Dear mummy, thank you so much for taking me down to Brighton over the weekend. We visited Funk the Family Festival in Hove, a one-day music festival and had a great time. The weather helped as it was such a sunny day!
We arrived after an hour journey through M25 traffic and parked in Hove City Centre. Funk the Family Festival 2015 was based at Hove Park, in a residential area and there wasn’t any long stay parking available nearby. So we parked a mile away in Norton multi-storey car park, 6hrs for £4.70 which was the cheapest around we could find. It was quite a walk to the festival though!! Which took us 30 minutes with a toddler in tow. We could hear the music getting louder and louder as we walked towards the site, the festival was in full swing!
By the time we got to the Funk the Family festival queue (which was short and quick thankfully) we were frazzled and in a desperate need to sit down. There were no maps around so we just headed for the main stage to get our bearings. It was lunch time, so we found a spot with our picnic blanket next to Lucy’s Little Forest School, on top of a slight hill so we could see the whole site while we had lunch.
There were so many food options available from gourmet burgers to curry or stone baked pizza and yummy burritos it took us ages to decide! We enjoyed a fresh pizza and sat in the sun and soaked up the atmosphere. We could hear the thumping music coming from the Club Tropicana DJ Bar near the entrance and the live music coming from the Main Stage.
The grassy field was a sea of people, picnic blankets and pushchairs. A lot of parents were sunbathing and letting their hair down, while little people roamed around them wearing bright orange wristbands with contact numbers on incase they went missing. It was a very safe environment and security and staff were on-hand and very visible which was reassuring.
After we had lunch we explored the site, the majority of the food stalls were on the left side of the festival’s main stage and the activities were on the right side, with a scattering of festival craft/fashion stalls in the middle. It would have been good to have a programme to take with us or maps up around the site. Luckily it was small enough to see the majority of tents around.
Unfortunately we missed the Vintage Caravan Photo Booth and didn’t discover it until it was time to go home. A map would have helped with that.
We didn’t make it around to all of the activities but our favourites were Lucy’s Little Forest School where we played with clay and made a forest sculpture. We watched other children make recycled art out of plastic shopping bags too which was a good up-cycling technique. I enjoyed sticking my pine combs and feathers in the clay and it was a great souvenir of the day to take home with me.
We loved watching the giant bubbles, against the backdrop of the blue sunny sky. It was quite a crowd pleaser, and even though it was busy it never felt like chaos. I even had a giant bubble pop on my head!
We enjoyed creating a work of art over at Bonnie Mob (Bonnie Baby London’s) stand. For £6, we used fabric paint in neon colours to decorate a t-shirt to take home. This was great fun and with a little help from my mummy, we used stencils to embellish my creation. I loved painting my hands and imprinting them on the white fabric. Their marquee shielded us from the hot sun which was also a blessing in the heat of the day.
I loved the toy stroller test park, where Pimp My Stroller had demonstration models of their quirky toy strollers out for children to play with. I waited patiently for one to come available. When it was my turn I went round in circles over ramps pushing a toy stroller while other children used it as a speedway! A great idea, shame they didn’t have more out to play with as the stand was quite popular with a lot of children waiting for their turn. We’d never seen anything like it. These toy strollers are really funky!!
Storytime, was another great activity and it allowed me to wind down before our trip home. I loved hearing about the Walnut Tree and was mesmerised by the story-teller.
Along with the disco tent, the circus tent and the messy play area, it was enough to keep the little ones amused. A lot of the children were content just to watch the bands perform on the main stage and have a good boogie. We watched a lot of children roll down the grassy banks and play chase too. They weather was a blessing as it was perfect weather for being outdoors, we don’t know how it would have worked if it had been chucking it down with rain, as there was a lot of open space and not much cover.
The circus tent, Cirque Du Funk, was heaving, so we didn’t manage to see a show. We opted to watch older children learn how to swing from the trapeze outside as part of the Circus Project. This was a shame and maybe next time they could have more seating or a bigger circus tent to fit everyone in. It proved to be quite popular!
In the end we headed back to the festival entrance where there was plenty of green space opposite the Club Tropicana DJ Bar and Disco. We spent the last hour here chilling out.
Daddy enjoyed listening to the DJ’s while he queued for cocktails, however they could have done with an extra person helping to serve drinks as two people weren’t enough to keep up with the demand at the Club Tropicana DJ Bar. He was there for 20 minutes which could have been spent dancing with me! £8 a cocktail was to be expected at a festival, however we observed that some festival goers had snuck bottles of wine in! Cheeky!
Funk the Family’s toilet facilities were good and even at 5pm they weren’t too stinky. More larger family portaloos would have been good. We loved that they had a separate quiet area for breastfeeding and nursing. The Tree of Life’s well-being zone was great with opportunities to try Yoga for free, a cheap massage and get good health advice.
They could have done with more bins around the site for general waste as we carried a lot of our rubbish home with us as we couldn’t see anywhere to put it. Lots of recycling bins around though which is always good.
Some great memories were made at this festival and we throughly enjoyed it. My mummy even got to lie down and bask in the sunshine for all of 5 minutes, until I jumped on her!! I had a smile on my face in nearly every photo and soon as I got into the car to go home I was sparked out! Zzzzzzz
A great day out! We’d recommend this family friendly festival to anyone, with or without children. The music was eclectic and fresh and really showcased the local talent. The setting was perfect, right in the heart of the community. A lovely local festival.