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1st timers and we are taking the kids... questions!

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So we were lucky enough to get tickets to Glastonbury this year, not only is it our 1st time at Glastonbury it is our 1st festival ever and we are taking the kids! Nothing like jumping in at the deep end!

Our son starts high school this time so we are trying to give him one last summer of fun before the teenage drudgery starts.

Anyway, we have absolutely no idea what to expect, I have spent the last few months of my life trying to get an idea, but blogs and websites swing from the going with the flow to getting your tent slashed and implying we'll all get mugged at some point... people who I have spoken to who have been before have never taken kids so they can only really relate tales of being off their tumblers on drugs or drink

So far through the power of google and this forum we have worked out we are best arriving on Tuesday night ready to queue Wednesday morning at the Purple car park and camp in Cockmil Meadow to be near to the KidzField... it's a start 😊  my kids ( 9 & 10) are pretty open minded and easy going, although I am under no disillusions that they won't still fall out and manage to find some kind of thing to throw a hissy fit about at least once. We have all gone through the current lineup and surprisingly picked most of the same people we want to see which is good, none of us are all that bothered about any of the headliners which might work out well for exploring when it isn't as busy? Am I kidding myself with this??

So here goes... 

Are there places off-limits to kids? a lot of stuff speaks like you already in the know, I am guessing the naughty corner is a big no with the kids (which is a shame as it sounds right up my street) 

Can we feed a family of 4 without needing to selling a kidney each? 

.Crafts, stalls and the like... what kind of prices and activities are we looking at? Our youngest is currently fixated on arts and crafts, I've read there is plenty of activities in the KidzField, does anyone have an idea what like? Are the vendors outside of the kidzField well priced?

Is camping in the family field as squished as the google images idea of Glastonbury camping?

Is it safe to let the kids explore the KidzField alone, or anywhere really (probably not the naughty corner) I obviously don't mean ditch them in the KidzFeild and bugger off, but could they pop in and out if we are at the camp having a brew or is that a recipe for being sold into child labour?

Are there really kids only toilets in the KidzField? 

To be honest I am not even sure what I should be asking or thinking about 🤨

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We don't have children but have camped with friends who have, though they were slightly older, 1 just having become a teenager. The are no restrictions that I am aware of that you can't take children into the corner and I have seen them there in the past. However there are things you may not wish them to see  and that is parental choice. There's nothing too outrageous but it could get scary for little ones....especially as it gets very crowded. 

As for tent slashing and muggings then you've been reading the wrong blogs or listening too much to your mother or grandmother. I'm not saying Glasto is 100% safe and crime doesnt happen but it one of the safest and friendly festivals out there.

Space is generally a premium where ever you camp but some areas are much less popular than others. Hopefully you may find slightly more space in Cockmil than the extremely popular sites in that area where it's not beyond the possibility to wake up cuddling the person in the next tent through the canvas 😉

As for food, it is plentiful and a gastronomic delight of street food from around the globe. In 2017 we paid around £6 - £9 per person per meal, snacks meals are cheaper. To save money we cook our own breakfast, eat our own snacks during the day and have a meal as and when in the evening.

The one thing that strikes most newcomers to the Glasto is it's enormity. The site is huge and it's easy to get lost. Large scale maps available at info points make find your way around easier but I would advise not letting younger ones stray too far. Going to Kidzfield from Cockmil should be ok but any further it beckons a myriad of fields and tented walkways. 

Enjoy...you'll love it (I hope)

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The Kidz field has a number of craft tents which swap what they produce during the day. There is a narrow way in and out so you can park yourself there and let the kids loose. You can have identity bands with your mobile number put on them.
The kids may also like the craft field where they can do metal work, stone carving etc....

No one goes round slashing tents at Glastonbury, more like offer to help you put yours up! The kids will be treated kindly by all and see amazing things. You can go into naughty corner during the day and let them see what is there.
Circus field will be a must see and they can join in as well!

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10 hours ago, HappyBees said:

So we were lucky enough to get tickets to Glastonbury this year, not only is it our 1st time at Glastonbury it is our 1st festival ever and we are taking the kids! Nothing like jumping in at the deep end!

Our son starts high school this time so we are trying to give him one last summer of fun before the teenage drudgery starts.

Anyway, we have absolutely no idea what to expect, I have spent the last few months of my life trying to get an idea, but blogs and websites swing from the going with the flow to getting your tent slashed and implying we'll all get mugged at some point... people who I have spoken to who have been before have never taken kids so they can only really relate tales of being off their tumblers on drugs or drink

So far through the power of google and this forum we have worked out we are best arriving on Tuesday night ready to queue Wednesday morning at the Purple car park and camp in Cockmil Meadow to be near to the KidzField... it's a start 😊  my kids ( 9 & 10) are pretty open minded and easy going, although I am under no disillusions that they won't still fall out and manage to find some kind of thing to throw a hissy fit about at least once. We have all gone through the current lineup and surprisingly picked most of the same people we want to see which is good, none of us are all that bothered about any of the headliners which might work out well for exploring when it isn't as busy? Am I kidding myself with this??

So here goes... 

Are there places off-limits to kids? a lot of stuff speaks like you already in the know, I am guessing the naughty corner is a big no with the kids (which is a shame as it sounds right up my street) 

Can we feed a family of 4 without needing to selling a kidney each? 

.Crafts, stalls and the like... what kind of prices and activities are we looking at? Our youngest is currently fixated on arts and crafts, I've read there is plenty of activities in the KidzField, does anyone have an idea what like? Are the vendors outside of the kidzField well priced?

Is camping in the family field as squished as the google images idea of Glastonbury camping?

Is it safe to let the kids explore the KidzField alone, or anywhere really (probably not the naughty corner) I obviously don't mean ditch them in the KidzFeild and bugger off, but could they pop in and out if we are at the camp having a brew or is that a recipe for being sold into child labour?

Are there really kids only toilets in the KidzField? 

To be honest I am not even sure what I should be asking or thinking about 🤨

thats a great first post btw...

You sound like sensible and pragmatic parents and you have boys so the toilets wont be as much of a challenge as they were when i first took two teenage daughters..

There is a ton of walking to be done so sturdy, comfortable footwear (that is worn in) is a necessity.

Heading south from the kids field is Circus & Theatre, Cabaret, Avalon and then Craft Fields and Greenpeace.. plenty to keep the kids (and you!)  interested, that doesnt involve sex & drugs and Rock & roll..

I would suggest seeing a Pyramid headliner as it is such a spectacle.. Killers will be sing-a-long tunes and fireworks and if you stand up the back it is easy to head back to Cockmill.

I like the idea (on another thread about missing school) to make it part educational (scrapbooks or something..)

Glastonbury was my first festival in 2007.. I was hooked and my girls are too. You will have a ball...

Enjoy!

 

btw : do you have Happy Bees..??

 

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Get there as early as possibly within your means.  You will have an experience to remember.

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I think you will all have a brilliant time. I am so jealous of you as your first Glastonbury really is a special experience. I do have a few tips for you though.

1) Glastonbury is HUGE. Take your time Wednesday and Thursday to familiarise yourselves with the site. Lots of adults get overwhelmed with the sheer size of everything and how much is going on, so don't be surprised if the kids do too. Make sure your camp is a safe space for if it all gets a bit much.

2) There are also times where it can get very busy with crowds. This could also be quite scary for kids, but can be avoided if you choose, so take your time, and sit things out until things have calmed down a little. Be flexible with your timescales and assume everything will take twice as long as you expect!

3) With regards to safety, as others have said, Glastonbury is one of the best festivals. Do bear in mind though that you and your kids will experience all sorts of people at Glastonbury. As it gets later each day, this will include more and more people indulging (or overindulging) in their preferred tipple. So you may come across some drunk / high people that are all friendly and having the time of their lives, but can also be boisterous, clumsy, ill and well... unusually behaved. Like I say, there are never normally problems, but this might be completely new experiences for your children to see, so just be prepared!

4) It sounds like you are great parents and therefore you need to trust your own judgement as to what you deem appropriate for your kids. I wouldn't rule out any areas as everywhere has something unique to offer, including the SE corner. I would probably avoid this late at night though, as it gets busier probably than anywhere else on site, and can sometimes be a bit of an ordeal even moving around in there!

5) Finally, don't overthink it. Just enjoy it, go with the flow, see where your experience takes you and you will have the best time. Please come back on here afterwards and tell us how it went. 🙂

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It's amazing but we all have moments of "what have we done?" Find somewhere to sit down and just relax and people watch for twenty minutes. Someone will do something uplifting in that time and then go do something silly. 

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If you can't make Cocksmill for any reason Wicket is a good alternative. Yes it's much further away from the Kidzfield but it's quieter and from what I saw in 2017 it was much less packed.

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Hello! You guys are in for a lot of fun! We’re going again this year with our 6 and 2 year olds, it’s our daughter’s fourth festival and our son’s second. 

We’ve camped in Cockmill meadow before and it fills up fast once the gates open (before Midday) and is quite busy with not masses of space between tents but has a nice friendly atmosphere.If you’re looking for a more relaxed start to the festival and avoiding an overnight wait before queuing early, the other family field is a slightly longer walk away from the KidzField but has more space to camp and you could arrive later on the Wednesday. 

 

The whole site is totally eye opening for adults and kids alike and I can’t recommend enough spending the rest of Wednesday and Thursday just exploring everywhere, but be prepared to walk miles!

 

All the activities for kids in the kids field,circus, green kids field are free, which I love as there’s never any need to restrict them doing what they want due to cost. I’m not sure about the main craft fields, I think lots of the activities do have a contribution to the materials etc. 

Food is expensive so as much as you can carry in the way of snacks and breakfast stuff the better.

One tip is to make use of the free property lock ups all over the site to keep valuables safe but also, for example if you plan to stay out all day into the evening then leaving extra jumpers etc in the lock ups near where you think you’ll be to save you carrying them all day or trekking all the way back to your tent for them.

I haven’t been to the south east corner since 2011 before we had children, which was before the one way entry and exit system was introduced, and the crowding was so insane that I’ve never dared to head there since, but maybe it’s fine - I think as suggested above, it’s parental preference. However, there’s plenty of places that you can still dance and enjoy fun after the headliners have finished all over the site, including Arcadia which is quite a spectacle to see!

Enjoy!! 

 

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We take our 3, the youngest was 2 when she first went. Shes now 7. We take them to the SE corner but late afternoon, early evening when it's a bit quieter.

Also, cook breakfast as others have said and as there is so much good food, share main meals so they get to try lots of different things. Carry the stainless steel water bottles round to refill for free at the taps/water aid points.

Have a nap in the afternoon means they can stay up later.

Don't over pack as ours tend to wear the same things unless it's a really wet one (which it won't be)

 

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On 4/5/2019 at 11:59 AM, HappyBees said:

So we were lucky enough to get tickets to Glastonbury this year, not only is it our 1st time at Glastonbury it is our 1st festival ever and we are taking the kids! Nothing like jumping in at the deep end!

Our son starts high school this time so we are trying to give him one last summer of fun before the teenage drudgery starts.

Anyway, we have absolutely no idea what to expect, I have spent the last few months of my life trying to get an idea, but blogs and websites swing from the going with the flow to getting your tent slashed and implying we'll all get mugged at some point... people who I have spoken to who have been before have never taken kids so they can only really relate tales of being off their tumblers on drugs or drink

So far through the power of google and this forum we have worked out we are best arriving on Tuesday night ready to queue Wednesday morning at the Purple car park and camp in Cockmil Meadow to be near to the KidzField... it's a start 😊  my kids ( 9 & 10) are pretty open minded and easy going, although I am under no disillusions that they won't still fall out and manage to find some kind of thing to throw a hissy fit about at least once. We have all gone through the current lineup and surprisingly picked most of the same people we want to see which is good, none of us are all that bothered about any of the headliners which might work out well for exploring when it isn't as busy? Am I kidding myself with this??

So here goes... 

Are there places off-limits to kids? a lot of stuff speaks like you already in the know, I am guessing the naughty corner is a big no with the kids (which is a shame as it sounds right up my street) 

Can we feed a family of 4 without needing to selling a kidney each? 

.Crafts, stalls and the like... what kind of prices and activities are we looking at? Our youngest is currently fixated on arts and crafts, I've read there is plenty of activities in the KidzField, does anyone have an idea what like? Are the vendors outside of the kidzField well priced?

Is camping in the family field as squished as the google images idea of Glastonbury camping?

Is it safe to let the kids explore the KidzField alone, or anywhere really (probably not the naughty corner) I obviously don't mean ditch them in the KidzFeild and bugger off, but could they pop in and out if we are at the camp having a brew or is that a recipe for being sold into child labour?

Are there really kids only toilets in the KidzField? 

To be honest I am not even sure what I should be asking or thinking about 🤨

Imagine you’ll be fine in the naughty corner   In the afternoon, like everywhere they’ll be people ‘enjoying’ themselves but don’t let that put you off. It’s a very creative and arty part of the festive- music ain’t bad either!

In the craft field there are bits that a free to try, then prices range depending on activity. Maybe pick one which you can all do and create something good to take home. Or just enjoy bimbling around!

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You all can go everywhere, but there are 18yrs+ areas in the SE corner, although during the day, you can mooch around sight seeing there. Main thing is have a plan if you separate, even by accident, attach your mobile number to their wrist band, identify stewards in hi vis jackets as those who can help, take a strange flag to help identify your tent to find it again and identify markers to get back to your tent, at stages settle on a particular side or by the sound desk or viewing platform, near 'such and such flag' so if someone goes off to the loo, they can get back. Ear defenders or ear plugs are good, hats sun creams water bottle essential, fancy dress optional, take snacks and sweets to minimise those costs (treat it like prepping for a 5 hour drive and take stuff that keeps them happy and fed) I'm sure some stalls do cheaper food for budget, £5. You can leave it all in the lock ups too, to save space, and keep things secure.

Never been to kidzfield , as I stuck to having step children who won't be with me (I'm one of those relating to the drinking part of the festival) but I go to the craft fields to make gifts for my family, spoon whittling, coin stamping, painting, glass making, stone carving and more. There's also the circus field for acts and theatre, on the East side.

I'm not saying you should abandon your family, but my cousin and her husband split the nights up to each look after their kids while the other parties out late.

Also, watch out for the end of acts as the crowds leave the fields, there are various pinch points that are very difficult to get through, keep to the side and hold hands, or avoid those times.

On the atmosphere, yes, I've heard of tent thefts and my female friends getting unwanted attention. That is a sad part of all festivals but the police (and sometimes the crowd) are working on that, and the huge majority are happy and getting on together, helping each other out of the mud, chatting in the crowds.

Edit - oh, and some form of hand sanitiser to keep bugs away, after playing in the fields and visiting the loos. Never had food poisoning though.

Edited by carlosj

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Been with mine aged 10 and 12. Have spent a lot of time in the circus tent as appeals to all ages, plus things like low wires for them to try out. Kidz field some crafty bits going on, and you can find some free/voluntary payment things in main craft fields. Kidz field has plenty of space to stretch out whilst they explore field on their own at that age. I did leave mine for a while last time while they saw dynamo and I went off to busted, depends how sensible they are about not leaving the field.

Took them round naughty corner when they were 12, just during the day to see the artistic side.

Also the cinema tends to have one latest release or even before general release for the kids. Last time was cars 3, which even at 12 mine were over the moon with. 14 this year and hoping for Toy Story!!

There will be the usual gripes as they get tired so just make sure of something to sit down on and dont expect them to love every minute. Even the adults have the odd "I've had enough" moments at a place so big.

 

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thank you so much for all your amazing, detailed and reassuring reply! sorry for the delay I've been away from work.

Loving all the tips and advice 😍

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If you want to give the kids some idea of the size of the place that they can relate to, have a look at 

https://gsp8181.co.uk/glasto/ which drops Glastonbury on top of google maps. Maybe put one edge on your house, see where the other edge lines up and and walk there to physically show them.....

 

 

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2 hours ago, Gedh said:

If you want to give the kids some idea of the size of the place that they can relate to, have a look at 

https://gsp8181.co.uk/glasto/ which drops Glastonbury on top of google maps. Maybe put one edge on your house, see where the other edge lines up and and walk there to physically show them.....

 

 

damn the kids, im doing this myself..!!

Let me get my boots on.

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We are soo lucky to have tickets for Glastonbury this year and It is our first time , 3 families with 5 children ageing from 7 to 13

really really excited, we are camping which we all love, please can anyone advise which field is best to camp in,  wicket or cocksmill, and which entrance to use and when/what time to get there.

also i love camping but love to have all essentials covered , but husband says he is not uncoupling the kitchen sink and we are taking minimal equipment!!😰

does this mean air beds are out??? More important the portaloo??

 

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1 hour ago, rotty48 said:

really really excited, we are camping which we all love, please can anyone advise which field is best to camp in,  wicket or cocksmill, and which entrance to use and when/what time to get there.

Cockmill is the far more popular of the two, I think based mainly on the proximity to the kids field, but because it's so popular in order to get a decent spot you'd need to get there and through the gate as early as possible - meaning something like parked up in the East car parks by about 6am Wednesday and straight into the queue for Gate B or C.

Wicket is a lot more relaxed - you can turn up pretty much any time Wednesday and still get a decent spot, and tents will be less crammed in etc. Personally I'd take that option. If you've not been to the festival before, you'll probably be surprised at how.. obsessive people can be in terms of queuing overnight in order to get through the gates as early as possible in order to get their preferred camping spot.

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On 5/4/2019 at 12:06 PM, rotty48 said:

We are soo lucky to have tickets for Glastonbury this year and It is our first time , 3 families with 5 children ageing from 7 to 13

really really excited, we are camping which we all love, please can anyone advise which field is best to camp in,  wicket or cocksmill, and which entrance to use and when/what time to get there.

also i love camping but love to have all essentials covered , but husband says he is not uncoupling the kitchen sink and we are taking minimal equipment!!😰

does this mean air beds are out??? More important the portaloo??

 

Bear in mind that you will have to carry all your stuff from the car to camping area over rough ground and may have to walk over a mile ( or even 2!) to get there. Any trolly needs to have proper tyres. So pack minimal- blow up air beds or self inflating mattress ok but you don’t need a portaloo! There is no where to dispose of the waste properly and the toilets are not as bad as you think!! 

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On 5/4/2019 at 12:06 PM, rotty48 said:

We are soo lucky to have tickets for Glastonbury this year and It is our first time , 3 families with 5 children ageing from 7 to 13

really really excited, we are camping which we all love, please can anyone advise which field is best to camp in,  wicket or cocksmill, and which entrance to use and when/what time to get there.

also i love camping but love to have all essentials covered , but husband says he is not uncoupling the kitchen sink and we are taking minimal equipment!!😰

does this mean air beds are out??? More important the portaloo??

 

Careful planning is necessary to ensure your arrival (& departure) is least arduous and stressful. Firstly you need to approach the fest site from a direction which gives access to the car parking you intend to use. If camping in Cockmill or any other eastern areas then approaching from Shepton  Mallet and using the east car parking is best. Conversely for Wicket & other western areas, approaching from Glastonbury and using west car parks is best. Use Gate B for Cockmill  and Gate A for Wicket. Using east parking and using a western camping field (& vice versa) can be done but is best avoided as entails a long arduous trek up and down hill over rough terrain.

Which camping field you choose may be determined by what time you can arrive. As advised earlier, Cockmill is very popular and is often full by lunchtime Wednesday. The time taken to walk from the car park to your chosen site (often 1 mile or more) and  queuing (45 - 120mins Weds morning) at the Gate also needs to be factored in. For these reasons its best to travel light with the bare essentials and consider using a sack truck or trolley with large pneumatic tyres. 

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On 4/5/2019 at 8:26 PM, Gedh said:

The Kidz field has a number of craft tents which swap what they produce during the day. There is a narrow way in and out so you can park yourself there and let the kids loose. You can have identity bands with your mobile number put on them.
The kids may also like the craft field where they can do metal work, stone carving etc....

No one goes round slashing tents at Glastonbury, more like offer to help you put yours up! The kids will be treated kindly by all and see amazing things. You can go into naughty corner during the day and let them see what is there.
Circus field will be a must see and they can join in as well!

Hi, There are two entry/exit points, one at the top of the field and one at the bottom. Both are fairly narrow as Gedh says but you can't rely on just 'camping out' at one of them. Also worth noting that Adults aren't allowed in the field without kids. 

The kids field is a great area with all kinds of stuff going on. As above the circus field has some cool kid/adult stuff on too. 

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17 hours ago, HalfAnIdiot said:

Also worth noting that Adults aren't allowed in the field without kids. 

that's not true.

It's something they do when the field gets busy, so that the space is firstly for kids.

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Lots of good advice here. I've never been with kids but I have done an exploratory mission for my friend who was considering bringing his kids and wanted to know what was there for them and I'll be honest I was mightily impressed. The Kidz field and the green kids field had lots of interesting stuff and I'll be honest I wished I could have joined in with some of it. 

As for SE Corner it has amazing art works but swearing does tend to feature in it. If that doesn't bother you I'd suggest a trip during the day just so you can see it. I wouldn't recommend it late at night for kids. My husband is a bit claustrophobic and he doesn't like it late at night because it can be really crowded. It's also the same getting away from the big stages after big acts. I'd suggest waiting a little while and letting crowds thin out if you are not in any major rush to get somewhere else. 

As there are such big crowds getting split up can happen. Phone signals can also sometimes be patchy so it is worth having contingency plans. I find picking a food outlet that has an unusual name can be better than trying to find a particular flag or ice cream truck as there can be multiples of these. When you get to a stage find one that you all agree on and say if anyone gets split up to head to there. Make sure they have your contact details as well. 

With regard to food it's amazing but it isn't the cheapest. Treat it as a holiday and budget for it but I would also suggest making sure you have some snacks with you. We usually bring nuts, flapjacks, cereal bars or those little brioches as they last the whole festival quite well. They can be handy just for a little pick me up or to stop one of you getting hangry if you are watching an act when hunger strikes. 

Have a fabulous festival. You'll love it and your kids will enjoy being the envy of all their friends. 

 

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