Today I am introducing and welcoming the very friendly and lovely Rebecca Howard to my guest post series. She is pitching to me her favourite family bucket list day out to Blissfields festival.
Bucket List – Go to Blissfields Festival
Blissfields is a music festival which takes place every year on Vicarage Farm, near Winchester in Hampshire. It was launched in 2001 and soon became an established festival with top-notch headliners. Past acts have included Scouting for Girls, Mumford and Sons, Stereo MCs, Laura Marling, Super Furry Animals, Tricky, Bastille and Dizzee Rascal. It also has heaps for kids to do in an awe-inspiring, stimulating and safe environment. People from all generations love Blissfields with its many music stages, craft workshops, therapy tents and vintage stalls. You can camp for the weekend in general camping, family or quiet camping, with a camper van or in the glamping area. Saturday only tickets are also available.
The minute we arrived at Blissfields festival, we just knew that we were in a place where we could relax and let our hair down. We were met with smiling, helpful stewards who couldn’t do enough to help us and in fewer than ten minutes, we were settled on our pitch, introduced to our new neighbours for the weekend and ready for our first chilled drink. It was clear that everyone at Blissfields was determined to make the whole festival experience a hassle-free and welcoming one. Blissfields festival simply exudes warmth and friendliness.
It is not an exaggeration to say that I simply could not fault this festival. We went with our six year old twins and we felt that the organisers had put so much effort into ensuring that people of all ages were well catered for. From the clean, proper flushing toilet cabins (which we never had to queue for), to the thoughtfully placed benches, bales of hay and numerous shady spots around the site, this was the epitome of a hassle-free festival. The food and drink was really reasonably priced and if you wanted some quiet time and space away from the crowds, there were plenty of areas for this. We were blessed with glorious weather all weekend, and we made good use of the large shaded area just to the side of the main stage, with handy games for children dotted around. I am certain that Blissfields would have coped well if it had rained. The only bit of mud we saw was next to the water tanks and this was immediately covered with straw.
When the sun got a little too intense the kids’ area, The Angel Gardens, welcomed us into one of its capacious bell tents. The kids cooled down and calmed down for a while and my husband and I took turns to have some “me” time. I sneaked off for a heavenly reflexology session and then he went off to explore the ale tent he had spotted earlier. The Angel Garden helpers or “Angels”, as they called themselves, could not have been kinder or more caring. The craft area was another ideal space to head to with children. Our children both did a pottery craft session, which cost £5 each. It was well worth it as they had one-to-one help for around 30 minutes and thoroughly enjoyed it.
The music at Blissfields is the beating heart of the festival. As you wander around, you encounter the uplifting and energising sounds of the different stages. So, actually, you can’t really wander at all. You end up tapping, bouncing, strutting, clapping, singing your way around the festival site. The main stage the “Theatre of the Bizarre” saw the likes of Metronomy, Lady Leshurr, Pumarosa and the Dub Pistols. A particular favourite of ours was Sundara Karma’s early Friday evening slot. This emerging indie four-piece group blasted out some great modern indie and the fantastically upbeat “She Said” was performed at an opportunely bright and glimmering early evening moment. Another choice spot for us was The Bay. A man-made beach area with DJs stationed in a look-out post, a shell of a boat and inflatable toys for the kids. We spent a couple of hours here on Friday and Saturday evening. We got to dance and have a couple of drinks while the children played in the sand and, occasionally, joined us for some dancing too. This area was a microcosm of what the whole festival had achieved: friendly, happy people of all ages, side-by-side, having a fantastic time.
Vicarage Farm, the home of Blissfields, will be given some recuperation time in 2018 but we’ll certainly be heading back to the festival in 2019 for some more memorable moments at what is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most phenomenal festivals we have ever been to.
Click here to read her full review of Blissfields 2017.
About the author
Rebecca Howard is the Director of Festival Paradise, a guide to the best small, alternative and independent music festivals. Passionate about opening people’s eyes to the many alternative festivals out there, she has six year old twins and a camper van and heads off to many festivals each festival season to write honest reviews.
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