Moving to the somewhat sleepy village I grew up in after separating from my husband was quite a step back in time. A lot of things have barely changed over the last decade. However, one thing which has changed is that a field only five minutes’ drive from my front door is now home to the annual Lowde Fest.
Lowde Fest is one of the UK’s increasingly popular family-friendly festivals. Now in its 8th year, it grew organically after now-festival-director Martin Lowde had some friends round for a charity BBQ back in 2010. It must have been quite a party as it now attracts thousands of people to a Hampshire hamlet with some fantastic music acts taking to the stage.
The event is a charity gig with all profits going towards The Lowde Music Trust, which improves the lives of children and young people throughout the UK by using music in education and wellbeing. I couldn’t resist finding out what was happening down the road so, TJ and I headed down for some tunes, toddler fun and tanning (for me).
A great array of food and drink stalls lined the small food court offering a wide selection including vegan paella and good old burgers. Prosecco and gin were on tap to wash it all down. A handful of cute festival shops selling everything from floral headbands to pretty home accessories were also there for perusal. It was also great to see a stand from my former colleagues at Macmillan Cancer Trust offering sun cream in return for optional donations.
The highlight of the day for TJ was undoubtedly the funfair. He absolutely adored the rides targeted at his age group, and he insisted on riding them repeatedly. So much so, that it became a bit of a joke with the volunteers running the rides every time we went back for more!
TJ was also pretty taken with the stilt walkers blowing bubbles and the circus workshops on everything from ribbon dancing to hula hooping. There was also a selection of toddler toys including a slide and ride-on toys, which we both enjoyed as I made the most of some welcome shade from the sweltering sunshine.
There were two stages, with music happening on one stage at a time, so there was no risk of missing any of the acts. The line-up was largely undiscovered or unsigned musicians which was quite refreshing; it’s always good to discover something new. Elena Ramona was the one for me and her electric pop swiftly made it to my Spotify.
The sun was on top form so we took a break from the heat and chilled out at home for a while as TJ napped. But, when bedtime rolled around and the Grandparents babysat, I snuck back on my own. My highlight was yet to come. After picking a fabulous local cider from the excellently equipped beer tent full of Hampshire tipples, I headed to the main stage. I have been a huge fan of Beverley Knight since I was a teenager (I don’t want to say how many years that is, but it’s enough). So, I stood in the front row as the queen of soul busted out a few of her most famous songs along with some great tunes from the West End shows she has starred in.
Although I was on my own, there was a fabulously intimate atmosphere. That is something which I haven’t experienced at other festivals I’ve attended, including Glastonbury and V Festival. It was also brilliant seeing the hardcore parents who partied away with their children on their shoulders.
I went back home feeling like I had been in a bubble. A sweaty bubble as the temperature was still in the high 20’s, but a happy bubble nonetheless. It was a lovely day for TJ and I. It was wonderful seeing so many people of all ages enjoying everything Lowde together. I will definitely be looking up Lowde Fest 2019, and hopefully, TJ will be able to stay with me throughout the whole day so I can continue his musical education.
*Tickets to Lowde Fest 2018 were gifted, however, all opinions are my own.
Thanks again Lowde fest!
Jude is a 30-something mum-of-one who charts her adventures as a single parent while juggling her kid with a career. There’s no sugar-coating the truth with Jude – she tells it as she sees it, hears it, lives it and experiences it. But, this isn’t a how-to guide to parenting – sometimes, it’s quite the opposite! Jude isn’t ashamed to admit to her own flaws whether that’s in raising her son or navigating the ups and downs of relationships. She hopes to show other parents out there – single or otherwise – that they are not alone with the tantrums, tears and all that goes with it. But, above all, Jude wants to show what a fabulous experience parenting is – for just when we all need that reminder of why we signed up to the mum/dad role in the first place!