With summer promising a return to real life and all the incredible experiences we have missed so dearly; a family festival is the perfect opportunity to get back into the swing of things – and it really doesn’t get much better than the internationally renowned Just So Festival. After a covid-related hiatus, Just So is back with a bang! Bigger and better than ever before.
Grown ups can also expect an epic selection of cold ones. No matter your poison, Gita’s Bar and Dept of Liquor and Social Affairs have you covered.
First launched in 2009, and now in its 11th year, the team at Wild Rumpus (who are in partnership with Without Walls and run other incredible events such as Hinterlands Film Festival and Timber) know a thing or two about organising a jolly jamboree for all the family – with cool stuff to entertain family members of all ages – from great grandparents to newborns, everyone is sure to have an incredible time.
As a festival, their mantra sets the bar high, and Directors Rowan Cannon and Sarah Bird say, “if we’re not giving you goosebumps then we are not doing it right”. Based on experience, there’s absolutely no risk of leaving underwhelmed.
With such a packed 2021 programme and sprawling festival site, the challenge lies in breaking it down into ‘manageable’ chunks to explore. So where to start, then? One of the joys of the festival is the stunning surroundings of Rode Hall Park and gardens which feature 10-acres of picturesque parkland with everything from glorious planting and lakes to resident sheep.
The most popular feature of the Just So programme year in, year out is the Carnival of the Animals which underpins the whole experience. Attendees are invited to dress up as different animals (ideas include owls, foxes, frogs, stags, lions, bees, and fish) and compete to win golden pebbles for their family team, before coming together for a parade and the crowning of the winning team.
As a festival, their mantra sets the bar high, and Directors Rowan Cannon and Sarah Bird say, “if we’re not giving you goosebumps then we are not doing it right.” Based on experience, there’s absolutely no risk of leaving underwhelmed.
This year you can expect some new additions to the Just So party – film fans can head to the woodland cinema for screenings including The Iron Giant, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and My Neighbour Totoro and additionally, The Observatory brings some science to the site with an illuminated celebration of the planets.
What’s more, keeping the teeny tots happy is a breeze with a ‘Peekaboo’ area which has been specially designed for 0–4-year-olds with heaps on offer including – music, stories, messy play, yoga, dance classes and much more.
Now let’s talk about the food and drink on offer! There’s a tremendous collection of vintage trucks that’ll be pulling up for the weekend. Ready to serve delicious street food – from pizza to hot dogs, vegan food, snacks, and sweet treats – no one will be going hungry! Grown ups can also expect an epic selection of cold ones. No matter your poison, Gita’s Bar and Dept of Liquor and Social Affairs have you covered.
All in all, Just So Festival is simply spellbinding and guaranteed to pack a lot of fun into one family weekend to be remembered.