Not been to a festival since your free and single days in the 90's? Neither had I. Let me tell you, taking the kids is a whole different ball game. I'm no Edith Bowman, but I have talked to my family festy friends and we've come up with some tips....
Back in the day, you were all too pissed to get the tent up, so you slept underneath the ground sheet and it was surprisingly comfortable. We are terrible campers but the only camp craft you need at a festival is to be able to put the tent up. To avoid divorce proceedings, attempt this at home first and put it up immediately on arrival at the festival. As everyone has bought the same tent on sale at Halfords, it's a good idea to put a up a flag or something bright so you can find your tent again and the kids don't get too lost.
Unlike Reading in the 90's when you lived off fags, booze and the occasional Ginsters pasty, you are going to need some real food this time around. Many of the family festivals have fancy schmancy food outlets (Fortnums at Port Eliot this year). Buying the kids aged-venison and gruyure waffles may feel like setting fire to your hard earned cash. As most festy meals cost around £8, we recommend packing a cool bag of rice cakes, peanut butter, muesli bars or whatever will keep your kids going, without having to partake in any camp craft cooking.
The main flaw in family festivals is that the party doesn't stop until the wee hours and yet the kids are still up with the sun. Tip from the mama ravers, ear plugs for you so that you can get some kip, eye masks for the kids (put these on them after they have gone to sleep) and all the coffee in the entire world.
There's a lot of stuff for the precious moppets to do at family festivals. Some of it is free and some of it you have to pay for. To avoid meltdowns and being totally skint, look at the program with the kids beforehand and agree on a couple of things a day. You may need to book into workshops in advance.
Tired Little Leggies
It's often a long way between the different stages at festivals. Little leggies may benefit from a good robust buggy or a cart that can be rented from most festivals. You will inevitably end up carrying them at some point as well as lugging around the buggy/cart.
Other things you may want to bring along are loads of baby wipes (festival shower), head torches and ear defenders (even though our children make more noise than a death metal band).
Best tip of all, have tonnes of fun ..