As I type this the sky is still grey. The air is still wet. The temperature is 6 degrees. I am OVER it and am aggressively, frustratingly dreaming of lush green fields, bare brown legs and not having to wrestle the Bébé into six layers of clothes every time we want to go out of the door.
For the last three years we have rounded off the summer holidays with a trip up the road to the Cotswold based Big Feastival and this year will be no exception. To say that I am counting down the days is no exaggeration… roll on August (with some excellent weather in the interim.)
We’ve done Feastival lots of different ways over the years. It really is the perfect festival for families and being so close to home you can really make your festival experience suit you and your familial set up – with two teenagers and a baby girl – pleasing everyone is no mean feat but we’ve managed it every year over this long weekend and it’s something the whole family really look forward to.
In 2015 I was pregnant so a couple of day trips were in order. The CheltenhamPapa obviously took full advantage of the permanent designated driver!
In 2016 we had a crawling baby so again we did a day trip. Just the Friday which was perfect – we arrived late morning – feasted and wondered around over lunch and then set up our picnic rug by the main stage with some noise cancelling headphones and I had to be dragged home to get the little one to bed in the middle of the Foxes set.
Last year we went full throttle. The Bébé had her first ever overnight with SuperGran and the boys (now both teenagers) each took a friend. We pitched our tents on the Friday and partied all the way through (in a sensible/parental way) to the Sunday morning. I then popped home to collect the Bébé who enjoyed the last day there with us and we all came home at various different times on the Sunday night – it was an epic weekend. The food, the music (highlights definitely Hacienda Classical, Ella Eyre and sadly.. Justin Fletcher’s happy hardcore style set) (yes – that was just James and I partying hard at 11am on Saturday morning while the boys looked on in complete horror.)
The atmosphere is just amazing – there’s colour everywhere you look – the delicious smells from all of the incredible food offerings and the best thing about it is that it just felt really safe. People were smiling and at night when the crowds packed in by the main stage adults were all keeping an eye on each other’s kids – it’s just the right level of revelry and though everyone’s having a good time so far we’ve not encountered anything that made us feel like we were on an 18-30s holiday (can’t believe I just wrote those words – I am officially middle aged!)
This year we will absolutely be back again – we will be camping once again with the whole family – we’ll probably do one night with the littlest and one night without. I was so impressed with some of the contraptions I saw other festival goers pulling their little ones around in – I feel like I’m ready to convert some kind of pull along trailer into an all out festival den for her – fairy lights, glitter, sparkles – I’m going to go to town. My festival jacket is looking very sad in my wardrobe and I can’t wait to dust it off and let my crazy self run free armed with a gin in a tin and some halloumi fries… so rock n roll (or just super embarrassing if you ask my boys!
You can also book your tickets and it would be perfect to see some Maman friends there! The line up for this year so far includes Craig David (swoon….. I’m walking a way… from the trouble…. oh stop me!), Basement Jaxx, Paloma Faith, Clean Bandit, The Cuban Brothers (the least politically correct set you will ever see but sooo funny!) and Mel C with loads more acts yet to be announced. Here’s a few pics of some of the stars who popped along last year….
It runs from the 24th – 26th of August and takes place on the farm of ex Blur guitarist Alex James just down the road from Daylesford Farm near Bledington (Stow/Chipping Norton direction.) If you’re city dwellers wanting to make a Cotswold mini break of it Kingham train station (with direct services from London Paddington) is a very short walk (or buggy ride) away so it’s super easy to travel.
But the best bit… once again I have some tickets to give away to one lucky family! Keep your eyes peeled on Monday for a week long competition where one lucky follower of my Instagram or Facebook accounts will win a camping ticket for the whole weekend (Friday to Monday morning) for a family of four. With this much notice hopefully lots of you can make plans to be there and party the night away with me and my sparkly jacket (not a condition of entry!)
I’m counting down those days.