Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Carfest North 2013 - Awesome!

There is only one word I can use to describe Carfest North 2013 - AWESOME! OK - I admit it, I stole that word from my 4 year old as that is how he described his weekend this evening.

I have to confess that although I was looking forward to the Children in Need Festival, I was less enamored  with the idea of camping. In fact, the thought of camping made me wish for hair straighteners, a hot shower and a comfy bed. But how wrong I was? We had an AMAZING time!!!

Setting up camp!
We stayed in 'quiet camping' and although it was a 'free-for-all' when it came to choosing a pitch, we had plenty of space. No one plonked themselves right in front of the tent entrance, in fact we have enough space in front of our tents for the children to play football in. We plonked ourselves reasonably near to the toilets - anyone with young children will understand why we did this - and about 100 metres from the camping exit onto the race track, and the short walk to the festival itself. The camp site was manned by site officials (largely to keep you from parking on the grass and causing ruts around the race course which I can understand) who were more than happy to help you with anything that you needed.

Our camping kit - We went with friends who are now seasoned campers - well, they have been twice this year whereas I haven't been camping since I did my silver Duke of Edinburgh's Award (a long time ago!). I borrowed the tent from a family member. Unfortunately the tent was a bit of a disaster as it leaked - not just a little bit, but a lot! On the last night we ended up soaking wet but this didn't dampen our spirits (well, not too much anyway!!!). We took everything we needed to be self-sustained and food was a massive factor in our planning. We ate well - it's one thing that I used to hate about camping as a child - omelettes or tinned vegetables or the dreaded cornbeef hash. I hated it. We eat well at home and holidays should be no different. We froze the pre-prepared meals for the first two nights which, with the added bonus of a cool box, this kept them fresh. The smell of beef curry, chana dahl, chapatis and pickles wafted to our neighbours on the second evening.
Carfest 2013
The festival - for those who don't know about Carfest, it is organised by Radio star Chris Evans. He organises it with families in mind and this was very, very apparent. It was spotlessly clean throughout, everyone was friendly and there was so much thought put into the children but also bearing in mind that adults don't want to be surrounded by soft-play for the weekend. There were loads of free activities which you could do with the children - my boys loved the Army assault course, the Sparkey and George entertainers, the Mad Science workshops, Bugfest and the Adventure Playground. We also loved the Dancing JCB Diggers, the airshow and watching all the cars. I loved the fact that there were so many free activities - we've all been there when the children ask to go on every single ride and buy something from every single store. I would be lying if I didn't say that we were asked but there was so much to do it was easy to persuade the children to explore the freebies!

Chris Evans -  what an amazing man! Not only is he the brains behind the team who organised this festival and raised loads of money for Children in Need but he was a brilliant host. He could be seen all around the festival - he even came onto our campsite on Sunday morning to say hello and see whether we had any complaints - they were filming him on a golf buggy which drove past the toilets just as I opened the door - typical!

Festival fun in the evening!
Each evening there was live music and to say that it was awesome would really not do it justice. I have never been to a festival before #festivalvirgin and never been to a concert before (well, not a professional one like this anyway) #concertvirgin. I am now hooked. Each evening was full of families - everyone looking out for each other - no pushing and shoving. In fact most evenings the 3 year old in our party had a nap on the floor - no one trod on him thank goodness. There was space for the children to dance and no one minded when we popped them onto our shoulders. We danced the nights away - my back and shoulders were aching from having an almost 7 year old on my shoulders but I really didn't care. The massive grins on their faces made up for it. they LOVED it and so did I. My favourite was Jamie Cullum (outstanding) and I have now added tickets to see him again onto my birthday list (massive hint to my husband if he is reading). I also loved Texas which took me back to me early days when I passed my driving test. The Magic Numbers were a new band to me but the boys loved them. There was lots of singing along to Noasis and Bjorn Again - I was looking forward to listening to Deacon Blue but need to practice their songs if I am to sing-along next time!

So - a little message to anyone thinking of going next year...Please DON'T even think about it - you won't enjoy it and neither will your children. DO NOT BOOK TICKETS as then it leaves more chance of us getting some!!! Same time, same place next year? We hope so!!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had a fab time and well done for going with the flow and giving camping a go! :-)


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