Big Day Out Festival 2017 Review

Big Day Out Festival 2017 Review


So the Big Day Out Festival arrived and we were eagerly excited to set off bright and early from Hitchin to Kent by train.

The day before we set off, I received an email from the event outlining what we should pack and how to prepare for the festival. As it was a one day festival so no camping equipment is required. Basically, we should pack light – which we did with our packed lunches.

I also thought it would be best for us to stay there over night, as the kids will be totally exhausted by the end of the day. We booked our one night stayed at Premiere Inn.

It took us a good two and half hours journey with two interchanges getting there, but the kids loves the train – so it was no biggy.

Our friends were waiting for us at Maidstone West Station and ready to pick us up and drive to Mote Park when we arrived. Mote Park was an easy find and the car parking assistance were very friendly, well organised, and efficient. It wasn’t such a long walk from where we parked and the entrance. The entrances were very well organised too. There were several entrances to avoid bottle neck and several check points for your bags in the light of recent events in Manchester and London bombings.

At which point, I overheard a lady behind me was talking to a security officer that this year it was much more organised with the entrances than last year as the queue last year was enormous with a long wait. Well, this is a good sigh I thought.


Big Day Out Festival 2017 Review

We arrived about 12 noon-ish, there were already lots of people there. The first thing we did was taking the kids to meet Paw Patrol’s Chase and Marshall. It was a brief encounter but the kids, (especially Evelyn) seem to be really impressed when they got to High-5 and gave quick cuddles to the characters.

E&E then wanted a face paint and some animal balloons, but already – the queue was quite long. So we took the kids to meet the Princess instead. The queue there was impressively quick. Evelyn was so chuffed to be picked up by Elsa and be up closed with her Princesses.

Big Day Out Festival 2017 Review


Ethan wasn’t interested and was playing with the haystack. It was fair to say that it is a safe environment to let your kids loose but within your sight of course as later on the day it can get very crowded.

Our next destination was to check out “Bounce Land” and come back when the queue for face painting and the animal balloons stores get a little shorter.

On the way to Bounce Land – we also passed the Circus School. My word – it was busy! There were hula-hoops and many other circus equipments everywhere for the kids to try out. E&E had a quick go too. Evelyn found the hula-hoop a bit tricky, but Ethan was definitely in his elements. He was really enjoying the experience that were on offer. But I didn’t dare tell him: “Don’t run away with the circus yet!” lol!


Big Day Out Festival 2017
Big Day Out Festival 2017
Big Day Out Festival 2017
Big Day Out Festival 2017 Review


Bounce Land was great! There were so many bouncing activities from babies to big kids. The first activity we came across – we went straight in. There was no queue at all. The kids played for a sometimes before we decided it was picnic time.

We managed to find a patch in the middle surrounded by all bouncing activities so that we can decide which bouncy thing we want to do next whilst we had a bite to eat.

It didn’t take long for the queue formed a snake-like. We quickly queue up for the Dragon Slide, which took us about 20 minutes to queue, and the slide experience lasted 2 minutes. The kids wanted to go again, but already the queue was longer than before! I told them let’s queue up something else that we haven’t been on before and they agreed.

Big Day Out Festival 2017 Review
Big Day Out Festival 2017 Review
Big Day Out Festival 2017 Review
Big Day Out Festival 2017 Review
Big Day Out Festival 2017 Review
Big Day Out Festival 2017 Review
Big Day Out Festival 2017 Review

The Pink Castle was our next activity. It took us one whole hour waiting on the queue – the experience lasted ten minutes, and we missed Mr. Bloom on stage.

We wanted to do other bouncing activity be we looked around and realised that there were queues everywhere! We gave up and decided to join the festival music ground.

As a treat, we bought the kids ice-cream each. Ethan was very pleased with himself that his tung has turned blue after he finished his ice cream. We also treated a pint (£4) for us each too. I think we deserves it. We then eagerly waited for Reggie & Bollie to come on. We were quite far from the stage but it was best this way, as this mean it was less crowded where we could have a picnic patch for ourselves, and keep our eyes on the kids. The sun was shining and the atmosphere was Amazing!

Big Day Out Festival 2017 Review
Big Day Out Festival 2017 Review
Big Day Out Festival 2017 Review
Big Day Out Festival 2017 Review

However, our pints didn’t last long, when Reggie & Bollie came on all the excitement were heighten and the kids dance to the Jump-Around tune and knocked over our pints everywhere! Oh well – never mind.

The kids got bored very quickly and now they REALLY want their animals balloons and their face painted. Once again – we packed our picnic (wet) mat and move to join the 50 feet long queue. Seriously – it was no joke. It was about 50 feet long. I know you think we must be crazy! But we were not the only ones in the queue you know! lol!

More than an hour later… the face-paint tent was still very obscure from where we were. Ethan was actually content playing at the Circus School while we waiting. Evelyn was too at first but then she grow a little tired rather quickly as she couldn’t do a thing she tried out. Never-the-less, however, there was a sister and a brother who came by and helped Evelyn with her step cups. At that moment, I felt so happy that kids does look out for each other at this kind of event. It is such a kids friendly event. I love it!

At a far distance – I can see and hear the cheering noises going on at the the Hip-Hop School tent. It was was hyping up – big time, but we didn’t want to leave the queue. So that was a total missed.

It was now 4:30pm and all we seem to be doing was queueing. I wanted to stayed on to watch Diversity but Evelyn was getting edgy and bored with the queueing, plus she has woken up very early that morning and hasn’t has her nap yet. She tried to sleep on her buggy but with all the excitement going on around her – she has found it hard to do so.

At that point, we decided to depart and head off for a pizza and check-in at our one night stayed at Premiere Inn for the night.


To Sum Up…

The highlight…

  • It is one of the most kids friendly event ever!
  • Bounce Land was Ace!
  • The Music Festival area was Amazing!
  • The pints were reasonable London prices.
  • The car parking assistance was well organised and efficient.
  • The ticketing entrance system was also well organised and efficient.
  • All the activities were Free!
  • You received a wrist band which you can come in and out anytime.
  • The security there is on top form. You would need to write your mobile phone number and name down before placing it on your child’s wrist. In case, your child is missing – they can contact you.
  • Mote Park has a great children playground just outside the entrance.
  • There were plenty of food and drinks stalls at the venue.


The drawbacks…

  • The queue to Everything is Enormous! Be prepared to queue up for Everything!
  • If there were no Bounce Land – then were wasn’t much of other things to do for younger kids.
  • Perhaps, there should be 2 or even 3 of the same thing – eg: 3 face-paint stalls and 3 animal balloon stalls, etc.
  • Perhaps, there should be local stalls exhibit on site too – such as local handcrafts stores for sale, etc so people can have a browse when they feel they want to have a brake.
  • The Circus School Tent could be more structured. Eg: put on a show for the little ones to see.


The question is would I go again? 

Yes, E&E had a fantastic time there.

Ethan said the best thing he like about the day was at Bounce Lane.

For Evelyn, her highlight was being picked up by Elsa and being up closed with her favourite Princesses. Plus, she will be 4 yo next year – so hopefully, she will be a little more easier to manage.

For me – I love how super kids friendly this place is. Also watching Reggie & Bollie came on and dancing with my pint of-course!

We would definitely go again because I didn’t get a chance to see other acts on the stage. With a little bit of improvement as suggested above, the festival would have been more smooth and be a little bit more diverse for the little ones to do too.

Tips: Get your kids well rested the night before as it will be a very long day! 


Here’s a little vlog to sum up our day!

Thank you for reading and watching!

Don’t forget to subscribe our YouTube channel here!



For next year! 

BIG DAY OUT has announced on their Facebook:

We’ve decided to launch next year’s event early and we’d also like you to know that we’ve taken all of your feedback on board to make 2018 even more of an improvement!


We also have a number of other additions to make to Big Day Out 2018, including a new fancy dress theme and we can’t wait for you to see and hear them!


Do check out their Facebook here for EARLY BIRD TICKETS!


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Big Day Out Festival 2017 Review


Su x


*Disclaimer: I’m working in a paid partnership with the Big Day Out Festival campaign. All photos and opinions are of my own.


This post is linked with: #mainylovessummer




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Su {Ethan & Evelyn}

Su blogs at Ethan & Evelyn. Ethan (7) & Evelyn (4) are her children. Her blog was originally an online diary but quickly transformed. She blogs about their life adventures of her experiences of motherhood, lifestyle, food, crafts, and travel. Her blog was awarded the Coupon Machine Travel Blog Top100 (#37) in 2016. The #MadBlogAwards 2016 Nominated for Best Craft Blog, Best Family Travel Blog, and Best Preschool Blog. She is a now a Freelance Writer, a Photographer, Co-creator of #ExplorerKids IG community. Host of #FabFridayPost and #ExplorerKids Linkys. And a Kids Yoga Teacher too! Connect with her on Twitter & Instagram @ethannevelyn

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook


  1. 07/07/2017 / 1:28 pm

    Glad you mostly had fun. Bounce Land would be right up my street as would the hip hop. It’s great to have a day where everything is there but there should be lots more access points for things like face painting. It’s not expensive and easy to set up. #FabFridayPosts

    • 10/07/2017 / 3:05 pm

      Oh Wow! You like Hip Hop?! You can come with me next time. I know face painting was a bit of a let down – I would totally do it myself before we go next time around. Save money – save time. xx

  2. 07/07/2017 / 2:21 pm

    Great pictures! It sounds like a really great time and well-organized event. I don’t know that I would want to wait around in those long of lines with little kids or not personally. Free or not! Sounds like you have some good suggestions for it for next year. 🙂 #fabfridaypost

  3. 07/07/2017 / 2:50 pm

    What a fabulous event that they help you beforehand with what to bring and such!! Talk about organized!!
    It looks like the best time ever!! For both kids and adults!

  4. 07/07/2017 / 4:47 pm

    Sounds like you all had a blast! This looks like a really great day for the whole family.
    Thanks for the fun pictures. 🙂

    • 11/07/2017 / 12:34 pm

      Oh! We did indeed. It is such a lovely family and kids friendly kind of festival.

  5. 07/07/2017 / 6:00 pm

    Reggie & Bollie – whaaaat?! Sounds such fun, and always good to hear about very child friendly days out like this. #FabFridayPost

  6. It sounds like you had a fun family day, but I would have hated the queues, just like Evelyn. I get really tired really quickly in crowded places, and having to wait so long for everything would have killed me, never mind the kids.

    • 11/07/2017 / 12:42 pm

      I know – and I thought I was doing it for the kids. Other than that it was a fun day. x

  7. 08/07/2017 / 9:29 pm

    Looks like a great day out but the queues would definitely annoy my two, they hate queuing for anything. I’ve On,y been to one kids festival before and the queues there were enough to put me off going again. I agree with you that having more than one of the most popular stalls would certainly help x

  8. 09/07/2017 / 1:23 am

    Love the pics! It sounds like such a fun event except for the queuing!


    • 11/07/2017 / 2:36 pm

      Thank you Mary. Very much appreciated. Yes, apart from the queues – it was great day. x

  9. 09/07/2017 / 10:38 am

    Sounds like a good way to introduce kids to a festival. We were meant to be going to our first one this year but with emigrating we’ve had to postpone it! Hopefully we get to go next year!

    • 11/07/2017 / 2:37 pm

      Oh no! That’s a shame – but I’m sure this makes emigrating makes much more smoother. x

  10. 09/07/2017 / 9:52 pm

    Sounds like an awesome day out, just a shame the queues were really long. I think that would definitely put me off going but looks like you ad a fabulous day x

    • 11/07/2017 / 2:40 pm

      I know. But hopefully – next year there will be some improvement.

  11. 10/07/2017 / 9:14 am

    Sounds like you had a great day,
    I don’t think I could have coped with all of those queues, I probably wouldn’t have stayed long due to that.

    Love your pictures of the day xo

    • 11/07/2017 / 2:43 pm

      Yes, it was a great day out – except the queues of course, but hopefully they will improve that for next year.

  12. Natalie
    10/07/2017 / 10:49 am

    Ooh I so need to find a family festival near me! This looks so much fun!

  13. 10/07/2017 / 8:28 pm

    I love family festivals! The queues are always the worst thing though, you’re right. I feel sad for you for the loss of your £4 pints Looks like you had a great time though!

    • 11/07/2017 / 2:47 pm

      Me too! Haha – Commiseration to my pints. Thanks for popping by. x

  14. 10/07/2017 / 8:28 pm

    I loved festivals pre-baby days. I am so desperate for a reasonably priced family festival to jump out at me. This looks absolutely fab.

    • 11/07/2017 / 2:49 pm

      This is our (my) first festival ever! Do check them out for early birds tickets. x

  15. 10/07/2017 / 9:41 pm

    That sounds brilliant! I didn’t even know that this went on but it sounds like something I will be keeping an eye out for in the future. My little girl loves Paw Patrol. #fabfridaypost

    • 11/07/2017 / 2:50 pm

      Oh! My girl loves Paw Patrol too! It was like a dream come true for her. lol! x

  16. 11/07/2017 / 7:51 pm

    It’s a shame about the queues as otherwise this sounds like a perfect event. It’s lovely that everything is so child focussed, and I’ glad that you al had a lovely time. #FabFridayPost

  17. 12/07/2017 / 6:04 pm

    Wow! Looks like a great day for everyone! Ethan and Evelyn are getting so tall! I am always amazed to see their smiling faces. Great review too! Wish it was a bit closer to us! Hah! #FabFridayPost TY Su!


    • 12/07/2017 / 6:50 pm

      They have – haven’t they. Wish that you are nearer to us also then you can be on our guest list too. xx

  18. 12/07/2017 / 6:31 pm

    Now that sounds like a terrible amount of queueing. I think I would go crazy. Ethan and Evelyn must have done so well, I’m not sure mine would have the patience. Looks like the activities were fun though. I like the sound of bounce land. …FabFridayPost

    • 12/07/2017 / 6:53 pm

      I know!! Haha – well… Ethan has kept himself busy at the circus school, Evelyn on the other hand was not so patience. Oh well… hopefully, the queues will get better come next year. x

  19. 16/07/2017 / 11:35 am

    I’m glad E&E had a great time and bounceland sounds fantastic. It is good that it was more organised and that they are taking the security seriously too. I really couldn’t have done the queues with my youngest though so sounds such a shame – and that so much was missed just from queuing. #countrykids

    • 07/08/2017 / 3:58 am

      I know. It was a bit of a shame with the queuing, but everything else was great.

  20. 16/07/2017 / 2:15 pm

    Blimey, never heard of this place. Not sure if I could handle the crowds but am sure my kids would love it, esp the circus! #countrykids

  21. 17/07/2017 / 12:32 am

    This is such a good review that gives you all the pros and cons. It was a long way for you to travel so I’m glad you didn’t try to get back all in one day. On balance it looks like a great event for the kids though I know mine would have got fed up with the queues too. The things you did looked good fun and it looks like a lovely atmosphere, but retreating to Pizza at the end of a long day sounded a good call.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

    • 07/08/2017 / 4:07 am

      The kids had a good time at the festival, but because of the queuing they did get a little frustrated there. Pizza was a good & bed turnaround decision.

  22. 17/07/2017 / 10:48 pm

    Such a shame about all the queues. It does seem mad that they don’t have another face painter as those queues are always ridiculous. Thankfully N doesn’t like having his face painted so we avoid that #countrykids

  23. 19/07/2017 / 7:34 pm

    so much to do!!!!! I love it when places have loads of activities for kids, I get excited too! I love the big bounce and the princesses; that photo is gorgeous 🙂 #countrykids

    • 07/08/2017 / 4:16 am

      Yes, they have so much indeed but still they have massive queues for everything too!

  24. 14/08/2017 / 6:33 pm

    queues seem to be such a big part of most events these days. Even with the so called fast passes at some places you end up in a queue of your very own albeit a little bit shorter! I like the way you have listed the pros and cons, really good honest review. Thanks for linky up to the summer linky, really great to have you onboard:)

    • 23/08/2017 / 11:09 am

      Thanks Mainy for hosting. I really appreciated this. I’d like to keep it honest. Despite the queue mayhem, the kids had an awesome time. 🙂 xx

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