HOW many of us watching the annual Glastonbury mudfest were thinking, actually, I’m quite happy seeing it from the sofa, thanks?
That’s quite hard for some of us to admit. Bloke and I were regular Glasto-goers in our pre-parenting years, but have only been once since.
And it’s not one I’d go to again with the kids.
Something about seeing those pictures of muddy, knackered-out little urchins being dragged around by adults either DETERMINED to have a good time, or looking as though they were about to cry, just made me think, take them home, have a bath, watch the rest on TV. Leave them with Grandma next time.
The Glastonbury site is just vast. Nothing you see on telly can actually make you understand how exhausting and confusing it can be if you’re a grown-up and relatively sober, let alone a kid. Even in good weather.
I think the next Glastonbury-goers from our house are more likely to be our elder two boys, and even then I’m thinking “not until you’re 18.” The idea terrifies me, but I guess it won’t be long before I don’t have much of a say.
But in the meantime there are festivals that are great to visit with kids, and for the last few years we’ve attended the likes of Womad and the excellent Camp Bestival with the entire brood.
Bonnie had been to three festivals before her third birthday.
You must bear in mind that going to a festival with family in tow isn’t like going to one on your own, where the only person you’re responsible for is, er, you.
At a family festival you can still enjoy the live acts, the music, the outdoorsy freedom and even a cider or two, and your children can do the same (minus the cider). You let them stay up later than usual and experience music and art in a way that our generation couldn’t.
But you also have to admit that when it’s dark, muddy, chucking down with rain and blowing a gale, its kinder to everyone if you head back to relative safety and comfort of a tent or camper. It might feel defeatist but you’ll be grateful in the morning. Honest.
There’s plenty of firework finales or headline acts we’ve missed because we’ve just bottled it and stayed dry. That’s the beauty of going to a festival over a conventional music gig. If you miss something, you’ll catch something else that’s good too.