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Infant Friendly Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

Most music festivals in the UK have some provision for festival-goers wishing to bring their children for a family experience. There are a number of music festivals that are family focussed and promoted as family friendly but what about infant children under about 2 years of age, what are the challenges faced by organisers and choices available for festival-goers.

Every music festival organiser must take into consideration the protection of children at their event and is a key element of obtaining the required licences from local authorities to proceed with the festival. Some organisers choose to only admit adults to their events negating more detailed work. The legal framework covering the obligations of festival organisers in protecting children falls under The Children Act 1989 and 2004.

Organisers Obligations. 
Whether a festival is adult only or family friendly organisers still need to submit a child safeguarding policy in any licencing application. This policy is usually just a statement that describes how organisers will keep children and young people safe and protect them from harm. Typically the statement will outline the festival organiser's steps that will be taken to enforce any policy including Prevention, Protection and Partnerships.

Support Facilities. 
Family friendly festivals must provide lost and found facilities that include accommodation and qualified staffing, although this is very unlikely to be required for infants as they generally will be accompanied by a parent for the entire festival duration. There should be a provision for the care of children at a dedicated play area for infants which must be of a nature and suitability for their age. The provision of bathroom facilities for parent and baby care along with appropriate disposal of waste should be included too.

Festival Choices for Parents with Infants.
This subject has been widely researched and a quick search on Google will find lists of suitable music festivals to attend with infants. Common choices include: 

  • Standon Calling.
  • Just So.
  • Latitude.
  • Camp Bestival.
  • Deer Shed.
  • Elderflower Fields.
  • Cornbury.
  • Wychwood.
  • Kendal Calling.
  • Green Man. 

All these festivals describe themselves as family friendly and most have specific facilities and on-site assistance for festival-goers bringing infants with them.

Keen festival-goers can continue to attend events after having a baby and there are plenty of options available in the UK. It’s always going to be easier with both parents than one as childcare can be shared. Additional organisation will be required to manage travel and sleeping arrangements along with the usual paraphernalia that most parents use. For some it may be a daunting prospect but parents of infants can be safe in the knowledge that there will be other festival-goers in the same situation so nobody need feel alone or isolated. Reducing the amount of baby accessories will make travel easier and when on-site expect feeding and sleep patterns to be totally disrupted. 

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Val Burger via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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