Tag Archives: Just So 2019

Family Festival Review: Just So Festival 2019

AD/ Press Trip. We have been going to Just So since 2014 and we are huge fans of this wonderfully magical family festival. Each year is different from the last, sure there are some of the same things going on, but each year is delightfully different. Just So Festival 2019 was their 10th festival and memorable for a million reasons.

This summer has been a bit damp, we’ve had fairly extreme rain and some sunshine. I was hoping for a sunshiney weekend, but as we packed up the car on Friday morning, the heavens opened and over the next 12 hours dumped about a months worth of rain on the North West. We arrived at Rode Hall during a huge deluge and despite the best efforts of the organisers, we had to wait for about 45 minutes to get on site, which was fine.

Family Festival Review: Just So Festival 2019

We were camping in the Accessible Camping area and despite the rain we managed to pitch the tent and go and get our wristbands. By the time we were unpacked and settled, it was 8pm and the boy was asking to go to bed. It was still raining so decided to turn in early in the hopes that the morning would bring some sunshine.

Saturday did bring sunshine, so we put our wellies on and headed onto the site to explore. I’m not going to lie, it was very muddy, pretty slippy and quite treacherous in parts. I have limited feeling in my feet, so this made things harder for me to get about. My husband lent a steady arm and we explored as best we could. A lot of families were recreating the “squelch squerch” pages from We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, which tickled us quite a lot, maybe they need a Bear Tribe for next year?

Family Festival Review: Just So Festival 2019

Saturday at Just So Festival 2019 saw us enjoy a whole load of fun things; the Silent Disco, the Woodland Library, Sirin, Toast, Campfire Stories and Campfire Songs, the Woodland Playground, The Retrosettes and a wander down to the lake to watch people go for a row. We met up with some wonderful friends and had a gossip, a catch up and a play. We sat down a lot because I was finding walking on the mud a bit hard going, but it didn’t dampen our spirits too much. Squelch squerch.

Sunday arrived and the site had dried up a treat. It was still muddy, but not as slippy as it had been and I found I could get around an awful lot easier. We launched ourselves into our last day and walked around looking for all the small things which bring us Just So joy, like the Dream Antelopes, the rollerskating flamingos and Boudicca on her chariot.

We ventured down to Footlights again for lunch and a listen to Biscuithead and the Biscuit Badgers. Wandering through the woods past the queue to meet the Fairy Queen, up to the Spellbound Forest and around the campfire with the very incredible Professor Pumpernickel (not pumpy knickers, as he corrected us). The blue haired professor is always a highlight. His collections of whizz-banging experiments are not to be missed and the boy was rapt. He even went up to him afterwards and had a chat with him, which demonstrated a huge leap in his confidence.

Family Festival Review: Just So Festival 2019

He loved the Giant Marble Run and Hammer and Chisel. We didn’t make Clay Faces this time, but we can do that at home too, so it’s no hardship. We listened to Hurrah for the Pirate King and danced to the ukulele orchestra. Together, we did all kinds of brilliant things and we filled our hearts up with a enough magic and wonder to last us a while yet.

I always find it takes a day to unwind, shake off our real world stresses and properly get into the rhythm of Just So. Our evenings by the campfire, listening to stories and singing our hearts out are a highlight. We love the live music, we love dancing down the Flamingo Lounge. We love the bits of magic around every corner.

It’s such a shame that the heavens opened and cast a cloud over the festival. There were a few grumbles and I did retire early on health and safety grounds on the Saturday night, but all the staff were really helpful and did their very best to make sure the show did go on.

It would have been nice if the sun had shone a little more, but we made a whole lot of muddy memories and my son had such a brilliant time. One of the most important things about our Just So weekends are that they really make us disconnect from our busy lives and reconnect with each other. It’s not just about the magic and the wonder, it’s about slowing down, dressing up as an owl (or a fox, or a stag, or a fish) for a few days and just experience life through the eyes of my child.

Family Festival Review: Just So Festival 2019

I hope next year it’s drier and a lot less muddy, but no less magical. I take my hat off to everyone who worked at Just So Festival 2019 and everyone who managed to bring joy to the weekend in spite of the weather.

See you round the campfire next year?

To grab your tickets for next year’s Just So Festival, visit www.justsofestival.org.uk.

We were invited guests of the Just So Festival 2019, we were given weekend camping tickets in exchange for this review. All images and opinions are our own.

More than 10 reasons to go to Just So Festival 2019

AD/ This year the Just So Festival celebrates 10 years of festivaling in the UK. The Just So Festival has been a summer highlight for us for many years. Each year the festival gets bigger, better and bolder. They’ve just released their 2019 festival programme, so I’ve picked out slightly more than ten excellent reasons to go to the Just So Festival 2019.

More than 10 reasons to go to Just So Festival 2019

More than 10 reasons to go to Just So Festival 2019

1/The Tribal Tournament

Underpinning the whole of the Just So Festival, the Tribal Tournament is an excellent excuse to dress up and buzz like a bumblebee, strut like a stag or flounce like a fox, or a fish. Each tribe picks up points over the weekend and only one team will be crowned kings of Just So 2019.  Pick from owls, foxes, frogs, stags, lions, bees or fish. Dress up, or not, it’s all good fun. We’ve been bees the last two years, will we still be buzzing this year?

2/Campfire Stories with Ian Douglas

For me, the campfire is the beating heart of Just So. It’s a wonderful place to gather around the fire, listening to Ian’s seemingly endless repertoire of stories and chilling out for an hour or so. There’s always something going on around the campfire, see what tickles your fancy and plan a couple of visits there each day, you won’t regret it!

More than 10 reasons to go to Just So Festival 2019

3/Silent Disco

The Silent Disco was one of my absolute highlights from last year. Dancing around with our friends and family, all in headphones, all fairly tunelessly singing our hearts out and dancing our socks off. Brilliant fun and genuinely hilarious. Dig out your dancing shoes and get down to the disco!

4/Fire Garden

New for 2019 is the Fire Garden. I’ve seen this at the Timber Festival and it’s an incredible sight. As the sun sets, the new orchard near the Social will be illuminated with an installation of metal and fire. Small cauldrons suspended in wondrous patterns will guide a path through the orchard. It’s a truly wondrous sight, not to be missed!

5/Boutique Camping

We always camp in our trusty tent, but we keep promising ourselves that one year we will push the boat out a little and stay in one of the yurts, bell tents, vintage tents, camping pods or new for this year – a Gypsy bowtop caravan! Although, if boutique camping isn’t for you, camping at Just So is nowhere near slumming it, with hot showers and nice toilets, there’s even a place you can bath your baby!

6/Weleda Treats and Treatments

As a busy mum, I always take time to slip away to the Weleda tent for a pampering hand massage and half an hour of festival tranquility. Visit the Weleda ‘Nice Cream Van’ on the Village Green to discover more about the amazing properties and powers of our native plants.

7/Lantern Parade

Over the weekend, take some time to make your own lantern from willow and paper; then join the lantern parade and light up the woods as you wind through the trees of Rode by night. It’s a beautiful sight and even more exciting if you’re in the thick of it.

8/The Big 10th Birthday Bake Off

Bring your very best homemade cake to the New Curiosity Shop on Friday before 6pm to enter. The best cake will win its baker a family weekend ticket for Just So Festival 2020! All of the entries will then make their way to the volunteer tent, as a special treat for the people who make the festival fabulous.

9/Wonderland

New for 2019 is the Wonderland stage, which first made its appearance at Timber Festival last year. Head into the woods to enjoy author talks, music workshops and night-time DJ sets in the intimate Wonderland area.

More than 10 reasons to go to Just So Festival 2019

10/Hammer & Chisel

Wild play rules at Hammer & Chisel, a unique woodland playground. Under the supervision of our forest play experts, create your own world or add to what’s there using pallets, ladders and ropes; help put together a maze of walkways, dens and secret spaces. Pick up your tool of choice and get ready to build in the brilliant Spellbound Forest.

11/Best of the rest…

At the Just So Festival there’s so much to see and do, there are surprises around every corner and try as you might, it’s impossible to see and do everything you’d like to. Given the chance, you should also seek out Hope and Social, Bushcraft in the Spellbound Forest, The Moth Hotel, Circus Skills, Family Yoga, the Rowing Boats, Bollywood Dancing, David Gibb, Ghost Caribou, Bubble Hour, Midnight Feast, Ministry of Games and the biggest ever game of Pass the Parcel!

More than 10 reasons to go to Just So Festival 2019

Tickets for the Just So Festival special 10th birthday are selling fast. To celebrate its 10th birthday, Just So Festival are offering free weekend tickets to ten year olds. For more information or to book visit www.justsofestival.org.uk.

Just So Festival takes place on 16/17/18 of August 2019 at the Rode Hall Estate, Scholar Green, Cheshire.

Disclosure: We been offered tickets to the Just So Festival 2019 in exchange for a preview and an honest review.