Last weekend we took the boys to their first ever festival. We chose one that was close to home and a day event as opposed to camping so we had the option of leaving without to much hassle should we need to. It was called Cheshire Fest and was hosted at Manchester Rugby Club in Cheadle Hulme, about 40 minutes from where we live.
Choosing to go to a festival with our children was one of big debate as I am sure it is for most families but I can honestly say that Cheshire Fest was absolutely the perfect first festival and based on our experience we are already contemplating more festivals in the future.
Why choose to go to Cheshire Fest?
It was calm and relaxed Cheshire Fest had a lovely relaxed feeling from the minute we arrived and despite being worried about feeling stressed from start to finish I actually managed to relax and enjoy myself easily.
It is big but not too big The festival is held on a large field, there are three stages, numerous fair ground rides, stalls and bars, yet at the same time you could run the perimeter in a matter of minutes and if you stood in the middle you can see almost everywhere, unlike some festivals that are spread out over numerous fields.
Something for everyone Cheshire Fest does have something for everyone from rides for all ages, character performances for the mini festival goers and big name tribute artists for the bigger attendees. There is also an array of food and drink options including vegetarian and halal.
Family friendly The whole event is family friendly with under 6’s going free which even encourages families to bring their smallest members. Everywhere we looked there were families with children of all ages including babes in arms. However if you are thinking of going to Cheshire fest without children then you can upgrade to the VIP tent where children aren’t allowed which I think is a nice option to have.
Safe To me safety is a big thing especially at events where you expect large crowds. At Cheshire Fest there was only one way in and out which was through a tented area with members of staff on, who I am sure would have noticed if any children walked through alone. Failing that there were two additional parking attendants situated between the entrance and the main road who definitely would have noticed any unsupervised children before they got to the road. In addition to this we saw medics wandering around to and lots of people with Cheshire Fest tops and lanyards on hand if anything was needed.
Take cash If you are thinking of going to Cheshire Fest then I would recommend that you take cash with you. All the fair ground rides and most of the food stalls were cash only and obviously being in a field there was no cash machines available.
Take a blanket or camping chairs. We didn’t think to take anything with us and spent most of the time sitting on the grass which was fine as the weather was good, but lots of families were more prepared than us and had camping chairs and blankets which I was a bit envious of and would take with us next time.
Check nearby parking. Two reasons for this, we arrived an hour after it opened and the car park was already full so we had to find street parking in the area. Secondly had there been spaces it was £5 per car so unless you really want to park on site it’s worth checking the local area for free nearby parking too.
I hope these little pointers and top tips are beneficial if you are looking at going to Cheshire Fest. For us it was the perfect first festival experience with rides, music and lots of food. The boys both came away having enjoyed themselves and we are looking forward to trying out some more festivals in the future.
If you love the idea of single day family festivals then have a read of our BBC summer social festival in Liverpool.
(We were gifted a family ticket to Cheshire fest in exchange for a post experience article, all opinions are my own).