So you have kids and then you pack away your tent, your lucky festival shorts and your predilection for drunken bean burgers, right? WRONG!
While three kids have eroded my chances (and desire, frankly) to battle the roads to Glastonbury and listen to naive kids talking about society around a campfire, I’m starting to crave the festival feeling.
That constant hum of competing beats in the air, the childish excitement of waking up under canvas, vegetarian food coming out of the wazoo (I’m not vegetarian anymore because I live with carnivorous bloodsuckersbut when in Rome…) and oodles and oodles of live bands.
And so I’m very much looking forward to Wilderness Festival in the beautiful Cornbury Estate Deer Park near the Cotswold village of Charlbury – and for the first time ever, I’ll be taking two of my kids with me (and my husband). That’s a 31-year-old, a nine-year-old and, gulp, a three-year-old.
From the music, to the boutique camping to the – scream! – Wilderness Spa, to the kids’ activities, everything about this is set up for grown-ups and their progeny.
So much thought has gone into what festival-going families look for, and a weekend in a tent with the kids is starting to sound decidedly – surprisingly – peaceful and relaxing.
Our must-sees on the music programme include Mercury Rev, Daniel Johnston, the Guillemots and Anthony and the Johnsons, but to lighten the mood, SHOUT (the rhythym and blues choir) sounds incredible too.
To further set outs its stall as the festival of choice for grown-ups, there is also a programme of speakers and debates, including Tom Hodgkinson from the Idler (hero) and Ian Goldin, the Director of Oxford University’s James Martin 21st Century School who is exploring The Future Fantastic or Frightening? I know, I’m a nerdberger but I love this stuff.
For the kids, there is a whole programme of
distraction workshops and activities, and even a boutique babysitting service so that parents can escape to listen to aforementioned music and debate. There are three gastronomic banquets (THREE) each hosted by top chefs and including fine wine and cocktails (£27 per head) and even a flipping opera performance on the theatre programme. Puking in a beer bin at Reading Rock this ain’t.
And I’m so flaming excited!
Wilderness Festival, Cornbury Park, 12 – 14 August, 2011
Single day tickets from £27.50, weekend tickets from £49.50.
See www.wildernessfestival.com for more information and booking.