Bearded theory with a 4 year old – Day 1

So the wee one woke us on Friday morning “Can we stay here forever?”

It’s good that he was enjoying himself, but at that point I wasn’t really feeling it.

The journey down started well enough, we left only an hour after we intended to (which is good going, despite being excited about going and telling everyone at nursery, getting him out the door is always a challenge)

The journey down was smooth until … a few miles from the festival there were massive tailbacks.

Seemingly lots of freak events had conspired to cause it, and regulars say it’s the first time they’ve experienced such traffic at bearded, but that’s little comfort when you are stuck in a hot car for four hours with nothing for entertainment but a camper van in front with a picture of a cow on a parachute in front, a bloke by the side of the road having the longest waz in the world, and an episode of Peppa Pig in hungarian that the wee man found on YouTube.

So we comforted ourselves with the fact the weather had held until festival day!

Through the gates we pitched at the first opportunity to get set before dark, we’d already missed the whip who was one of my must sees and we could only hear reverend and the makers whilst we were getting frustrated trying to work out how to get the tent up.

Finally at 10:20pm we were pitched, ready to have a quick seat outside the tent before exploring the site… and it started raining!

And it rained pretty much all night!

But the vagaries of British weather and bank holiday weekend traffic on country roads need no review!

The rain finally went off and we started to explore.

Walking past a gate the security guy invited us to enter into the forest, turned out this is where the forest school was! The wee man had a great time making a medal out of a bit of wood, a tail out of rags and a strawberry cake out of mud with corn on the cob with pine cones, ok he’s not going to win bake off anytime soon, but full marks for the creativity of the forest school!

We wanted to get him down to the kids field (which we later found out was closed due to ofsted school being open) but he refused as he wanted to go on the fun fair.

Fair enough, but at £3 a ride, you could easily spend more than your ticket money on that if it was up to him!

Didn’t catch a lot of music, but we did catch both The Coral and Jesus and Mary Chain who were both fantastic and well received by all!

It immediately strikes you that the friendliness of people at the festival and how helpful everyone is, isn’t just a myth, possibly the friendliest festival I’ve been to!

The demographic is largely middle aged people and young children, there are few young adults causing mayhem, which is always a bonus in my middle aged book! Though there were unfortunately heartless tent thieves and slashers ruining somebody’s weekend, but people were quick to rally round.

One thing that did surprise me is how many people aren’t into bands like the levellers and ferocious dog, I always though that was a pre-requisite for coming, which may have put us off slightly 🙂

First impressions are positive! As far as I can see, the festival has got just about everything right. It obviously won’t appeal to everyone, but that’s a good thing, it means it’s populated by generally like-minded people, and it sold out so is sustainable with the current model.

The size of site is great with children. Though we camped by the gates, we can walk to the other end of the site in about 15 mins, at Glastonbury it can take you that long getting to the toilets before you even start to queue!

Incidentally the toilets are relatively clean, queues away from main stage usually short, and they have toilet paper and sanitizer!

Right, time to start day 2! Let’s hope the rain stays away!

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John King