Festival Trolley - The best and the worst thing ever

I own a festival trolley. I don't even have the excuse that I have a toddler (or toddlers) that may need to rest their legs. I didn't buy it until DD was well past the toddler stage but it's a great investment...and I love my festival trolley.

But I also hate festival trolleys. They are large and cumbersome and while once maybe 10% of families at family festivals had one, I think that it's now closer to 80% and not everyone seems aware of any trolley etiquette.

I tend to see myself in 'trolley-mummy-mode' as one of the lucky ones, I have a built in sofa if I stop, somewhere to store all the stuff I need day to day, and at the start and end of a festival I can get my camping stuff to and from the car without too much effort, and without queueing for (or paying for) a hire trolley.

So let's look at the positives and negatives of owning a festival trolley. And also let's think about the responsibility trolley use (either your own or a hired one) brings with it at a festival.



Positives

I have saved money. I attend about 4 festivals a year on average. A festival trolley to hire, even just for the set up and packing up time is about £10 for 30 minutes. It invariably takes me 2 hours to get everything to or from my pitch, partly as I'm disabled and partly as I don't have to rush, but still, at £99 to own a trolley (which was what I paid) that's a big saving year after year. Plus I can use the trolley during the festival itself.

I save time (and effort). I don't have to queue for a hire trolley and sometimes the wait is long. Also as I'm not paying by the hour there is no stress to 'hurry up' I can take my own sweet time on the actual trundle to my campsite if I want to.

Transport. A trolley holds a lot, it saves numerous trips to the car and during the day it saves popping back to the tent. It's easy to bring umbrellas, coats, waterproofs, suncream, snacks, chairs...anything, without worrying how you will lug it about all day.

A trolley with a cushion in makes a fine temporary sofa (assuming it's not full of everything else you own) so it's handy to let down one side down when you need a rest, it also works well as a picnic table.

You can decorate them and look super fun, kids love them, many festivals have themes and dress up days (Camp Bestival even has a Pimp My Trolley event) so it's great fun to join in.


Negatives

You have to store it somewhere. At home if you have a garage or a large garden shed that's fine, but it's big and heavy, you are not going to pop it into a loft or have it in the corner of a lounge. At a camp site or festival if you decide not to drag it around with you all day then you need somewhere safe to stow it - so a large space in the tent is a good idea, although I sometimes use tent pegs to just fix it near the tent.

Not only must you store it but you must transport it. You need to be able to fit the trolley into your car along with all of your camping gear. The trolley does break down a bit but even so the smallest bit is pretty large.

It's heavy and if you take it apart for transport you need to put it together again which takes time.

Hills - Camp Bestival and Glastonbury suffer from hills , trolleys can be hard work on the way up and scary when fully laden on the way down!

The trolleys are not cheap to buy, while they easily save money in the long term, the initial outlay is large.


Responsibilities

IMO you need to be a polite trolley user. Here are my etiquette rules for the trolley user.
  • Trolleys do not have right of way, even if baby Tarquin is asleep in them on a Boden mini-duvet.
  • Trolleys hurt if you crash into people. Walk slowly and carefully and check your turns.
  • Trolleys will block the view of a toddler. Do not position them near the front of the crowd.
  • Trolleys are large and tricky in a crowd, stay near the back if you think you might need to leave early, or be prepared to wait until the crowd has dispersed before you can trundle your way out.
  • Not only in a crowd at a festival stage but in a crowded festival campsite, think about your route from your tent, if others camp all around you, you may find yourself trapped in a see of guy ropes with no exit! Camp near a pathway or fire break.
  • Trolleys get muddy, do not run over people's blankets as they sit picnicking.
  • Adults should remain in charge of trolleys even if children are playing with them, ensure they are not getting in people's way or causing injuries.


So - trolleys. Love them or hate them? Do you have one? Has this tempted you to get one?

I bought mine at a local garden centre but you can also buy them (various styles) from Amazon.

Garden Trolley - Green (several sizes available - mine is super huge!)
Garden Truck - Black
Folding Canvas Trolley (I often see these broken by the wayside at festivals!) - Red
Wooden Wagon - very cute to look at!

I'd love to know your 'trolley opinion' either on my Facebook Page or on Twitter.

Quiet Here isn't it?

I have a few blog posts half finished, something about festival trollies, and some walking stuff.

But I've suddenly found myself distracted from the blog. This short video might explain why!



Of course it does mean that as soon as she's got all her jabs I will have an excuse to do more country walks!

More from Fizz and I very soon!

England's Medieval Festival

Close your eyes ...no wait, don't, you need to read this ...OK just imagine (really clearly in your head but while still reading) a distant past, the thud of horses' hooves, the smell of hog roasting over an open fire (feel free to imagine an apple baking if you are vegetarian) the sound of cheering, of metal on metal, shouts, music played on a mandolin, singing and the squeal of excited children, the slosh of ale into a tankard.....

medieval festival england jousting

Now see the sunshine, the green grass, tents with the canvas door flaps cracking in the summer breeze like whips, flags fluttering, horses standing resplendant in red and white livery, shining armour glinting so you have to blink, and when you open your eyes again, a princess in flowing gown and pearls is laughing and dancing by you...

medieval festival england

and now stop imagining!! You can experinece it all! You can travel back in time for a weekend and live relaxed, your day managed only by the height of the sun in the sky and your desire for your next cider. Your children (and you and even your dog) can learn archery (ok the dog can't do all the stuff but you get the idea) , watch falconry, battle reenactments, jousting, listen to music, dance, eat, relax, at a truly medieval festival.

child in stocks medieval festival england
Not sure the childcare is particularly safe!





And you can WIN TICKETS!!

Yes you read that correctly - I have a set of Weekend Camping Tickets  (2 Adults/2 Child or 3 Adults) worth £250 including up to 4 nights camping from 26th August and entry to every day of the festival for a lucky person (and friends/family) and all you need to do is enter via the RaffleCopter thingy below. (UK only - ends 2nd July 2016 full T&Cs in the giveaway box)


If you win you can add even more excitement to the day with extra events - more info here - including things like VIP seating for the jousting and banqueting!

Englands Medieval Festival at Herstmonceux Castle



August 27th – 29th 2016 Herstmonceux Castle, Sussex
Family day tickets from £46
Family weekend tickets from £230
‘What an incredible experience. We felt like we really had gone back in time!’

Step back in time and immerse your family in the spectacular magic of the past.
England’s Medieval Festival is the most authentic, oneofakind event in the UK with a very special blend of history and fun for the whole family.
From the moment you arrive you are surrounded by the sights, smells and excitement of medieval times.
Realistic historical battles, jousting, performers, horses, archery, music, traditional crafts, eating, drinking, shopping and daytoday life of the past. Herstmonceux Castle is a fairy tale setting for a totally different family weekend. Wizards, jesters, knights, dragons and princesses await the kids.
Guests can enjoy medieval glamping, standard camping in the castle grounds, or even a real bed in the onsite B&B. Or just come for the day.
With so much to see and do, it’s easy to see why so many guests return year after year, and now bring their own children to share the magic.
Grandparents, babies and even the pet dog are welcome!

 

Highlights of the Weekend include
Jousting – twice daily shows
Musical entertainment – traditional, folk and everything in between
Daily grand parades, and an evening torch lit procession
Minstrels, Magicians and 'The Mud Show' Jesters,
Jugglers and Bird of Prey
Kids’ Kingdom: drum, sword and jester schools, archery, medieval bushcraft, stage shows, pony rides, medieval skittles and crafts, campfire storytelling and stargazing.
Workshops: chain mailing, iron work, wood weaving, calligraphy, brass rubbing, candle making, stone carving Hundreds of traditional craftsmen and traders
Outdoor evening Cinema,
Fire Shows and a wooden Ferris Wheel
Huge range of craft ales, ciders & mead at the Buxom Wench & Jester Taverns
Excellent traditional food savour hogs roasting over open coals
Medieval Banquet in the castle
Stunning surroundings in the beautiful castle gardens and grounds.

Disclosure : I'm as excited as you are! I've never been before and was offered free tickets this year to check out this fabulous sounding festival and all it has to offer, grab your suit of armour, mount your white charger, I'll see you there!

Camp Bestival News - The Chuckle Brothers!

I'm almost too excited to type - so excuse any errors. If I said "to me, to you" what would you think? You'd think OMG The Chuckle Brothers of course! and today's news that The Chuckle Brothers will be at Camp Bestival has really cheered up my Thursday!

Rob da Bank says: “I’m not sure if there’s an emoji for ‘wetting yourself laughing’ yet but we need one for the Chuckle Brothers. I booked them as a bit of a laugh last year but they drew one of the biggest crowds of the weekend and had to do about 1000 selfies afterwards for some rabid fans. I’m still not sure I understand it all but i do love ‘em, and had to get them for all of our shows this year!”
Paul Chuckle says: “Thanks for this great tribute but I have to say our time at Bestival last September was one of the best days we've ever had. We've done and appeared in many things including the Children's Royal Variety show, but can honestly say this matched anything. The day was amazing and we can't wait to do it all again this year. Great crowd, great guys to work with all round, and memories that will last for ever. See you all soon. “PS. Can't wait”.

Chuckle brothers
One of the country’s best loved double acts, The Chuckle Brothers are the premier slapstick team that kept generations of kids entertained with perfectly timed pratfalls in 22 series of their acclaimed ChuckleVision television show. 
Launching the catchphrases “to me, to you” and “oh dear, oh dear” into common parlance, their influence on youth culture shouldn’t be underestimated.
They’re a canny pair too, as well as getting in on the current grime revival right from the word go with ‘To Me, To You (Bruv)’ their collaboration with Tinchy Stryder, last year also saw the pair make their festival debut at Bestival in front of 14,000 people.

The Festival team like to think they know a thing or two about festivals after 12 years out in the fields, but they said that the crowd reaction to the Chuckle Brothers at Bestival 2015 was utterly astonishing, to say the least.
What can only be described as unbridled joy filled the Big Top and a huge outpouring of emotion from the capacity crowd turned their 15-minute slot into one of the highlights of any Bestival. Ever.
And so, in celebration of their much-anticipated appearances this year, at not only Bestival but also Camp Bestival and Common People, 5th May is declared Chuckle Brothers’ Day. 
Join in a gleeful celebration of a truly influential comedy duo who are criminally unsung.
Take to the streets proclaiming ‘TO ME, TO YOU’ with all your heart, and make sure you honour Chuckle Brothers’ Day with some DIY slapstick fun.

The Chuckle Brothers will appear at: 

Common People – Southampton & Oxford 28th & 29th May www.commonpeople.net
Camp Bestival – Lulworth Castle Dorset – 28th – 31st July www.campbestival.net
Bestival - Robin Hill, Isle of Wight – 8th-11th September www.bestival.net

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