Back in the day, I went to a couple of festivals. I volunteered as a steward at one of them and remember it being one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever done – it was baking hot and I’d been stationed in the wristband tent with only minimal directions as to how the whole process should operate. Despite that, I still have fond memories of it.
Fast forward twenty years (gulp) and last weekend saw us packing up the people carrier with our camping gear (a six person tent replacing the two person pop up of yesteryear) and heading off up to the Deershed Festival near Thirsk. I’d come across it on a blog that I follow and thought it sounded right up our street. The fact that we’d never heard of most of the bands is more down to our lack of musical awareness I think, but we like live music so it didn’t matter. The real lure was the fact that Deershed is very much designed with families in mind. Children are welcomed and in the majority. It’s obvious that the organisers are parents themselves.
So, we arrived mid afternoon on Friday (having taken Maisie out of school at lunchtime, thus ruining her 100% attendance record on the last day of school). The place was already bustling but we easily found a decent spot for our tent which we erected without incident despite temperatures in the high twenties. It was a good start. We headed into the arena and were immediately impressed. There was so much to do, especially for the girls. Lots of craft workshops (which changed each day), sporty activities (space hoppers, swingball, rounders), places to buy trinkets, a great selection of food vendors, a well staffed bar, four different stages and perhaps most excitingly (certainly for Kitty at any rate) a retro Helter Skelter and Big Wheel.
The girls stayed up late waving their glowsticks as it got dark and Maisie showed a real interest in the cleverly executed PG rated comedy tent. It was quite liberating knowing that it was ok to have them up past their bedtimes and routines went out of the window. The very clement weather obviously made a huge difference too.
I really can’t recommend the whole experience enough. It suited us on every level from its close proximity to home to its well thought out facilities. Well done Deershed, see you in 2014!