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Wollaton Park, Wollaton, Nottingham, NG8 2AE
£50.60 (standard), £39.60 (11-17), Citycard discounts
Sat, noon onwards
Tickets for Splendour 2017 are now on sale. Details to follow closer to the time.
Find out what we thought about Splendour 2016 and 2015, below.
Times and prices are subject to change. Contact venue before setting out.
We were delighted to be invited to review Splendour 2016. We sent a family of three, including a four year-old.
The day dawned bright and warm and we packed for a sunny day out, arriving around 1pm as crowds streamed through the park, with camping chairs, picnics and festival paraphernalia.
This year we made straight for the Kids' Zone, with a view to discovering what was happening, when, so we could plan our day. The zone held a selection of objects and activities to get involved with. First item of interest for our four-year-old was a graffiti wall, covered in background images, with felt-tip and paint-pens for young festival-goers to add their imprint. In one corner a life-size fairy made fantastic bubbles and helped children do the same. Beat Feet ran drumming workshops on and off all day, while Eco Works offered wicker-weaving. Giant chess, Connect 4, wooden teepees and a junk-yard percussion kit occupied the central lawn and, at the other side, a craft tent held three tables full of children making giant pom-poms, flowery headbands and name plates, plus face-painting by Area Inbetween.
It seems to be the law of publicly available face-painting that there will always be a queue just a bit too long for the staff available. Considerable patience was shown and the artist was excellent, producing beautiful butterflies, flowers and tiaras, scary snakes and sparkly rainbows, quickly. Why only one face-painter and only until 3pm was unclear and seemed strangely underpowered, for such a popular festival staple.
Altogether the Kids' Zone worked much better this year than last, with continuing activities to drop in and out of, rather than occasional performances that could easily be missed. Next to it and ideal for older children, was the Sports Zone, with table-tennis, golf-putting and giant, human subbuteo.
Across the site, the festival fairground offered a good range of rides, from trains, teacups and aeroplanes, through bungee trampolines, dodgems and waltzers, to teen-scream rides.
We caught one of three performances by Nott Circus on their aerial rig at the top of the site and were mesmerised by Emma Sparkles and her hula hoop, Ra Ra Ria on the aerial hoop and Kay on aerial ribbons. Asked at the end whether we'd like to try circus skills, our four-year-old's hand shot straight up. Simple equipment came out and we spent a happy half-hour playing with hula-hoops, while ribbons, scarves, diabolos and some really impressive hula-hooping, surrounded us.
Ice-cream was widely available and water-stations were scattered across the site. Toilet blocks had inevitable but mostly tolerable queues. With young children, the permanent toilets and baby changing in the stable courtyard (by the acoustic stage) are really useful.
Finally, music. We enjoyed it, mainly from the main stage, which the Kids' Zone overlooks. A compensation of the bungee trampoline queue (you could easily wait here 40-60 minutes), is its position near the Confetti Stage, and a bar. Oddly, the only time the ear-defenders came out was on our excursion to the Acoustic Rooms Stage, we thought for something chilled, in fact for a little dance to high volume Bru-C.
Would we go again? Of course we would! A lovely family day out, with children and parents enjoying themselves throughout. Relaxed during the day, bigger crowds, more focused on the music, in the evening. Lots of fun. Same weather next year please.
FD, BD and CG for Mumsnet Nottingham
We were delighted to be invited to review Splendour. Our reviewers comprised a Mum, Dad and three-year old daughter.
We've long known Splendour as a music festival but is it a good day out with children?
Splendour is a one day festival in Wollaton Park, getting underway around noon, with music from four stages, comedy and other entertainments, closed by its headliners at half past ten.
We arrived mid-afternoon, hoping to enjoy a few hours' fun and find out what it offered. The site was busy but easily negotiable, with lots of comfortable camping chairs and picnic blankets amongst the crowd settled on the slope down from the house towards the main stage.
Our keen-eyed child immediately spotted the fairground to our right. Rides for big people included something that flew people high into the air and waltzers, alongside a good selection for smaller people; with teacups and trains for the tinies, plus cars and planes for the pre-school to primary population. Food stalls offering variety without huge queues were nearby.
Across the other side of the site, with a view of the main stage, was the Kids' Zone. A covered performance space and craft-making stalls stood either side of an open area filled with giant draughts and Connect 4, an inflatable toy being busily climbed upon and a scattering of hula hoops, juggling clubs and diabolos. A clown wandered about, spraying water from his umbrella. Intricate crafts were interesting and popular, though accommodated only a few children at a time, likewise the ever popular face-painting. Paper-windmill making was easier to get involved with and we were delighted with the twirling product.
The Kids' Zone offered an excellent distraction for 20 or 30 minutes but unless you were really into giant board games or juggling, or timed your visits to coincide with performances, there wasn't enough to keep going back to through the day – with the exception of Big Bear's Balloon Disco, which closed the programme.
We found ice cream and a shady tree to sit beneath, close to the wonderful Alice in Wonderland themed bar. Jam tarts were available at the adjoining café and costumed characters graced the scene.
Small daughter danced enthusiastically to Indiana. Desperate to wear her new ear defenders, she'd told us on arrival it was too loud. It really wasn't, unless very close to the main stage.
The acoustic stage, in the stable courtyard, provided a small-scale, chilled retreat. The permanent baby-changing room here had no queue, unlike, inevitably, all the toilets we'd seen. Accessible toilets were available in three locations around the site.
To make a day of this and expect to make the most of the music, we'd have needed to go with other families, set up an encampment with picnic and take turns entertaining the children. That's my plan for next year - let's hope the weather is just as fabulous!
Splendour is a really relaxed festival and an enjoyable environment to spend time in with children of any age. It's a manageable size – you won't end the day exhausted from the effort of trekking from stage to children's entertainment, to loos to food stalls. The atmosphere and crowd morphs slowly from family festival to densely-packed, music-focused night out. Choose your timing accordingly and, for all ages, Splendour offers a fantastic day out.
FD, BD and CG for Mumsnet Nottingham
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