Livestock Music Festival with Children

My first experience of taking children to a music festival

The strange thing about being a blogger is that people you don’t know, start to get to know you, I’m still not sure how I feel about that!

Well one of the things I love is music and especially live music. I went to my first gig when I was 17, Bryan Adams at the Cornwall Coliseum with T’Pau supporting (anyone under about 40 will have no idea who that is!) and went to Glastonbury when there was only 30,000 people there, not 130,000 like we see now. So it may be a surprise to learn that it has taken me until my girls are 10 and 11 to muster up the courage to take them to a festival.

To be honest it’s been a selfish thing, to me a festival is about staying up late, dancing, drinking and generally forgetting about mundane life stuff – personally this does not fit with being responsible for two young children, worrying that, in the worst case, they might wander off and meet the child snatcher, or just complain the music is too loud,  they can’t see, they need food (when alcohol would sustain me) want to be carried and ideally should be in bed at 9.30 or you suffer the consequences the next day.

Oh and by the way, hubby does not share my live music love (ask me about the James Blunt gig), so no sharing of the childcare responsibility.  So read on to learn more about my solo music festival experience with children.

Last year I happened to be near Tewkesbury and drove past a road side banner advertising Livestock Music Festival which listed some reasonably well known headlining bands. So I signed up for the newsletter. Fast forward to 29th July 2016 and we were off, just me and our two girls in the campervan for our first music festival adventure.
Festival camping field
Livestock Langdon Music Festival great bands

Tip One  –  Don’t Rush

Luckily we were in no rush as the traffic was terrible, the joy of summer travel in the UK.  We made it in good time and chose the quiet camping field. Try to allow enough time to get there, set up your tent or van and still see the Friday night acts.  The camping was just two fields walk to reach the main festival.

Tip Two – find a small festival for your first event

Livestock in Longdon it turns out, is only in its second year and still small (5,000 tickets), but for me it was perfectly formed.

For my first trip with the girls the thought of coping with 30,000  plus people and miles to walk to the campsite was not what I was looking for.  


Livestock sussed out what their audience wants!

Livestock Langdon Music Festival Woodland stage
We explored the festival grounds and listened to various bands on the Friday night (unknown to me but really decent) and then the headliner Reef – new guitarist is Jesse Wood, son of a Rolling Stone and married to Fearne Cotton (that’s the sum of my celeb pop trivia knowledge) – they were pretty good and the kids were awake enough to dance along with their earplugs in!

Tip Three –  Relax

We were so lucky with the weather which made all the difference. We were able to sit out the whole time, lazing against the thoughtfully provided hay bales with our blankets (because hay is a bit scratchy!) and  even needed sun cream as it was surprisingly hot when the sun appeared! Oh, and despite many people wearing wellies, there’s was no mud!

Livestock Langdon Music Festival flags
Livestock Langdon Music Festival pass


Festival pass  – check!

Livestock Langdon Music Festival G&T


A pint of G&T – check!

Livestock Langdon Music Festival children's fun

I had to be reasonably responsible so only had the one pint of G&T, but still enjoyed some great live music and a bit of dancing.

I really hope that some of the bands get a break and make it on to the radio (one had just signed a deal)  –  we have so much great talent in this country and such a small percentage of bands or artists actually get the break they need to make a proper living from it.

We loved The Ha’PenniesDone by Sunrise and The Lottery Winners and wish them good luck in the future.

Tip Four – Find a Programme

Sunday was a lazy start with bacon butties an essential part of any camping experience. Back on the festival field the girls spent the day making made festival craft bags, dream catchers and cards with a crafty fairy. Later they listened to story telling, watched a fun science show and joined the animal encounters (a giant tortoise, a snake and a bearded dragon to pet).

It’s always good to get  a programme when you first arrive as some activities may need to be pre-booked.

Also free was a climbing wall – it was so great knowing there were things for them to do that didn’t cost extra and the site was small enough for me to let them wander about on their own, while I was able to relax and listen to the music with a cup of proper coffee.

Livestock Langdon Music Festival Clare with G&T
So the weekend was finished off on Sunday evening with Chesney Hawkes and his band- yes that one hit wonder who actually has a great voice and really engaged with the audience, covers like Summer of 69’and Mr Brightside were his best crowd pleasers and he even got dragged back twice for encores.

Sadly the same could not be said about Sunday night’s headliner, oh dear I’m going to upset some folk I’m sure, but Jason Donovan just did not work out well after all the fun we’d been having  – with his tan and a Miami Vice white suit, those 80s ballads and Joseph ‘any dream will do” rendition (which we got twice) were sadly short of the mark and aside from a few enthusiastic fans the rest of us were wishing Chesney or The Lottery Winners would come back and liven the scene up again. For those without young kids, the final disco was soon in full swing and I’m sure Jason quickly became a distant memory. I was just happy that we had survived the whole festival in good spirits.

So the real test was as we drove away on Monday morning “would you like to come again next year”  I asked – the answer was a resounding YES, but mum, can we bring some friends?

Sadly we learnt that the festival was not going to put on again but we have since been to others.

Check out my write ups – we’ve really enjoyed Pigstock in North Devon, Goren Festival in East Devon and here’s a round up of lots more Devon Festivals.

Livestock Music Festival Longdon