This time last year, when I was almost 9 months pregnant, my husband announced that Green Man Festival tickets were on sale and asked if I wanted to go? I didn’t give it too much thought…I love festivals. We hadn’t been to one in a few years and Green Man has a special place in my heart. So, without any further consideration I said YES, before I had the chance to rethink my answer they had been booked! That was it; we were going to a festival.
What had I done? No longer did my decisions affect just the two of us. I hadn’t fully considered the fact that by the time the following August came around, we would have a 9 month old baby in tow. It didn’t take me long to realise that even with this knowledge, my answer still would have been yes! I was sure that it would be no problem, just another hurdle of parenthood that we would face at the time.
As the summer drew closer and the festival season picked up we started to get more and more excited. As each weekend passed another festival elapsed. We spent time preparing for our forthcoming experience and ensuring we were geared up and ready for a festival with a baby.
Well, I can tell you now, that it was amazing! It was everything we wanted and more.
For anyone who thought the days of festivals were over once you had children, think again.
We were instantly reassured about our decision to take our daughter when we arrived and saw family after family unloading their cars and preparing for the weekend just as we were. It didn’t take us long to realise that we were not in the minority, but in fact we were part of the majority. The festival was thriving, and everywhere you looked you could see children of all ages joining in and having fun. Our little girl absolutely loved being a part of the crowds; she took great joy in smiling at all the passers-by. When we were sat watching live music she would catch the eyes of those around us and suddenly before we knew it we were caught in the middle of a game of peekaboo. I lost count of the amount of times I caught someone pulling a silly face in her direction. She loved it!
The festival was well and truly prepared for people in our situation- in fact they had a whole ‘little folk’ area dedicated to children of all ages. It was jam packed with activities to keep little ones entertained throughout the weekend, ranging from arts and crafts to live music and there was even a giant sandpit! However it was never the expectation that you had to stay there. Yes it was dedicated to children and yes it was brilliant, but actually the whole festival arena was child friendly and everywhere you looked as you walked around the grounds you could see families enjoying their festival experience alongside everyone else.
There was a specific ‘family camping’ site and it was so full that it actually spilled over into the ‘general camping’. Having this meant that we were able to relax and forget all of worries about whether or not our daughter slept well or not. She is a notoriously bad sleeper so as you could imagine we were feeling quite anxious about the camping situation. We needn’t have worried though as every tent pitched around us had the exact same situation to contend with. And our bad sleeper, slept! Granted she didn’t sleep through, and she wasn’t always quiet…but it didn’t matter because everyone around us understood.
One of our most used and important items that we took were the children’s ear defenders for the little lady. They gave us the freedom to go about the festival and enjoy every aspect of it without ever having to worry about the noise levels. Whenever we were watching live music we just popped them on her and instantly knew that she would be ok. She even managed to sleep through some of the loudest acts we saw whilst wearing her ear defenders.
I really can’t express to you just how amazing our ‘festival with a baby’ experience was, there was never a dull moment. We didn’t have fabulous weather, but it didn’t matter. It certainly didn’t put a dampener on our experience as there was always something else to do, and always somewhere to be. We knew that Green Man was a family friendly festival, but I don’t think either of us fully appreciated just how family friendly it was until we were there, experiencing it and seeing it first-hand. The facilities were incredible, and that even included the toilets!
If you are reading this and thinking about going to a festival with a baby/family then I cannot urge you enough to go. We loved it so much that we have decided to do a festival every year for the foreseeable future and hopefully our daughter will still be coming along with us even when she’s old enough to make the choice.
A Guest Blog from Hanna Cherrington
Hanna is a wife, primary school teacher, blogger and first time mum. She is embracing every moment of motherhood and enjoying adapting to the new found lifestyle that has come with it. Hanna loves the adventures, loves the challenges, loves all the bad things that motherhood brings, just as much as the good things, and above all else she LOVES her family. You can find Hanna on Instagram or take a look at her blog.
Enjoyed this read? Make sure you check out all of the CheltenhamMaman recommendations over at Maman Pages.