So I have always maintained that when becoming a rocking’ mama it is super important to remain Y O U and keep on following your passions. My partner and I have always loved music; he is the guitarist of a local function bad and I have always had music as a huge part of my life (from birth my mother was playing me tapes of Kate Bush, Phil Collins Buddy Holly, make of that what you will!) When I fell pregnant it was no different for my little man, my partner bought me these ingenious speakers that stick onto your bump so that you can musically educate your bambinos in utero! Magic. I also kept going to gigs while I was pregnant and after Jude came into our world I have, admittedly less often, tried to keep rockin’. We have always dreamed of being those parents that take their children to festivals with us in an attempt to culturally and musically educate (and he will clearly be the coolest kid in school right?!) So this year we decided to ease him, and ourselves, in and take him to the much raved about local Victorious Festival.
So I realise that Victorious Festival is not deemed a massive music festival but down on the south coast it is more and more popular each year. It used to hold itself in the grounds of the HMS Warrior in Portsmouth but as footfall soared and music acts became bigger and better they moved the festival to Southsea Seafront. One of the main reasons we chose this one was that nearly all of our friends were attending, it was just a ferry ride and short walk from our house and the headline act on the Sunday was none other than Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, also Wolfmother… come on! I had already seen Oasis twice and was really psyched to see Noel again; he even threw in some cheeky Oasis classics to keep us all happy (cue lots of videos of ‘lighter in hand, arms around each other’ singalong moments)
I had also heard on the grapevine that they were catering even more for families this year and introducing a huge ‘Kida Arena’; and huge was an understatement! When we arrived it was massive! Ok so admittedly the small man had fallen asleep earlier than expected on our walk to Southsea so even after an obligatory festival beer and a chill by the main stage he wasn’t rising and shining, so we decided to just take a stroll over there anyway in the hope that the sounds of children and fairground rides might stir him to join in; to no avail. I was super impressed with the whole ‘Kids Arena’ though and took some snaps of my favourite parts. They had everything you could ever dream of to keep your little people occupied!
I love a good ol’ fashioned funfair and Vicorious Festival did not disappoint, they even had a row of smaller peoples merry go rounds so all ages could get involved. Whats even more amazing is that most of the rides and activities were free as included in the price of the ticket. Bargains.
If you’re anything like me and adore getting crafty (and I am not referring to the foxy kind) and creative then you will have loved the amount of hands on activities here too. They had everything from crocheting, painting, monster making, hula hooping, bubbles… it was an artistic dream!
It was such a shame that Jude missed it all in his deep slumber, he awoke just after we had re-entered the main arena and was on top form! I was anxious as had never been in a festival ‘open-field, sea of people, loud music environment’ with the little man but paired with his Ear Defenders (which stayed on for a duration of approximately 2 seconds or less) he was amazing and loved it; he spent most of the afternoon cheekily running around our little circle of friends laughing and giggling. I was also worried how our friends would take having him around as none of them have children themselves so its always a gamble, but they adored his babbling and spinning style dancing to the music.
I wished we had kept him there longer in hindsight as he was having such a good time bless him, but we had arranged for Boushka (my quirky mother who insisted on a non Grandmother-ish name; it is Russian for Grandmother and also the name of an epic Kate Bush hit, so excellent choice really) to meet us just before Jude’s dinner time and take him home and pop him to bed.
Freedom! As much as I love my little man and taking him everywhere with me on my adventures, there are times when you M U S T retain your relationship with your other half and spend some quality time with them. It is also a constant juggle between time with them and your friends too, so after we dropped off Jude with the mama bear we popped in to a pub on the walk back to the festival and had a drink just the two of us.
When we came back to Victorious the fun began, we joined our friends, filled up on beverages and headed over to see Wolfmother. Epic.
It was so nice to just chill and enjoy the music with my man, If you don’t often make time to spend with your other half you M U S T! Not only for your sanity and to reignite all the reasons you are together, but also for your children, they will see the spark if it is kept aflame, see the time spent enjoying each others life and grow with solid foundations for their own relationships in the future. I realise that at times it is impossible to do this, life gets in the way; we are very lucky to have lots of lovely family members and friends that also understand the need for us to escape and just be U S that happily babysit every now and again. Do it!
I digress, back to it… So the only annoying qualm about the whole event was how when the acts were over there was a sea of people rushing towards the exits and the ferry, but this is the same with any live event so I did suck it up and took it (literally) in my stride; at least I didn’t have a stroller to get through the crowds eh!? Forward thinking!
It was all in all a great day; we did only go for the one day as the Saturday, although boasted a great setlist, was the little mans birthday party (so much going on in one weekend and I still haven’t fully recovered!) I was so impressed especially with the sheer size of the event and the ‘Kids Arena’ in particular, next year Victorious, we are in for the long haul. The little man enjoyed himself so much I think it will be a breeze for a whole weekend. Bring on the festivals!