Down By The Riverside Festival



The Down By The Riverside Festival is a annual family friendly event based at Dolphinholme, Lancashire. In it's second year, the festival is extremely popular with locals and the buzz of the event has started to spread.

A sign reading welcome to the Down By The River Festival against a farm setting and a father and son walking in the distance.

When we were invited along to experience the event in person we were excited to see what the event had to offer, with sleeping giants being this years theme.

A sign that reads 'shhhhhhh don't wake the GIANTS'

With unpredictable weather and the concern of being stranded in a boggy field with the caravan, we borrowed a tent and made the 2+ hour journey to Dolphinholme Farm. With it raining on and off on our arrival, we quickly set up the tent in a quiet edge of the camping field, partially protected from the weather by the trees.

Once set up we followed the sound of the music down to the farm and onto the huge field. A variety of food vendors were set up in the yard, in or around the outbuildings. Wandering into the field, we found a huge hay bale maze, which all the kids loved!

Father and son walking down a path to a field

There was a busy drinks tent and a DJ playing a variety of music. 

A hand holding a beer

We also managed to find the normal toilets, an alternative to the portaloos in the camping field!

A set of clean, normal sinks

We took in the atmosphere for a while and headed back to our tent for what turned out to be a goodnights sleep!

Child jumping on wrapped hay bales in front of a music stage

The next day, having not spotted the showers, we made do with portaloos and wet wipes, adding the the festival experience! Strolling back down to the field shortly after the 11am opening, we were warmly welcomed by the marshalls and issued our wristbands, meaning we could come and go as much as we wanted. Ideal if your little ones need a nap!

We started with a wander around the selection of stalls, where we met the team from the RSPB, made a seed bomb and became members!

A tray, soil and hands making seed bombs

There was also stalls by the local Guides, a Body Shop rep and a make up artist doing amazing festival makeup. After that our little boy paid the donkeys a visit and had a spin on the mini waltzers.

A little boy on the waltzers

There was a brief revisit to the hay bale maze but it was very popular with the older children, making it super busy. We then made our way down to the river, where my favourite boys skimmed stones together, and at 4 years old our little boy can apparently pick the perfect skimmers!

A red haired boy throwing stones

As we waited for the mermaid (yes, a mermaid!) we made sandcastles in the beach area.

A little boy making sandcastles

Sandcastles

Our little boy was quite taken with the mermaid and went very shy and giddy! Quite rightly so, as she was very pretty!!

A mermaid in the sand

After lunch we had a look around the art area and I tried to convince JJ to make some slime but he wanted to find some more giants! 

A wooden giant

After a bit of giant spotting we found ourselves in the theatre corner. Apart from Panto and Disney shows he hasn't really experienced any type of theatre and I wasn't sure if he'd enjoy it but he sat nicely and was really entertained. 

Mother and son, sitting with entertainers dressed as a thief, fox and phoenix

Again he was quite taken by the phoenix but his favourite was definitely the dragon from the second show. Although, I had one of those moments of dread during the dragon show as one of the characters made a beeline for me! Ekkkkkkk! I don't like audience participation at all! 

A large dragon puppet

A large puppet dragon

After that horror we paid the donkeys another visit and with the live music starting we had a boogie.The festival and atmosphere grew through the day, with the bands playing into the night. 

Down By The Riverside Festival, although in it's infancy is certainly going to grow over the coming years and is ideal for a group weekend away.

I'm already wondering what next years theme might be, a little birdy told me it could be.............................UNICORNS!!!!

Mummy Snowy Owl
xx

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