Just So family festival is back

Just So Festival, one of the longest running independent family festivals in the UK, returns to Cheshire in two weeks’ time.

It takes place from Friday 18th – Sunday 20th August on the historic Rode Hall Estate. Weekend and day tickets are still available at www.justsofestival.org.uk

Just So Festival is all about families making memories together in the great outdoors whilst enjoying music, theatre, circus, storytelling and much more. 

It’s full of childhood nostalgia with activities including a midnight feast under the stars, a Just So Sports Day with a giant egg and spoon race and a silly Dad dancing competition, a kitsch silent disco, and storytelling round a crackling campfire in the woods (complete with marshmallows, of course). 

Just So is run by female-founded arts organisation Wild Rumpus, who work from a woodland all year round just next to the festival site. “We’ve been running Just So for 13 years now and I get more and more excited for it every year,” says Festival Director Rowan Cannon. 

Dancing at the Footlights Stage, Just So Festival 2022, ⓒ Andrew Allcock

Just So is really special because we invite the whole family to get involved in activities, rather than parents sitting on the sidelines as their children have all the fun. It’s a chance for grown-ups to rediscover their inner child and for kids to enter a world of magic and wonder which will stay with them for years to come.” 

Also on the line-up this year is the popular family singer David Gibb (with songs about wolves roaming the school corridors and teddy bears dancing at the disco), London-based brass band the Perhaps Contraption, Thingumabob & The Thingumajigs, folksy ska band Lazlo Baby, and lots of DJ sets in the middle of the woods – including an appearance from Heart Radio presenter and flexible working campaigner Mother Pukka. 

Theatre performances will connect families to the natural world, including Eye of Newt’s The Hare and The Moon which is performed in miniature inside a vintage suitcase, and The Bug Hotel by Hurly Burly Theatre, a show which celebrates the wildlife beneath our feet. 

A beautiful shadow puppet theatre on wheels, The Magic Lantern, will be based at the campfire in the woods. And two bizarre travelling machines, The Flycycle and The Submercycle from Pif Paf Theatre, will take tiny groups of festival goers on a journey round the festival site telling fantastical stories from under the sea and high in the sky. 

Mother Pukka

Festival areas include the charming Spellbound Forest, where families sit around a crackling campfire and listen to storytellers, Footlights which is especially for live music, and Peekaboo which includes huge adventures for little people aged 4 and under. And new for this year are Colourado, an area dedicated to crafts which was named through an audience competition, and The Future, which explores what the future will look like when the Just So kids take over. 

And going since the very first Just So is the Carnival of the Animals, an annual tradition where festival goers dress up as one of seven different animals, including foxes, bees and fish, and compete in games and challenges over the weekend to win golden pebbles for their team. They also win pebbles for acts of kindness, such as recycling their rubbish and giving compliments to other festival goers. 

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