Livestock 2016 was my children’s first time at a music festival and what an amazing place to take them for such a memorable experience!
Why Livestock Festival is great for Children
Livestock Festival was absolutely perfect for such a variety of audiences but we took along our youngest two children who are ages 7 and 8 years old. The 7 year old also has additional needs including sensory processing disorder. We left all their electronic devices at home and headed off to Longdon on the Friday evening for a weekend of fun. I felt there was a really great atmosphere and it was small enough to feel comfortable to let the children be more independent (we even let our 8 year old sleep in a tent on his own the second night), but large enough for a good atmosphere. Here are the reasons I think that Livestock Festival is great for children.
- Children’s tickets from just £1 – if this isn’t a great reason to give it a try I don’t know what is! They are sure to love it, but if not it hasn’t cost that much to find out.
- Free Children’s Entertainment
- Eco Animal Encounters (Wild Reptile Parties) – not all of the children’s entertainment had to be paid for and there was a lot of variety about what was on offer for them.
- Stories – new for 2016 animated story-telling.
- Dragon training
- Fizz Pop Science
- Arts and crafts
- Climbing wall
- Rugby Tykes
- Time Travelling Toby
- Punch and Judy
- Circus skills
- Cinema – I didn’t come across this but hear it was to be provided.
- Bales of hay – not only did the bales of hay give the festival that farm feel, and great for photos, but they were great for the children – to sit on, stand on, fall asleep on, and generally just play in!
- Fairground rides – there was a great little array of fairground rides including the dodgems, carousel, Hall of Mirrors and Hook a duck. These came at an extra price but were very reasonable. There were not massive queues to get on either.
- £5 all day bouncy castle (with inflatable slide) – the bouncy castle was by far the best value for money keeping the children entertained literally all day long. It was £3 for 10 minutes or for £5 the children had a hand stamp to go on all day. They loved it so much that they did this for both Saturday and Sunday and certainly got their money’s worth. Best thing about it is it was located right next to the portaloos and opposite the main stage – so parents could watch the acts and children were not too far away.
- Pony & Tractor and Trailer Rides – The Malvern Hills offered such a beautiful backdrop to the Livestock Festival and what better way to take it in and explore than by having a ride.
- Bumper balls – these were great fun for adults and children a like – and as it was only a small festival there was no waiting around for our turn and we had a really long go.
- Fancy dress – there’s no better time to dress up than at a festival.
- Face paints/Hair/Henna Tattoos – also a great time to get your face-painted, colour your hair and/or have some henna tattoos.
- Great live music and Comedy – what a great way to get children into music! I love music and it can really alter emotions, hold so many memories. What an experience for them to get up close to some great well-known performers as well as to hear some up-and-coming acts – some of which who are local to where they live. There was a great mix and too many to mention – personal highlights were Reef and Done by Sunrise. The man who made the festival for me was Chesney Hawkes – he was a real gentleman, made time for the VIPs, obviously an amazing performer, and was just great to the crowd (he even told us that he loved us!!!). The same goes for the comedy – but tbh there was so much to do that we missed this.
- Camping – this is free with your ticket! How amazing is that! We were in the VIP camping area with shower, toilet blocks and a fire. The children not only loved the experience of sleeping outdoors, but the easy access to playing next to the river, picking up twigs, mixing with other children, toasting marshmallows – and just generally being free to run around outdoors. There were also options for pre-pitched tents and glamping experiences. Parking was right next to the tents, so no need to drag your gear far. Plus you could pitch where you wanted to (make a circle with a group of friends if you wish). A short walk from the site into the festival – with well-lit pathways when it became dark. There was also a quiet camping field provided if you so wished.
- Great food and drinks – reasonably priced for a festival with a good variety on offer. There was drinking water available but I think it could have been more obvious/available. I also saw bottles of water being handed out free to the crowd – very impressed at the festival’s acknowledgement that it is important to stay hydrated. I would have liked to seen some refill ideas for the children at least. But at only £2 a pint for soft drinks it was cheap enough to buy them more (plus you could have food/drink at the campsite which was easy to get back to if they required more refreshment/nourishment).
- Sweets & Ice cream – as well as food for meals available there was also a range of sweet treats.
- Fantastic staff – everyone was great. I would like to give a mention to the security guard who took a little girl’s phone from her to phone the band up close for her – what a really special touch.
- VIP Backstage access (until 6pm) – how amazing for a child to be able to go back stage and sit with some of the bands! To walk past and get close to where they are performing and be treated special.
Conclusions on Livestock Festival for Children
I think that Livestock Festival is a fantastic family experience and good value for money when you consider that free camping is included. It had a safe, secure feeling to it and the staff were faultless. I think there was a great variety of both entertainment and food for the children. My boys had an amazing time and my husband is already talking of returning next year.
Livestock Festival is still in its infancy and this was only its second year. Obviously there is bound to be some teething problems, especially as some of the things were new for this year. One of the things were that the children’s free entertainment was predominantly in one area and the entertainers could not be heard over each other. They rectified this by taking it in turns to talk – this however meant that the printed schedule was not right. I would like to see a few changes such as whether there could be all day fairground wristbands and drinks refills. Plus there were a lot of things on sale, great if you had forgotten something essential – but I would have liked to see the sale of ear defenders for children who were finding the music too loud.
All in all we were very pleased with our weekend and the whole family had a great time. There were great acts and I was really pleased at the family feel of the place. There really was a good mix to cater for many tastes.There were no signs of trouble, no broken glass, or cups of wee thrown about (as I have unfortunately previously experienced at a festival). I would definitely recommend it for families (as well as non-families of course).
- For more photos from Livestock Festival 2016 see my Facebook album.
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I was provided with free VIP tickets for myself and my family. All words are honest and my own.