Last weekend I took Belle and my fiancé* off to Wychwood Festival.
It was his very first ever festival experience and we set off with a mixture of excitement and nervousness – he wasn’t sure how he was going to cope with the camping, festival fashions, or the dancing requirements and I was slightly concerned about the weather forecast for torrential rain and 40mph gales. Fortunately he needn’t have worried.
“I was anxious about not being a very good dancer,” he told me afterwards, “but then we got there and I realised no one was.”
Well quite. If there’s one situation in which you really don’t have to worry about looking silly, it’s at a festival.
We got off lightly on the weather front too. There was a slighty soggy moment on the Sunday morning, just as we were trying to pack up our tents, but apart from that the rain restricted itself to when we were asleep. Good job too, as I had made the brave decision not to take wellies, and didn’t want to look foolish.
We camped with my sister and her family, who all went to Wychwood Festival last year. They haven’t quite got to grips with the idea of packing light, and a good few hours is always spent in ferrying supplies to and from the car – crates of bottled water, dozens of coats, snacks to last a week and, rather bizarrely on this outing, two front door mats. (True story.) They are excellent company though, and watching them struggle with wagon loads of nonsense while I sling my rucksack casually over my shoulder is always good fun.
They enjoyed Wychwood so much last year that they actually booked tickets for 2015 there and then, and you can see why it would appeal; their children are 6 and 4 and Wychwood Festival is the perfect size for young children. The site itself is very small and as a result nothing is very far away from anything. It was only a few minutes to walk from our tent to the festival site, and you could walk from one end to the other in less than five minutes – ideal for little legs.
If you’re a seasoned Glastonbury lover you might be underwhelmed, but for a quiet weekend with kids, Wychwood is perfect. There were musical instruments to bash, bubbles to be blown, stories to listen to and castles to bounce on – there was even a tent hiring out wagons for sleepy toddlers.
Aside from watching fondly as my fiancé got to grips with the festival lifestyle, there were a few Wychwood Festival highlights for me:
Let’s be honest, wherever I go the food is a highlight, even Butlins – I just love eating. Festival food though is particularly yummy and somehow it’s even tastier when you have to eat it outside. Our favourites were the pies from Higgidy Pies and the amazing wood fired pizzas. We were gutted that we left it until Sunday to try a macaroni cheese calzone, only to find they had sold out.
One of the wonderful things about festivals is that you stumble upon music you would never normally listen to, and often end up discovering really cool bands. We caught the last 15 minutes of Thrill Collins and are so glad we did as they were amazing. They had a fantastic chemistry and stage presence, their musicianship was immense and they were basically really funny.
Electric Swing Circus
The highlight for me here was not so much their performance, although this was ace, but listening to my boyfriend** interview one of the Electric Swing Circus band members, Tom Hyland. They both share a passion for music and Tom was such a nice guy, it was fascinating to hear them chatting about all things swing. (We’ll be posting about this interview separately at a later date.)
Although the overall performance from The Proclaimers wasn’t as full of enthusiasm and passion as I thought it might have been, you really can’t beat a bit of ‘I Would Walk 500 Miles’. Even I managed to get myself up out of the camp chair, (I was tired and I’m old OK…), and have a bit of a jump about.
Are you going to any festivals this year?
**I’m sorry, I couldn’t do it, saying ‘fiancé’ three times in one post felt like too much.
Disclosure – we attended the festival as guests. All opinions are my own.