Can you take your children to a festival? A lot of festival-loving parents ask themselves this question sooner or later, which is why there is a growing demand for family-friendly festivals. If you want to go to a concert with your children or even consider going to a festival, the safety and well-being of your child is the number one priority. In this article we will explain which festivals are suitable for families and how you can find a child-friendly festival. We will also be giving tips on how to make a trip to a festival a great experience for the whole family whether young or old.
Are festivals suitable for children?
How do I know if it is a family-friendly festival?
A festival for children or for the whole family?
How old do children need to be to go to a festival?
What should I prepare for taking my child to a festival?
Whether your child is ready or not to go to a festival has nothing to do with their age. Older children may also feel intimidated at large events as there is so much going on. Firstly, you should ask yourself the following questions:
What type of festival would you like to go to? Even family music festivals are a lot louder and livelier than arts and culture festivals. Festivals with family-friendly programmes may be better suited to younger children.
What type of atmosphere do you expect? At most festivals have a loud party atmosphere. Not every festivalgoer will be considerate of the fact that there could be children or minors present at the festival or on the campsite. Festivals that cater exclusively for adult visitors are known for a rather wild party atmosphere, which may not be the best place for children.
How does your child deal with the hustle and bustle and noise? If your child is shy, he or she may feel overwhelmed or even scared by large crowds. Children who are very sensitive to loud noises will not feel comfortable in a festival environment.
Bear in mind that...
Before you plan to visit a festival with children, you should have done a one or two "trial runs". If your child has never been camping, then you should set up a tent in the garden and try sleeping in a sleeping bag. It is also recommended to visit smaller folk festivals with children's programmes or similar events with your child before you set off for a larger family-friendly festival.
Many events are advertised as family-friendly festivals, but how can I tell if it will be suitable for the whole family? Firstly, you should do some research on the festival before deciding. You can use the following tips below as a guide:
Choose festivals with a calmer atmosphere, as large crowds and loud celebrations can quickly overwhelm or frighten children.
Choose a smaller festival. If the festival area is clearly laid out, you can keep an eye on your kids and there is less chance of losing them.
At smaller festivals where there are fewer people it's often easier to find quiet spots around the edges of the festival site, where you can escape the hustle and bustle.
Check the festival’s website in advance to see if there are any child-friendly offers, for example, a family-friendly campsite or a children's programme.
Look for other articles or blogs from parents who have taken their children to a festival. By doing so, you can get a better idea of whether the environment and atmosphere would be suitable for children.
Did you know that...
Many parents advise on giving children a festival wristband, which has the parents' name and phone number on it. Hopefully it won’t be needed, but you are prepared in case of an emergency. Older children should be made aware of the security staff, who usually wear a high-visibility vest, or a uniformed member of staff. They should be made aware upon arrival at the festival so they know which adults they can go to if there is an emergency.
Not all festivals are suitable for children. However, when looking for a child-friendly festival you're bound to come across lots of different terms such as: family festival or festivals for families, children's festival, child-friendly festival. However, not all these terms have the same meaning.
Children’s festival: children's festivals are organised entirely just for children. There are usually plenty of play activities, workshops or arts and craft stalls and child-friendly stage programmes, where children can often take part. Kids can have a lot of fun and burn off some energy at these type of festivals.
Festivals for families or family festivals: lots of festivals want to become more family-friendly, which is why you'll now find more offers for families at established events. Depending on the event organiser there are playgrounds, children's programmes, or hands-on activities for children, which makes them one of the best festivals for families as it is a great experience for the whole family.
Child-friendly or family-friendly: this term is often used generically for festivals that you can go to with children, but it doesn't guarantee that there are special programmes for children at the festival.
It is up to the parents to decide when they want to take their child with them to a festival. Whilst deciding, it is important that you think about whether your child will enjoy the experience. It is usually not advisable to visit a festival with small children because of the noise level. If you are unsure, you should maybe go to a festival for families. Most festivals list their admission and any age restrictions in their terms and conditions or in the FAQ section on their homepage. Many organisers inform festivalgoers about the different terms and regulations for the camping area and the concert area. In most cases children under the age of 6 or 8 are not allowed to enter the event area even when accompanied by their parents. The admission regulations for child-friendly festivals are often different. Festivals for families usually allow young children to enter if they are always accompanied and supervised by their guardian.
You should avoid visiting a rock or heavy metal music festival with young children, as they are well known for their loud music. In this case, the noise protection is not sufficient to protect children’s ears, which can be quite sensitive.
Once you've decided on a child-friendly festival, the next step is to plan your trip so that it will be fun for the whole family. Below you will find a couple of tips on the best way to prepare for going to a festival with children:
Plan roughly in advance what bands you want to see or which workshops you want to attend. However, you need to be a bit flexible so that you can accommodate your child's needs.
Even child-friendly open-air events can quickly become overwhelming. You need to pay attention to your child to see how they are feeling. If they become tired or overexcited, you may need to leave earlier than planned.
Hearing protection for children is an absolute must at music festivals, even if the event is family-friendly. You should also never stand near the loudspeakers due to the noise volume.
Being at a festival on a hot day, you need to make sure that your child drinks enough and stays out of the sun. You need to make sure to apply sun cream regularly and your child will need suitable headwear.
Are there any other parents in your circle of friends who are festival enthusiasts? Then it may be a good idea to go as a larger group because your children will always be able to play with the other children.
You and your partner could alternate looking after your child. This way one parent can stay and relax with the child at the campsite and the other parent can spend time enjoying and exploring the festival.
Before setting off to go to your first festival as a family, you should find out about any guidelines and terms and conditions of the event and if there are any age restrictions. If you notice during your stay that your child is becoming overwhelmed by the situation or seems to be tired, then it is a good idea to take a break or to leave. As you know your child, you should be able to judge when a break or leaving a bit earlier is appropriate. By doing so, the time spent at the festival will remain as something memorable and positive for the whole family.
(accessed on 28.03.2022)
(accessed on 28.03.2022)
(accessed on 28.03.2022)