Festival season is upon us and taking the family to a boutique shindig in a field is this year’s ‘must-be-seen-at’ event. While many festivals claim to be family friendly, few hit the mark like Funk The Family, a proper family festival.
Last year the sun shone down on Hove Park literally and metaphorically. Parents and kids spending time together and actually enjoying themselves. No huge queues with long waits for food and drink, no pushing to get a turn on a bouncy castle (there is no bouncy castle) and plenty of space to pitch a rug and chill with friends while effortless tunes waft around the arena.
“We’ve never wanted to pen people in and oversell the venue,” Funk the Family festival director and DJ, Lucy ‘Elle J’ Small tells me, “Brighton is great for all the free events, I love them but they are often packed and you don’t feel completely relaxed.” She continues to explain how the growing Funk The Family are all parents and think very carefully about their ideal day when designing the event. “If you’re paying to be there we want you to feel safe, secure but most of all have fun,” Lucy surmises.
Funk The Family somehow manages to pull off the balance between appealing to the adults but still keep the kids amused. They understand the activities parents and kids actually like to enjoy together and how mundane places like soft play centres can be. “That’s why we didn’t book a bouncy castle, the day becomes all about queuing for and watch the kids on the bouncy castle,” Lucy explains. Great for the kids but it’s hardly a ‘family activity’. Funk The Family activities for the kids which the parents can actually join in with which this year will include bushcraft, a circus big top, Soul Dome 360 cinema and diabolo and slackening in the woods.
This isn’t just a family fun day in Hove Park, there’s music performed by proper, credible, dedicated and talented musicians. Artists that parents actually look forward to experiencing with their kids. Even I have to admit, as a true guitar-loving indie, punk, alternative rock loving geek, that funk, soul and hip hop are genres seem to be sounds that parents and kids can tolerate together.
“We may be parents but we still like to go out, enjoy grown-up music and have fun,” Lucy says, a philosophy at the heart of BrightonMums.com editorial. The proof of this is how many weekend tickets they’ve sold for both their events that weekend, which includes Funk The Format on Sunday with Soul 2 Soul and Norman Jay MBE on the bill. Funk The Format is an over 18s event and with it being Bank Holiday, parents have booked the babysitters to take out a little time for themselves after their family day together before. Sounds like a pretty perfect Brighton weekend to us (in Hove).
Tickets are likely to sell out before next Saturday, so don’t expect to rock up and get in! Make it a weekend treat and book to see British net-soul legends Soul II Soul at Funk The Format on Sunday 29th May.
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