As the festival season nears, most revelers are eyeing band line-ups, getting out camping gear, and compiling fancy dress costumes. Money is usually the only concern. But, for music fans who are also parents, it’s a whole different ballgame. Luckily for them, festivals have evolved to accommodate the Nappy Valley set with everything from boutique babysitting services and DJ Dad sets to appearances by Peppa Pig.So, parents needn’t worry that their fun has ended. In fact, it’s just begun. Instead of graduating to the “all-inclusive” holiday set, families should check out our list of the top five child-friendly festivals.
Child-friendly factor: Won Best Family Festival at the UK Festival Awards for the past two years. Boutique Babysitting service is available with CRB-checked professionals for kids aged two to eight. Camp Bestival has a large Kids’ Area with sea views complete with a Kids’ Big Top, Kids’ Theatre Workshop, Bouncy Castle, Donkey Rides, a separate Toddlers’ Area plus the pioneering Breastival Mother and Baby Temple, a Maypole (for little and big kids to dance around) a Punch & Judy stall, appearances by Zingzillas and Pepa Pig, and much more.
Line-up includes: Blondie, Mark Ronson, Laura Marling, Katy B, Eliza Doolittle.
Location: Lulworth, Dorset.
When: July 28-31.
Camping: There are too many possibilities to name them all! They include: tipis, yurts, squrts, luxury kabins, podpads, bellepads, luxpads, yurtels, and Gypsy caravans. Hot showers are also a huge plus!
Cost: Adult weekend ticket including camping £170; age 11 to 17, £85; under-10s free.
Secret Garden PartyChild-friendly factor: Nice Nannies offer an on-site babysitting service. Kids Camp has creative workshops, a “doodle den,” Young Revolutionaries Parade, fashion show, pizza baking, and the “Hush Hush Hideaway” where kids can listen to music, read books and watch cartoons while drinking hot cocoa. Kids-only events include early-morning adventure walks and exploring a pirate ship.
Where to Stay: You can camp in tents, campervans or caravans, or book tipis or safari tents. The family camping area, set away from the loud music and late-night revelry, features campfire storytelling sessions.
Location: Undisclosed location in the Cambridgeshire countryside
When: 21 to 24 July
Price: Adult ticket: £155, Teen ticket: £125, under 12’s free
The Big Chill/ The Little Chill
Child-friendly factor: The Big Chill is launching The Little Chill – a family festival within the festival. Features include the ‘Big Warm’, with storytelling sessions and songs around campfires, the ‘Moonlit Picture House’, a late-night outdoor cinema, and a Victorian funfair. Top DJ Tom Middleton hosts DJ Dads sessions for family members of all ages. Mums and Dads can also take turns indulging in treatments in the Body and Soul Area while the kids play.
Line-up includes: Chemical Brothers, Jessie J, Kanye West, Calvin Harris, Chipmunk.
Location: Eastnor Castle Deer Park, Herefordshire.
When: August 4-7.
Where to stay: On site, in the family campsite which has a playground. It also has its own toilets and showers.
Cost: Adult weekend camping pass £165 plus booking fee. Ages 13-15, £85; 12 and under, £5
Child-friendly factor: The Kidz Field is a huge children’s festival within the festival. It features top names from the world of children’s entertainment and loads of activities for kids of all ages including theatre, songs, and puppetry. It has a Lost Children and First-Aid post manned by a large group of trained professionals. A qualified Midwife is even on site – the last baby born in the Kidz Field (23 years ago) is now a crew member. The Green Kids Area – situated in Green Fields – offers climbing walls and wooden ships to clamber on.
Line-up includes: U2, Coldplay, Beyonce
When: 22 to 26 June
Where: Worthy Farm, Pilton
Tickets: Sold out
Where to Stay: On site, in tents (the Cockmill Meadow zone is for families) or tipis, or towards Bath at Babington House hotel with a crèche in addition to its numerous amenities.
Child-friendly factor: Boutique Babysitting service is available with CRB-checked professionals for kids aged two to eight. Kids’ zone has free workshops plus crafts, science and literature tents for older children.
Line-up includes: Laura Marling, Fleet Foxes, Noah And The Whale.
Location: Brecon Beacons, Wales.
When: August 19-21.
Camping: Separate family area.
Cost: Weekend pass with camping £135pp. Under-13s free.