We’ve just got back from our first festival as a family. Probably came to it slightly late as my offspring are now 15, 13 and 11 but music isn’t my best beloved’s first love so not a high priority in his world. However, our best-friend-family (is that a thing?) have been to the Big Church Day Out in the south of England for the last couple of years and convinced us to join them. It wasn’t hard to win me round as not only do I love music but my youngest (the shaggy one from the previous blog) is a musician in his soul and spends a significant chunk of his time watching his sisters and dad do sport so it felt only fair that we got our music hit.
It was a darn fine weekend. Firstly it will go down in history as our first family break where taking the kids hasn’t cramped our style due to freedom they had. The festival is in the grounds of a stately home and there were 6 kids altogether so the rule was they had to always be in pairs and we had various meet-up points during the day. We did a main meal at the tent at lunch time and after that they took a packed tea and snacks so parents weren’t required to provide food. The only “have I given them too much freedom?” moment was waiting in the tent at midnight for the girls to make their way back to the tent in a thunderstorm having been to a comedy club to watch Tim Vine. Bearing in mind their sense of direction is better than mine (everyone’s sense of direction is better than mine!) there was, of course, no problem.
There were highlights aplenty. Rend Collective were as superb as expected, as were Casting Crowns. My eldest is currently managing hip problems but seems to have tolerated the several hours worth of jumping up and down type dancing and the youngest was overwhelmed by the amazing and different bands he listened too with a few of this weekend’s making it into his favourites as well as appreciating and learning from the incredible talent on show.
And best beloved? A friend took this photo…
Can I just reveal what is going on in my best beloved’s head? Something along the lines of… “I don’t care how fantastic this band is, and I don’t care how much everyone else is jumping in the air, my feet will be staying firmly on the ground, thank you very much”. Don’t get me wrong, he had a perfectly enjoyable time. Completely enhanced by the sound desk at main stage not doing a perfect job on day 1 so that he could spend the rest of the weekend analysing their efforts and comparing them with the other venues/bands/times of day/what he would do. I almost wonder if they turned the bass up just slightly too much purely to make him happy. #marriedtothetechie
My perfect moment was sitting in a tent with a massive rainstorm going on around me, drinking beer (which, I found, fits perfectly into the WaterOnTheGo bottle holder that is clipped to my bag!) discovering a new-to-me band. I’m adding The Abrams to my list of Favourite.Bands.Ever. I know Bluegrass isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but these guys play such a level of rocky and talented Bluegrass that its no surprise how many awards they’ve won.
Throw in time with friends, on the whole superb weather (the thunderstorms politely kept themselves to the nighttime) churros and the obligatory festival experience of not enough sleep or washing and I’d say that the kids’ first music festival was a resounding success. I did enjoy my shower and decent coffee when I got home though!