We took the kids to Funk The Family Festival at the end of May. The perfect celebration for families to mark the end of this year’s Brighton Fringe.
I interviewed Lucy Small aka DJ Elle J for Sussex Style magazine in May. I was immediately enthused by her concept for a festival which truly caters for both adults and kids. The programme is carefully selected to feature acts which unite families for a listen and boogie. As I come from a musical family with reasonably varied tastes, I’ve always been keen for my daughters to be exposed to many different genres and follow their own path to musical preferences.
Funk and soul isn’t heavily featured in my Spotify playlist, I’m partial to noisy, guitar-based music and angry lyrics. But I do like quality musicians and songwriters with a voice and talent. So I was curious if the line-up for Funk The Family Festival would completely float my boat, I tend to be a bit fussy when it comes to music events! But so many people raved about the previous year’s event, I was excited to see it in the new Hove Park venue.
The festival layout was perfect. Two main music areas broken up with dance performances and samba demos. There was a sort of obstacle course style activity area where kids could exert energy plus painting and craft actitivies down one side of the main arena. Even while exploring these activities you could enjoy the music from the main stage though. My girls particularly loved My Mini Disco’s Silent Disco (who also kindly let me charge my phone!), I sat and watched them bop around while I enjoyed a freshly pressed cup of lemonade from the neighbouring stall.
The organisers were extremely lucky with the weather, it was one of those part-cloud, lightly breezy but sunny seaside days. Not too scorching, not too cold. After experiencing the magic which was Omar on-stage (yes, *that* Omar, there isn’t anything quite like him singing *that* song) we made our way to the Club Tropicana tent to experience Lucy’s DJ talents. It was my girls’ turn to watch me do my Buffalo Stance and rap badly, their expression was a curious horror, interested enough that I knew the tunes but disguted enough to see me sing and just about groove in time to be beat.
They made it to 5pm before whining for home time, which for my 3 year old, is good going. You know kids have their energy threshold, so all credit to the Festival for keeping the kids amused all day. In fact, they got the balance between what parents want and what kids need bang on. I didn’t feel at all it was some stressful screaming scrap to stimulate the kids and get our money’s worth. We drifted around from stall to stall, stage and food cart whenever we felt like it. The queues were mild. And most of all I saw kids of all ages enjoying the music with their parents. We honestly had a dram-free day where everyone got something out of it. And while other events claim to be ‘family-friendly’ Funk The Family Festival truly offers a ‘family’ experience.
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