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Planning a Fun-Filled Family Festival

Although many people would gasp in horror at the idea of taking your children along with you to a festival, there is definitely a shift in the industry toward more family-friendly festivals.  An ever-increasing number of events are actively embracing the family-festival vibe and it’s now more common than ever to see family groups enjoying the live event scene.  In fact, many families now use festivals as a great mini-break; the array of live music, acts, entertainers and workshops combined with fantastic atmosphere and a sense of outdoor adventure is a very popular choice.  Roll-in a glamping accommodation option and it really couldn’t be easier to escape to a festival with the children in tow.

Great British Glamping is a family business, and with two young boys we appreciate many of the challenges that going to a festival may bring!  In the years that we’ve been working with different festivals, we have been so pleasantly surprised at just how well some of them cater for children and just how easy it can be to take them along with you for a truly great British weekend!

Here are some of the more family-friendly festivals we work with:

3 Wishes Faery Fest

The 3 Wishes Faery Fest in Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, Cornwall on 15th-19th June is the UK’s largest and most famous faery festival.  It is brilliantly child friendly and under 7s get in free.  They have lots of music acts to suit all ages and tastes together with a quieter camping area for those that have children or prefer a quieter night.  Most people get completely into the spirit of the event by dressing up which would delight most children!

Staxtonbury

The Staxtonbury Music Festival held on 7th-9th July in Staxton, near Scarborough, North Yorkshire makes no secret of the fact that family groups are their main priority.  The entire site is enclosed and safe with designated family areas as well as a multitude of attractions the question will be what will the children do next rather than what will the children do! 

They go to town on children’s entertainment for all ages, from Magic Mike Shows, Punch & Judy Shows, Little Steff’s Musical Storytime, they also have free tennis, football and golf coaching and the most popular of all ‘Farmer Tom’s’ Haystack.  There is an arts and crafts Marquee as well as children’s discos on the Friday and Saturday evenings. Not to mention bouncy castles, slides, bunjees, quad bikes, waterbalz, climbing walls, zorb footballs and the list goes on!

Faerie Festival

The Faerie Festival in East Sussex on 19th– 21st May is a small but beautifully formed festival that caters amazingly well for children.  Under 5s are free and their children’s activities are also provided by a specialist entertainment company at no extra cost, providing a wide range of activities from dressing up, dancing, puppet singalong, toys, sandpits and lots and lots of bubbles!

Tips and Advice

We know how much ‘stuff’ having children means you haveto bring with you when you leave your house.  Our beautiful bell tents are at all three of the festivals above and come equipped and furnished allowing you relative luxury without having to pack everything you may need before leaving home.

Here are a few tried and tested tips that we have gleaned over the years for you to bear in mind when planning your family festival:

  • Pack wipes, wipes and more baby wipes!  (Perhaps also potty for tiny glampers)
  • Get a cheap waterproof poncho for your children, (and you maybe!) they sell them in most discount shops so you don’t have to worry if they get ruined, but they’ll stop the damp getting in if the weather isn’t kind
  • If your children are younger then take a decent pushchair of the three-wheeled variety if you can, or a sling if you have very little babies.  It provides somewhere to rest and sleep for tired legs
  • Pack lots of little and easy activities for your children, stickers, colouring books and a few of their favourite toys
  • Lots and lots of snacks
  • A small first aid kit is always handy, with Calpol, bite/sting cream and plasters and don’t forget sun cream and sunhats
  • Be prepared for every type of weather – this is the UK after all.  Layer your children up so that they stay warm and dry
  • Always let them dress up – neon face paints, glitter and hairspray are big favourites at GBG HQ
  • Consider ear protectors if you think the music may be loud

Most of all – have fun!  If you’ve been to festivals pre-children, then your experience this time around will be just a little bit different.  You will love seeing the excitement and joy on your children’s faces as they run around and discover new and crazy things.  Don’t forget to enjoy yourself, break the rules a little bit and you’ll be surprised just how adaptable children can be!

If you are attending any of the festivals that Great British Glamping is a part of then please do give us a call or send us a message to find out more about how we can help you make it that little bit easier, whether you have children or not, we’d be delighted to chat through some options with you. 

Talk to us on 07919 021 912 or send us an email hello(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)greatbritishglamping.com

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Crew

Great British Glamping – Event Crew 2017

Great British Glamping is a growing, family-owned business based just outside Bath which provides glamping accommodation to festivals and events across the UK.  Our continued growth means we are now seeking temporary crew members for the 2017 season to help at some key events, ensuring we deliver the very best experiences for our guests this summer.

This season we are particularly looking for the following crew members:

A. Event Build and Pack-Down Crew

A vital role in ensuring that our glamping village is built and ready for guests – be that at a festival or wedding – often working to tight deadlines and definitely involving physical work outdoors, come rain or shine.  Our crew will arrive on site with laden vehicles and create a beautiful canvas village of bell tents complete with furnishings and bunting.  After the event is over, our crew return the site to normal, packing-down the tents and kit, and loading-out ready for the next event.  A clean driving licence and own transport is preferred but not essential.

B. On-Site Crew for Festivals

There are times when we can’t be in two places at the same time and this is why we’d love to hear from people who would be willing to attend festivals as Great British Glamping Hosts – onsite for the duration of the festival and primarily there to welcome our guests to the glamping village, checking them in and handling any queries they may have during the event.  You’ll also be responsible for checking guests out at the end of the event.  It’s relatively straightforward with a couple of days of relative downtime in between guests arriving and leaving.  This responsibility would ideally suit a couple, or a couple of friends, who know how festivals run and who could be great ambassadors for us, ensuring our guests are taken care of and any issues are dealt with promptly.

Both the Event Build/Pack-Down Crew and On-Site Crew could be the same people – let us know if you’d be up for both elements, but also highlight if you’d prefer one or the other.  It’s worth pointing out that we’re looking for crew over certain dates this season, so you will have the ability to do lots of other work when you’re not working with us.  We are looking for enthusiastic, committed people though.  We don’t have time to waste, and likewise we won’t waste yours if you’re not right for the role at this point in time.

Interested…?

Drop us an email to hello(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)greatbritishglamping.com with some information about yourself.  We’d like to know where you live, your relevant experience in similar roles, and anything interesting that means you’d be a great member of our crew.  Feel free to attach a CV but we’re really looking for personalities, so use your imagination too.

Thanks

GBG HQ

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The Great British Festival

In this blog, Great British Glamping looks at the rise of the UK Music festival, we provide our thoughts surrounding why it’s enjoying continued growth and give you a little insight into life at a festival when you choose the more luxurious option of Glamping.

More often than not, when thinking about UK festivals, images of Glastonbury mud and downpours of rain spring to the fore.  Wellies wading through mud with excited ticket-holders hauling cumbersome rucksacks and trolleys laden with cider through the gates.  Baffling tent instructions and trying to locate your friends on a vast campsite add to the woes.  Plus, you’re dying for the loo but daren’t leave  to join the queue in case someone nicks your perfect pitching spot…

Hardly a glamourous mini break, right?  So why is it that more than 3.5 million of us attended a music festival in 2015, allowing the UK Music festival sector to be one of the only few in the UK to buck the trend of a slump, enjoying uninterrupted growth pretty much year on year?  And how come it’s now worth more than £2bn  annually and could rise as high as £3.5bn by 2020. 

Allow us to look at some of the main reasons why Festivals are doing so well…

Growth of choice of festival – accessibility and for all

It’s not just the big boys of Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds and V Festival anymore; there’s not as much pressure to lure people in with big headline acts, in fact many festivals in the last few years are focusing more on the experience rather than one or two big draws.

The number of UK festivals has rocketed over the last decade and the industry is brimming with new and different festivals every year.  This explosion not only creates choice for the individual over exactly what they want to get out of a festival but it also means they are much more accessible; you can go to one that’s nearer your home, take your children and generally create much more of an ideal experience. 

As with any good industry, the festival scene has had to change with demand and it  seems to have done that particularly well.  There are many festivals now that are particularly aimed at families with specific babysitting services, food options and safe enclosed areas.  Some festivals such as Latitude have changed their focus in recent years to include literature readings and stand-up comedy into their experience.  Whilst others still concentrate heavily on the quality of music, with more big headline acts across more stages and days.

Festivals luxury style

Long gone is the old reputation the old-school music festival held of sex, drugs, and all that jazz.  Socially festivals have moved up the scale with the likes of David Cameron at Cornbury festival in Oxfordshire; Prince Charles popping into Glastonbury, and if you’d been in the backstage bar at Womad in past years, you would have seen Prince Harry and his friends lining up the pints!

These days festivals are not only safe, stylish and increasingly more environmentally friendly, but you can attend them in luxury.  Yes, of course you can rough it should you choose, opting for the crawling-into-your-tent once you’ve found it in the dark approach, but paying that bit extra to enjoy and benefit from a glamping experience may just be worth every penny.

Glamping options now range from yurts and tipis, to themed huts and gypsy wagons.  If you stay with Great British Glamping, you’ll get to stay in a beautiful, large and roomy pre-pitched tent, constructed with heavyweight, breathable canvas – meaning none of the nylon ‘tent sweats’ you’ve probably woken-up with before.  Creature comforts like posh loos, showers and even pamper tents can all form part of the offering, as well as dedicated chill-out areas and room-service style breakfast orders.  After all, if you’re going to be embracing the thrills and spills of a live music festival in the British outdoors you might as well Sleep Under 5 Stars with Great British Glamping.

Live music a key route to profitability

Since 2008, musicians have made more money from live performances than from record sales.  “Album sales are in meltdown,” according to a report from Mintel. “The reality is that there is not much money to be made in recorded music. Live music has become a key route to profitability.”

If you go back twenty years, sales and marketing support was substantial with the release of every album an artist launched.  This support and publicity from the record companies is getting less and less now with the rise of online music portals such as Spotify, Apple music and the download charts.   Times have changed and the income gained from live gigging and promotion to fresh and new audiences is the direction that a lot of artists are now taking.

Risks

There are of course risks with going down this road, because there is a fine balance to juggle the promise of the festival in all its glory with actual ticket sales, which make up around 85-90% of any festival income.  If you don’t get the ticket sales in early enough then the cash flow isn’t enough to sustain the festival and then the festival cannot provide all that it has promised.  This is where smaller festivals tend to fail.  You still need to pay everyone regardless of how many tickets you sell.

There is also a huge risk of over-saturation in the market and it’s hard for the smaller festivals specially to make a significant profit.  More and more people are being lured into the idea of running a festival, seeing it as easy money but it rarely is.  Festivals are costly beasts, with considerable organisation factors such as toilets, staging, production, lighting and sound, insurance, performance fees and marketing to often young, savvy individuals with so much choice; it is certainly a difficult undertaking.

None the less, when you’re sitting in a huge field with your friends and family, listening to your favourite artist with a beer in your hand, knowing that you’ll be sleeping in luxury, you can see why nothing beats a great British festival!

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