Larmer Tree Festival 2011 Review

2011 Larmer Tree Festival Weather: Heavy rain showers on Friday eve, Saturday and Sunday.

Read our in-depth review here.  Parent’s reviews are below:

Review by: Anne Salway Luxford (with a nearly 3 year old)

Getting to the festival and setting up camp:

We got in almost straight away. I couldn’t fault the organisation. The car park is separate from the camping area, but we had brought our own wagon (which we also used to transport our boy, especially at night as he could lie down in it) and a pushchair and that helped a lot with transporting all our stuff – I’d definitely recommend bringing a wagon or wheelbarrow (or hiring a wagon from “Mr Trolley” on site, if you don’t mind paying).

We met up with friends who had already set up their tent in “general” camping, and decided to camp with them. There was plenty of space when we arrived (we have a large tent!), but unfortunately 2 separate groups arrived later who camped either side of us who were extremely noisy *all* night, including lots of swearing and loud descriptions of their sex lives – I’d have preferred that my little boy hadn’t been exposed to all that, but to be honest, I think most of it went over his head anyway, plus he’s inherited his father’s ability to sleep through noise, thank goodness! The security staff tried hard to deal with it though, once they realised there was a problem, and did make some of the people leave. We’ll definitely camp in “quiet” or “family” camping next year, though.

Entertainment – Line up and Kids Activities:

There were several stages and different areas, so it was easy to find something we liked. Sometimes the noise from the main stage could be heard in other areas though.

We did do some of the children’s activities, although there was more that was suitable for slightly older kids, and some of the stuff for little ones was very popular and felt a bit ‘over-subscribed’. My boy enjoyed some of the hands-on crafts, and the performances that were more geared for children.

Any other comments and your Top Tip:

We proved that it’s completely possible to take a child who is in the middle of potty training to a festival, but I’d recommend the following:

– take your regular potty to use in the tent (avoids smelly portable loos)
– camp near a bush if possible – easy to empty the potty!
– take a pottette and lots of liners to take with you during the day.
– your child needs waterproofs and wellies. Waist high trousers (with a jacket or poncho) are easier to get down than dungarees or an all-in-one.
– take loads of baby wipes.
– take plenty of spare clothes
– We have washing line that consists of 2 lines of elastic twisted together with a hook on each end – this was really useful and doesn’t need pegs.

Site and Facilities:

The toilets were fine – they were cleaned and emptied regularly, and I only had to use my own toilet paper once!!! (I’ve never known a festival that’s had such a readily available supply of loo paper!

Getting around was mostly OK. It’s fairly level. There were tarmacked or stone paths in some parts of the site and some areas of the site and in some places there was a kind of plastic mesh laid down over the grass. In a couple of places that got a lot of traffic, such as the entrance/exit, there were metal boards. However, after the heavy rain, some areas got very muddy, and more difficult to navigate, especially with a pushchair or wagon.

Did you feel safe?

Yes. Security were visible but not in your face. Apart from our noisy neighbours, everyone was lovely.

Would you go again?

Oh yes!

9/10

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Review by: Elizabeth (kids age range: 3-15)

Getting to the festival and setting up camp:

Arrived on the Weds afternoon to small queue. Didn’t have to wait long and the marshalls were really lovely and helpful. Explained where to go and the layout of the Festival. As we were in the caravan side we were able to drive to pitch and was easy to set everything up.  There were already lots of people on site but all very happy and excited about the festival.

Entertainment – Line up and Kids Activities:

Fantastic. Lots of things for the kids to get involved in if they wanted. Plenty of workshops like building a puppet, make your own mobile, etc. There was a circus workshop and if they wanted there is a play groung on site too. My little girl had her face painted several times and loved seeing the resident peacocks.

The music this year was the best I have experienced so far at the Larmer Tree. Imelda May was probably my highlight of the weekend and discovering a band called the MopeS.

What would you change / improve (if anything)?

I think the distance from the camping to the festival is a bit much but the Larmer Express does ease that (Tractor Ride)

Any other comments and your Top Tip:

Top tip is to take your wellies, and plenty of money as there are some wonderful jewellery stalls and wear an elasticated waist as the food choice is just amazing!!

Site and Facilities:

Being on the Caravan side it was a little bit of a trek to the actual festival site but not to bad.  We managed to get a good spot near to the toilets (yet far away enough to avoid smell and noise) and just up from the showers.  Toilets held up well. they were regularly emptied and always had paper but by the end of the weekend were very muddy and not the cleanest.

Did you feel safe?

Unfortunately my tent was one that was targeted by thieves who took my cash from my bag. But it was a minimal amount as the rest was locked away and the security team were very helpful and I noticed that the guards were patrolling more around our area. It didn’t ruin my time there, I still felt safe and it hasn’t put me off going again!!

Would you go again?

Oh yes!!

9/10

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Review by: Markymark (with 3 kids: aged 4, 10 and 13)

Getting to the festival and setting up camp:

We arrived on Friday at about Noon and there was little queuing. We managed to fill an empty space quite close to the family camping area. The sun was out and it was glorious. We found a great pitch within a short walk to the bathroom facilities and the festival, important when you have young children, Luckily we had our own trolley and were able to set up camp reasonably easy. I would recommend people bring a steel hammer and good strong tent pegs as the ground was incredibly hard and rocky.

Entertainment – Line up and Kids Activities:

The children enjoyed the face painting the staff were very patient and incredibly talented. We seemed to miss most workshops. We were never made aware of what was on and when. The programmes should’ve been available online and when you entered in your car. [Editor’s tip: pre-order your programme when you buy your tickets and it will get posted to you in advance – well worth the money]

What would you change / improve (if anything)?

It would have been great if there had been some shared BBQing facilities where you could cook your own food on a large open pit BBQ. I feel that benches and some nice acoustic music would have fit the bill quite well.

Any other comments and your Top Tip:

Take large tent pegs and a metal lump hammer as the ground is very hard.

Site and Facilities:

In comparison to other family festivals the toilets were very good. Plenty of them. The showers were great and were a welcome sight on Saturday morning after a damp night. Mobiles worked as I am on O2. The site was compact and reasonably civilised.

Did you feel safe?

Yes, extremely. The whole feeling on the site was that we were surrounded by like minded individuals.

Would you go again?

Weather permitting, YES!

7/10

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