The festival season is in full swing, with Glastonbury, Latitude, and Camp Bestival already behind us, and Rewind, Reading & Leeds, and Deva Fest still to come.
Planning a family festival adventure can be overwhelming, as it involves more organization, packing, and coordination compared to attending alone. We acknowledge the additional effort required to transform this idea into a reality.
Camping at a festival is an enchanting experience that fosters enduring memories for you and your loved ones. It allows you to fully embrace the festival ambiance, indulging in music and festivities without worrying about transportation arrangements to return home.
Sarah Grant, an influential Cheshire-based family personality, emphasized the significance of preparation in ensuring a stress-free family camping trip to a festival.
Now in its third year, Cheshire-based festival, Deva Fest, is all about the true family experience. Deva Fest founder, Phil Marston, shares what he’s learned over the years of festival organising alongside feedback from family campers at Deva Fest to provide the top tips for first-time family campers to make their festival experience is stress-free and enjoyable.
1) Prepare, prepare, prepare
According to Phil, the essential mantra for getting your family camping/festival ready is: “Prepare, prepare, prepare.”
Compile a comprehensive checklist encompassing necessary items like camping gear, clothing, food, and entertainment for the children. Essential items to include are:
– Kids sleeping bag/camp bed and their favorite comforter
– Portable camping chairs
– Warm layers, wellies, and waterproofs (prepare for unpredictable weather changes, especially if going to a festival in England)
– Sunscreen and insect repellent
– First-aid kit
– Plenty of snacks
– Refillable water bottles
– Ear defenders
– Camping/Festival Trolley (to help tired legs at the end of the day)
– Night lights for inside the tent and midnight trips to the bathroom
It’s advisable to be overly prepared rather than underprepared. It’s recommended to visit the festival’s website beforehand, especially if you have a small baby or family members with special requirements, to ensure that all necessary amenities are available for them.
Sarah, who has years of experience in festival family camping, recommends investing in a pull-along trolley as her top tip. This allows you to conveniently carry all your essential items, and they usually have a foldable design. When packing the trolley, Sarah suggests including foldable chairs, waterproof mats, sun cream, insect repellent, pack-away waterproofs, fluffy socks, and extra layers for the kids.
“We should bring battery-operated twinkly lights and lanterns to make our tent cozy and enchanting at night, regardless of the weather.”
Download the ‘Family Camping Essentials’ checklist created by Deva Fest to assist you in packing for your upcoming busy weekend. Access it here.
2) Get the whole family involved
Phil advises, “Involve your children in the preparation and festival planning process, transforming it into an enjoyable activity instead of doing it alone.”
By involving them, you initiate excitement and establish a platform to discuss what lies ahead.
Here are a few ideas to consider:
– Practice setting up the tent and involve your children to get them engaged and check your camping equipment.
– Create a mini festival atmosphere at home with a festive playlist, allowing your kids to groove to the upcoming hits and even come up with some dance moves. Check out our curated Spotify playlist called “Deva Fest Spotify Playlist” for Deva Fest attendees.
– Sit together and plan your meals. Discuss whether you’ll bring food and snacks, and brainstorm ideas for what to include in your meal list.
Please consider the food and drink policies of a festival. While some festivals permit bringing your own refreshments, certain areas like arenas may have restrictions. It is advisable to verify beforehand.
3) Practice camping at home
Phil says that preparing camping gear and setting up a tent can be a challenging task, especially if we’re fortunate enough to have the summer sun shining down.
“Select an ideal day and night, set up the tent, gather camping chairs, prepare a delicious meal, and immerse yourself in the experience as if it were the genuine thing.”
Not only does this familiarize your children with the process, but it also ignites their enthusiasm to be involved in setting up the tent on the actual day, providing you with an extra pair of helping hands.
There are numerous advantages to this since your children may have never tried sleeping outdoors in a tent. It will alleviate festival concerns and help them relax if they feel anxious about camping.
4) Pack activities to keep them entertained
While enjoying the lively festival ambiance and numerous family-friendly activities, it’s important to acknowledge that there might be times when you or your children require a brief respite from it all.
According to Phil, it is advisable to bring some home comforts when camping to provide a sense of familiarity and entertainment at the campsite.
Uno, a deck of cards or Top Trumps are excellent choices as they can be conveniently packed with your camping gear without occupying excessive space.
Sarah describes her family’s camping experience at festivals as an exceptional family vacation. It offers a plethora of activities, music, and ample quality time, ensuring a memorable and action-packed weekend.
To have a truly enjoyable festival camping experience, proper preparation is key. Get ready and organize for an incredible summer by selecting a festival that offers a diverse range of activities suitable for all ages in your family.
Along with other festival’s still to come in August, Deva Fest will take place between 11th – 13th August at Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire. You can expect five stages of music and comedy across the three days, hand-picked street food stalls, an extensive choice of free on-site family activities and a Saturday Superhero parade.
There are a few tickets left for purchase online, including day tickets and weekend packages for family camping or non-camping.