From the very first moment I was offered a weekend at Lakefest in Tewkesbury, Gloucester, I just knew we were in for a treat!
Beautiful surroundings, awesome music lineup, fab festi-fun activities for the kids and a lake with watersports thrown in… Who could want for more?! Oh, and erm… how about sunshine everyday?… and a lovely little chalet for four?!!
My lil’ festikids and I excitedly headed for Lakefest on a lovely Thursday afternoon in August. What made this festival different for us was that we had never been Glamping before, we’d mostly camped in our ‘pop ups’ and were really looking forward to seeing our little home for the weekend. Croft Farm Water Park (the site for Lakefest) is a beautiful backdrop for a festival and the sight of the evening sun as we drove in to the car park overlooking the lake put an even bigger smile on our faces than we hoped…
When we saw our weekend accommodation we were not disappointed – about 4 little blocks of ten chalets, five on each side with little grassy area in between a perfect size to BBQ with friends. Gorgeous clean toilets, a lovely shower block. Our little house had four bunk beds and a large shelf, a couple of plug sockets and a little window. Compact – but ideal for me and my lively boys!
It wasn’t long before we unpacked and were into our shorts and swimming gear and headed to the lake and for a little walk around. Past a fab wooden park/climbing frame (the children loved playing here with their glamping mates) through the car park and the lake was just stunning. Not only that, the lovely folk at Lakefest had gone to a great effort creating a lakeside scene straight from Pirates of the Caribbean… An awesome Ship wreck, sand to play in, buckets spades, masts, palm tree complete with monkey and a 15 foot plank to dive off! It was truly magnificent and the boys couldn’t believe their luck. Within half an hour of arriving they were giggling with other little pirates and diving into the lake off the ship’s plank! I was relieved and happy to be chilling as the sun went down on Day 1, the boys and I looking forward to many more adventures ahead.
The Festival Site was well and truly ready to go by Friday afternoon and we enjoyed a lazy day checking out all the Watersports and leisure park. There was much on offer from Swan Pedalos to speed boats and Zorbs!! It was so pretty too, much thought and attention had gone into the layout of Lakefest. Beautiful gypsy caravans were on one side nearest the lake, which we were soon to find out was part of the famous Sangers Stage show!! Great music, fire acts, street entertainers… There was a real West Country feel about the festival, colourful stalls, a wide variety of food and plenty of cider drinkers made up the mix of happy folk and so many children, a few horses, and campfires thrown in… we loved the friendly relaxed atmosphere…
The Chip Shop Boys and Missing Andy kicked off our fun filled Friday eve with a great mix of tunes, and 80’s Ska band The Beat were extremely popular with all! ‘Mirror In The Bathroom’ had everyone up dancing as the sun set over the lake and The Malvern Hills.
We had almost wore ourselves out with all the fresh air, water sports and dancing in the sunshine, but I was determined to keep my little boys up to see my favourite band of the weekend Ocean Colour Scene! They were playing to a full house in The Garden Tent a little later than timetabled, but fortunately I managed to get my little ones cosy in their onesies on the festival field, where we sleepily lay watching the stars as Ocean Colour Scene’s most famous Riverboat Song came on to a roaring crowd!!
Our Friday at Lakefest had finished for us on a high, but the night was young for some… The Festival atmosphere was still lively, masses of happy people were wandering around the funfair, dance music playing and plenty going on for those that wanted to stay up and party, but our lovely little chalet was calling us! It was a wonderful change and a pleasure to walk the 5 minutes to the Glamping area and use the immaculately clean toilet facilities before crashing in our bunks!
Saturday morning I was pleased to wake up late and felt that I had had the best sleep at a festival ever! I really could get used to this Glamping… There was a hive of activity as more happy Glampers had arrived late Friday and we excitedly introduced ourselves to our new neighbours (well, with my sociable lively boys, it’s hard not to!). Lovely weather again, my big boy sat strumming his guitar whilst we all chatted, swapping festival stories with the stag party and lovely ladies across the way. We all had one thing in common: how fabulous we thought Lakefest was and that Croft Farm Water Park really was a spectacular site!
The lake was a great feature for my boys because they are not just music lovers, they are also water babes and so again we headed to the lake this time for some Zorbing and a speedboat trip. It was an awesome afternoon sitting in a deckchair in the sunshine, sand underfoot at the lakeside with our festifood (Olives and Houmous pitta bread) – this is the life! My boys were crazily jumping in and out of the water with lots of other festikids, the temperature had dropped slightly but it still was warm compared to last year’s summer mud fests!!
By late afternoon I had persuaded them that we had a music festival to go to and checked into some of the fab kids activities. My boys’ favourite was Glambo drumming workshop. Trying to keep to the beat and singing along was great fun for big and little kids alike! There was also a silent disco, a couple of funfair rides (mine had a few crashes on the dodgems) and there were fantastic entertainers such as stilt walking jugglers and a wicked Fire act each evening to keep the little ones smiling…!
The festival was full of fancy dressed children and adults. Saturday was advertised as fancy dress day but my boys don’t need an excuse to dress up! They looked a funny sight, one in a Spiderman outfit and the other a Spongebob onesie, grinning ear to ear they were truly having a ball! We spent most of Saturday evening at Sanger’s Stage Show as my little boys wanted to play diablo with a few other little peeps they met earlier at the lake.
Main stage was pretty busy, so I relaxed by the campfire watching the various singers and acts and it was a treat! Marshmallow toasting, and drinking from fresh coconuts as the sun set again on a beautiful Lakefest!
Music wise, we heard great reviews of Duke Special,The Roving Crows and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown from our fellow glampers who were extremely merry from drinking plenty of cider from their fab plastic recyclable cups! To be honest, we missed some of the bands in the three tents that I had intended to watch, but there was so many fab areas of entertainment at Lakefest that on this occasion, I felt there was much more to see and do! Saying that, I had to head back to the big crowd at the Garden Tent as The Levellers took to the stage – one not to be missed!! Again very late, but my boys amused themselves with their fab festi-purchases and new found friends whilst I had also gained a few lovely new friends and we all merrily sang along to ‘Beautiful Day’… couldn’t have been more apt!
Sunday morning and sadly it was our last – the time had flown by! We again took advantage of the fab toilet and shower block/facilities just by our chalet. They were extremely clean at all times (HUGE thanks to the lovely ladies who were in there cleaning all weekend). It was unfortunate we had to head off home to my son’s music camp (a 4hr drive away), but not before we caught up a little more with our neighbours including a young couple with a little baby boy, and a few lovely ladies and gents… some more hung over than others, but all seemed to be very happy with their Lakefest weekend!!
My boys ran off to have fun in the fab park whilst I packed up our kit from our lovely chalet to the nearby car park. That didn’t take long at all compared to our usual trek with tents and bags galore!! I fell in love with the glamping experience provided at Lakefest. As a single mum it took the aches, pains and groans out of my festival and replaced them with big smiles! We had an hour to spare and headed towards the lake to wave goodbye to all our friends and fellow pirates!!
We didn’t want to go home at all, we were sad to be missing out on Chas and Dave and a wicked Firework show ahead… but we didn’t leave disappointed. We really couldn’t have wished for a better weekend.
Lakefest had it all… fun, laughter, a great mix of lovely people, kids activities galore, fantastic watersports, fab music and in the most spectacular surroundings that we have ever been lucky enough to stay in at any festival… and we’ve been to a few!!
I really can’t recommend Lakefest highly enough as a family festival and have already marked our diary hoping to stay for the whole week next August with friends we met there!! We’d like to say a big thank you to Martin and all who made loving Lakefest so easy! Our favourite Festi-hol Summer 2013!
Karon Louise, Spongebob and Spiderman!! x 🙂
See our Lakefest Factsheet for more info.
You can also see many more Lakefest Photos on our Facebook page!