the cleanliness of the toilets. I never used a ‘bad’ toilet all weekend, I bet not many people can say that after attending a music festival!

Music wise, this year’s festival line up is looking pretty cool, with headline acts from:

DAUGHTER / DARKSIDE / ACTION BRONSON / DUSKY / THE FALL / DIXON / JON HOPKINS/ NENEH CHERRY WITH ROCKETNUMBERNINE

Plus, special guests BRITISH SEA POWER

Beacons-Poster

The food is also the best I’ve had at a festival outside of Glastonbury. Really great quality street food, rather than a poorly cooked veggie burger or a pile of chips that have seen better days. The bars also sell some great ciders, lagers and beers and wine. Everything is also reasonably priced too which as a family, is refreshing!

In short, if you are looking for a family-friendly festival, with clean toilets, good quality food, great music and ease of amenities, then Beacons Festival is your answer. For further information on the Beacons Festival, please visit their website.

Beacons Festival tickets are available here and cost a very reasonable £109 per person.  Children aged six-twelve pay just £16.50. Children under six are free! Day tickets are also available.

You can find Beacons on Twitter and Facebook  so please give them some festival love!

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