Wood Festival 2015 Review

Small, safe and very friendly – Wood is a wonderful place for families

P1000962Wood is a charming little festival, set on a beautiful campsite. It’s a safe place for children to explore, try their hands at new skills, and climb in the trees.

Camping and facilities

There was lots of room in the campsite, and all of it was family friendly. This is definitely a festival to go to if you value your sleep! It was very quiet in the evenings. There were compost toilets which were clean, with charming rustic sinks made from reused plastic bottles that you turned on with a wooden foot pedal. Wood fired showers were on offer, which we didn’t try but they looked lovely and there were no queues.

P1000990The only problem was the absence of any lights, which meant that they became very dark and scary at night and my children refused to use the toilets in the dark! Some solar fairy lights would have fixed this.

As well as the charming wooden toilet cabins and sinks the whole festival was incredibly clean and green – 100% sustainably powered and full recycling across the site.

Food

There was a lovely café selling home cooked food, something I appreciated as I always crave salad at festivals. The gorgeous wood fired pizza meant we didn’t need to cook for the children much either!

Activities

It’s in the workshops and activities that Wood really shines. Not only are there specific child friendly activities in the kids’ tent, such as painting and clay, but there are many skills on offer to both adults and children. And by skills I mean real skills such as weaving, sewing, carving, wood turning, cooking on a fire. All these were free at Wood. Being a small festival there were no queues and they could spend as long as they liked.

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My eldest was particularly taken with the wooden weaving loom. She sat and weaved on her own for hours at a time! As the children could take their time they could actually learn real skills to take home.

We all spent several hours at the upcycle workshop. Rubbish from other festivals, such as broken camping chairs and old festival wristbands, are used to make new chairs, bags and even poi. It was a wonderful example of what could be done with some old material and a hand powered Singer sewing machine.

The woodland playground

P1000939Behind the kids’ tent, there was a large woodland playground with trees to climb, rope swings and cargo nets. This kept our children happy throughout the weekend, especially the tree climbing!

The only downside to this was that children had to be accompanied by an adult at all times, meaning we spent more of the festival in the woods and didn’t get much of a chance to watch the music.

A stage or some adult entertainment next to the playground would have been fantastic.

Music

The music highlight for our family was the ukulele orchestra. Lots of ukuleles playing popular songs with a great old fashioned sing-a-long from the crowd. The children also loved the wonderful children’s songs from Nick Cope who played the kids’ tent to a large appreciative crowd.

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However the music choice for adults was a little disappointing. The music was not very varied and was largely folky guitar bands. For me I would have liked some more music to dance to. The main music stage was also at the other end of the festival from the kids’ tent and activities, so we didn’t get much opportunity to see it. This meant we spent much more time at workshops and making things with the children. But for me a festival without dancing is missing something.

Having said that, if you like your music and festival very relaxed this is an excellent festival for you! Many people we met were there just for the day, so the festival became very quiet in the evenings. We slept incredibly well there, and went home feeling happy and refreshed.


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