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All Things Family Related for Music Festivals

  • 11-11-2019 7:26pm
    Registered Users Posts: 833 ✭✭✭

    (mods - please feel free to remove if this thread isn't allowed)

    Hi all.

    Just thought I'd start a thread, if it's allowed and ok, for family focused queries, questions, comments for all the various festivals and gigs that are out there now.

    I find sometimes that the gig/event specific threads are more focused on the music (and rightly so) side of festivals and that a thread like this might help separate the family specific comments away from them and all together on the one thread.

    My first query/question, is for anyone that has been with a family to the likes of EP, ATN, Kaleidoscope etc and could maybe compare the different festivals from a family point of view.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,561 ✭✭✭Stillill42

    God bless you, Stationmaster. The EP and ATN threads will be forever in your debt.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,457 ✭✭✭✭bodhrandude

    There would be four or five family orientated festivals, ATN, EP, Body&Soul, Kaleidoscope and Vantastival. Have not been to the last two listed but I'd say its a toss between B&S and ATN, B&S would be a bit more hippy, pagan and quite alternative in vibe, left of the field electronic acts, indie rock, folk rock, world music and reggae. ATN a little bit bigger than B&S and a bigger scope of acts with a nice sprinkling of smaller stages with the same vibe as B&S and maybe Life festival combined but with bigger main stage acts. For the kids, B&S has the Soul Kids area for younger children but the whole festival is very chilled. I think there is a younger children's area at ATN too near the side of the mansion. Electric Picnic basically has the Body&Soul crowd running a bigger Soul Kids area, but as the festival is expanding and pandering towards the teenager crowd their family connection is becoming more questionable although some on the EP thread would disagree, EP still has a tremendous vibe though.

    If you want to get into it, you got to get out of it. (Hawkwind 1982)

  • Registered Users Posts: 237 ✭✭mrk75

    B&S was probably our best experience a couple of years ago. The car park was really close to the campsite, which itself wasn't too massive a walk to the main area. There was stuff for kids in the campsite, young ones (scouts, I guess) to help you put up your tent and it was reasonably quiet from memory.

    The kids' area in the festival itself was really good too. I guess some of the music was just a bit too "niche" for us and there's the old conundrum of how to keep the wee one occupied come evening time when it's all boring, "grown-up" music... :-)

    EP was fine but she was only wee and in a buggy then so we could just take her with us to whatever gig we wanted and make sure her ears were protected. I don't think I'd tackle EP now.

    ATN this year was good as far as activities during the day were concerned. The well-documented traffic issues getting in and the weather just made it a not totally happy experience. Distance from car-park to camp-site was also an issue for us, I guess.

    I'd go back to B&S again but it would depend on the line-up.

  • Registered Users Posts: 908 ✭✭✭grudgehugger

    We've been going to festivals with kids for 8 years now. Mainly B&S, we go there every year. 50/50 if we'll go next year as we're going to ATN (we have bought cheap BnS tickets, will decide closer to time). BnS is a younger crowd overall than ATN I'd say, more focussed on dance music and small Irish acts. It has the woods which our kids love running around in and a lot of space in general which is mostly a good thing even if it can mean a fair bit of walking. In 8 years, we have always found it to be a happy and welcoming place for kids once you use common sense.

    We went to ATN this year for the first time and found it great. Reasonably compact site, kids really enjoyed the family area as well as Greencrafts (sword making, necklace making...)and we got VERY lucky by missing out on all the traffic issues. Drove straight in from the south. Loads of families at it too. Def going next year.

    Went to EP once for the full weekend with kids and unlikely to do it again, partly as that's our festival for ourselves, partly cos it's just a lot bigger and there's a bit more risk of being caught in a very crowded space (generally always a bad idea in our experience with kids at festivals). Given we only went the once others may have a better view on EP for you. I do think bringing kids on the Sunday to EP may be the way to start.

    If you have more specific questions StationMaster, post away!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,913 ✭✭✭Wooderson

    Family Camping at EP infinitely superior to ATN.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 833 ✭✭✭Stationmaster

    We went to EP this year with 4, 6 and 8 year olds. It was my first time going to a music festival and I was very sceptical about EP especially with kids - I would have done anything to get out of it in the week leading up! However, we ended up having one of our most memorable weekends as a family together. Parking was great - a 12/15 minute walk to the family campsite. The family campsite was busy but very safe and trouble free. A slightly longer walk from the campsite into EP itself but the weekend was great. There was so much for the family to do together both in the Little Picnic area and the wider arena itself. Yes, of course, there were busy times and, depending where you were, you had to use a little bit of common sense because of the kids, but nothing that you could say took from our enjoyment in any way.

    We were going non stop each day up until 10/10.30pm.

    Unfortunately, even though I was ready online at 9am on the Saturday the tickets came out for 2020, we failed to get a family ticket for EP. Based on our experience of the facebook group this year, I would be reasonably confident that we will pick up genuine tickets from people who can't go leading up to EP, but we still want to go to one or two of the other festivals around next year and are currently thinking both ATN & Kaleidoscope.

  • Registered Users Posts: 214 ✭✭blueberrypie

    I have been to Kaleidscope and ATN with the kids. EP without kids.

    ATN is not as child friendly imo as Kaleidscope. ATN is a
    much bigger festival obviously and a lovely kids area open in the day time.
    We had no issue with traffic our hold up was the congestion once we got inside the estate.
    Had a 20 minute walk from car to family camping, we originally camped in volunteer area as no-one told us where to go, luckily we did not have the tent pitched.
    Nosier and busier into the night. We were back in our tents for 10pm. I went back out with a friend while husband minded kids. Kids slept through the noise of the music in the distance. Walk into the arena from our tent was 10 minutes. We had to pass the boutique camping area. only 4 showers which I felt was not enough showers for family area and volunteer area. They had water stations in camp site. Loads of food vendors.

    Kaleidoscope the music stops at 11pm I think with a curfew at midnight. Some people had issues with security guards telling them get into their tents and not to sit outside chatting. We had no such issues just some teens being screamed at by security guards on the Saturday night in the early hours even though no-one over 12 and under 18 was supposed to be at the festival.
    There were people there in couples and groups of adults but not many.
    Loads of kids playing chase and enjoying playground and the maze which are a permanent feature in Russbourough House.
    Lovely activities for the kids -largest bouncy castle in Europe, kids drum lessons, coder do jo, family friendly gigs with-King Kong company being the highlight. Only downside was the queues for coffee in the morning and food in the evening. 2hours for a pizza so we went to the vegan stall. Kids were not impressed.

    I will go back to Kaleidoscope with the family. Roll on 2020.
    I will not go back to ATN with them and I would never bring them to EP personally speaking.

    Any questions fire away.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭DavyD_83

    Anybody going to kaleidoscope this year? Bringing 5&7 year old along, camping for the weekend. Really looking forward to it. Pretty sure we have camping side sorted, but first time at festival with kids.

    Are ear defenders needed, or a good idea? Or is music & noise at family friendly levels that their age should have no issue with? Tempted to buy and getting them just in case, but also don't want to waste the money if completely unnecessary.

  • Registered Users Posts: 91 ✭✭jellybeano

    We went to Kaleidoscope with 2 kids, 10 and 8. Both had ear defenders. 10 y.o didn’t need hers but the 8 y.o definitely did. The music was as loud as ever. It’s a lovely festival for families and the 11pm curfew was perfect

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭DavyD_83

    Thanks. Great to get the opinion of somebody who has been there. I'll buy them to have just in case. Have image of getting stung paying a fortune for them there when I realise they are essential

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