First Family Festival

Hurrah for LeeFest!  Our first full-fledged festival as a family went very well indeed.

Amber and me
Amber and me

So well, in fact, that Millie was in tears as we left, wanting to stay.  With temperatures touching 33 degrees on the Saturday, I think everyone else agreed that by Sunday morning we’d all had a great time but were exhausted and ready for home.  

And showers.  Cold, wet, cleansing, beautiful showers…

I’ve put a set of LeeFest photos up on Flickr; do feel free to take a look.  There are some lovely ones of the kids and some silly ones of the adults.

Standing by the Lemon Bus
Ready for home

But I was properly amazed how much the girls loved being there.  We didn’t really know what to expect; this time was going to decide if we ever went to a festival again.  And the answer is a resounding YES.  Even the Lovely Melanie did her very best, putting on a brave face for a weekend so far outside her comfort zone that it may as well have had “Here be dragons!” written on it.

Well done, my love – we were very proud of you. 🙂

But it wasn’t just us – our friends Mike, Inge and R(ich) Kelly camped with us in the family area, and we were joined on Saturday by a scouting party from Croydon and nearby Beckenham.  Which was nice.  It was lovely to see the girls getting on with our child-less friends, and charming rather than annoying them.

Beach stage at LeeFest 2013
The Beach

The girls spent literally hours and hours at the “Beach Stage” – a stage with a beach and a water-and-glitter-filled paddling pool; they also had their faces brilliantly painted twice and spent more than a few hours on the free inflatable slide.

It was nice because LeeFest is pretty small, so they couldn’t get lost – not really – and with so many free activities on offer we didn’t need to keep them entertained all the time.  Millie discovered the delights of Mexican churros and became the stall’s best customer (by the time we went home the guy there was welcoming her by name!) and Amber was mostly hypnotised by the glitter-and-water filled paddling pool.

That said, there was plenty for the adults to see and do – it’s not a children’s festival, but it is pretty child friendly.  I danced drunkenly to Delphic while Millie clung precariously to my shoulders late Friday night, and on Saturday it was Amber’s turn to hold on for dear life as we saw the surprisingly fantastic Crushed Beaks play.

Both nights, however, we were in bed long before midnight – which is not typical festival behaviour for me.

It didn’t seem to matter though.  The average age at LeeFest must have hovered around 20 (certainly when we caught the festival bus on Friday we were the oldest on there by a good 15 years!) so, due to lack of peers, there was no peer pressure.

Millie and Amber in the tent
I think we’re done…

The only small downer was discovering that the festival buses we needed to get home weren’t running on Sunday afternoon – we could either go at 10am or 9pm!  At our age and with two small small children in tow it was an easy choice to make.  I’m foxed by Lee’s decision to have no afternoon buses at all though, as we Millie and I would gladly have stayed till late-afternoon, if we could have.

Oh, well.  LeeFest was only just over an hour from our house by public transport, so we were home in time for lunch.  And an afternoon snooze.  And showers.  Those cold, wet, cleansing, beautiful showers… 🙂

Thanks for having us, LeeFest; hopefully we’ll be back next year for another dose of family festival fun…


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