Location: Bishops Meadow, Farnham, Surrey
Kidsfest 2011 was a unique festival designed by children, for children, in a race against time to raise funds to save Farnham’s local Bishop’s Meadow from the hands of property developers. They succeeded in saving the land but they are now raising funds to recreate the fabulous festival from 2011, for which they need £40k.
Here’s a taste of the general silliness that went on in 2011:
The Kidsfest team created a festival on the meadow with a series of amazing zones, where children can indulge in the activities that they have created.
There was over 200 activities, designed and delivered by children, a main stage with 12 hours of music and acts from under 16’s, brilliant workshops, The Talent show of Talent shows, great coffee,even greater food and watch this space for the list of the most fun you can have in one weekend…!
The Kids Get Messy zone, where custard and jelly were finally used in ways they were supposed to be (clue: wellies and slides), and the Kids Get Creative zone, in which an army of volunteers helped kids make Bubble Rockets, Giant Volcanoes and a kite to fly above the 34-acre meadow.
For Lego fans, there was Gillan’s Lego-infested tent, and for cookery enthusiasts, Vince Sheldon from Hale Scouts rustled up things Mum definitely wouldn’t cook for tea. Darryl Moran, a local roofing contractor, holds world records for parachute jumping, and he hosted an area for kids to try and make and break their own records.
A big draw at Kidsfest was the Night Bear Photography team, who set up in the Kids Download zone, making incredible artwork using light. Tish Piewowarek hosted a games festival including Zombies vs Daleks and the unique Smarties with Chopstick relay race – a hit at the Lazy Bishop’s Festival earlier the same year. The Surrey Science Circus filled a Custard Bath, and there was even a Dadzone, with a story telling area for Dads.
The renowned Chuck a Duck in the Toilet appeared in the Kids Get Busy Zone, and in the six large marquees, Kidsfest ran exciting workshops for Glee Enthusiasts, West End musical afficionados, budding Ghanain drummers, and even Joke Tellers. Young Cicely hosted the tiger hunt, and Milly and her Dad invited teams to find them whilst making faeries. Elsewhere the Surrey Wildlife Trust sent intrepid teams to look for bugs and creepy crawlies! Fresh from their Amazing Thailand weekend, the Mudita Trust provided delicious food stalls with Thai street food, and donated the proceeds to the trust’s brilliant work with children in Thailand.
Daniel Roche, the 12 year actor and star of hit series such as BBC’s Outnumbered and Just William, made a special appearance at Kidsfest to open the festival open. The main stage hosted fantastic line up of young up and coming bands.
Kidsfest 2011 also included a Kids Got Talent event and Farnham’s Big Night Out on the Saturday 1evening with headlining act, the festival favourites, Charley Farley Sunday Four.
Kidsfest takes place on the Bishop’s Meadow in Farnham, a pretty market town on the Surrey/Hampshire border, which can be reached in less than one hour on a direct line from London Waterloo and is an enjoyable place for a day out.
All profits from the festival will go to The Bishop’s Meadow Trust, which has been formed to raise the money to save the meadow in Farnham for the community and for future generations of children. When the meadow was threatened with potential building development, newspaper proprietor Sir Ray Tindle stepped in and bought the land, giving the local community two years to raise £200,000 to repay the price. The Trust will take the land into its care and protection for years to come.
With over 100 activities supported by 150 volunteers, a children’s committee, and a host of local businesses and individuals contributing financial support, it’s clear to see how special the meadows are to the community, and why so many people want to see this little piece of Farnham remain forever theirs.