I had heard a lot about Lollibop 2013 by the time I arrived in Stratford Sunday morning, and to be honest not all of it was good. Long queues, too many people and limited resources in some of the tents.
I was nervous to say the least, especially as we had friends attending with us on the back of our glowing recommendation from lillibop 2012, but I was detemided to aprroch the day with an open mind.
We got to the Olympic Park (after a 30 min walk from Stratford) and entered the areas fairly quickly. The rumors of it being packed were true, but we still managed to do most of the bits we wanted without too much waiting around.
Orlaith loved the Duplo area (she would have quite happily stayed here all day, and Scarlett felt the same about the Baby Annabel tent.
Looking round at the activities on offer, I couldnt help but think it was all a little to forced and commerical. I felt like I was being told how to have fun, there wasn’t really much on offer for the children to just explore and enjoy in a way that they wish. Thats’ what festivals are all about to me, freedom and creativeness, and I felt that Lollibop was missing that. It was much more of a giant fair than a festival.
That said we still did have a wonderful day, The Heartlands and LolliProm were the saving grace of the festival. Areas where you could relax (away from the crowds) with a picnic and listen to the crazy DJs from Ready Sheddy Disco.
Here we played musical statues, sack races and the biggest pass-the-parcel I have ever seen. It was real relaxed fun. It was in this arena that I began to feel like I was at a festival.
Would I go back to Lollibop next year? Probably yes. I still remember how great it was in 2012, and I hope once the feedback has been received and the teething problems ironed out from its first year at The Olympic Park, Lollibop 2014 will see this Big Bash for Little People return to its former glory.
Disclaimer – We were given a family pass for the festival, views expressed are all my own