So we have just returned from Camper Calling, our first music festival as a family.
Camper Calling is held each year at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire. It is a camping music festival, but we only went for the day. That was merely out of an old habit because whenever we attend the Bridgestone Arena concerts or any other concerts, we always do it for a day.
Now unfortunately Camper Calling was held on what seemed to be the wettest day of the year. Which is typical with all the amazing weather we have had this year! But we weren’t going to let it ruin our day.
TOP TIP: Just before the turning to Camper Calling, there is a service station. There is a McDonalds restaurant which was perfect for a lunch time snack, but more importantly there was a toilet!!! . Also as it was raining it was somewhere to stay dry!
Arriving at Camper Calling 2018
When we arrived we were greeted by plenty of staff showing us where to go and then where to park. As it was incredibly wet the drive to the car park was more than a little muddy!
We went through again to be greeted by 3 very friendly staff members who gave us our wristbands. We were even offered bin bags (like I said it was very very wet!!!)
Now as we have never taken to Freddie to a music festival I wasn’t quite sure how family friendly it would be. But I was very impressed. Most people their had children, and in my opinion it was very well organised and had plenty of kids activities.
There was absolutely loads going on:
- The main stage,
- plus another smaller stage,
- a dance tent,
- a circus,
- a storyteller,
- a magician,
- a mad scientist,
- a junk orchestra,
- fair ground rides,
- a large play area,
- a few stalls selling clothing etc
- plenty of food stalls.
Kids Activities at Camper Calling 2018
We went to see the story teller, magician and the mad scientist as soon as we got there. I have to say all 3 were fantastic. They were all great with the kids and they had great content. They had everyone laughing including the adults!
We did pop in to see the bands in the day but unfortunately as it was raining so hard, they were often playing to about 20 people. It was such a shame, and had the weather been better, it really would have been amazing.
The junk orchestra was brilliant, it was next to the kids play area (which unfortunately was closed, due to the rain!). But the guy running it was great with the kids, and he guided them as to when to play.
This is always a concern for me!!! But there were plenty of portaloos and the men had fenced off urinals. The fencing off didn’t really work though as you could see straight into the urinals!
Near the main stage there were some proper outside toilets though, which were absolutely fine. So I only used these!
Bands at Camper Calling 2018
At about 5pm the weather slowly started to improve and the rain slowed down. Freddie however spotted a Punch and Judy show at the circus, and went in to watch. Now he has always loved the theatre and shows like this, however, I did think he might be a bit old. HOWEVER, he absolutely loved it!
Now this was a bit of a shame as I wanted to see Phats and Small over on the main stage, but we could still where we were, and we caught the last 5 minutes after dragging Freddie out of the circus tent!! They were great, everyone was singing and dancing along.
After each act on the main stage, there was about a half an hour break for the set up of the new act. This worked well as we could have toilet and drink breaks.
Showhawk Duo were next on the main stage, and oh my God they were amazing. Stuart had heard them perform on the radio earlier in the week. They were even better live. They even played our wedding song, Adagio for Strings!
My favourite act was The South, now I know that means I am showing my age, but they were absolutely brilliant.
They sung all of the original songs and every one in the crowd was singing and dancing along.
In my opinion they should have been headlining. In fact I loved it so much, I am hoping to see them again this year!
Personally for me the headline act was the worst.
I know this is controversial, but no one (ok slight exaggeration!) knew most of their songs. They sang three songs before they sang something people actually knew. So as soon as we heard this we left early. It was slightly disappointing, and don’t get me wrong they performed well, for me though it didn’t work with the audience.
I did know they were headlining and so this is no reflection on the festival.
Would we Return Next Year?
Overall we absolutely loved the family festival, and we will be returning next year. I have heard that there were some issues with traffic on the Friday when the campers were trying to get onto site. But as a day visitor on the Sunday there were absolutely no problems.
Where to Stay if you hate camping?
There are lots of hotels near by if you are anything like me and hate camping! Check these our from Trip Advisor.
Have you been to Camper Calling? Let me know your views in the comments below.