With the festival season in full swing, no doubt a large number of readers will be enjoying the ever growing number of opportunities presented. Spare a thought though, dear festival fan, for your average middle age parent type couple. Bairns of various ages, pets and work (not to mention cash constraints) all seem to conspire against us.
However, we’re told that all is not lost – enter the family friendly festival. More and more festival organisers are punting their product with family appeal, and their press releases promise a cornucopia of features designed to bridge the most daunting of generation gaps. Well, thanks to those nice people at Doune The Rabbit Hole, I’m going to put their claims to the test.
The slightly nomadic Doune The Rabbit Hole festival is small-scale, prides itself on being unconventional, non-commercial and, of course, for the whole family. Now in its fourth year, previous venues include a reconstruction of an early medieval motte and bailey fort and a certain 14th century castle well known to Monty Python fans. This year the fun will take place a stone’s throw from the edge of the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park on the Cardross Estate in Stirlingshire.
Festival director Jamie Murray says, “the aim of the festival is to bring the best up and coming musical talent to our doorsteps whilst sharing some of Scotland’s great talent too”.
To that end, on the weekend of August 22nd-25th 2013 more than 200 acts and around 1000 visitors will descend upon the Trossachs countryside. The musical line-up includes Alasdair Roberts & Friends who headline on Friday night, Rachel Sermanni, The John Langan Band, Trembling Bells, Jo Mango and Washington Irving.
Further variety is provided by psychedelic rock quartet Clinic, the irresistible beats of Edinburgh multi-culturals Orkestra Del Sol, electronic artist Venetian Snares from Canada, Samba Sene & Diwan from Senegal, experimental outfit Zs from New York City and Japanese punks Bo Ningen. To find out more, explore the fully searchable line-up details on the web site here. Such a wide range of music certainly seems to promise plenty for parents and teenagers alike.
And as for the bairns – we’re told they’ll be well provided for with a large free-play marquee to include arts and crafts area, cuddle up story corner, games and pop up workshops. Activities and workshops include Ceilidh Dancing, tales of International Adventures on a Bicycle, Tribal Drumming and Exploring The Rabbit Hole – a space where junior revellers can engage with the sights, smells and sounds of the countryside and be free to play and learn in a safe environment. The separate family-friendly camp site is right next door to all the fun.
To sweeten the deal, under 12’s will even get in free, as long as they promise to bring a grown-up with them. Ailsa, the festival’s Children’s Co-ordinator, says “We are aiming to make one big family and in previous years children have quickly gotten to know each other and the parents enjoyed the feeling of being able to enjoy themselves together, as Doune is such a wee family-friendly festival”. Children’s Co-ordinator? Does she herd cats too, I wonder?
Ok, I’m sold. Youngest Son (7) is suitably excited, Teenage Daughter (15) is sceptical and my better half has pointed out that outdoor cooking is entirely my department.
Can Doune The Rabbit Hole live up to its family friendly billing? Is there hope for the middle-aged music fan? Will the Scottish climate, by some miracle, succeed in keeping both midges and rain at bay? Ok, that last one’s a bit of a long shot, but if Doune The Rabbit Hole lives up to its promise, we’re in for a fun weekend. I’ll be back here in a week or so to let you know the answers to those questions and more. In the mean time there’s a feast of information on the Doune The Rabbit Hole web site.
Preview by: Neil McFadyen
[Youtube_Channel_Gallery feed=”playlist” user=”PL4JF84Oj6ZVkYgNncVpXK7oUG3IcflMis” videowidth=”500″ ratio=”16×9″ theme=”light” color=”white” autoplay=”0″ rel=”0″ showinfo=”0″ maxitems=”48″ thumbwidth=”160″ thumbratio=”16×9″ thumbcolumns=”3″ title=”1″ description=”0″ thumbnail_alignment=”top” descriptionwordsnumber=”6″ link=”1″]