Thursday 29 August 2019

Victorious Festival with Children

Every year we seem to try a new music festival as a family and we all have different criteria.  For me, having plenty for the children to do is a must.  We have four children aged between 3 and 8 and so I know the most enjoyable weekend is one where they are entertained.  Ed on the other hand wants to prioritise good music and make sure there are plenty of bands he wants to see.  He has been going to festivals without children for years and he will spend a long time checking out the lineups.

This year we decided early on that Victorious festival in Southsea fit all the criteria and we were lucky enough to be offered Press Tickets just before we got round to actually purchasing them.  The line up included Two Door Cinema Club, Bloc Party and The Hives that we were keen to see alongside Lewis Capaldi, Rudimental, Professor Green and loads more.  

We arrived late at the camping fields and everything was calm, quiet and well set up.  We were shown a great place to pitch up in the families area and we had so much space around our tent.  Unlike most festivals we have been to, the camping is actually seperate to the festival and we had to get a bus across the city when we wanted to head to the music.  Generally, this worked quite well and we never waited more than about 10 minutes between arriving at the bus stop and leaving in both directions.  The journey was about 20 minutes and on the way home it gave everyone a chance to calm down, meaning the camping fields were always pretty quiet.  My children love a bus, especially a double decker so they had no problems with this! The camping fields had brilliant security but only one coffee van and no other ammenities so we were glad we were prepared!

The festival itself is in Southsea and set along the coast so that within 10 metres of leaving the gates you are on the beach.  It made for a really picturesque festival with the most amazing sunsets over the sea as the artists played. The layout wasn't what we expected but the festival is spread out along the available space and once you get used to it, navigating wasn't hard.  It was huge with the two main stages at different ends and countless small specialist stages all around meaning there was music for everyone.  

The kids arena was obviously a priority and it didn't disappoint.  There was a main stage with its own lineup including Mr Bloom, The Princesses and Peppa Pig but it was everything else that made it special for our children.  There were free fairground rides aimed at the smallest children (perfect for Cora and Finn who are 3 and 4) as well as a selection of bouncy castles that were also free and queues were between about 1 and 15 minutes. (There were also fairground rides for older children and adults at an additional cost of roughly £3 pp)  There were tents full of local businesses offering shows, classes and all sorts and we saw a Jedi training class run by a local dance centre, as well as a drama class aimed at 3-7 year olds that Finn and Cora were completely engaged with, hunting for an invisible 20 headed dragon.  The Lidl Mudder area had obstacle courses for children as well as pedal bikes to make smoothies and free fruit, there were Horrible Histories from the local Docklands teaching kids (rather factually) how to load and clean a cannon and one of our favourite areas was circus skills that was open from 10-6 (the same opening times as the entire kids arena) and had plenty of helpers for the tight rope and all sorts of equipment for the children to practice with.  This is always where they headed first and where they were when everything started packing up.

The music we watched had a great atmosphere and we stayed far enough back that we had space for dancing and running around as well as a blanket to sit on.  There was a huge selection of food vendors offering something for everyone and plenty of shops selling festival essentials like glittery bum bags and more glitter.

Victorious Festival was full of colour, music, smiles and families and whilst you can definitely go child free and have a great time, we thought it was a brilliant family friendly festival.  If we go back again (which we really want to do) then we would break up the crowds of the festival with little escapes to the beach as there is no limit to how much you can go in and out, and it would have been great to cool down in the sea when the temperatures were hovering around 30 all weekend! Southsea pier is also a lovely little area to explore with arcades, a few rides, a soft play (next to Wimpy, which we used for an hour or running free one afternoon) and little cafes.  It would also be great to make an even longer weekend from Victorious and visit the aquarium, Portsmouth city and the local docklands too.  

Obviously my view of the festival is different to that of a child so I have asked the children for their views:

And of course, there are so many more photos of our weekend at Victorious Festival.

To find out more details on Victorious Festival 2020 check out their website!

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