Cheshire / Hampshire
Taking place in Cheshire and Hampshire, CarFest brings you and your family a weekend full of impressive cars, great music, fabulous stars and delicious food plus a heap of fun, activities and entertainment for the whole family!
This could well be one of the best family festivals in the UK. DJ Chris Evans has created a three day party for all to enjoy. With music running throughout the day on the smaller Wigwam Stage, and a fantastic mixture of classic, character, and racing cars buzzing around the track in the run up to the main stage becoming active, you don't need to miss any of the ongoing activities. This isn't just cars and music either, the Starfest stage contains interviews with actors, sport stars, and most importantly a Pudsey disco so the kids can boogie.
Carfest 2021 main stage featured the likes of Nile Rodgers & Chic, McFly, Texas, All Saints, Reef, Happy Mondays, The Fratellis, Ronan Keating, Tom Grennan, The Charlatans, and a Super Group included Roger Daltery, Beverley Knight, The Feeling, Ricky Wilson, Lulu. The Super Group differed slightly between Carfest North and South.
With two stages placed next to each other, there is no lag between bands. As one band finishes Chris Evans will take to the mic and get the crowd singing and dancing as the next one comes on, which only enhances the party atmosphere. I found this to have a level of genius, and would love to see other festivals staging their arenas in such a way that you're never hanging around.
The race track was active a few times each day, with a whole variety of cars entertaining the crowd, be it because it character car such as the Batmobile or DeLorean, or a sports car burning rubber around the track. One of my group wasn't much a car fan, but they could've easily spent the day around the track, it really does entertain.
Outside of music and cars, it had a good range of shops to explore and pick up some festival wares. Along with stalls promoting charities, or tents for kids to chill out in and do some colouring, and maybe meet the likes of Pudsey, Hey Duggee, or Bing. The festival also has daily food shows featuring guest chefs and bakers, one for the foodies in the group.
If you just fancied kicking back with a drink and relaxing in the sun a while, you could grab a drink and plonk yourself infront of the Wigwam stage to check out the new and upcoming bands. It won't be long until some are headlining the main stage.
Where Carfest could improve would be to work with the vendors to see how best they could reduce the queuing time, I've been to many festivals and have never had to queue so long for coffee or a bite to eat. Even though this is a small thing, when you've starving kids, you just want to get them fed as quick as possible. And more importantly us adults need that coffee or something stronger without a 30 minute wait. I arrive at festivals knowing they're always going to be more expensive than the normal world, especially one which is raising funds for charity. However, to fill a family of three on the waltzers (which this kids loved), the cost of £12.00 a time for that couple of minutes of fun was a bit on the ridiculous side. In addition to this there was zero safety, as they spun around any child could run straight onto the track, causing a straight to A&E moment. I think this is a small thing as the fair was brilliant offering a lot of options. It just needs to be tweaked on its price point, a common grumble I heard from other parents as I queued to buy tokens.
Apart from queues and pricey fairground, Carfest is certainly one of my favourite festivals, so much so, that after covering the North for three days, I took the family to the South on the Sunday so they could experience just how good it is. Hopefully next time I can take the family camping there, and mix work and pleasure.
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