Tuesday, 3 June 2014

10 Reasons Why You Should Choose The Wychwood Festival

While I was packing away the Happy Camper this morning, I was thinking about all the things Thomas and I had done that weekend. More specifically, I was reflecting on how impressed I'd been and how much I'd like you all to see it next year. So, I have compiled a list of 10 Reasons Why You Should Choose The Wychwood Festival.

  1. Children's literature
    This was a triumph and really makes Wychwood and Waterstones stand out. The quality of the authors and the illustrators was quite extraordinary, and the way they were all so generous with their time afterwards was fantastic. Thomas has so many books that were signed for him, and each author took the trouble to chat to him - all of them managing to remember something he'd said or done. Thomas has learned some drawing techniques from some of the country's best illustrators, and he's listened to some outstanding children's authors talking about how they write stories. Magical.

  2. Music
    There were so many bands! Amazing bands like the Boomtown Rats, The Stranglers, Newton Faulkner, Reef, Bad Manners, to name but a few, along with lots of other up-and-coming bands. There were three stages for the bands and there was a huge diversity of musical styles. It was really relaxed too and you could get ever so close to the stages too. Each of the acts I saw did a full 90-minute set, so it really was like going to lots of concerts.

  3. Family-friendly activities
    Where to start with these? There was just so much to do that we didn't get to do it all. We tried drumming (really loved this!), clay modelling, listening to stories at the Roald Dahl Museum tent and making a giant hand. We could have done a lot lot more though. There were activities that were suitable for tiny tots too, including the Book Trust tent that had rhyme time. All these activities were in one area that had the feel of an English village fete. It was just so much fun and so colourful.

  4. Food, Glorious Food
    Lots of really delicious food was available. Everything from curried fish to Lebanese food and from pizza to some spectacular puddings. Yum!
  5. Camping
    The camp site was really well-organised and was just a short walk to the festival with no muddy paths. There was a large shop selling all the basics, places selling breakfast and there was even somewhere for you to lock away your valuables that was available 24/7. And, they even have a service where they will set up a rented tent for you, so it's ready and waiting when you arrive.
    Look at the beautiful scenery around the camp site :D
  6. Showers
    Did I mention that they had showers there? Well they did! They even had hot water. What a revelation. I certainly didn't expect that at a festival. I thought I'd be going home on Monday with flies buzzing around my filthy hair.
  7. Toilets
    I'd heard a lot of very disgusting things about festival toilets. So much so, that I took my own Porta Potti. I needn't have worried though. The toilets were very good. They were clean and someone was working hard to keep them stocked with toilet paper. Much better than I expected - and there weren't great long queues either.
  8. Atmosphere
    Everyone was smiley. Everyone was happy. The place was buzzing with a very chilled out friendly atmosphere. It felt very safe. There were lots of stewards around all evening, so even as a woman travelling with a child, I could feel relaxed. One of the most astonishing things about the Wychwood Festival was that so many people had been going to it for years. It's been going for 10 years, and it has built up a very loyal following.
  9. Justin Fletcher
    I'm giving Mr Tumble a whole point here because he drew an enormous crowd, who he entertained. He then went on to sign autographs and was there for a good two hours. He chatted to every child and didn't stop smiling once. What a hero!
  10. Size is everything
    This is a smaller festival. I suppose there were 5k-10k people there. The biggies like Glasto scare the pants off me. I don't think I'd want to be somewhere with over 150k people. Wychwood has enough people for it to feel busy, but not enough for it to be scary.
  11. Value for money
    OK, this is point 11, but that's just because I gave Justin Fletcher his own point ;). At the moment, you can get early bird tickets for £99* (ticket for one adult, including camping - under 10s are free and over 10s are £40). You can even pay in instalments. I mean really, what are you waiting for? If you are paying £99, you will need £24-something deposit and then 9 x £8.25/month. You won't even feel it going. You could pay £99 just to see the Boomtown Rats, let alone all the other stuff here. I have no idea who will be there next year, but if the line-up is even half as good, you will be very glad you came along. 
We've already signed up for 2015. Click here for their booking form. or click here to pay in instalments.

I've set up a little Facebook group for anyone thinking of coming along with us. Whether you're an old friend, a new friend, or a friend I've yet to meet, I promise you won't regret it.**

Come and join us!

* No idea how long this offer is available for.
** Being my friend isn't obligatory ;). Come along anyway!

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