Festivals with a family - mums tell all

Being a parent doesn't mean your festival days are over! Here, mums tell us how The Big Chill, Camp Bestival, Deer Shed, Glastonbury and Latitude went with a baby or child in tow

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  • Big Chill

    Amber Mace, 36, and husband Pete, 36, from London, are parents to Isabelle, 6, Elsa, 3, and Matilda, 1. They went to the Big Chill in Herefordshire in 2009. 

    “Before the girls came along, Pete and I would just rock up to a festival with a small rucksack, but now it’s two big rucksacks, duvets, a pushchair and a trolley to lug all our camping stuff.

    "It’s not so much about the music these days either – it’s more about camping out with the girls and letting them run around with other kids. Just dress them in something distinctive so they’re easier to spot among their new mates.

    "I take plenty of wet wipes, but I kind of like the fact that the girls get mucky and routine is forgotten for a weekend.”

    Top tip:

    "A portable potty will save late-night trips to the communal loos."


    The Big Chill 4-7 August 

  • Camp Bestival

    Charlie Ashwell, 36, and husband Richard, 42, from Southwold, pitched a tent with Lily, 6, and Harry, 3, at Camp Bestival in Dorset last year.

    “Camp Bestival is completely geared towards families and the camping is as much fun as the festival itself, with mums lending each other gear and the kids all playing together. It’s a friendly, relaxed vibe and feels so safe.

    "The facilities are great, with lots of water points and clean toilets, and Lily and Harry still talk about the amazing fireworks.”

    Top tip:

    "Stay in a local B&B the night before the festival opens so you can head to the campsite early and avoid the traffic."


    Camp Bestival 28-31 July 

  • Deer Shed

    Griselda Goldsbrough, 37, and partner Simon Davis, 37, from York, took Constance, 3, and Gilda, 2, to Deer Shed in North Yorkshire last year. She’ll be 38 weeks pregnant this time around.

    “We’ve already got our tickets for this year’s festival, but it would be handy if baby number three arrives a week early. All being well, we’re still planning to go.

    "Simon worked at all the big festivals, so he was a bit unsure about taking the girls but the facilities were very good and there’s a good mix of people, both with and without kids, so it does feel like a proper music festival.

    "We thought the little ones would flake out early, but they stayed up late, so we just put them on our shoulders and enjoyed the bands.”

    Top tip:

    "It gets really cold at night so pack extra jumpers for the evening."


    Deer Shed 22-24 July 

  • Glastonbury

    April Bennett, 43, and partner Paul Brooks, 40, from Somerset are regulars at Glastonbury with their boys Finn, 5, and Jude, 17 months.

    “Glastonbury is right on our doorstep, so Paul and I have been going for years, but it’s totally different taking two small boys. We used a three-wheeled bike trailer last year to push the kids around in. 

    "The toilets are pretty ropey, but there’s an NCT tent that’s really well set-up, so you can sterilise bottles and feed your tots.

    "We took Finn to Reading one year but we wouldn’t go back; it was too loud and too laddish. Glastonbury isn’t like that – there’s a real sense of community.”

    Top tip:

    "Pack sunscreen, hats and an umbrella as there may be no shade."


    Glastonbury 22-26 June 

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  • Latitude

    Kerry Wilmot, 41, from Southwold, and husband Chris, 35, have been taking son Jack, 5, to Latitude in Suffolk since he was 3.

    “At first, Chris and I were worried about drunken louts, but Latitude has such a fab family atmosphere. There’s plenty to keep Jack entertained, plus practical things like a family campsite with a bath-time tent.

    "I loved going to festivals in my single days, but I’m more aware of certain things now, like making sure Jack knows where to go if he gets lost.We’re even taking my 65-year-old mum this year.”

    Top tip:

    "Write your name and mobile number on your little one’s wristband in case you get separated."


    Latitude 14-17 July 


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