LolliBop 2012 – Regent’s Park
17,18 and 19th August 2012
We have been sent some reviews of the festival by our readers – it’s a very mixed bag. For further reading, at the bottom of the page we have also given links to some reviews by family bloggers who were invited along to the event. And you can read 2011 reviews here.
Parent Review submitted by Kath (attended on Saturday with a 3yr old)
Getting there and entry: Easily located from the map on the website and the signs throughout the park to the venue. Entry was well organised and there were no queues at all, and this was on the Saturday at 11.30 so prime entry time. It was a 15 minute walk from Regent’s Park tube station through a beautiful park.
Entertainment: The line up was excellent!
Who better to have compering a children’s festival than two of the main CBeebies presenters who interacted brilliantly with the crowds.
The acts on both the LolliPalladium stage and main stage were spot on and catered for the younger child to the eldest. On the LolliPalladium stage acts were repeated throughout the day to provide everyone attending with the chance to see them.
There was plenty of other forms of entertainment from craft, to play, to wacky races and meeting favourite characters or heroes. Plenty of workshops catering for different interests: craft, dancing and cooking.
What improvements would you make? Large maps and programme of events on boards at regular intervals around the venue. Portacabin toilets rather than individual portable type.
Any top tips? Take plenty of water and wetwipes for cooling down.
Site and Facilities: The site was just the right size with plenty of seating areas for picnic or chill out areas. The organisers had created a lot of shady areas in a not very naturally shaded area.
Plentiful toilets supplied with toilet paper and antibacterial gel as there was no running water or soap.
Good range of food outlets from Pizza Express to pasties, burgers to milkshakes. Also Ella’s Kitchen were there with free snacks for little ones.
Mobile phone coverage wasn’t excellent but enough for a signal and to send messages on twitter.
Did you feel safe? Yes – Incredibly well fenced in, no wandering children, friendly helpful staff.
Would you go again? Yes!
What was your most memorable moment? Seeing Mister Maker get crafty on stage, Alex and Katy from CBeebies, John Lewis Lane, the 3 foot and Under area, Bjorn the polar bear and Tiny the dinosaur, Wacky Races with balance bikes.
Parent Review submitted by Ruth
Getting there and entry: It was about a 20 minute walk from the tube and sign posted all the way from the first park gate. Very easy. Massively hot but free sun tan lotion and sun hats on offer as were rain ponchos!
Entertainment: There was so much entertainment we literally didn’t know where to start. I’d printed out a line up with all the times of all the things suitable for us and still there was too much to choose from to do everything! Once there my itinerary went out the window as there was also lots of other little things we couldn’t resist… We definitely were spoilt for choice!
What improvements would you make? I think I would bring in an on the spot fine for anyone seen dropping litter or an immediate ejection! I might even make it last longer but then I don’t mind my children being up late once in a while for a special event, I know some people are not so keen!
Any other comments? Book early for the early bird tickets and look out for brilliant discount codes which are offered. Also make the most of it all and go from start to finish, once you’re in everything aside from food is free including face painting and a massage for me while little ones were looked after by trained child minders!
Site and Facilities: Facilities were excellent – Portable toilets clean and with hand sanitiser and toilet rolls which never ran out for any of our trips. EXCELLENT baby changing facilities with free nappies and wipes etc. (The woman here was so lovely and even let me in after she’d cleaned up and closed for the day; couldn’t have wanted more)! Food and drink was available but not pushed upon us and it was reasonably priced for an event like this and unlike the V festival (where I spent some more of the weekend) the food looked good and healthy options were available. The ground was heavily manned for security and fenced off, I think it would have been extremely difficult for a child to escape or anyone undesirable to get in. It was big and open meaning you could see your child if they ran off ahead a bit but the tents and attractions were not miles away from one another. Can’t fault it. Litter was a problem as in parents kept dropping it (why??!!) but I saw so many people running round picking it up and doing their job that they couldn’t be faulted for trying, it was just there was masses of it.
Did you feel safe? Super safe! As I mentioned, it was heavily staffed for security and the fences meant I felt confident my child couldn’t get out and any undesirables couldn’t get in! The crowds were big and atmospheric but not so big that my daughter couldn’t run closer or dance without me and I couldn’t see her! I sat and ate lumch while she watched something on the main stage a little away from me and I could see her and wasn’t worried about her getting lost in a crowd.
Would you go again? Absolutely!
What was your most memorable moment? Most memorable moment I think would have to be just a small pleasure in amongst all the many big, big pleasures we had throughout the day. I had my face painted with my daughter after queuing for only 10 minutes (despite the massive lines of people waiting they went down super fast because there were loads of face painters) and she giggled so hard that I too had face paints on that it made it a smiling memory for me. Really and truly there’s too many moments to recount!
Parent Review submitted by Em Kane
Getting there and entry: No queues on arrival. Had to walk a fair way to the site from public transport. It was raining when we got there so tents were full to capacity. No clear signs on where to get cagouls etc
Entertainment: Live stage was great, could not get into any activities without long queuing times. The craft area was tiny, not nearly big enough for the amount of children at the event. Mini disco was great too, and that area was somewhere spacious unlike the rest of the site which seemed over-crammed and too small for the amount of people attending.
What improvements would you make? Either a much larger site with more space, or less people attending. The queues are way too long.
Any other comments… £33 day ticket was way too much to just watch acts on a stage as we could not get into other activities without long queuing. No water fountains which should be free, especially as we had a heatwave.
Site and Facilities: The site I think was too small, when you add a buggy or 2 to each family they take up more space! Most people kept their buggies with them around the site. There were not enough areas to be able to sit down away from the main area. Toilets were OK, too many shopping stalls and some not geared at kids at all (i.e ladies handbags), good food stalls too. No water fountains that I could see, so spent a bomb on bottled water as it was very hot.
Did you feel safe? Very secure, left stuff in the buggy park and it was safe and dry. Bit too crowded though, I would have gone into mass panic if I had lost a child!
Would you go again? No
What was your most memorable moment? Dick & Dom
Parent Review by Anon (visited on Saturday)
The Moshi Fun Bus turned out to be a shop.
The Transformers stand was a green background that they took a photo of you then emailed a superimposed Transformer behind you. We were two separate families and asked for two separate pics but they said No – even though there was no queue!
The Flora cooking stand could only fit 7 kids in at a time and took 45 mins.
The B&Q Workshop was good – made a coaster with glitter on but we forgot to go back for it when it dried.
Mr maker did the same show morning and afternoon.
Halfords bikes looked OK but not going to queue for an hour to go on a push bike we have at home!
Butlins were giving out brochures – thanks.
4 ice-creams £10.
Kids enjoyed craft tent most.
Skylanders… The worst stand!! It was just a photo op for themselves I think! I didn’t get what it was really!
Enjoyed the science museum stand tho 🙂
What improvements would you make?
Happy efficient staff (queues of impatient under 10’s didn’t need dawdling!)
More free stuff!
A cardboard castle city where the kids can decorate them.
Cheaper shops… I wasn’t really keen on buying a£ 30 picture frame whilst trekking 3 tired kids home on the tube.
More street performers.
A circus skills tent.
Free (or cheaper) water.
Maybe just biscuit decorating instead of 45 min cooking class.
Free fairground type rides.
Characters from stage walking round doing meet and greet or at a point where people can queue for a photo with them.
Any other comments…
I’m usually a glass half full person and when I’ve paid for a day out I like to stay as long as possible to get my money’s worth! As long as the kids are happy, I’m happy – but the 8yr old said she was bored. And the 4&5yr olds said they wanted to go home! so I secretly thought yesss!! Let’s go!
For that price a theme park would’ve entertained them more.
Site and Facilities:
Toilets were amazingly clean. And the site and facilities were excellent.
Would you go again?
What was your most memorable moment?
2/3 of my kids getting to bake banana muffins so we got to wait on the beanbags in the shade!! … it was 32 degrees on Saturday! Got a free pack of Moshi cards at Moshi stand.
‘Dick & Dom’ comments from reader Patricia:
“I attended the festival on the 19th August and was at the stage area when Dick and Dom came on – you could imagine my (and other mums in the vicinity) surprise when they started using the name Dick with rude innuendos – this was not appropriate for children and if a festival is being put on for children I believe discussion should be had with the presenters on what material should be used. There were 3 occasions when I tried to get my grandson to walk away but of course he was tied to the stage show, but he did in fact tell me on the way home that Dick and Dom were rude. This is not acceptable.”
Parent Review by Judy Snape from www.judysnape.co.uk
Getting there and entry: I walked from Regents Park. It was a long walk for the children. Could there not have been a little train to take the children into the festival? My grandson was exhausted by the time we arrived.
Entertainment: There was no meet and greet. The entertainment was shocking. Just poor renditions of children’s television programs, with an appalling drag act in between one of them. The science tent made no attempt to be colourful or exciting or engaging. We queued for half an hour for a bus, which turned out to be a shop. Everything had a commercial overtone.
What improvements would you make? A festival organiser who didn’t have the commerce uppermost in their mind.
Professional children’s entertainers who are not necessarily television stars would have been much better. Somebody able to connect with the children so that they felt part of the show.
Any other comments… Frankly I was appalled. I would discourage anybody else from going to such a commercial enterprise, where the chief aim was to make money at the expense of the child. Somebody needs to go to Bestival to find out what real children’s entertainment is really about.
Site and Facilities: Toilet facilities and mobile connections fine.
Would you go again? Absolutely not.
What was your most memorable moment? Frankly, there was no memorable moment at all. No roundabouts, no bouncy castles, purely reactive entertainment. We came home with no little souvenirs, no handouts, just a hot and exasperated disappointed child.
Review by Anonymous (attended Sunday)
General comments: Over crowded, poor customer services, mess and rubbish everywhere.
It’s just about the most frustrated and worst experience that we’ve ever had, no interesting activities at all for my both daughters, 6 and 3 years old.
In such a hot weather could be more organised.
My kids just kept crying and asking to go home.
Would you go again? NEVER
What was your most memorable moment? When my 6 year old asked one of the members of staff at the craft point to help her to find just a clean colouring paper – her request was just ignored with a roll of the eyes. She came to me in tears and absolutely upset.
If you took your family to LolliBop this year, please share your experiences using our simple online reviews form.
Here’s a round-up of some more positive Family Blogger reviews of LolliBop 2012:
NB: These reviewers will have been given free tickets and access to the Press Area.