Total Bristol Review by Mama Massive
Nestled in the heart of the Somerset countryside (a mere 20 miles from the site of the legendary Glastonbury festival), on the beautiful Dillington Estate in Ilminster… on a bank holiday May weekend… you will find Shindig Festival!
An annual festival that has quickly become a favourite with a wide array of festival fans for a multitude of reasons. This year, I was invited down for the weekend to experience the magic and wonder for myself. (Shindig was recommended by the Glasto festival organisers themselves this summer… so I had high expectations)
Here is our rundown – let’s go!
A Diverse Lineup:
One of the biggest draws of Shindig Festival is its diverse and vibrant musical lineup. Whether you’re a fan of funk, soul, reggae, hip-hop, or electro music, Shindig has it all and 2023 was no exception. We saw headliner Sister Sledge take the stage of The Dig Inn on saturday night and fill the air with some utterly iconic disco funk hits, DJ Yoda also made an appearance for a classic hip hop set. We also saw Norman Jay MBE, Dutty Moonshine and also some side splitting comedy sets from the likes of Jonathan Pie and others.
There are several tented stage areas throughout the festival including The Dig Inn, Tutti Frutti, Church of Love and Ghetto Funk Nightclub. All offer a wide variety of vibes and sounds to ensure you are dancing away from dawn till dusk. The music tends to kick off around noon and last till around 3.30am each day.
Camping, accommodation and accessibility:
Part of the fun of a festival is the camping experience and frankly, it can make or break the whole weekend. Luckily there is a wide range of accommodation options to suit any taste or budget. Pitch up your own tent and live out your camping dream (there are standard camping areas but also family specific ones) or rock up in a campervan, the choice is yours. If you want more of a luxe experience, you can hire ready pitched yurts and bell tents or the even more boojie airstreams for a fully five star experience.
Camping not your thing? There are also 40 rooms to choose from in the stunning Dillington house where you can experience the fun of the festival on your doorstep but also the luxury of going back to an opulent hotel room.
Regardless of where you decide to lay your head over the weekend, there are some really well looked after conveniences for all such as power showers, corner shops and shockingly clean toilets (for a festival).
There are lots of bars, shade, benches and places to chill out around the whole site. It’s busy but doesn’t feel over crowded and even if you have to wait in line for something, you won’t be waiting long (there is nothing worse than an age for a drink or a wee at a festival and end up missing your favourite band or dj).
Everything is super clean, tidy, well presented and maintained throughout the festival (the toilets always had toilet roll… amazing!) The Shindig motto is “leave no trace” and you can see that eco-friendly theme throughout the festival in every element, being very mindful of the environment and mother nature in every aspect.
Shindig Festival is the perfect haven for festival loving families, making it an ideal choice for parents who want to enjoy a full festival experience. The festival offers a massive dedicated kids’ Kingdom filled with exciting activities and workshops designed to keep all ages entertained throughout the weekend. From face painting to arts and crafts, climbing walls, breakdancing sessions, storytelling, puppet shows, circus skills workshops, a flea circus and the ever popular Feminist mouse circus… everyone of all ages are catered for.
Nothing is very far from everything else so it was good for little legs to keep up with the adults but also people were very mindful when kids were around (something you don’t find at all festivals) and all the staff are super friendly, chatty and engaging with the kids. It’s lovely to see.
What makes Shindig an ever sweeter deal for families is that kids under the age of 12 get into the festival for free!
Something for the foodies:
No festival experience is complete without some solid food and drink, and Shindig more than delivers on that front as well. There is a wide array of cuisines on offer ranging from gourmet street food, hand stretched pizzas and even locally brewed Kombucha. You will find that most dietary requirements, preferences and tastes are catered for. This year also saw local brewery Butcombe take ownership of the beer pumps as the sole beer supplier for the festival (it’s all brewed less than 20 miles away).
To festival or not to festival:
Shindig simply, is a festival for everyone. Whether you’re a music lover looking to dance the night away, a parent looking for a fun-filled family adventure, or simply someone seeking a relaxed and enjoyable festival experience, Shindig Festival is the perfect destination for you.
The incredibly friendly, relaxed and magical atmosphere is infectious and frankly, we have never come across so many friendly, welcoming people in our lives. It’s like being at a festival with thousands of friends as you walk past, all saying hello to you!
2024 looks to be their biggest and best year yet as they celebrate their 10th birthday. It’s taking place 23-26 May and tickets are already on sale (and flying out the door as you would expect) at www.shindigfestival.co.uk
Written by Mama Massive
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