We returned for the third year to the Wonderful Wychwood Festival on Cheltenham racecourse, this weekend. Did we get bored as we’ve been before? Far from it, in fact I felt like I came away with an even fuzzier feeling of warmth and love towards it. There are so many things I could tell you about why I love it so much, but here are five of my favourite memories from the weekend.
1. Wychwood isn’t the sort of place you go to see the current favourites riding high in the download charts. It is very much a place where you see musical legends (Aswad, Jesus Jones, Billy Bragg, OMD and The Levellers all played this year!) and also bands that are very much up and coming (we stumbled across a guy last year called Rag’n’bone man, have you heard of him?!). Wychwood has very much re-energised my spark for finding new music, that is sitting just under the mainstream radar.
This year was no different, and we discovered some great bands: Big Boy Bloater, CC Smugglers, The Rahs and Smooth and Turrell all impressed me and I’ve had a look on Youtube for more of their music. However, my absolute favourite was the awesome East Pointers: A celtic folk band from Canada whose musical talent blew us away. Not only this, their music got us all up and dancing. It was a joy to listen to. They played a cover of David Bowie’s Heroes, have a listen, you won’t regret it.
2. In London, we live hectic lives. Weekends are generally taken up by ferrying the children to their football and ballet classes. Therefore, the fact that when we got up on Saturday morning at Wychwood, we could laze about the beautiful campsite, was brilliant. The campsite is nestled in the greenery of the racecourse, it is spacious enough, and plenty of room for the kids to run about. There was a cafe just behind us to get teas and coffees and even better, the festival sponsor was the iPaper, and some kind soul came around the campsite in the morning with copies. Kids happy playing; parents reading the paper in the sunshine. What’s not to like?
3. A new addition to Wychwood this year was a helter-skelter. It dominated the festival skyline, and looked fabulous when it was lit up. The kids really enjoyed sliding down it, and it goes to show that good old fashioned rides are the best!
4. I will confess that one of the reasons we like Wychwood so much is the food and drink. There is always a great choice and it’s relatively reasonable given the captive-audience element. To my delight, there was a dedicated Pimms stall, which meant I could indulge in my first pimms of the year! It didn’t disappoint, and I may have enjoyed a few over the weekend (hic!)
5. It’s not all about the music at Wychwood, there really is a plethora of activities for everyone to do from dance workshops to clay modelling. This year we all had a real hoot at the circus skills tent. The guys who run it are great, and suddenly as you are trying to master hoola-hooping, there will be a fancy juggling display going on just to your right. The kids loved stilt walking, learning stick juggling and we even had a go at the unicycling! (results weren’t good enough for Britain’s Got Talent just yet …)
It really is a fabulous family festival, and it’s small enough to feel intimate, and the children are very safe there with the staff being very attentive. There are early bird tickets on offer for 2018 so don’t miss out!
Have a look at our Youtube film:
We were given press passes for the festival
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