Electric Fields: the festival you can take your kids to
- Arusa Qureshi
- 17 September 2018
Dumfries & Galloway weekend music fest proves a hit with our first-time festival goer
Music festivals aren't always known explicitly for their family-friendly elements. But increasingly, festivals around the country are doing more to cater to young attendees, programming events with both little ones and grown-ups in mind. After all, why should only adults enjoy the fun and excitement of a great music festival?
Electric Fields is one example of a festival that takes its young music fans seriously, with plenty of activities and entertainment that sit comfortably alongside the music itself. This year alone, there were magic shows, drama workshops, graffiti walls, discos and so much more to ensure that the whole family could enjoy the weekend. For first-time festival goer Ross Reddie, who recently turned 11, Electric Fields was the perfect event to get a taste of the summer music festival experience and for mum and dad Sarah and Paul, it was the ideal weekend family outing.
'It was incredibly family-friendly.' Paul says when asked about navigating the festival as a parent. 'I was really surprised at how many other parents were there with their kids – often really young children. The campsite and arena were both really easy to find and explore. There was a great mix of people and the atmosphere was fantastic.'
'Getting around was easy,' Sarah continues, 'there's lots of room so it doesn't feel over populated and cramped. The family campsite is a wonderful thing, you know you're not likely to be kept awake all night with singing and partying and this is actually for Ross' benefit more than ours. He's not friendly without sleep!'
Ross was looking forward to the experience of camping out, but also to seeing one of his favourites, Noel Gallagher. 'Seeing Noel Gallagher was amazing and being right at the front of the stage for James. I didn't realise we would be so close to the singers!' He says.
It's an excellent festival for kids to see the acts they love while also finding new bands to explore later. Sarah and Paul certainly found this with a few bands they saw over the weekend. 'Vida were good, we listened to them on the drive home after seeing them.' Sarah says, with Ross agreeing, and adding that 'they're the sort of music [he] likes to listen to.'
With so much to do over the weekend though, the music is just one part of the experience. So what other elements of the festival were noteworthy?
'The atmosphere, the lack of queues at the bar and the fantastic surroundings and scenery.' Paul says, with Sarah adding 'the choice of eateries, choice of drinks and being able to have Ross with us.' Meanwhile, Ross was a big fan of the camping, the food market (he picks out Stooge Burgers as his favourite), the waltzers and the huge bubbles.
Sarah and Paul are already planning next year's trip but in the meantime, they're keen to recommend Electric Fields to other families.
'The provision of a separate family campsite is key, along with the adventure play park.' Paul says. 'The toilet facilities were much better than expected and cleaned regularly. The arena area itself was spacious and because of the smaller feel, it meant we could get close to the acts without feeling like our son was in danger of being crushed.'
Sarah agrees that the size of the festival is important. 'Also the walk to and from the arena to the campsite was 5 minutes which is fantastic,' she says. 'I've been to festivals where it's been a half hour trek! There were lots of toilets which were kept fairly clean. The choice of food on offer was good too – you could definitely find something even for the pickiest of eaters. The kids programme was great – the bubble lady was a major hit with Ross!'
As Ross concludes when asked to describe his weekend in three words, it was 'exciting, fun and interesting.'
Electric Fields, Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries & Galloway, Aug/Sep 2019 (dates tbc), tickets for under 16s from £20 for the weekend (under 5s free).