During the Summer we visited the Just So festival 2019 in Rode Hall, Staffordshire, and it would be fair to say we loved it and are still feeling the post festival blues. Not only was this our first Just So Festival, but it was also our first family festival and when we offered the chance to experience this wonderful family friendly Festival in Cheshire, we jumped at the chance.
Tips for visiting Just So festival 2019 with kids
As this was our first Just So I spent some time researching online, reading many other Just So festival reviews to make sure I was as prepared as possible. If you are thinking of visiting next year, I really recommend doing this. I picked up so many useful festival tips and hints which undoubtedly ensured we had the most enjoyable time. Here is our Just Festival 2019 review and festivals tips.
Top festival tip – get the Just So program ahead of the festival and make a rough plan of what you really want to see. I say rough plan…… mine was a very structured itinerary with times and locations but then again – I do like to be organised.
Camping at Just So Festival 2019
There are a few different options for camping at Just So Festival … taking your own tent, caravan, camper etc or boutique camping in Yurts, Bell Tents and new for this year, Gypsy Bowtop Caravans. I can’t deny I was initially really drawn to the idea of the boutique camping .. I am after all someone who likes their home comforts, however having recently purchased a brand new tent this seemed a little silly. So we opted for general camping which is included within your weekend camping ticket.
Torrential rain was forecast for the first day of the festival and having read various advice about the camping field we arrived promptly at midday ready to claim a pitch closest to our car as possible. You can only imagine my husband’s delight when I announced that having seen the field I wanted to pitch up at the absolute furthest point possible.
As our children are past pushchair age (4 & 8) we decided we wouldn’t need to purchase or hire a festival trolley (available at the entrance for £15 PH) simply for transporting our camping equipment. This is probably my only regret of the festival, misjudging just how far away the pitch was from our car, how heavy our tent and polls are and how much stuff I had actually packed…£15 on hiring a trolley would have probably been money incredibly well spent. Needless to say next year we will definitely be doing this and I would definately recommend this if you are like me and like to pack everything apart from the kitchen sink!
The Just So Festival 2019 review – what we loved
The Flamingo Lounge
The very first thing we did when we arrived in the festival was to head for the Flamingo Lounge for the silent disco! What a bizarre sight to see a barn decorated with paper pom poms, full of children and adults wearing headphones and hearing the very irregular chant of “shake it off”. We knew this was definitely the place for us. One of our favourite memories of the festival will be sitting on the floor of the Flamingo Lounge teaching them the classic dance to “oops up side your head”.
The Flamingo Lounge would become one of our favourite areas of the festival and during the weekend we attended lots of the different events there including Remix Reeling Cut a Shine, an alternative Ceilidh. And by far the biggest highlight of our weekend, the Retro Disco. I can’t think of many other times where we would get to boogie on down to Fat Boy Slim, pretending we were nineteen again and being completely outshone by the moves of our children! Dancing with my babies here will be a memory I will cherish forever!
The Fire Garden
The Fire Garden next to the Flamingo Lounge was new for 2019, and an installation of metal and fire, illuminating a the path through an orchard after sun set. The children absolutely loved this and wanted to keep going round listening to the crackling of the oil burning in the cauldrons. Truly magical.
The Rowing Boats
On Saturday morning we took a gorgeous trip out onto the lake in a row boat. The row boats, provided by Rudyard lake, were the only activity not included in our ticket and at £20 for 30 minutes also not cheap. However I am so glad we did this as the children adored it. They loved spotting things in the water, including lily pads, swans and a beautiful dragonfly.
We spent a lazy afternoon down at the High Five area where we saw the amazing Betty Brawn, Strong Lady at Roll Up Roll Up. She is AMAZING and the kids were absolutely blown away. I could see my less than enthusiastic eight year old son beginning to hide laughter behind his hand and by the end shedding his shyness and clapping and playing along with the crowd.
We also had the best time listening to the brilliant Baghdaddies on the Footlights stage. Despite not knowing any of the songs you could not help but be drawn to the dance floor (muddy field) to bust some moves. I really couldn’t tell you what genre of music they were exactly but I would say ska would be in there somewhere. Typical Mummy and I even managed to bag a selfie with the band after hanging around at the stage door like a pair of groupies.
If you asked my children what they enjoyed the most about the weekend, then undoubtedly they would say Professor Pumpernikel! We managed to catch his shows twice, once in the Spellbound Forest at the Campfire Stories and also at the Midnight Feast at the New Curiosity Shop. This is the first time we have seen Professor Pumpernickel and we are hooked. On his website he describes himself as enthusing all ages about science…basically he blows stuff up!! Which we loved! We have already started following him on facebook and are hoping to catch him at Eureka! The National Children’s Museum.
The Just So Festival – the other stuff!
There were so many other things we loved…the fairy queen, the marble run, THE FOOD!! I couldn’t possibly list them all, I would be writing all day.
There were lots of things that we didn’t get chance to see. There were things that I think the adults loved more than the kids 🙂 I was desperate for the children to take part in the Bohemian Boogie at the Flamingo Lounge, but as much I was enjoying it they just weren’t up for dancing like Freddie Mercury. Likewise there were things that they enjoyed that surprised me. My little girl, who can be quite nervous, was mesmerised by the Ghost Caribou. We first bumped into them at the start of the lantern parade and then later that evening as they played the magical tunes whilst roaming the site.
Just So Festival 2019 review
We loved our time at Just So festival and made memories that we will cherish forever. Spending quality time with your children can sometimes feel hard with the stresses of day to day life, so Just So was like stepping out of the real world into a magical wonderland.
Just So Festival tickets
Just so Festival early bird tickets have been released for Just So Festival 2020 planned for the 21st – 23rd August 2020. Tier one tickets are on sale now. Head over to Just So Festival to find out more
Review by Laura Stevenson for Otis and Us Family Travel Blog
Images by Laura Stevenson and Ella at Typical Mummy
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We were invited along to the Just So Festival for the purpose of this review