Standon Calling Festival is great for Teens with plenty to keep them entertained. Previously I have written about how family friendly a festival it is but here is a discussion on the free entertainment which may appeal to teens.
This was a gifted trip.
- What is There to To Do for Teens at Standon Calling for No Extra Charge?
- Wellbeing at Standon Calling
- Comedy at Standon Calling
- Standon Calling Swimming Pool
- Conclusion of Suitability of Standon Calling for Teens
When it comes to festivals teens seem to be quite forgotten about. The assumption is that they are probably only interested in getting drunk and possibly the music. Personally I feel that more and more teenagers aren’t drinking alcohol any more. None of our children ever have with the oldest two being over 18.
We took along our 13 and 14 year old boys to find out exactly how good the entertainment at Standon Calling Festival is for teens.
What is There to To Do for Teens at Standon Calling for No Extra Charge?
Standon Calling have a real nice mix of things to do for teens. Obviously there’s a plenitude of music but not only to listen to but how to make with the Hip Hop Academy or joining in with Rockaoke. Then there’s well-being activities; creative activities; educational activities, comedy and of course the Swimming pool.
Note some of these activities need booking in advanced, and others you can just turn up. The Swimming Pool did have an additional charge for the reserved times, and of course the fair rides were there but at an additional cost. Honestly there was so much that the teens could have done that I am bound to have missed some out!
The Hip Hop Academy
The Hip Hop Academy offered a way for teens to get more into music. With Rap, DJ Skills, Beat Production, Graffiti and Beatbox sessions. Professor Rambles wowed our teens with his beat boxing skills and taught them the basics. Now the youngest is constantly practising so he obviously really enjoyed it!
We only caught a bit of Rockaoke – the rock version of Karaoke but it was great to see festival goers on the Main Stage! Notably the inclusivity of Standon Calling, with what I believe to be a bit of a regular local celebrity in Jack Daniels!
Horrible Histories Terrible Tudors Live at Standon Calling
Over on the Laundry Meadows stage was Horrible Histories Live. It was a great performance with only two people. They recounted the history of the Tudor age with such enthusiasm. It was really entertaining with great costumes too.
Yes there were a lot of young children there, and of course the teens already knew the history but they enjoyed it nonetheless. Of course as it was performed on stage, then it wasn’t limited on numbers, and therefore no need to book.
Wellbeing at Standon Calling
Wellbeing is very important at Standon Calling with a whole area devoted to it. This included massages (at an additional cost), Aerial Yoga, Bushcraft, The Wild Den and the Wild Studio. Most of these did need booking.
Unfortunately the teens only managed to get into the Knots and Cordage. They wanted to do the Axe Workshop and Fire lighting in the Bushcraft sessions. We turned up on the Friday and no-one told us about booking so we waited around for two hours only to find out that it was fully booked for the two days. That we could book for the Sunday at 9am Saturday morning. However, we didn’t get down there until 9am Saturday – which was too late, as there was already a big enough queue that it was all booked up! This is apart from the Wild Walks, which they were not interested in.
Other Well-Being activities that we did not take part in included the Spoken Word Masterclass (writing and performance techniques for moving your words from the page to the stage) and those in the Wild Den:
- Faux Flower Crown Making
- 90s Retro Bracelet Making
- Macrame Keyrings
The Wild Studio at Standon Calling offered a range of exercises that may have been of interest to teens. Our boys, however, were not interested but I enjoyed the Trigger Point Pilates.
Also on offer was:
- Rise, Stretch and Shine
- Laughter Yoga
- Buti Yoga
- Rocket Yoga
- Shake Awake with Disco Yoga (Live DJ)
- Yoga Brunch – Booking required, can be done via app
- The Disco Yoga Pick Me Up (Live DJ)
- Beginners Belly Dance
- Hips like Shakira
- Good Vibrations
- The Power Nap
- Sunday Salsa Club
Mr Motivator MBE
Of course not forgetting that Mr Motivator was on the main stage getting people moving. It was great to see our thirteen year old really getting involved and enjoying himself. There was also a talk by Mr Motivator (Lessons learnt from the University of Life) but we unfortunately missed this.
Educational Talks on the Lawn
Other educational talks on the Lawn which may have been of interest to teens included:
- Do Dinosaur Fossils Lie? – Dr Chris Dean of the Natural History Museum
- Saving the Bees – Author and Professor Dave Goulson drew on his own research to explain how we could help save the bees.
- The Science of Diets with BBC Presenter Giles Yeo
- Beavers, Birds and Rewilding with Derek Gow
- Understanding Wildfires and Climate – Thomas Smith Assistant Professor in Environmental Geography at the London School of Economics
- Life in Distant Solar Systems – Nathan Mayne Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Exeter
- History of Witches and Witchcraft – Marion Gibson Professor of Magical Literature
Comedy at Standon Calling
Standon Calling isn’t just about the music there’s comedy too. We saw Tom Glover quickly who was very funny. Other comedians included:
- Amy Matthews
- Shaparak Khorsandi
- Jo Caulfield
- Hannah Fairweather
- Catherine Bohart
Bernlack’s Breakfast Bingo
We were lucky enough to experience Bernlack’s Breakfast Bingo in The Village Hall. This was no ordinary game of Bingo and it got the teens laughing and their dad joining in! Alas, despite getting one and two lines we never won any prizes.
The Flying Seagull Project
We somehow also managed not to see any of The Flying Seagull Project – a trained team of clowns, musicians and entertainers. Their offerings included:
- Perilous Parachute
- Nonsensical Circus Show
- Circus Freestyle
- Big Top Workshop
- Kids Comedy Corner
- Big and Bonkers Balloons
- Rock your Socks off Drum Competition
- Seagull Stretch N’ Shine
- Cacophony Orchestra
- Sunday Turbo Session
- Laugh N Play Games and Giggles
- Nonsensical Circus Show
- Pirate Takeover
Standon Calling Swimming Pool
What actually first attracted me to Standon Calling is the fact that it has its own swimming pool. We love swimming, but especially the 14 year old. Naively I thought that they would just be able to swim all day of nothing took their fancy. Unfortunately that isn’t how it works.
There was the option to book a 30 minute slot at £2.50 per person prior to coming to the festival, but these sold out before we even left home. There were time slots in the evening just to turn up and again these were for 30 minutes each. I believe they were letting in 28 people at a time to ensure it was safe.
So during the Toy Parade I suggested my family start queuing 30 minutes before they were allowed in. This seemed the most opportunistic time as so many people were at the Toy Parade.
Unfortunately they had moved the time slots back an hour and so there was already quite a queue. After so long of just standing in the sun they got bored and left. Not forgetting that these were 13 and 14 year olds – I am not sure how younger children would fare.
Other Things Suitable for Teens at Standon Calling
Unfortunately we did not get to experience any of the workshops provided by the Uni of Bedfordshire. These included:
- VR Drop in Sessions
- T-Shirt Printing
- Dance Workshop
- Djembe Drumming Circle
Nor did we get a chance to do the Not so Virtual Reality – assault course in the playing fields.
Conclusion of Suitability of Standon Calling for Teens
Personally I found that Standon Calling has been the most suitable family festival for teens. With plenty of entertainment for them to choose from.
I do feel that it would have been good to be more informed of things that required booking prior to our arrival. Plus in the App you could look at the schedule by time or place – it would be good to have a rough age filter too perhaps. Or a way to create your own list. There was a clash schedule which was very helpful – if maybe this could be added on the App.
As you can see though, there was lots to do regardless and a good time was had by all. This is on top of a wonderful array of music and food usually associated with Festivals too!