This week Chelmsford Cultual events very kindly invited me and T along to the 3Foot People festival. We really enjoyed the event last year and were excited to hear about the move from Central Park to the much larger venue at Hylands Park. The festival, the largest of its kind in the UK, has been growing in popularity every year and this year was a sell out weeks before the event.
|A Cardboard Castle|
I think the move to Hylands Park was a hugely successful one. With more space, the set up of the various tents and activities seemed to flow much more naturally through the different zones and it was much easier to find things as they were stated on the map. There was also so much more space for families to sit down, have picnics and generally enjoy the atmosphere. More space also meant that there were more options for food and drink in comparison with last year. I’d opted not to take a picnic purely because I didn’t have a buggy and didn’t want to carry anything! We enjoyed lunch in A-Canteen and I paid less than I thought I might have to and was pleased with the quality of the food.
There was a larger range of things to do this year and even though we crammed a lot into one day, we certainly didn’t get to do everything. All of the usual baby and toddler classes were there giving taster sessions of their classes but there were plenty of activities that you wouldn’t normally get to do. It was also nice to see that some local charities were represented there.
Highlights of the day included watching an Alien theatre show, which included huge amount of audience participation, playing with everyday objects at Natural Foundations, getting involved with the arts and crafts tent, crawling through cardboard tunnels in the Lightbox tent and of course getting T’s face painted. The face painters were fantastic and the dragon that T demanded was amazing.
Another positive change to this year was to the program given out on entry to the festival. The centre fold had a timetable of everything that was happening, which meant that it was much easier to see what was happening and to plan your day around some of the bigger events, like the the shows and story telling in the main tents.
On a practical note, parking was easy and very well planned and marshalled. Queuing to get in did seem to be an issue but I think the introduction of sending out wrist bands with the tickets meant that the process was much quicker than it potential could have been. Toilets were plentiful and clean and there was no litter anywhere thanks to a team of staff who were regularly seen patrolling the event.
(My only problem with the whole day was the cost of ice cream - £2 each seemed very expensive. But to be fair the ice creams were the same price at our recent trip to Diggerland)
A really fantastic event that made me proud to live in Chelmsford. Well done Chelmsford City Events - can’t wait for next year!
Chelmsford City Events are looking for feedback to make next year’s event even better. You can complete a feedback form here and be in with a chance to win a family ticket for 2015’s event.
What was your favourite part of the 3Foot People Festival?