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The end of summer always comes round too fast, beat it back this year and book for The Big Feastival, returning for a seventh year at Alex James’ Farm in the gorgeously pretty Cotswolds, and perfectly timed for the last weekend in August: when spinning out that holiday feeling for a little bit longer is just what you need. This year the line-up of Michelin-starred icons, rising star chefs, megastar musos and superstar DJs is as stellar as ever. Younger Feastival goers can prepare to meet legends like Paddington and Peppa Pig, Justin Fletcher and The Gruffalo.

As always, full advantage is being taken of England’s loveliest countryside to encourage a substantial amount of wildness in the form of anything from den building to tree climbing: with Cotswold Farm Park cuteness and plenty of Village Green Games thrown in for good measure. And just in case anyone, anywhere has the faintest chance of a quiet moment; The Royal Shakespeare Company is staging acting classes for mini-thespians, and young designers are invited to fly their festival fashion flag at The Makery. So what else is capable of luring the likes of Basement Jaxx back from the Balearics, dragging Rak Su into the heart of the country, and coaxing The Undertones into giving it Teenage Kicks all over again for 2018?

Who’s cooking up a storm in the Cotswolds this August

Food festivals don’t come much more egalitarian than The Big Feastival where everything’s on the table from gently grilling haute cuisine heavyweights at The Table Sessions to sensational street food from The Collaboration Kitchen. You can even tuck into taste-from-waste at The Friday Night Supper Club. Which might sound distasteful, until you find out the ‘waste’ is actually leftovers from The Ethicurean in Bristol, transformed into a sumptuous picnic by the restaurant team, and served up, under the stars in support of Action Against Hunger.

So what are you waiting for? Tickets are now on sale for this unique event. You can look forward to things like chatting healthy eating with children’s food expert Annabel Karmel or Lizzie King of ‘Lizzie Loves Healthy’.

And if you want to get hands on family-style, NEFF Cookaholics Cookery School and NEFF Little Kitchen are combining forces this August to let kids and parents test their skills, learn new tricks and get cooking creatively.

It’s another Big Feastival of family entertainment

Well fed on food and fun is how it’s always gone down at The Big Feastival, and this August’s line-up of family entertainment is clearly keeping that tradition alive. When kids aren’t being starstruck by the likes of My Little Pony, they can try out at the Circus School, bust moves with Baby Bhangra or belt out showtunes alongside the troupers from Baby Broadway.

Everything from Tug of War to sack races is up for grabs on the Village Green, and the Vintage Funfair is back for another year of Helter-Skelter, retro roundabouts and good old fashioned fairground rides. When adventurous little Feastival goers aren’t designing dens and scaling trees, they can be harvesting fresh ingredients from the Home Farm Highgrove garden, taking karate tips from Ninja Tots, stretching at Yellow Flamingo Yoga workshops or learning to fly high with Zu Aerial.

Don’t worry, parents have not been forgotten, and as usual the festival is going all out to make your life easier. The Up-All-Hours team at Parents’ Pitstop will be on hand any time to help out with boring, but necessary, stuff like nappy changing and bottle warming; as well as providing quiet space to catch a breath with younger kids. The Family Dining Room is new for 2018, and already set to become a firm favourite with the pickiest eaters. And if you just want a chat – or a moan – head to the Village Hall for one of the Parents’ Panels and get a share of advice and ideas from the UK’s leading parenting experts.

More music than ever, and more still to come

Eat everything, you’ll need carbs and calories to do justice to the musical line-up at this years Feastival. Nostalgia takes on a whole new meaning when it’s served up by Melanie C, The Bluetones, The Undertones and Britpop Brass. London’s coolest urban choir, Gospeloke, make for a mellow Sunday morning: which you just might need after Friday and Saturday night.

Main Stage certainties so far include: Basement Jaxx, Becky Hill, Tom Odell, Paloma Faith and Craig David. And sounds on the Udder Stage can be heard from the likes of Dinachi, Sarpa Salpa, Little Brother Eli, Sons of Pitches and many more – the list is growing, so keep your eyes on The Big Feastival site.

And then of course, there’s The Bandstand: brilliant chaos, lively and colourful, made for families and an ideal intro to the ways of music festivals for little first timers.

 

Quite probably the friendliest festival camping anywhere in August

Don’t bother looking for family camping at The Big Feastival, the entire campsite is family-friendly, kids are welcome everywhere, and you can rely on a light atmosphere that never strays near rowdy, but still feels like fun: just what you want from a late summer festival really.

If pitching up with your own tent is too much like hard work, take it easy with pre-pitched tents for up to four. Or go all out and book a decadent yurt or family bell-tent on The Glamping Field where everything from a kids’ cinema tent and luxury showers to 24-hour concierge service and an on-site Pamper Parlour are designed to keep you in the comfort zone.

The lowdown: The Big Feastival

When

24 to 26 August 2018 (August Bank Holiday weekend)

Where

Alex James’ Farm near Kingham, Oxfordshire OX7 6UJ (Kingman village is four miles south west of Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds)

Costs

Camping Tickets – tent pitch and three day festival entry: Adult from £189.50; 13 to 17 years from £114.50; under 12s from £47.25

Day Tickets

Adult from £69; 13 to 17 years from £42.25; Two free Day Tickets for under 12s with every adult Day Ticket. Additional under 12s Day Tickets from £16.15.

Have a closer look at The Big Feastival 2018 and book tickets for three days of family festivities this August Bank Holiday weekend.

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