18th - 20th August 2023
Location: Rode Hall Estate, Scholar Green, Cheshire, ST7 3QT
” Just So Festival is such a magical place that I feel like I’m in a dream and lost in a book all at the same time!” – Teya (aged 10)
Just So is a small, weekend-long festival of creativity aimed at children, young people and their families. It’s an opportunity for families to share in the most fundamental of life’s pleasures: good old-fashioned fun!
What makes Just So Festival unique?
Just So Festival is all about families, where everyone gets dressed up and messes around in the woods singing and playing instruments. It is utterly magical.
An annual, intimate (5,000), weekend-long camping festival that showcases the best art, music, literature, comedy and theatre for families in woodland clearings, rolling parkland, arboreal amphitheatres and lakeside settings in the Rode Hall Estate, Cheshire.
The family festival experience includes family camping, nice loos, baby changing tents with changing mats, a breast-feeding boudoir, an area with electricity points for bottle warmers and sterilisers, baby bathtime, a bedtime tent and more.
Head to The Social for the Just So tradition of the literary-inspired and fun filled Midnight Feast. Held at Midnight, with beautiful stories from Ian Douglas, songs from David Gibb and other night time shenanigans, children should start persuading the grown-ups that they should be allowed to stay up round about now.
Carnival of the Animals
The Village Green is the location for the Carnival of the Animals. The Fox, Frog, Owl, Fish, Stag and Lion tribes compete in games and unexpected shenanigans. Find your tribe on festival Sunday and take part in the parade, a Just So highlight.
The Peekaboo garden, (for 0-4s) in Just So is dedicated to babies and the very young. Experience some huge adventures for little people connecting us to our natural world.
The organisers of this boutique family festival have been overwhelmed by how many babies are attending the event and have responded with inspired programming and great facilities for their very youngest festival goers (and their parents!).
And there’s more…
Wonderful circus acts, street theatre, immersive theatre, inspirational arts and crafts and plenty of opportunity for free play and exploration and EVERYTHING is family-friendly.
Accessibility and Facilities
The site is buggy friendly but a sling will come in handy for anyone wanting to explore the woods in depth.
Rode Park is a beautiful, natural environment, with lots of mysterious woodland to explore, beautiful parkland for camping, and a great lake. There are tons of secret and enchanting nooks, crannies and corners just waiting to be turned into a fantastical playground for the whole family to explore and enjoy together – not to mention a giant sandpit!
There is plenty of beautiful parkland for camping, where you will be able to spread out and camp with your friends.
This really is the most family-oriented, magical, beautiful and creative family festival of them all.
To book or for more information, go to:
Just So Festival is produced by Wild Rumpus Community Interest Company – a not-for-profit social enterprise.
24 thoughts on “Just So Festival”
Just got home from Just So Festival.
This was our first visit and I have to say it wasn’t as good as we had hoped.
Many of the activities where over crowed such as the kids comedy in the woodland Theatre that we where turned away from and all the workshops where fully booked before the booking opening time even opened. Many shows where so full that our young children could not see them very well and as it was so busy it was full parent supervision all the time as no places to really relax and chill out.
The rain didn’t help and it was a real shame that our costumes where hidden under waterproof coats for most of the weekend. The toilets where slippy and muddy and not emptied often enough and the drinking water tasted very muddy making us wonder if it was really clean enough to drink.
This wasn’t really an event for our family enjoyed but other seemed to be enjoying it. It just wasn’t for us.
We where lucky enough to attend just so in the early days 2010 and 2011, when it was on a smaller and our kids where smaller too (baby and pre-school) We last attended in 2012 when it first moved to Rode Hall, but haven’t been since due to date clashes.
We decided to go back this year due to friends attending and thought how much more fun we could have now our kids are older and more able to stay up late for parades and midnight feasts etc.
Sady the weather was pretty awful (not much can be done about that) but in addition to the rain we also found that this fesival is very much aimed at babies and todllers and is suited best to under 6 years old.
My two girls age 8 and 10 found most the activites and shows either too childlike or simple. We tried to book onto some of the wokshops that we thought may be more age appropriate, but the where fully booked. (the programme stated you could book morning sessions from 9am and afternoons sessions from midday but they opened up booking at 8am for both so there was no chance for us arriving at 8.45).
Even the activities that said they where aimed at 8 plus or 10 plus where not and toddlers sat on laps in the 1 plus show and likewise the 8 plus shows where full of toddlers and the performers aimed the show at them.
For the price we could have had a lovely weekend camping in a camp site that had much better toilet facilities and a lot more free space, we could also have taken our kids to see ad awful lot of theatre, music or drama workshops where they would have been guaranteed a space and a seat.
So many of he activities are taster sessions for pre schoolers and far too simple for 8 and 10 year olds.
We made lanterns for the lantern parade. This involved sitting at a wet floor in a very over crowded tent and then queing for 40 mins to get a candle in the lantern. Once completed and dry we spent the evening standing in a queue (the parade was basically a big queue) to be told they couldn’t light our candles as the wic was too short) so we paraded we non lit lanterns (which involved standing in a very very very long line in the heavy rain and taking one step forward every 5 mins).
Toilets where mostly potaloos and they did get so full that the port loo (flap) wasn’t closing so you had to view and smell other people excrement when you wanted to use the toilets.
All in all i’d say save your money, go camping else where (maybe somewhere with flushing toilets and shower block)
Take you kids to arts, drama and music wokshops – you can go to many for the £350 that just so costs for a family four.
Take you kids into the woods and have a camp fire in the garden – at leas you will get a sat which we didn’t at just so
Also the road was a mud bath, many cars got stuck in the mud and needed pushing out – makes arrival and leaving a bit more stressful.