Festival Minis?

Cute, eh?Here’s Mini in festival gear but crucially this photo was taken indoors, at our house, far removed from any actual outdoor gathering of people on a large scale.
Forbidden Fruit recently opened the Irish Summer Festival Season with a bang over a damp & chilly June Bank Holiday Weekend. But is there a place for minis at music festivals? There are some very family friendly festivals out there-Electric Picnic and Body & Soul to name but two, which are chock full of charming events and wonderous meetings for kids. These festivals also have a nice, chilled out vibe where parents no doubt feel it’s safe to bring the munchkins and they won’t be trampled to death by beer swilling, tent burning, out of control gangs a la Oxegen.

One particularly awesome moment from a festival I was at a few years back, happened to include a little person. A dad was giving it socks to one of the D.J.s during an early afternoon set; at his feet was his little girl, no more than 3 years old,looking bemused and maybe even a little scared by her father’s enthusiastic hand movements. He gradually bent down, until he was at near eye level with her, all the while punching the air with his fingers to the beat. At the last moment, and when I was sure the poor perplexed toddler could bear no more, he scooped her up in his arms and plonked her down onto his shoulders, at which point a massive grin spread across her little face and she began punching the sky in perfect rhythm to the tune. There they were, father and daughter, united in the pure joy of the music and the moment. It was a little bit of magic in a field in Stradbally.

But on the other end of the scale, I’ve also witnessed minis being led away crying by burly security guards while their parents were taken by gardaí, too out of it to even notice them anymore.

For me it’s a no brainer-festivals are somewhere I go to escape from reality. Shitty nappies, mixing formula,and general responsibility are left at the entrance gate. Camping with a toddler?In the often unrelenting rain and bitter cold of an Irish summer?Buggies on mucky, uneven terrain? Zero baby changing facilities?
Um, no thanks!!Festivals are all about letting off steam- dancing like a lunatic,losing myself and all my friends, finding new friends, trying to cram in as many bands as possible and going on mad missions to find the secret rave in the woods in the wee hours of the morning. My golden ticket allows me a much needed break from being mammy and for the next few years at least, I’m going to selfishly hang on to that!Sorry Mini, but for now, the closest you’ll come to a festival is a make believe one!

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