Monday, 24 June 2013
Last weekend we went for The Longest Day Beer Festival at a village near us. It was a group effort, five families with eight kids - boys 3-8 and girls 6-9. It was our first family festival and our first beer festival - usually the dads just go on them! The weather wasn't being kind to us, it was raining and blowing a hoolie but hey. We were trampers this weekend if not glampers!
We arrived at 2pm ish and once the camp was up, the boys went off to play footie and I set about making Pimms for the ladies (compete with lemons, limes, grapes and cucumber but I forgot the mint!) while the men went off to suss out the beer tent and list.
A first for us - we allowed the older boys to roam freely between the camping field and the beer tents and pub garden. There were security all around, and it was only a two minute walk from the tent to the beer tent. At different points, the oldest boy was found reading to himself in the gazebo and at another, two other boys were sat at the side of the stage watching the main band playing!
Thankfully a football, some interesting tall bushes and a pond with reeds (for the older kids) kept them amused on their own. Hot dogs and hog roasts from local farmers kept us all fed.
The kids decided that at 10ish they were tired; mine even asked to go to bed! Most of them went off fine, no problem. Us ladies were drinking the gin I'd brought along, and the blokes came back from the main tent.
Situated in the Quiet Field, it was anything but! When the band stopped, a disco started but it was kinda cool. We turned in just before 1am.
Breakfast baps were sold the morning after to the survivors and after a few cuppas, we were ready to pack up. Home just after lunch. A very successful festival!
* don't forget your bloody ear plugs; toilet tissue fashioned in the same shape does NOT do the same job!
* take wellies as you may be camping in VERY LONG grass
* take sandals even if it's raining (for the kids)
* don't bother with taking your own food to cook - even if it is expensive, it's much easier to eat on site
* set up some sort of rota so they ladies get to boogie on down too - not just the lads
* take more than two books for an avid child reader!
* get a small sleeper tent plus gazebo for festival camping - instead of your normal holiday tent
* take more wind breaks!