18th - 20th August 2023
Location: Escot Park, Nr Fairmile, Devon, EX11 1LU
Parent Reviews: 2022, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014
A really lovely family-friendly festival with a strong and warm hippy vibe. Expect the atmosphere to be laid-back and friendly and expect the site to be very colourful and arty. Beautiful Days is the Levellers’ own annual family-friendly weekend camping festival.
What’s on for kids?
The Children’s Area at Beautiful Days is coordinated by Majical Youth Theatre. There are loads of activities, hands-on workshops and entertainment all weekend long for children of all ages. There are crafts, theatre, dressing-up, circus, rides, storytelling, workshops, comedy, face painting and more.
The main children’s area is situated right in the middle of the festival site between the Main Stage and The Big Top (Stage 2) but there are also story-telling and play areas in the campsites and there will be family-friendly performances in the Theatre Tent.
There is also a teen tent run by the fabulous Mayflower Project. This is a haven for older children to hang out in. There is free hair-braiding, spray on tattoos, face painting, henna tattooing, nail painting and pool tables. The teens going to this tent could even charge their phones for free.
The Inbetweeners Tent is for children too old for the toddler games. It hosts a range of real craft and musical activities including DJ workshops. The stand up comedy workshop is also very popular.
The line up:
This festival is run by The Levellers and the line up generally has a folky roots and reggae vibe. There are six stages at the festival – Main Stage, The Big Top, The Little Big Top, The BandStand, Bimble Inn and the recently added Theatre Tent which will be hosting theatre, puppet and musical performances throughout the day and then stand-up comedy in the early evening.
There is always a fun theme for dressing up on the Sunday.
The site and camping options:
Each year there is a designated family camping field. Beautiful Days is a family festival though so all of the camping fields have families camped in them!
There are glamping options consisting of tipis, bell tents and Yurts in The Garden, provided by Cloudhouses.
There are 4 bars operated by the local Otter Brewery, along with The Bimble Inn that have their own range of drinks. Each bar operates a reusable glass policy, so you will be charged a deposit for your drinking vessels. The cups are beautiful as they are decorated with the Beautiful Days logo. You are also allowed to bring a reasonable amount of alcohol in for personal consumption.
ALL children, even babes in arms, need a ticket – they all count towards the audience capacity.
13 thoughts on “Beautiful Days”
The best festival I’ve ever been to, the legendary folk heroine Helen hat / majical youth run the kids area . Never a dull moment x
We went in 2011 and 2012, and it was brilliant. There was so much for the kids to do, and it was all very well organised. I have been to other family festivals, and whilst they have been excellent for the kids, I would think that I wouldn’t go without the kids. Beautiful Days (in the two years that we went) had plenty for every age group. I particularly loved the mix of bands, to include plenty of the old festival bands from the nineties alongside contemporary artists. There was also lot of thought put into making the festival accessible. It is such a good idea to make sure that campers in the disabled camping have easy access to the exit, as you never know when you might need to rush off. It is very hilly though, so we got a good workout!
We were very disappointed with Beautiful Days this year. The kids area was ok, but there was only a couple of tents with activities for the children to do, one dressing up tent and one arts and crafts tent. The rest would cost an average family a small fortune over the weekend, such as £1.50 for just one slide down the helter skelter. The music acts were hardly family friendly at all, we went into the big top with our three children at 3pm on Friday afternoon and the bloke on stage was effing and blinding and singing about pills and ketamine, so we pretty much turned around and walked straight out again. It was much the same for the whole weekend. To get from the camping area to the music or children’s area you had to walk past hundreds of stalls, squeezed into narrow walkways, and thousands of people buying stuff from the stalls , and it felt like the main point of the festival was actually a large market selling blankets, incense and hareem trousers, etc with the music and activities an after thought. Definitely won’t be going again, even without the kids!
Tracy many thanks for your comments. This was the first time I had been to Beautiful Days – are you implying that it was better before? Our experience was largely the same as yours unfortunately. I do think it had some wonderful moments – the main stage and band stand were highlights – but not enough to make up for the overcrowding and over priced rides. Watch out for our review – we’ll be publishing it this week. Thanks, Naomi
I’m really sorry to hear you had this as your first time experience, there is a market drag around the back of the kids area but if you walk through the kids area itself you can totally avoid it 😉 and I have to say that your perception about free activities is wrong as all the activities on one side of the kids field and up in family camp and the Big theatre tent and by the main stage and in the bush craft area are most certainly free 🙂 there is effectively 5 free kids areas within the festival and there are only 7 or so fairground rides in one of them, plus they are all cheaper than going to your local fair ! in the main kids area there are two 40ft long craft tents, a pottery/clay play tent, a theatre tent where they can dress up and be in a play on stage, a cabaret/show tent, a circus tent, a dedicated teens tent, a toddler tent, mother and baby area,a huge medievil games area, a big bush craft camp (admitedly you do pay for some things there like black smithing), but anything that is charged for is set at cost level and supervision is one to one, the face painting is a “donation” for kids and a set fee for adults and at certain times of the day air brush tatooing is free in the teens tent (top secret tip 😉 ) and theres constant games walkabouts and shows in the whole area, and ive just heard theres a new lego science tent and pirate ship play with beach this year as the theme is rock the boat !. hope this restores your faith in beautiful days a little and i know they do respond well to new ideas for kids as they pride themselves on being a really family friendly festy, it sells all the tickets every year which is why its so busy n “overcrowded” to some, personally i think its vibrant, busy and full of good atmoshere with loads of little oasis to hide in! but write to them direct if you were unhappy and see what they say 🙂 x p.s.they havnt increased the numbers attending just cos the event sells all its tickets either.
Not yet! I want to send one of our writers there this year to get the low down, but I don’t think I can make it myself… Romany x 🙁
Really want to try & squeeze this one in. Have you been Romany? x