The Kidz Field claims to be the largest festival for kids in the world, and I wouldn’t argue with that. Everything inside it is free too.
There’s so much going on in this field: Helter Skelters, baby-changing, workshops, climbing frames, sand pits, inflatables, circus skills, swings, messy play, crafts, kids loos, special performances, and even an NCT Tent where you can give babies a much needed bath!
Your main gripe about this field is likely to be that you spend so much time losing yourself in the excitement of childhood delights that you miss an act you were desperate to catch on the other site of the festival! But it’s all about compromise and believe me, your kids are going to LOVE this place!
A veteran of the festival scene, Chris ‘Professor Panic’ Maddocks from Panic Circus, has been going to Glastonbury for 40 years (in fact he’s only ever missed 2 Glasto‘s in the history of the festival). Here he reflects on his experiences of working in the Kidzfield:
Kidzfield is a WONDER! It’s so good for all our children, grandchildren, and volunteer’s children, to be on a field with so much fun and where their parents are working… After the set-up we open up to Site Kidz so those kidz whose parents will be full-on working all weekend could familiarize themselves with us and the field before the invasion of the thousands of punter children. The Kidzfield now opens a day earlier so that the start is not so manic…..
Tony (Kidz Field manager) quite rightly insists on keeping the Kidzfield as green as possible, even on the muddiest years… therefore only minimal vehicle activity is allowed and NEVER when it is damp. Fortunately this year (2011 – a wet year) we managed to get a dry window of weather and got set up on site on our usual spot….
A particularly memorable and special moment for me this year, was when I was looking across the field at a tree and thinking “Jeeze, when I first worked on this field, that tree was a sapling… and my youngest son was a baby….. and now look at you both…… and I’m still doing the same job and STILL loving it… I’m a very lucky man!”. All week I kept going down to the bottom of the Kidzfield…. looking out and thinking….. “Na mate, I’m happy here in the Kidzfield…… Looks like hard travelling out there!”
The Kidzfield Crew keep the toilets as clean as possible. Toilets for kidz are almost the MOST important thing for parents and kids. My youngest used to give himself terrrrribbble constipation by not going for a whole Glastonbury week!…… The toilets are pretty good as they go…… but last year the BEST festival toilets I met were at Luminate Festival in New Zealand.
Every year the Kidzfield feels safer and safer too. Although there are still the occasional foot traffic surges to watch out for.
The only improvements I would make would be to suggest to the festival organisers that Family Camping should MEAN family camping – a few people have cottoned on to it being a safe place to camp and so camp there even if they have no kids. It would also be great if Family Camping could have a “Play Area” for each group of 20 or so camps, so kids could play together nearer their campsite at certain times.
My Top Tip for families is to camp in the Family Camping field….. it is close to the Kidzfield. And try to camp with friends so that you can share the child minding 🙂
With Panic Circus, we’ve been doing kidz stuff at festies since the mid 70’s…. Panic Circus is committed to making festivals FUN for both child AND parent. The whole reason that we have been doing it for nearly 40 years is because WE want to have FUN and we enjoy our work……. All jobs should be so much fun! In fact, when advising kidz about work, I always say to them, “ONLY choose a job that you will ENJOY”. If you enjoy your work you will do it well…… stuff the WORK ETHIC bring on the PLAY ETHIC!
Chris Panic (aka Chris Maddocks)