I’ve heard lots of good things about the Just So for the past couple of years. Friends of ours always go and come back full of tales of all the fun things that they have gotten up to. We were meant to go last year, but then G was away the same weekend, and as I don’t drive I couldn’t get there. SO this year we finally made it! G had to work the Friday/Saturday so he drove me and the kiddos across on Friday morning, helped us pitch our tents in the rain and then left us there.
The setting of Rode Hall is gorgeous and so perfect for a festival. The camping fields were lovely, even by the end of the weekend when they were more than a little muddy! We unpacked and set up camp, and thankfully the sun came out. The littlest three kiddos and I took a walk into the festival site itself to have our first look. While we’ve been to several festivals, this is the smallest we’ve been too, but still there was more than we could do over the weekend and actually the smaller size was great as it meant that my bigger kids could wander about by themselves and come back to me in a central point.
Saturday arrived a little wet and muddy, but that didn’t stop the fun. We headed to the festival site to meet up with friends who were heading in for the day. We spent a while by the Big Top, the kiddos all practising their circus skills, the big girls and their friends running off to look at various stalls. Beastie had a great time, even in the rain, though his favourite part of the whole weekend was the trolley I hired for him to ride around in! With its canopy, he was the lucky one who got to shelter from the rain!
We were all excited to explore the Spellbound Forest, it’s like a whole other magical world in there. We loved the Human Hive and Children of the Woods, the girls had fun carving soap, catching stories with Ian Douglas and making mud faces. We had fun hunting the Gruffalo and catching a few shows in the Woodland Theatre. Tales of Animalia was simply bewitching, Raynard the Fox was my favourite of all!
We spent some time listening to some great bands at Footlights, having heard some on the Just So CD is was great to hear them live. With a barn right by to shelter from the rain, and oh so much delicious festival food in the Social, I could probably have spent all weekend there!
Sunday saw G join us AND the sun came out for the afternoon. We explored the High Seas, played in the giant sandpit, hid in sailcloth city, made signs ready for the Tribal Tournament and enjoyed a nice cool beer in the sunshine!
The Tribal Tournament was definitely one of our highlights of the whole weekend. I loved how it was the backbone of the whole festival and really brought everyone together. It was amazing seeing so many people dressed up all weekend long, and really getting into the spirit of it. Kiki and Lola were Foxes, whilst Baya and I were Stags. Even pouring rain didn’t put a dampener on it.. we met up with our Tribes and it was amazing seeing all the tribes walking along together and chanting!
We had SUCH a fun weekend, I’m really impressed with the Just So and we’ll certainly be back next year and recommending it to all our friends. It’s great fun for all the family, everyone of us enjoyed it, and there was plenty to do, whether you were 20 months, 13 or 35! It’s an absolutley magical weekend with so much to see and do, defintley one to add to the calender!
Early bird tickets for Just So Festival 2017 (18 – 20 August, Rode Hall Estate, Cheshire) are on sale from Friday 26 August at www.justsofestival.org.uk at special early bird prices of £120 (adults), £45 (child) for weekend camping, £70 (adult), £25 (child) for 2 day non-camping, £40 (adult), £15 (child) for day tickets. Under 3s free.
We were guests of the Just So Festival, but all thoughts and opinions are our own