We recently went to WOMAD, our favourite festival, and one l I have been going too since I was 14. Like lots of things in my life at the moment, the festival was a beautifully dual experience.
The day before we were due to leave, our (new!) car broke with an impressive grinding sound, so things got off to a pretty stressful start. We were able to borrow a (smaller) car which meant re packing and leaving lots of stuff at home. The festival was also muddy and wet which is harder with young kids, although still totally do-able and fun- we just make sure everyone had head to toe waterproofs. I also had a short bout of food poisining (wahey!)
But despite all of those things, it was worth it. We had a pretty precious time together as a family, and spending time with my friend and her family was also wonderful. The food, the music and kids activities were incredible, as they always are, and Frankie-Rose was able to enjoy so many of the kids activities this year. Our highlights far outweigh our sucky bits.
Related: My list of family festival essentials in this blog post
In my summer e book, Stitch & Forage, there is a huge section on camping with young kids too, including a mega packing list, a camping bingo and a long car journey bingo too.
Here are our highlights (starting with the food, naturally):
15 WOMAD festival 2017 highlights:
- The Dosa's from the South Indian Street Food stall. oh man.
- The burgers and chips from Holy Cow.
- The Thali and Indian sweets from the Madras curry tent.
- All the chai tea in the world.
- The vintage shopping and the incredible selection of goods from around the globe available for sale. (I didn't buy ANYTHING -apart from my 8th pair of sunglasses- WHO AM I?!)
- Kakatsitsi, The!Gubi Family & Bwiti- incredible master drummers- the sort of music you just can't not dance too. Our whole group loved this and Frankie did some awesome dancing (see viedeo below!)
- Loyle Carner - Dave and I love Loyle Carner so he was a festival must for us. He was wicked live and so psyched that due to a last minute turn of events, he had a sign language interpretor with him. It turns out, that she is a fan and had spent the previous weeks memorising his lyrics so she could accurately convey it to deaf folk in the audience. Then, just before the gig, she offered to sign it and he said yes on the spur of the moment. Incredible!
- The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians - wonderful eclectic group of musicians. Some really beautiful, chilled stuff, some more beaty stuff.
- King Gurchan Mall & The Dhol Blasters- brilliant brilliant Bhangra fun. We all loved this one too!
- Bokante: a Blues/Folk/Caribbean mash up. Incredible mix of sounds, really groovy.
- Camping with some very special people in my life. My friend, her daughter and her mum, the family I have gone to WOMAD with since I was 14.
- Watching Frankie-Rose NAIL festival life. She was in her element, a total queen. Undaunted by mud, crowds or portaloo's; with rainbow hair, fairy wings and muddy boots. Laughing and dancing and singing. We had some really special times together.
- Auden was also totally chilled in his buggy or the sling. I wondered if he might find it too noisy or stressful but he was really chilled and also slept well at night too (the fresh air definitely wore him out).
- Dorit Chrysler & Charlie Draper in “Sounds of the Ether”. These dudes play a Therumin- the only instrument in the world that you don't need to touch. It was amazing to watch! Dorit Chrysler was awesome.
- Goat, Hannah Peel, and The Bookshop Band were also playing but we missed them due to clash of timings. Apparently brilliant though.
- The Children's World. We spent lots more time there this year and Frankie got so much out of it. She did a trapeze lesson, made a clay sculpture, and also played with all the incredible puppets and musical instruments. It is SO well curated with the most wonderful wonderful timetable of soulful kids activities and stories.
This year, I did an instagram stories takeover for the WOMAD team, which was really fun. I ended up with lots of videos so I decided to put them into a little film of our time there. It is super rough, and my first attempt at using imovie on my phone, but it is pretty sweet! Here is a taste of our WOMAD.
A note about the video audio:
The audio is from the stuff I recorded myself on my phone. The drumming at the start of the video, which was BRILLIANT, was Kakatsitsi, The!Gubi Family & Bwiti- incredible master drummers. After that is Loyle Carner. And the music at end of the video was taken from The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians gig.
Until next year, WOMAD!