While music festivals and family friendly don’t always sit together, they’re not all about drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. There are some fabulously family-orientated festivals across the world, where the focus is on parents and children enjoying and discovering new music together. Here are just a few of the most family friendly festivals where you can listen, dance, craft and camp together:
Off The Tracks festivals
Stall at the Off The Tracks festival by David Wilson Clarke
What to expect – Off The Tracks holds two festivals at Castle Donnington, in the heart of England, every year, in May and August. Ordinarily a camping and caravanning site, it means there are good facilities, with proper loos and showers. There’s a children’s play area and arts and crafts activities for little ones, along with a line-up that, for spring, includes Jesus Jones and Big Country.
Where to stay – You can stay on-site, in your tent or motor home, and there are power points for hooking up your tourer. Tickets for the event are based on a package which includes camping. If camping is not your style then the festival suggests the Lady Gate Guest House in Diseworth near Castle Donnington.
Into the Great Wide Open
The Ferris wheel at Into the Great Wide Open by Maarten van Maanen
What to expect – A pop festival on Vlieland, a tiny island on the coast of The Netherlands, The Great Wide Open describes itself as a ‘dream festival’ for all ages. It offers a mix of music, arts and film, all in breathtakingly gorgeous surroundings. Taking place at the beginning of September, artists on the line-up include Ebo Taylor and The Silhouettes. The event is very much geared towards enjoying the Great Outdoors, so families can listen to music while gathering around campfires and eating seafood from the surrounding flats.
Where to stay – Camping Storetmelk is all about getting close to the elements, staying in tents on the dunes. The site is just a stone’s throw from the beach, where you can have a dip in the bracing North Sea.
Porthcawl Interceltic Festival
“The Brim” Porthcawl Interceltic Festival at by Kim Appleby
What to expect – A celebration of the music, songs and dance of the Celtic countries and isles of Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man, Brittany and Wales, the Porthcawl Interceltic Festival in Mid Glamorgan, Wales, prides itself on offering something for all ages. Taking place from March 7 to 9, it features more than 300 performers, culminating in the Parade of the Celts, in Porthcawl Town Centre, a colourful spectacle with pipers, dancers and musicians.
Where to stay – Staying at Parkdean’s Trecco Bay caravan site makes an ideal base as it’s in keeping with the festival’s family-friendly values, with its beach access, indoor swimming pool complete with pirate ship, dodgems and kids’ clubs.
Primavera Sound by primaverasound.es
What to expect – A good way to introduce children to the world of music, Primavera Sound takes place in May at the Parc del Forum, Barcelona. The festival includes Minimusica, an array of events for children, all geared around a different theme each year.
Where to stay – You won’t find family friendly camping at Primavera Sound. But, there are plenty of good options near the Parc del Forum. The Hotel SB Diagonal Zero Barcelona is just a minute’s walk away and has a rooftop pool for cooling down after working up a sweat dancing.
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
Bonnaroo by Jason Anfinsen
What to expect – Taking place in 700-acres of rural gorgeousness in Manchester, Tennessee, Bonnaroo prides itself on keeping its values firmly in the ethos of the Woodstock generation. Admission is free for children up to the age of six and there is a kids’ club that runs from midday to 6pm along with a colossal waterslide. All that, and music too!
Where to stay – Camping is included as part of the general admission package. There’s a special family camping area for parents and small children to make sure they have the best possible festival experience.
For parents who want to introduce their children to music festivals, these events now offer the chance for a family-friendly getaway. And, while they may not give you all the comforts of home, choosing one of these smaller festivals gives you the chance to enjoy an outdoor music experience with all the family, young and old.