This year we have embraced the festival life for the first time, visiting a mix of festivals across the UK including the BBC summer social in Liverpool which we were very kindly invited to. The BBC Summer Social is a two day festival with no camping aimed at families with children 12 and under. As with all the festivals we have visited this year we did lots of research before hand therefore I know first hand how important honest reviews are, so here is my honest opinion of the BBC Summer Social in Liverpool 2019, along with some top tips to help you get the most out of your trip if you decide to go.
First impressions of the BBC summer social in Liverpool 2019
This was our first visit to the BBC Summer Social in Liverpool and although we had read lots of reviews we still weren’t a 100% sure what it would be like and if it would be suitable for both boys (6,9), or if it would be a bit young for them but we found they were probably the perfect ages to get the most out of it and join in with the activities on offer.
On entering the festival we were offered additional wrist bands for the children that you write your contact number on should they get lost, we have seen this at other festivals and I think it is such a good idea and advise everyone to take them up on this, especially as it is free.
The festival was spread out over a much larger area than I anticipated with several different areas , yet it all seemed enclosed and safe.
There was loads to do (more about this below), and despite it being pretty busy we didn’t find the queues for anything were ever too long for the children to handle and most activities seemed to move along pretty quickly which is always good when waiting with children.
Overall we had a fabulous day and stayed from 10am till 5.30pm and still didn’t manage to fit in everything that was on offer so if you are thinking of buying the two day ticket then do as we felt we could have easily returned the next day if we didn’t already have plans.
Range of activities
I was blown away by the range of activities available at the BBC Summer Social in Liverpool and not just the range but the availability and the efficiency in which the organisers got the children onto them so there wasn’t too much waiting around.
There appeared to be something for all ages to have a go at from very young children with the bedtime hour to the older ones with the tree top assault course. Some of our favourites included
The music, the fair ground rides, the Dr.Who VR experience, football and rugby coaching sessions, a giant inflatable, the cycling and the tennis games
and the best bit was that all of the above activities (and everything else we looked at) was included in the ticket price so apart from food and drink and the occasional fair ground game there were no hidden costs.
The event appeared to be very well organised and ran smoothly from what we could tell. There was lots of staff situated at each event ready to answer your questions and offer assistance if required. The only thing that we found a little annoying was that the staff only seemed to know about their area so asking for directions was a little hard as no one seemed to know where anything else was, I would suggest staff are given a guided tour or at least a map before it opens next time.
Food and drink
The great thing about the BBC Summer Social is that they allow you take food and drink in to the festival with you which means you don’t need to worry about extra costs or fussy eaters. Of course if you do not wish to take a picnic you are able to buy food from a range of vendors including Pizza, chips, burgers and crepes.
We also loved the fact that there are free water fountains spotted around so you can refill your drinks bottles for free, which is especially great when the weather is warm but again there are bars selling alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks too if water isn’t your thing.
One point I will mention is that if you are planning on buying food buy it earlier rather than later as we spotted at least two food stalls that had signs saying they had completely sold out by 4.30pm.
We found the venue to be very clean with plenty of bins and toilette (port-a-loo) facilities available which I also noticed had been cleaned part way through the day.
1.Set off early as you need to queue to get into the car park and then queue again to gain access to the venue.
2. Take a pack lunch and refillable bottles. Not many festivals let you take your own food so make the most of it and as there are free water fountains scattered around the event it makes sense to use them.
3. Have a look online at what is on during the day(s) you are attending and discuss with your child what they would like to do. Then head there first and see if you need to book in advance. We found that the sport coaching sessions booked up very fast and we only just managed to book on for the last sessions of the day and that was with 4 hours notice.
4. In relation to point 3 check which acts and bands you want to watch so you can book your activities around them.
5. Make sure your child in wearing suitable clothes and footwear. If the weather is hot it is easy to put them in flip flops etc but then they may not be allowed to do some of the sports activities.
6. If you have a very little one that loves CBeebies then head to the CBeebies magazine art tent early as they are giving away goody bags and these ran out quickly. Unfortunately lots of families were taking one per child instead of one per family which made no sense to me as the goody bags contained DVD’s and surely your children can enjoy them together and don’t need a copy each.
(We were gifted a family ticket for the BBC summer social in Liverpool in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own).