Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Family Festival Fever in Wychwood festival!

This week the James family are mighty excited as we are off once again to Wychwood Festival and are on the final countdown to Friday when the fun begins.

 Matthew and I have shared a love for festivals since me met all those years ago. There is something about camping in a sunny field, listening to music with thousands of other people, that makes us both happy. For years we attended big mainstream commercial festivals and generally had a ball.

When our 2 children came along we really didn't want to put an end to our festival days but were reluctant to take them to the festivals we were used to going to as they weren't really designed for families and were just too vast. Last year we were lucky enough to win a family ticket to Wychwood Festival which is a real family festival. In fact it has been nominated Best Family Festival in the UK Festival Awards every year since the awards started. We knew it was a Family Festival but we were still a little unsure whether we could still enjoy a festival experience with 2 young children in tow.

We needn't have worried as we all had a wonderful time! In fact the children still talk about it now and are even more excited than us, that we are going back. The festival had so much going on for the children, it meant we could relax and take everything in whilst the children were entertained all day long! We did so much and the vast majority of activities are included in with the ticket price. One of our favourite memories was a free African drumming workshop in a huge tent, with lots of people taking part. The children really enjoyed and we did too!

Other highlights were seeing Justin Fletcher AKA Mr Tumble, standing up on stage and performing a RAP in a poetry workshop, the children's play area, pottery making, puppet shows, relaxing in front of the main stage with the kids in a hot tub courtesy of Superspa DJ which was the most fun we have had for ages!

The children absolutely loved the festival experience and camping with lots of other people including friends and their families was great fun. Here is my best friends mother Vicki enjoying the festival with her grandaughter Perla who was only 1 when she went. Matt can be seen in the background blowing up the biggest balloon known to man!

We really liked that there was a whole field dedicated to workshops and children's entertainment and that was all included in with the ticket price.  The festival is also easy to navigate and is quite compact. The organisers also allow you to drive your car onto the campsite to unload and set up your tent which is a godsend especially for those with young children.

Wychwood Festival 2015 has even more on offer for everyone including families, There is the Wychwood Comedy tent with award winning comedians such as Michael Legg.

There is  the Headphone Disco which is a really surreal and fun experience as it is basically a tent full of people dancing to music coming through headphones, choosing which DJ they want to listen to. If you take your headphones off, you are dancing in silence!

 We will be asking a friend to babysit on one of the evenings so we can take in some of the comedy and bands aswell as the headphone Disco as I don't like to keep the children up too late in the evening. The bonus with going with friends is that you can share the babysitting. There are a really diverse range of artists playing on the different stages at Wychwood and we are particularly keen to see UB40, Craig Charles, The Wonderstuff and Dr and the Medics to name a few!

Family activities include the Mega Roller Disco , Puppet shows, magic shows, bubble shows, Punch and Judy, music workshops, poetry workshops, story telling, singing workshops, Kids Literature Festival (including famous authors such as Christopher Edge and Steve Anthony) , Circus workshops and much much more. This is what makes Wychwood such a fantastic family festival- the sheer number of family activities that they put on ensures you are never bored. We will also be rocking out to Mr Tumble, he was fab last year.

We will definately be booking into the Super Spa DJ again as we enjoyed that so much. There is a charge but it is definately worth it!

There are also a variety of speakers at the festival and one I am definately interested in seeing is Ecotricity founder Dale Vince who is going to speak about renewable energy. I watched a documentary about him before and found his life story fascinating. He used to be a bit of a New Age traveller and had a small wind turbine on his caravan. This sparked a business venture and he now runs a very successful renewable energy company and is a self made millionaire on the back of wind power.

There is also a fancy dress theme this year for the first time. The James family love fancy dress so we will be fully embracing the theme Punk vs Disco! You will have to wait till the post festival review to see the pictures.

It is not too late to grab your tickets if you want to give Wychwood Festival a whirl. Tickets are very reasonably priced compared to some of the other large mainstream festivals and they really do offer fantastic value for what you get.

Wychwood Festival returns to Cheltenham Racecourse from 29th to 31st May 2015 featuring an eclectic line-up of music, comedy, literature and family entertainment. Weekend tickets are priced at just £129 for adults, £104 for concessions, £62 for 10-15 year olds, £22 for 5-9 year olds and under 5 free. Day tickets are available from £42 for adults, £32 for concessions, £22 for 10-15 year olds and £10 for 5-9 year olds and under 5 free. All tickets and more information is available from


Ladysmith Black Mambazo / UB40 - Ali Campbell, Astro, Mickey Virtue reunited / Boney M
The Undertones / Justin Fletcher / The Proclaimers / Craig Charles / Andy Kershaw / Dreadzone / Basseskou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba / Mad Dog Mcrea / Dr & The Medics / Songhoy Blues / The Outcast Band / The Going Goods / Talk In Code / A Way With Words /  The Edwin Starr Band ft. Angelo Starr / Electric Swing Circus / Rusty Shackle / Pocket Club / Ghostpoet / Lucy Rose / Mt. Wolf / Plastic Mermaids / Fickle Friends / Monsieur Doumani / The Wonder Stuff Acoustic / Darlia / Demob Happy / TED ZED / Black Honey / Palace / Zak Abel / Lanshapes / Syd Arthur / Henry Green / Hunter & The Bear / Loud Mountains / Cooper Black / Object Object / Josephine and the Artizans / Sophronie / George Montague / Danni Nicholls / The Black Feathers / John Adams / Grace Palmer / James Michael / All Ears Avow / Spice & The Readies / SPOILS / Ben Cipolla / Gigi St. Fallow / Bobby Scaife / Katie Collins/ Megan Timms / Joe Buckingham / Dan Walton / Maxine Stacey / Neil Morris / David Young

BBC Introducing Coventry & Warwickshire: Grassroutes, Rosetta Fire / Yes Sunshine / Reece Bahia /Quarry / Speak Brother / James TW / Emily Burns / The Commonjets / Joe Doloman

BBC Introducing Hereford and Worcester: Cantaloop / Ronin / Clark Carmody / Tom Forbes / Interior Castle / Crowsaw / 7shades / The Dale Von Minaker / Fictonian / Chase The Deer

Ali Sparkes / Petr Horacek / Giancarlo Gremin / Steve Anthony / Steve Cole / Chris Edge / Paul Strickland / John Dougherty / Anna Wilson / Karen Langtree / Tracey Corderoy / Philip Ardagh / Cathy Cassidy / Philip Adagh / Tracey Corderoy / Matt Brown / Tony de Saulles / First Draft

Michael Legge / Jenny Collier / Jack Heal / Chris Turner / Jay Cowle / Jamali M
addix / Jarred Christmas / Becky Brunning / Sam Chaplin / David Jordan

I would definately recommend taking your family to Wychwood. You won't regret it. We have convinced even more friends to join us this year so there should be about twenty of us in total. We are going to have a ball!

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