A Fun-Filled Family Adventure at Wychwood Festival: Our First-Hand Experience #ad

This year, our family was invited to the Wychwood Festival in Cheltenham for the first time. Having previously enjoyed the now-defunct Cornbury Festival, we were eager to find a new family-friendly festival that offered a similar blend of music, activities, and a welcoming atmosphere. Wychwood Festival not only met our expectations but exceeded them, leaving us with unforgettable memories and a strong desire to return next year.

Wychwood Festival 2024

We arrived at the festival grounds on Friday around lunchtime and were immediately impressed with how organized everything was. The marshalls efficiently directed us to the parking area, and from there, we could see the camping fields and festival arena, creating an instant buzz of excitement. The car parks were conveniently located on hard-standing areas, making unloading and carrying our camping gear less of a chore, though the overgrown grass in the camping fields did present some challenges. Despite a bit of a struggle with the uneven ground, the festival’s initial impression was positive and promising.

a group of people on stage with a band on stage

The festival environment was nothing short of epic! From the moment we set foot on the grounds, it felt safe and family-friendly, with plenty of open space and a plethora of activities to keep everyone entertained. We were thrilled to discover various themed tents offering a range of activities: a craft tent for daily creative projects, a story tent where authors read and signed books, a lively circus tent that captivated our children, a vintage games tent that was a hit, and the City tent packed with a diverse schedule of drumming and dance classes. There was always something exciting to do, ensuring that no one ever felt bored.

a group of people on a stage

The overall vibe at Wychwood was incredibly chilled and friendly. The festival exuded a sense of happiness and joy that was infectious. It felt like a true celebration of music, art, and community. We appreciated the relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere that made it easy for us to unwind and enjoy our time together as a family.

The music at Wychwood did not disappoint! We had the pleasure of watching some incredible performances, including Sister Sledge, The Hoosiers, The Feeling, Corrinne Bailey Rae, Devon, Supalung, Stereo MCs, The Bootleg Beatles, The Coral, and Texas. Picking a favourite is a tough task, but our top three would have to be Texas, Stereo MCs, and Sister Sledge. Texas was particularly memorable with its dynamic performance, led by Sharleen’s spirited personality and powerful vocals. Stereo MCs had the entire crowd dancing, making for an unforgettable show, and Sister Sledge truly got the party started with their electrifying set.

For our kids, the standout acts were Stereo MCs and Texas. Ollie had a particularly special moment when he caught Cat Myers’ drumsticks at the end of the Texas set—a memory that we’ll cherish forever and will soon be proudly displayed in his bedroom.

While we usually spend a lot of time in the craft tent, this year, our children, Lillie and Ollie, showed more interest in the circus tent and the City tent with its varied workshops for all ages. The wooden games tent was another family favourite, providing hours of entertainment. Our youngest, Albie, was especially enchanted by the circus acts and the vintage games, making it a perfect festival for all age groups.

Wychwood offered a wide variety of food and drink options, catering to all tastes and preferences. We found the prices to be fairly standard for festival food trucks, though it would have been nice to see more affordable options for smaller appetites. We balanced our meals by doing some self-catering in our tent and indulging in the festival food on Sunday after packing up.

a group of tents in a field

While the overall experience was overwhelmingly positive, there were a few areas where we felt improvements could be made. The restrooms were a bit of a letdown, with not enough portaloos and showers to accommodate the large number of attendees. On the first morning, the showers in the camping field weren’t working due to low water pressure, and we noticed they functioned better later in the day when fewer people were around. We also encountered some hidden holes and dips in the grassy pathways, which could be problematic for those with mobility issues or young children. Despite these minor inconveniences, the festival felt safe and well-secured, with a strong presence of security personnel and stewards.

Getting to Cheltenham was a breeze, with smooth roads and clear signage leading us to the festival grounds. The proximity to Cheltenham Racecourse added an extra layer of excitement to the trip, and the scenic surroundings provided a beautiful backdrop for the festival.

a group of tents in a field

We opted to camp on-site, which added to the festival’s immersive experience. While transporting our festival camping gear from the car to our pitch was a bit of a challenge, the overall setup was satisfactory. However, we did find the nights surprisingly cold, even for seasoned campers like us. A trip to the local supermarket for extra duvets saved us from shivering through the night. Sunday brought bright sunshine, but despite our best efforts with SPF50, we still managed to get sunburned—an important reminder to pack plenty of sun protection for next time.

As a family, we adore the festival atmosphere, the joy of live music, and the opportunity to create lasting memories together. The highlight of our weekend was undoubtedly when Ollie caught the drumsticks from Cat Myers, a moment that will be forever etched in our minds. 

While there are areas for improvement, such as more restroom facilities and better maintenance of the camping pathways, these minor issues did not overshadow our wonderful experience. Our top tips for future festival-goers include reviewing the schedule beforehand to ensure you don’t miss your must-see acts, planning for extra expenses, and exploring the smaller stages for hidden gems. 

a crowd of people at a fair

If you’re looking for a family-friendly festival that offers a fantastic mix of music, activities, and a welcoming atmosphere, Wychwood Festival is the place to be. Whether you’re a seasoned festival-goer or a first-timer, Wychwood provides a perfect setting for creating magical memories with your loved ones. We wholeheartedly recommend getting your tickets for next year’s event—it’s an experience you won’t want to miss!

We’re already looking forward to returning to Wychwood Festival next year. With its friendly atmosphere, diverse entertainment options, and beautiful setting, it promises fun and excitement for the whole family. See you next year at the best family festival from 31st May to 1st June 2025.

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