Been going since 2012, with only one year out in 2017 as couldn't make it. This year I just wasn't feeling it and not sure at the moment if we'll be back.
On arrival into emperor's carpark it was a shit show, normally they'll park you in the usual rows, filtering from the bottom, they directed us and loads of others past the last row and told us to keep going towards the bottom of the field, we and others ended up with no where to go! There wasn't space to park, then some attendant turned up saying we couldn't stay where we were as it was a fire lane, we explained we'd been sent down there by other attendants and he just shrugged and said well sorry you can't park down here, so we squeezed into the only place we could, and the cars behind just stayed in the said fire lane, which was then non existent. Normally been directed well in past years, it wasn't a major issue, but it seems they didn't have a clue what they were doing.
Emperor's is too big now in my opinion, some folk don't want to walk right down to the farthest spaces so they cram themselves in so they don't have far to walk to the arena. I can completely understand why they do it, but it's not worth the extra money to be camped in top of and agree the facilities are not as good as they were over recent years. This is no fault of the festival, but someone took a shit in the showers!!, maybe a reflection of the type of crowd that are increasing each year.
The weather, I know it's out of their hands but what a hard slog that is turning into, maybe (probably!) I'm getting too old. I just couldn't be arsed trying to get around and ended up seeing a lot less than I normally would (fully prepared clothes n wellies wise by the way)
I thought the woodlands were lacking the usual special feel in terms of art, lighting effects etc.
Market Stalls - was it just me or were they lesser this year, seems to be a lot more food places. I love a good mooch!
Overall we did have some good experiences, what I did see band wise I enjoyed, love the strongbow yard and the fireworks were fanrastic. I see tickets for next year go on sale Friday and they're "taking it up a level", I'll be holding out and seeing how I feel at a later date, as I fear that will take yet more away from the good vibe special festival it used to be.
I was sick to death of listening to parents camped around us ranting and cursing at their kids too, if folk can't cope with the demands of kids at a festival then they shouldn't bring them (touchy subject so please don't jump on me, my opinion and maybe we were just unlucky neighbour wise). I take my kids to festivals but we leave them with grandparents for KC. Is it just me or did the kids area just seem to shut down once the rain hit the last few yeats, not sure on that one.
I'll echo what others have said too, bearded theory is the winner for me at the moment, been going since 2013 and will defo be back there next year, also bought tickets for stone valley north, but for now KC has a huge question mark over it.