Tiny Dancers: Campo Sancho And The Family Festival

Art & Culture

For some people, clubs and kids is simply a non-starter. To be fair, I get it. I wouldn’t queue for Berghain with my 9-year-old (though he’d probably stand more chance of getting in than me). Thankfully though, I don’t have to. Families who dance are very well catered for these days… Big Fish Little Fish and their band of 2-4 hour party people are proving that age is no barrier to a great party. Meanwhile, Camp Bestival remains a hardy perennial of the festival calendar and, earlier this year, Alfresco managed to bridge the age-gap with enormous goodwill and huge success. In fact, 2017 looks to be a big year for the Tunbridge Wells-based event, with Optimo, Man Power and Kraftwerk legend Wolfgang Flür already booked. Early bird tickets are on sale til the end of the month. 

As we’ve mentioned before the latest to throw their hat into the family friendly festival ring, are the Sancho Panza crew, with Campo Sancho an intimate, three-day party in the Hertfordshire countryside from 29-31 July. As with Alfresco, it’s a DJ-heavy line-up, although the live acts – Crazy P Sound System and Faze Action – are seriously heavy hitters. Add to that Pete Herbert, Ray Mang, Reverso 68, Stuart Patterson and loads more beside and you’ve got what looks like a LOT of fun. 

To get the most out of any festival, there are certain survival strategies that it’s good for a parent to have at their disposal: how to maintain the optimum blood/alcohol level over three days, for instance, is a skill hard-won; while convincing a responsible partner than processed pork and beer are perfectly acceptable replacements for vegetables and water can take UN-level negotiating skills. The main thing however – of course – is to keep the kids happy. If they’re entertained, then very little can go wrong. It looks like Campo Sancho are all over this, with workshops, nature trails, art projects and the somewhat alarmingly named ‘Panic Circus’ – although it’s guaranteed to be a safer environment for children than any Radio 1 Roadshow ever. 

The fact is that partying with kids is a lot of fun. Watching the awestuck, wide-eyed, tiny revellers struggling to focus from the huge sensory overload while meandering through a festival at a snail’s pace is hilarious – not least because it pretty much reflects much of my adult life. But it also serves as a constant reminder of how we should all be: open, in the moment and bristling with uncomplicated happiness. It’s an unexpected turn in life’s learning curve.

I’ll see you down the front with a beer in my hand and a five-year-old dancing on my feet.

Feature by Barney Harsent.

To find out more about Campo Sancho and to book tickets look HERE.

For Alfresco 2017 early bird tickets look HERE.

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