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Parenting at festivals


blutarsky
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Some of you will know I became a dad last year, and am now just 4 weeks away from taking our now 10-month-old mini-Blutarsky to her first festival, which will be Beautiful Days. 
As a result I’m seeking your advice on how best to go about taking little ones to festivals and maximise everyone in the family’s enjoyment. 
 

For example, Mini-B’s bedtime is 6-7pm so how do Mrs B and I get to see any headliners? (We didn’t hit on the idea of inviting our parents so they can babysit until after tickets sold out). 
 

We have a trolley that I’m turning into a mobile bed, but how’s it best to utilise this? 
Your top tips for getting babies to sleep in a campervan? 
Recommendations for infant ear defenders? 

I want to hear it all!

One piece of advice I did get was from Rob Beckett and Josh Widdecombe’s Parenting Hell podcast, when Doc Brown recommended going with parent friends so you can take it in turns to have a night with the kids and a night on the lash. Good advice or no?

I had a good search and couldn’t find a thread devoted to this. 

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1 minute ago, blutarsky said:

For example, Mini-B’s bedtime is 6-7pm so how do Mrs B and I get to see any headliners? (We didn’t hit on the idea of inviting our parents so they can babysit until after tickets sold out). 

Two of my friends brought their children to Glastonbury 2019, although they were older at 5 and 10.

The younger one was in bed by 9pm or so iirc, and the parents took it in turns to go to bed early, and one night my mate wanted to see the Idles late set in Shangri-La so dropped the 10 year old off after the headliners with the other parent and went down there on his own and went back straight after.

It did mean that neither parent got to watch any late stuff together but that was the trade off for not being able to go at all I guess.

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Just now, giantkatestacks said:

There's useful thread in Questions - have you looked at that one? The baby there is younger but still lots of advice.

I have found that since posting - it didn’t turn up in searches because of the thread title. Figure we can keep this one going anyway? 

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Took my kid to Glastonbury and other festivals when she was a baby thought to early teens, and you just have to face that your not going to have a normal festival, and will miss out on some stuff. If you try and do too much with a little one it just becomes too stressful.

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On my bucket list is to take my grandkids to glastonbury.

I'm not a grandad yet, but with our daughter finally getting married at the end of September (3rd time of rearranging), I know its high on their bucket list as well to have kids; cannot wait 😀 

Currently sat about to watch the 100 cricket, drinking left over rose wine from yesterday's tasting sesh, trying to decide whats good for the wedding. I don't drink the stuff normally, but with half a dozen half opened bottles, it'll be a shame to waste it. Oh, and I'm drinking alone as Mrs oneeye and our daughter are currently at a trial hair and makeup do, I could be in trouble later....

Edited by oneeye
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We took our 9 month old in 2019 and had the best time! You kind of just need to accept that nothing will be in its usual time frame. Don't stress about naps and bed time. Baby will sleep when they're tired. You will miss some things and have a more chilled festival but you will do new things and make new memories bathing baby in the NCT tent and chilling in the kids areas. The Greenpeace kids is only for people with children so it's a quieter haven with a massive shady tree to escape the relentless sun. 

We just let our little one sleep whenever and usually we went to bed around midnight with her. She actually slept the best she had ever slept as she was so exhausted from all that fresh air and stimulation and would be out for 5 hours straight. 

You also will then wake up at 6am so you get to see the people coming home from last night while youre up getting coffee. As I said it's different but it's still amazing and we are taking her again next year when she will be 3.5 and bringing our new daughter who will be 20 months. We can't wait! 

P.s I don't know if I can find it but if you Google baby at Glastonbury a few people have written brilliant, informative and assuring blogs about taking their babies, some only weeks old. 

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I'm not a parent so wouldn't dare to try and offer advice but I have always been amazed when I see kids sparked out in a trolley in front of the Pyramid Stage with an act on. I know there was a large group of people with kids in the caravans near us one year and they did seem to have a system where some of them went back each night with all the kids and others stayed out. Assume your kids would need to be very familiar with the other people if you were going to try and do this. 

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4 hours ago, I feel like Pablo said:

So cute 🥰 

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Myself and wife where adamant when we had kids that we would take them to Glastonbury.  After having them and the reality of parenthood etc kicked in, I have to say I could think of a 100 things better to do as a family to be honest - and I haven't really changed my view point on that.

The conclusion we came too is it would just be constant week of limitations and trade offs when we could go do something which the whole family could do better as a family with our valuable and limited time off from work.

Its probably not the advice you are look for but I think it's worthy of being said.  

Good luck whatever you decide.  Obviously depends on your family dynamics etc.

Edited by Barry Fish
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ive always thought the best age to take kids to glastonbury is when theyre old and responsible enough to, of a morning, give em twenty quid, a fully charged up mobile and say 'go on then, go and do what you want, and ill meet you by x stand at y o'clock. That might be about 14 for some kids, and it might even be 28 for others . . . 

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On 7/24/2021 at 1:38 PM, blutarsky said:

We have a trolley that I’m turning into a mobile bed, but how’s it best to utilise this? 
Your top tips for getting babies to sleep in a campervan? 
 

 

DVB jnr was 4 + years so older than  mini-Blutarsky when we took him in 2019, but some might still be relevant.

Trolley. We had various cushions and blankets in the trolley which could be arranged in whatever combination of layers was needed at the time. The most important bit was the base cushions. These came with the trolley and are covered in a wipe down, non porous material. They are the same shape as the base of the trolley and cover it completely forming a kind of 2 part mattress. When the inevitable happen and liquid was spilt in the trolley, everything was chucked out as quickly as possible, the base cushions and trolley could quickly wiped clean and it all went back together again and the trolley was dry and usable. If the base cushions had been porous then you have to try and dry them which is a PITA or you have an unhappy child sitting on a hard base without cushions. 

Had a small bag that could be hung off either end of the trolley which the essentials such as water bottle,  snacks, suncream, whatever could be kept in for easy access without having to remove a racksack all the time, or leave it in the trolley to get tipped over.

I posted this bit in the trolley thread but anyway. The trolley canopy could be slid up to expose the sides, folded back at the ends to provide a good view for DVB jnr to watch from, or closed up to shut out the world in sleep mode. It wasn't complicated, just a length of nylon material I bought off eBay, sewn back on itself  to make two channels for the hoops to go through, and elastic 'string' sewn in at the ends which allowed it to be pulled tight and nearly closed up (still want to be able to see in to check without having to open it up). It all worked pretty well and once tired DVB jnr would just get in, put on his ear defenders and go to sleep wherever we happened to be. At Glastonbury, the biggest issue was trying to pull it up the hill of death without him sliding to one end and waking up. We got to see various late bands/headliners with him asleep in the trolley, which was a real bonus as we weren't sure we would be able to.

As mentioned by someone else - fairy lights. I got a couple of sets from Poundland and strung them up around the perimeter of the wagon. Useful at night when you are trying to navigate down the railway line or busy bits as it helps people see the outline and can avoid bumping into it. Everyone was extremely polite and made lots of space for the trolley, though if it was really busy I just pulled in or looked for another route. Not because I was worried but it just because it seems the wrong thing to drag a trolley through and expect people to make room.

Picture shows the bag at the end, half closed up canopy at one end and you can just see the canopy end open and folded back at the other end.

DVB jnr loves the camper van so the biggest issue was calming him down enough to let sleep take its course. We had a tablet with lots of his favourite bedtime stories etc on it which helped get him to sleep. By the last couple of days of the festival he was asleep in the trolley way before we got back to the van so it wasn't an issue.

Lockups. Can't remember if Beautiful days have them, but its much smaller so nipping back to the van is less of an issue. At Glastonbury we extensively used the lockups. Left a medium size rucksack in one with complete changes of clothes, calpol, extra layers for the evening we didn't want to drag around all day and anything else child related that seemed like a good idea at the time. 

Not seen the forecast, but if its going to be hot this might help? We had a spray bottle that produced water mist which jnr could squirt himself to keep cool with, which was reasonably effective. Mini-Blutarsky will be to young to do that herself, but maybe thats something you for her if she likes it? The biggest concern I had Glastonbury 2019 was making sure jnr stayed cool.

Glastonbury specific thing : the Kidz field. I love Glastonbury, but I found the kidz field to be something else. There is nothing wrong with it, but personally after some time in there I find it builds to mega sensory overload and its such a relief to get out and back to 'normal' Glastonbury. Needless to say DVB jnr loves it and obviously next time we get to go to Glastonbury we will undoubtedly be in the kidz field everyday. Its his festival now as much as mine. When he gets excited playing in the garden he runs about and randomly yells "Glastonbury"  and throws handfuls of grass at me. Its obviously left a good impression.

trolley detail.jpg

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6 hours ago, DarrenVonBoathook said:

 

DVB jnr was 4 + years so older than  mini-Blutarsky when we took him in 2019, but some might still be relevant.

Trolley. We had various cushions and blankets in the trolley which could be arranged in whatever combination of layers was needed at the time. The most important bit was the base cushions. These came with the trolley and are covered in a wipe down, non porous material. They are the same shape as the base of the trolley and cover it completely forming a kind of 2 part mattress. When the inevitable happen and liquid was spilt in the trolley, everything was chucked out as quickly as possible, the base cushions and trolley could quickly wiped clean and it all went back together again and the trolley was dry and usable. If the base cushions had been porous then you have to try and dry them which is a PITA or you have an unhappy child sitting on a hard base without cushions. 

Had a small bag that could be hung off either end of the trolley which the essentials such as water bottle,  snacks, suncream, whatever could be kept in for easy access without having to remove a racksack all the time, or leave it in the trolley to get tipped over.

I posted this bit in the trolley thread but anyway. The trolley canopy could be slid up to expose the sides, folded back at the ends to provide a good view for DVB jnr to watch from, or closed up to shut out the world in sleep mode. It wasn't complicated, just a length of nylon material I bought off eBay, sewn back on itself  to make two channels for the hoops to go through, and elastic 'string' sewn in at the ends which allowed it to be pulled tight and nearly closed up (still want to be able to see in to check without having to open it up). It all worked pretty well and once tired DVB jnr would just get in, put on his ear defenders and go to sleep wherever we happened to be. At Glastonbury, the biggest issue was trying to pull it up the hill of death without him sliding to one end and waking up. We got to see various late bands/headliners with him asleep in the trolley, which was a real bonus as we weren't sure we would be able to.

As mentioned by someone else - fairy lights. I got a couple of sets from Poundland and strung them up around the perimeter of the wagon. Useful at night when you are trying to navigate down the railway line or busy bits as it helps people see the outline and can avoid bumping into it. Everyone was extremely polite and made lots of space for the trolley, though if it was really busy I just pulled in or looked for another route. Not because I was worried but it just because it seems the wrong thing to drag a trolley through and expect people to make room.

Picture shows the bag at the end, half closed up canopy at one end and you can just see the canopy end open and folded back at the other end.

DVB jnr loves the camper van so the biggest issue was calming him down enough to let sleep take its course. We had a tablet with lots of his favourite bedtime stories etc on it which helped get him to sleep. By the last couple of days of the festival he was asleep in the trolley way before we got back to the van so it wasn't an issue.

Lockups. Can't remember if Beautiful days have them, but its much smaller so nipping back to the van is less of an issue. At Glastonbury we extensively used the lockups. Left a medium size rucksack in one with complete changes of clothes, calpol, extra layers for the evening we didn't want to drag around all day and anything else child related that seemed like a good idea at the time. 

Not seen the forecast, but if its going to be hot this might help? We had a spray bottle that produced water mist which jnr could squirt himself to keep cool with, which was reasonably effective. Mini-Blutarsky will be to young to do that herself, but maybe thats something you for her if she likes it? The biggest concern I had Glastonbury 2019 was making sure jnr stayed cool.

Glastonbury specific thing : the Kidz field. I love Glastonbury, but I found the kidz field to be something else. There is nothing wrong with it, but personally after some time in there I find it builds to mega sensory overload and its such a relief to get out and back to 'normal' Glastonbury. Needless to say DVB jnr loves it and obviously next time we get to go to Glastonbury we will undoubtedly be in the kidz field everyday. Its his festival now as much as mine. When he gets excited playing in the garden he runs about and randomly yells "Glastonbury"  and throws handfuls of grass at me. Its obviously left a good impression.

trolley detail.jpg

So much good advice, thank you DVB

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Was going to take my 5 and 9yo daughters to BD back when I got tix, but as other festival possibilities were cancelled over the year since I've come to rely on this single festi more and more for a release - so I've sacked them off until next year 😄

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17 minutes ago, Pinhead said:

Was going to take my 5 and 9yo daughters to BD back when I got tix, but as other festival possibilities were cancelled over the year since I've come to rely on this single festi more and more for a release - so I've sacked them off until next year 😄

Lol, that’s the spirit 😂

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35 minutes ago, Pinhead said:

Was going to take my 5 and 9yo daughters to BD back when I got tix, but as other festival possibilities were cancelled over the year since I've come to rely on this single festi more and more for a release - so I've sacked them off until next year 😄

Don’t blame you! 
We are teetering on the edge of flogging our BD tickets as we’re not sure it’s going to be right for 10-month-old Baby-Blutarsky, plus it’s skin of the teeth stuff whether the van will be converted in time. 

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21 hours ago, DarrenVonBoathook said:

 

DVB jnr was 4 + years so older than  mini-Blutarsky when we took him in 2019, but some might still be relevant.

Trolley. We had various cushions and blankets in the trolley which could be arranged in whatever combination of layers was needed at the time. The most important bit was the base cushions. These came with the trolley and are covered in a wipe down, non porous material. They are the same shape as the base of the trolley and cover it completely forming a kind of 2 part mattress. When the inevitable happen and liquid was spilt in the trolley, everything was chucked out as quickly as possible, the base cushions and trolley could quickly wiped clean and it all went back together again and the trolley was dry and usable. If the base cushions had been porous then you have to try and dry them which is a PITA or you have an unhappy child sitting on a hard base without cushions. 

Had a small bag that could be hung off either end of the trolley which the essentials such as water bottle,  snacks, suncream, whatever could be kept in for easy access without having to remove a racksack all the time, or leave it in the trolley to get tipped over.

I posted this bit in the trolley thread but anyway. The trolley canopy could be slid up to expose the sides, folded back at the ends to provide a good view for DVB jnr to watch from, or closed up to shut out the world in sleep mode. It wasn't complicated, just a length of nylon material I bought off eBay, sewn back on itself  to make two channels for the hoops to go through, and elastic 'string' sewn in at the ends which allowed it to be pulled tight and nearly closed up (still want to be able to see in to check without having to open it up). It all worked pretty well and once tired DVB jnr would just get in, put on his ear defenders and go to sleep wherever we happened to be. At Glastonbury, the biggest issue was trying to pull it up the hill of death without him sliding to one end and waking up. We got to see various late bands/headliners with him asleep in the trolley, which was a real bonus as we weren't sure we would be able to.

As mentioned by someone else - fairy lights. I got a couple of sets from Poundland and strung them up around the perimeter of the wagon. Useful at night when you are trying to navigate down the railway line or busy bits as it helps people see the outline and can avoid bumping into it. Everyone was extremely polite and made lots of space for the trolley, though if it was really busy I just pulled in or looked for another route. Not because I was worried but it just because it seems the wrong thing to drag a trolley through and expect people to make room.

Picture shows the bag at the end, half closed up canopy at one end and you can just see the canopy end open and folded back at the other end.

DVB jnr loves the camper van so the biggest issue was calming him down enough to let sleep take its course. We had a tablet with lots of his favourite bedtime stories etc on it which helped get him to sleep. By the last couple of days of the festival he was asleep in the trolley way before we got back to the van so it wasn't an issue.

Lockups. Can't remember if Beautiful days have them, but its much smaller so nipping back to the van is less of an issue. At Glastonbury we extensively used the lockups. Left a medium size rucksack in one with complete changes of clothes, calpol, extra layers for the evening we didn't want to drag around all day and anything else child related that seemed like a good idea at the time. 

Not seen the forecast, but if its going to be hot this might help? We had a spray bottle that produced water mist which jnr could squirt himself to keep cool with, which was reasonably effective. Mini-Blutarsky will be to young to do that herself, but maybe thats something you for her if she likes it? The biggest concern I had Glastonbury 2019 was making sure jnr stayed cool.

Glastonbury specific thing : the Kidz field. I love Glastonbury, but I found the kidz field to be something else. There is nothing wrong with it, but personally after some time in there I find it builds to mega sensory overload and its such a relief to get out and back to 'normal' Glastonbury. Needless to say DVB jnr loves it and obviously next time we get to go to Glastonbury we will undoubtedly be in the kidz field everyday. Its his festival now as much as mine. When he gets excited playing in the garden he runs about and randomly yells "Glastonbury"  and throws handfuls of grass at me. Its obviously left a good impression.

trolley detail.jpg

I love that GF has an impression on such a young child. I hope that they are able/willing to experience the festival for many years to come. These days are for making memories that last a lifetime 

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4 hours ago, Pinhead said:

Was going to take my 5 and 9yo daughters to BD back when I got tix, but as other festival possibilities were cancelled over the year since I've come to rely on this single festi more and more for a release - so I've sacked them off until next year 😄

probably the best advice.  Try and get rid of the kids and go with out them. The kids don't want to be there, you don't want them there. Win : win 👍

 

Not going to win any #dadoftheyear awards, but meh

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4 minutes ago, senor said:

probably the best advice.  Try and get rid of the kids and go with out them. The kids don't want to be there, you don't want them there. Win : win 👍

 

Not going to win any #dadoftheyear awards, but meh

Sometimes it's the only option though If you have no childcare or are breastfeeding. 

Also it's definitely a festival that kids can and do enjoy and from someone who's gone for 10 years and had an awful lot of fun* at every previous festival, I can honestly say it wasn't any lesser or worse with the baby there and not mashed off my face. It was brilliant. And you can still have a few drinks and enjoy yourself especially if you plan it for nap times. I would argue the younger the child the better up until the age they start having their own strong opinions and wanting to do their own shit. They're very portable when they're small.

*Read: drugs

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No tips…

Just, take your child(ren) to Glastonbury…

there is no better place to demonstrate respect, tolerance, caring and love.

 

besides in 2039 you can send junior to the bar with a £50 note “get me a cider…. And whatever you want”

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20 hours ago, senor said:

probably the best advice.  Try and get rid of the kids and go with out them. The kids don't want to be there, you don't want them there. Win : win 👍

 

Not going to win any #dadoftheyear awards, but meh

Heh, yeah. Should be easier and more choice next year anyway. The 5yo has no idea about them yet anyway, and the 9yo just wanted to tell all her mates that she'd been to a music festival anyway I reckon. Perhaps I'll even wait until they're old enough to do all the bar runs for me 😉

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17 hours ago, BlueDaze said:

No tips…

Just, take your child(ren) to Glastonbury…

there is no better place to demonstrate respect, tolerance, caring and love.

 

besides in 2039 you can send junior to the bar with a £50 note “get me a cider…. And whatever you want”

you take £50 notes to festivals ? 🙂 

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