Last weekend we were invited to Victorious Festival in Southsea, Portsmouth. We've heard loads of amazing things about this festival and couldn't wait to head down. One of the perks about Victorious is that it's a non camping festival. As a parent I love this as it means that I can take Max home when he's tired and still return to listen to the music. Also I get to sleep in my bed and have a shower in the morning!
Victorious Festival prides itself on being family friendly. We wanted to challenge that statement and see just how family friendly it was. Here's what we found out.
The first thing that should be noted is the size and accessibility of the festival. It's spread across the whole of Southsea Common, and utilises the existing roads and pavements to separate the different areas. This worked perfectly as it meant parents could push their buggies and the kids weren't challenged with rough terrain and hills. Another thing is the size of the kid's area, it's huge! It compared to the same size as the main stage and there was more than enough space for everyone to walk around without feeling on top of each other.
Within the kid's area at Victorious Festival there is plenty to do. There's a great range of free activities, local stalls from places in the community and performances running all day. I loved the fact that so many local businesses took the time to have a stall at the festival as it meant that I really got to know what things are available when we head down next.
We really loved the local museums and theatres. They took their time to create memorable points of interest for the kids such as fancy dress, performances and music lessons. You never felt obligated to buy anything and the kids loved the experience. We were really impressed with the Mary Rose Museum and Ickle Bambino Baby Raves who both kept Max amused for so long that we had to drag him away!
One thing we were really impressed with was the amount of free things for kids to do. Normally a festival entails lots of hidden charges but everything we went to go on was included in the price of the ticket. From bouncy castles to fairground rides, the D-Day museum and mini golf and also a small circus. It meant that the festival was not only a fantastic day out, it was also budget friendly. We didn't actually manage to cram in everything we wanted, so we know what we are going to do next year.
Whilst the area felt quite busy, the staff were quick at making sure the kids weren't standing in a queue for too long. This meant that we didn't wait more than 5 minutes for any particular activity, and didn't end up with a grumpy Max. There were also plenty of well known characters dotted around the kids area, meaning that a photo opportunity was never more than a few feet away.
One thing we did was treat Max to a few things. He made sure that both of them were Pokemon related of course! He was kindly made a Pokemon balloon and given a face paint on his leg as a cool tattoo. The little things that put him in the festival spirit and got him dancing to the music.
Luckily, the things that were chargeable didn't end up costing the earth. I think this ties in with the idea that the festival is accessible for all (the entry tickets are £7 per child and £35 per adult per day), whereas some festivals can cost more than the average family holiday.
The main event of the kid's area at Victorious Festival is the live performances. We have been to a variety of family friendly festivals and this one fit in fantastically, with some hidden perks! First of all there was a fantastic line up. Not only did it feature the likes of local performers and Fireman Sam, it also had the crazy duo Cook and Line from Swashbuckle. Next to the main stage there was also a meet and greet area, where most of the performers were available for a photoshoot.
All the performances were top notch and the kids were encouraged to sit at the front of the stage with the parents on hay bales behind them. One thing that really impressed me was the presence of a compere on the kids stage. A fantastic magician was on hand to keep all the kids amused between each act. This included bringing some on stage and casting spells on parents.
Cook and Line were definitely out favourite performers and we saw them 4 times the whole weekend! Not only do the acts perform each day, they also perform twice a day so that the children never miss out and there is never too much of a crowd. Another highlight was the kids section was closed from 6pm. This allowed us to go and explore the rest of the festival!
Overall we thought that there was so much to offer for kids at Victorious Festival we were almost spoilt for choice. There were parts of the area that we didn't even get to discover, but that means that next year we will have even more in store. It's not only the little ones that had things to do, there was also a skatepark for the older kids and sports for them to take part in.
The organisers of Victorious have obviously thought about catering for families and I was seriously impressed with all the facilities and activities on offer. It's a massive thumbs up from us and we can't wait for next year!
*please note, we were gifted tickets for this event but all opinions are our own.