Dear Mummy, it’s not everyday you can walk to a festival but we did just that at Carfest South. Based just outside Overton, Hampshire we walked over the village fields to enjoy a day looking at supercars, enjoying music from the likes of Jess Glynne and having fun at Carter’s Steam Fair.
Carfest is the brain child of Radio 2 breakfast show host Chris Evans. He wanted to create a family friendly festival which combined his love of cars and music. The festival focuses on entertainment for the whole family with the aim to raise money for Children In Need. Carfest South takes place at Laverstoke Park, a large farm owned by Formula One World Drivers’ Champion Jody Sheckter.
Whilst the cars get pride-of-place in the title of the event, there is definitely more on offer. My first opportunity to get close to these types of cars was at the Action for Children event at the Top Gear track earlier in the year and this was on another level! So imagine my awe at seeing cars racing though the festival site! With plenty of viewing spots we watched them whizz up and down, perform donuts and tricks and watched drivers emerge waving. But there is so much more to the event than just cars. Music on the main stages, food vendors, cooking demonstrations, vintage village, steam fair, crafting tents, superhero workshops and stunt men. Activities were happening everywhere we looked.
The site is massive and we’d strongly recommend comfortable footwear. The walk from the car parks is a bit of a trek. We weren’t camping but I bet campers needed trolleys to hike their gear! We were lucky that it was a dry, sunny weekend and their were metal walkways in places and access points for buggies, trolleys and wheelchairs. The teams were very welcoming and ensured that parents knew where lost children could go or be found. There was also a stand where Mummies and Daddies could hire festival carts for us little ones, which was a good touch.
The main music arena is on a slight gradient so everyone gets a good view of the two stages. However we’re not used to seeing the amount of camping chairs left to reserve spots during the day. At the end of the night it was hard to navigate through all the chairs especially carrying a child or drinks. My mummy got lost several times and now knows why festival goers brought flags with them. It was very hot over the bank holiday weekend so we saw a lot of UV tents as well which was sensible for younger children sitting out in the heat all day.
My folks were impressed by the amount of car heritage on display and even though they aren’t massive car enthusiasts it was stunning to see them all lined up. It was just like Beaulieu Motor Museum and people had the chance to ride them for charity with Sporting Bears. There were supercars cars, celebrity cars, classic cars and even charity cars dressed up for the carnival on the last day. We loved seeing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, visiting the Ferrari village and the Aston Martin stand. We got a sneak preview of the cars in the paddock and you can see them on our video of the day above.
I spent ages colouring on the Mercedes AMG stand with the hope of my design being produced as a vehicle wrap on a camper van for a weekend adventure. Fingers crossed we get selected and I based it on my little Blush bear which I coloured in. There were lots of car stands, which ordinarily I would have found boring, but it was nice that they put on family activities to keep kids amused while parents looked. I’ve actually come away from Carfest with an even bigger love of cars!
A great addition to the festival was a beautiful old-fashioned steam fair from touring company Carters. We loved walking around and looking at the steam engines with their brass fittings polished and paintwork gleaming. I even had a go on one of the steam trucks with my Grandma which was a great experience.
What we weren’t expecting though was such a strong emphasis on good food at Carfest, with a street food vendors area, baking tents (like the GBBO) and local companies selling their fresh products. The food fair area was like a local farmers market and we could have spent a fortune browsing the stands and watching the cooking demonstrations. Sadly, as we were only there for one day, we missed the vintage village which my mummy was disappointed about but she did manage to chill out in the sun and soak up the atmosphere. There was even a fly past by an old WWII Spitfire which really pleased my Daddy.
We only visited on the Friday but the line-up in our opinion was one of the best nights at Carfest South 2017 with Deacon Blue, Jess Glynne, Olly Murs and Kaiser Chiefs performing. They were all fantastic and Olly Murs was a definite the crowd pleaser having everyone up and dancing with his medley of songs from the decades. He is a born performer. I loved Jess Glynne and her voice is spectacular we didn’t realise she’s had so many hits and everyone knew the words. The Kaiser Chiefs was my mummy’s favourite and had her nodding her head and singing along to the Angry Mob.
What an amazing day with so many happy memories, thank you Carfest.
If you are thinking of booking tickets this November we’d strongly recommend visiting Carfest 2018 even for the day. It really did have something for everyone.
Love Bella x
Disclaimer: We received free entry on Friday in exchange for a review, all our opinions and on site purchases are our own.