• Bringing kids? Here’s 5 tips

    Kid in a swing couldn't be happier

    Kid in a swing couldn’t be happier

    My kids (Finn, aged 7) and Meara (aged, 2) perfectly bookend the kid spectrum at Fuji Rock. Any older and he may be too cool for Gorillaz and any younger they may not be able to keep down the curry at Queen Sheeba’s. Finn went to his first EDM show years before many of you even heard of the genre, checking out (Diplo, the better half of Major Lazer) when he was just 7 months in his mama’s belly. Here’s a few tips for you to have kid-stravagant experience.

    1)Stay close to the food
    That’s right, I’m swapping frequent trips to beer tent for non-stop food stall action this year. In fact, my whole geo-location and stage traveling itinerary is gonna be based around food stuffs. Oasis is gonna rock my world, and I would say the same for World Court but it’s transforming into something else this year? Basically, I’m planning on spending most of my time in a set of camping chairs at Green Stage parked high atop the amphitheater just near the trees and the wheelchair platform. This makes it a quick trip for transporting soba noodles, sausage on a stick, etc.
    2) Tight festival schedule
    It’s no secret that children get up at the crack of dawn, probably because they don’t have a hangover to nurse, and don’t waste much of the festival getting jiggy on the fringes of the Red Marquee. If your young one is tugging on your arm just after sunrise and wanting to stretch their legs spend the first few hours of every day in nature like the creek that flows through the festival or the hour-long gondola ride up to Daydreaming or the Pyramid Stage. I’ve been told it’s best if the kids enter the festival at about 2PM and probably hang until 9pm when they’re brought back home and bedded.

    3) Priority at toilets and other areas
    One good reasons to bring your kid to the festival is the prospect of toilet privileges throughout the festival. While I can’t confirm if this is an official policy or not, I’ve been told that those guarding the toilets and other high traffic areas will wave you to the front if you have a toddler in tow. Everyone knows the pain and discomfort of standing cross-legged so this may be one inducement for bringing the kids, never mind that many of them wear nappies and a perfectly happy relieving themselves in public. Also, there’s a covered viewing area at Green Stage just for young ones, but I’ve heard that the view from there is shit, but in case of a downpour, at least you do have a place to go.

    4) Early education
    I’m hoping that exposing kids to festival life will be a life affirming moment. It will at least teach them the “do’s and don’ts” and train them when thye they are on their own in full bloom at the age of 17 at festivals like Sasquatch or Coachella or Glasto. God forbid they don’t know how to squat amidst the stank of porta potties at festivals, or how to brush off over anxious raver types late in the early morning. My goal is to teach them the “been there done that” attitude so they don’t make the same mistakes as their dear old dad.

    5) Exploring new areas
    To tell you the truth, bringing kids is a good reason to explore parts of the festival that you have never seen before. For example, I never had good reason to sit at the Stone Circle or the Café de Paris or the Gypsy Avalon NGO area. But with a gaggle of little ones at my ankles, I just may spend more time doing DIY crafts rather than the frantic block rock schedule that has been my past decade at this festival. By my estimation some 20 percent of the Fuji Rock audience doesn’t even look at the schedule, aimlessly roaming around the festival as free as a butterfly, equally turned by the prospects of busker over at the Oasis or a tasty lamb chop near the Gypsy Avalon.

    Text: Sean
    Photo by 山本希海