A few weeks ago you might have spotted us on Instagram stories, dancing into the small hours covered in glitter, Luisa in tow. We were at Stendhal Festival, a local family friendly music festival in Limavady. We all had an amazing time and it was clear to see why Stendhal has won the ‘best small music festival’ in Ireland award so many times.
If you’re thinking about going to your first family friendly festival I can’t recommend Stendhal enough. Here’s a quick rundown of why I think it absolutely must be on your radar for next summer.
Tonnes of Activities & Workshops for Kids of ALL ages
There were so many activities for Luisa (2) to join in with we hadn’t a hope of making it to them all! From art workshops to yoga, music, drumming, puppet shows – they had it all. I was really impressed to see how well babies and toddler were catered for and it didn’t stop there. There were activities for kids right up to age 17 so you really can relax and know the kids are alright.
We brought Luisa along to see loads of music and comedy acts geared towards grownups and she was very welcome there too.
Family Meal Deals
Days out can be expensive enough never-mind whole weekends! Stendhal ensures that all the food outlets offer affordable family meal deals, it’s a condition of being a vendor.
Special Family Camping Areas
Whilst Stendhal is extremely family friendly it’s not just for parents. There were absolutely loads of young single people having a blast and I was really impressed by the way the campsite ares are split up.
The family section itself is as far away from the main music area as possible and is further divided into three categories; Impressionists – 0-6 years, Surrealists – 7 – 11 years and Futurists – 12 -17 years. You’re free to choose whichever suits your family dynamic best and they aren’t strictly enforced so you can be flexible if you have a few children. We stayed in the Impressionists area and loved the fact that Luisa had lots of little friends nearby to play with.
Value for Money
The early bird family camping ticket is only £95. It admits two adults and 4 children under 18 which is an absolute bargain. They also have ticket options for single parent families and great deal on day passes for those who prefer not to camp.
If you’re reading this in preparation for August 2018 visit the website to confirm prices and book.
Relaxed and SAFE Atmosphere
The whole atmosphere was extremely friendly and relaxed, there were lots of staff visible at all times and always ready to help. We found all the other guests to be really lovely, there were so many kids running about and everyone was very respectful of their need to run without looking and didn’t mind them charging about at all. I also noticed a couple of medical stations which was reassuring.
Private Areas for Breastfeeding & Time Out
There were lovely baby changing facilities on site and a special breastfeeding area should you fancy some peace and privacy. I was so impressed to see there were qualified breastfeeding counsellors available and even a doula if you wanted someone to talk to about birth or the newborn stage.
Obviously having all these provisions for families and children makes Stendhal really unique, fun and welcoming but it would be all for nothing if the festival lineup wasn’t great too. I can tell you this year was eclectic and wonderful with Ash, The Magic Numbers, Ryan McMullan, Anthony Toner and Making Monsters being just a few of the acts we loved. Make sure to check out the website around Easter to see the 2018 lineup.
We were given a weekend camping pass in exchange for coverage on the blog and social media but i’d absolutely pay for it myself again, in fact if they don’t want me back next year i’ll not hesitate to whip the debit card out!
Hopefully see you in Limavady in 2018!