On Friday we headed up to Hatfield with Helen and Max to attend Lollibop festival as I had won some tickets. I was a bit apprehensive as me and Max are more used to proper music festivals and the prospect of Cbeebies on stage didn't seem all to thrilling to me on a day off. But it was something different, not too far and a few things on the bill caught my eye.
So we packed the car up and picked up Helen and Max at some ungodly hour in the morning for the drive. The kid's were really well behaved, stopping once half way for a pit stop and giggling at each other in the back so me and Helen could have a bit of a gossip.
We arrived at just gone 10 to find a maze of yellow signs telling us to go this way and that way, not uncommon for festivals but a bit confusing when the main entry sign is covered by a contractors truck and guys standing around doing nothing. The car park itself cost £10, pricey compared to other events I've been to but nonetheless cheaper than what the train would have been at the end of the day.
Once we got there and got our tickets (which turned out to be blogger passes-good job we are actually bloggers! We also didn't have bag checks which confused me as at a kids event security should be the main priority.) we headed over to see if we could catch Scooby Doo, one of the main things we wanted to see as the kids are Scooby mad. Unfortunately there was a queue out the door and the show hadn't even started. To say the kids were gutted was an understatement. We decided from then that we would steer clear of that tent as it didn't seem worth the hours waiting.
We took a look at the main stage and did a quick wander before settling with a hot dog (really well priced for festival food) and waiting it out for Mister Maker. Max is a bit of a Thomas fan so we let him see the show, despite it being fairly similar in set up to the one we saw at Butlins. It made up for the fact that the queue to see Thomas was massive. We then watched a couple more acts and Mister Maker - we are seeing him at Butlins next month so it was good to see what to expect as I was confused as to how a live show would work. It was fairly entertaining but by this time the rain had started and we were a bit damp so we went for a walk to find somewhere in a bit of shelter.
We wandered around a bit and took in the stalls and other attractions. We loved the look of the dress up tents and the alternative disco. The boys loved playing with the Baby Annabel's and the Heart deckchair whilst we had a natter with the reps there. I was a bit confused with the layout and expressed it to them as it seemed like quite a few things were on their own away from the heart of the action so could be missed unless you were heading that way on purpose.
We realised that the timetables that were handed out were wrong so we missed a few things that we wanted to see and do. This lead us back to the start of the venue where Max created a top with River Island, complete with a rock and roll pose for his photo! We then went to try and go in the Lollikitchen only to find out it was ticketed and it was all handed out throughout the day before settling to have a catch up with a couple of other bloggers over ice cream.
We realised that on the stage was Mister Maker again, confusing when it was the exact same show. Made us think and suggest amongst ourselves that perhaps all acts could do one show on each stage rather than two on the one stage each day. This way everyone could see and the queues would be at a minimum.
I'm going to be honest, Lollibop wasn't for us. Yes Max enjoyed the bits that he saw, but he was also confused that the festival I had been telling him about wasn't music filled and featured lots of people he saw on TV. I think I was disheartened for the fact that there seemed to be a range of answers for simple questions, there wasn't much control or ways to deal with the queues (that apparently only got worse the next day) and so much confusion on what was happening that it led us to leave earlier than we thought. That's not to say that Lollibop wasn't good. I've read and heard so many mixed reviews and so many people that enjoyed themselves. I honestly just think we are a family that doesn't do the commercial Cbeebies on stage thing well. Give us indie music festivals any day!