By Annabel Middleton
There are many things that change with the dawn of parenthood; you start going to the toilet with an audience, you leave the house with an array of bodily fluids encrusted into your clothing and you wave goodbye to long weekends spent in a debauched haze at the myriad festivals on offer every summer.
This is one of the bits that my partner struggles with most.
He was very pleased then to discover that there may be a way to recapture some of the fun of festivals past, maybe with less debauchery but still music, food and the occasional beer – the glorious annual Wychwood festival.
Known for its super friendly atmosphere and nominated for ‘best family festival’ every year since it began, Wychwood festival is the top destination for those with children still wanting to sample some festival festivities. Celebrating their 10th birthday, their 2014 line-up will be the biggest and best yet.
There is much excitement in our household as come 30th May this year we will be finding out for ourselves and packing our backpacks, rolling our sleeping bags and stocking up on wet-wipes to make our way to Cheltenham Racecourse for a weekend of frolics. Fulfilling the cliché ‘something for everyone’ there will be over 100 bands over four stages partnered with many different and far-ranging workshops, performances and activities to entertain and excite all family members.
Have a go at mastering circus skills, sit back and enjoy a new and exciting mime show in the family theatre or take up a new skill such as harp playing.
(Doesn’t everyone secretly want to play the harp?)
“Mr Tumble is going to be there?!?!” says my son, barely able to contain his shock that cbeebies characters can escape from the television and make it out into the real world. We are flicking through the Wychwood festival line-up and he spies children’s favourite Justin Fletcher, who is going to be providing some of the younger audience’s entertainment perhaps with his red-nosed, freckled (slightly unnerving, in my opinion) alter-ego Mr Tumble making an appearance.
As if that was not enough, Waterstones will be providing a children’s literature festival covering the whole weekend with favourite authors and illustrators. Roald Dahl stories will be brought to life by the performers from the Roald Dahl Museum; who will also be celebrating fifty years of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with crafts and interactive parades.
There promises to be more chances to unleash younger artists with many craft workshops across the whole weekend, from withy weaving to local organisation ‘Squiggle ‘n’ Jiggle’ (I promise it is child-friendly) who make exciting things from ordinary recycling.
To top things off, there will be a Bubble Show from, what I think will become my personal favourite, Sam Sam the Bubble Man-the most famous bubbleologist in the world (if only I had known that was an option in careers guidance at school). Then to help tire them out so they sleep well in the tent, there are dance and movement sessions to burn off energy.
For the grown-ups there will be plenty of great bands, incorporating soul with The Real Thing, new wave Irish legends, The Boomtown Rats and acoustic mastery with Newton Falkner, plus so many, many more. There will also be more grown-up friendly workshops with crafts to nourish the mind, yoga to nourish the body and delicious food stuffs and satisfying real ales to nourish the stomach.
If you want to be part of the family event of the year then you could come join us! (Don’t worry, you don’t have to actually hang out with us).
To win family tickets (two adults and two children), worth £290, plus camping, simply tick off as many items on the Rafflecopter widget below as possible before midnight on 8th April.
Good luck! Hope to see you there!
Wychwood Festival takes place on Cheltenham Racecourse from 30th May – 1st June 2014. Weekend Festival Tickets for Children/Adults/ Concessions are from £125.00, Under 5’s go free but must register for a ticket. Camping passes must be purchased
in addition to a festival ticket. Visit www.wychwoodfestival.com for further information and to purchase tickets.
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