- CHOOSE WISELY If you’ve never taken small children to a festival before, you might not want to plunge straight in with Glastonbury, and there are plenty of festivals that cater for families. My favourites include Camp Bestival, (campbestival.net), set in the beautiful grounds of Lulworth Castle, Just So Festival, (justsofestival.org.uk), for magical woodland fun, and Latitude, (latitudefestival.co.uk).
- BE PREPARED Before you go, familiarise yourself with the facilities. Make sure you know roughly where the toilets are, as small children aren’t known for their ability to ‘hang on’. You should also plan in advance where you want to camp. Most festivals will have family camping areas which tend to be quieter last thing at night – although not first thing in the morning!
- BE SAFE Most festivals now give out wrist bands to children, so you can write on your mobile phone number, just in case they get lost. If you don’t get given one, write your phone number on their arm, their t-shirt – anywhere you can. I have actually lost a child at a festival and can vouch for how important this is!
- TAKE A BREAK As much as you love the kids, festivals can be intense, and it’s alright to want some time to yourself too. Boutique Babysitting (boutiquebabysitting.com) is a specialist babysitting service offering sessional childcare for children aged two to eight. So far confirmed to be at Camp Bestival, Green Man and Wilderness, it gives you the chance to watch your favourite band in peace, or enjoy a few hours rest and relaxation.
- HAVE FUN! Once you’ve fretted over camping, toilets and wrist bands, the most important thing is to relax. Accept the fact that the kids are going to be grubby and probably eat a lot of ice cream, and just enjoy the freedom this gives you all. That’s what festivals are about after all! •
Jo Middleton shares her top five tips for festival first-timers - get ready for some fun!