With your children to a festival: previously impossible, now even hip

Many festivals nowadays focus on a new target group: families. NU.nl talks to a trend researcher about this phenomenon and the organizer of the festival that has embraced the youngest youth from the very beginning. "We do not see children as a piece of cake."


Many festivals nowadays focus on a new target group: families. NU.nl talks to a trend researcher about this phenomenon and the organizer of the festival that has embraced the youngest youth from the very beginning. "We do not see children as a piece of cake."

Go to a hip festival with your children. Previously unthinkable, but in recent years more and more organizers are taking advantage of the growing number of parents, whose festival blood is still flowing through the veins. So a weekend of partying with the koters, who in the meantime can develop their love for music and culture at a young age.

Tessa aan de Stegge is a travel and leisure trend researcher. She does understand why the market for cultural family outings is getting bigger.

Festivals for families

  • Kwaku Festival, Amsterdam. From July 13
  • Summer parties, Nijmegen. From July 13
  • Ghent festivals, Ghent. From July 21
  • Sfinks, between Antwerp and Lier. From July 25
  • WonderWeekend, Meise. 15 to 17 August
  • Into The Great Wide Open, Vlieland. August 29 to September 1
  • Kids @ thepark, Hengelo. August 31 to September 1
  • Hembrug Happening festival, between the Zaan and the North Sea Canal. 1st of September

At a festival you are a child again

"In my view, festivals are largely about 'being a child again'," she explains. "Playing, dancing, dressing up, acting crazy, meeting new people. It's not surprising that children are increasingly welcome there."

In addition, she thinks that the current generation of young parents have grown up with the love of festivals themselves.

"The festival scene has now been booming for ten years," she explains. "So it makes sense that those who were fervent festival goers at the start of this period now have children, but still want to keep going to their favorite festivals. For that group it is a result that they can take their children with them. "

The trend researcher believes that the adventurous lifestyle of the millennial generation also plays a major role in this.

Kind tinkers on Into The Great Wide Open. (Photo: David van Dartel)

Continue to experience the feeling of freedom

"Many of them have seen the world as a playground for years and want to keep that feeling. You see that in the travel world too. People who used to go backpacking now go on a motorhome trip. So as young parents they want the feeling of freedom. continue to experience and the festivals are now responding to this. "

According to Aan de Stegge, the festival visit to this group of millennials sometimes even takes the place of the summer holidays. One more reason to take the children with you.

Festivals in the place of summer vacation

"Multi-day festivals are experienced as a mini vacation," she says. "And so more and more couples are choosing to visit multiple festivals instead of a trip to an all-inclusive resort or camping holiday abroad. After all, at a festival you have a good combination of fun and relaxation, especially if the children are involved special 'areas' are collected and entertained. "

Ferry Roseboom is one of the organizers of such a child-friendly festival. 'His' Into The Great Wide Open on Vlieland has been a place where children are more than welcome since the first edition in 2009.

"It was during the period that many of us got cutters ourselves and thought: everyone should be able to attend a festival. We only immediately made it clear that we are not responsible for the children's well-being, but that we mainly offer the opportunity to be challenged and discovered. "

At Into The Great Wide Open, therefore, no refined creche, but creative workshops in many shapes and sizes.

Children's art at Into The Great Wide Open. (Photo: Sabine Rovers)

Learning from the children

"For example, the children can make a newspaper with us, take pictures, explore the mudflats and travel with the forester through the woods and across the island. To reach the slightly older children, we have a group of twelve with 'the youth' set up a think tank, with which we spar throughout the year and from which we learn a lot as an organization that we could not think of ourselves. "

Roseboom thinks that a weekend festival can act as an accessible coaching program for the children.

"We certainly don't see children as a piece of cake. Of course you can also give them an iPad and leave them in the tent on the campsite, but I don't think children will be happier about this. They want to make things or break them down and we offer them the opportunity to do so at the festival, together with their parents. "

ref: nunl