Funk the Family Festival 2015 – Review

Published On June 9, 2015 | By Ellie Talebian | Theatre & Arts Reviews & Previews

Hove Park
30th May 2015

Given that Funk the Family was a sell-out it may seem like a waste of a word count to discuss the cost of the event, however given that this was a HOT topic of discussion on the day and in the build-up to it, I think it’s a subject worthy of attention – I have retrospectively moved camps.

Originally quite adamant that £18.50 was a little too much for an adult ticket coupled with costs for children or the price of a family ticket. For what it was it seemed far too expensive – the cost of the event had more or less doubled since 2014. However I was basing this assumption on my experience of 2014. If I want to run around after my highly energetic son like a muppet I can do that anywhere, I don’t need to pay for the privilege – that was my experience last year and to put it bluntly that was because his age range wasn’t really catered for, there just wasn’t enough to do.

So what did Funk the Family do this year? They upped their game, big time – THANK FUNK FOR THAT.

photo 3aHaving received a very warm and accommodating welcome from the ‘Funk the Family’ crew we made our way into the festival. At this point it would have been useful to have a map or something indicating what was inclusive, and defining which children’s activities were suitable for specific age groups. By meeting what is a natural festival expectation and creating a festival mind-set from the off it might warm people to the ‘festival prices’.

After speaking with the beautiful ladies from Ooh La La who did a wonderful job of glamorously gracing the festival on sky high stilts, our first stop having promised my son a treat, was to see the very lovely Hannah of ‘Hannah makes Cakes’. Having followed her on Facebook I was keen to sample some of her cakes, they did not disappoint!

In the glorious sunshine we blissfully perused what else the festival had to offer, enjoying bumping into old and new faces; we were excited to get stuck in. With their wide smiles, gorgeous outfits and marvellous moves we couldn’t resist stopping to check out the dancers, well-rehearsed and enthusiastic they were the perfect performers to create a festival vibe.

Our next stop was the ‘Circus Pizaz’, a very impressive free activity, the compere was quick witted, engaging and had plenty of gags to keep the parents entertained. The acts were excellent, particularly the young lady who was performing hula hoop publicly for the first time – top hats off to her!

The ‘Silent Disco’ was for us, a must do activity, simple, fun, affordable, brilliant and much loved by our son.

Our last stop was the swings; our little boy loved these and left the festival with a spring in his step.

Poor planning on my part meant we had to leave to eat – we should have observed the queues and got in there earlier than we had attempted to, to ensure that our son was able to eat at his usual dinner time, because if he doesn’t …… well you know….. most parents do….

photo 4aReviews have to be based on experience and ours was a fantastic one. It was expensive all in all but, festivals are expensive – they are a ‘once in a while’ treat and this definitely was one! Additionally it helps to put price into context, it’s all relative and many other fringe festival events were priced similarly for shows which only lasted an hour – this was a WHOLE DAY!

This time around there was so much for our son to do that we didn’t get a chance to try everything, we didn’t leave feeling short changed, had a lot of fun taking part in the activities available and listening to the musical acts. I respect and admire the amount of hard work that goes into organising events and working with children –it’s no mean feat and involves hard work! There wasn’t enough to do last year but clearly it was just a warm up session, a dry run for this year’s extravaganza.

Moving forward, I hope to see Funk the Family build on this year’s success and respond to customer needs. Parents of babies want something to do with their little ones too and more activities geared around much younger children would be well received, additionally I would like to see more inclusive activities which cater for children of all abilities to make sure the event is accessible for lots of families.

I am positive that given the elevated experience this year they will do just that and look forward to it becoming a permanent annual feature in the city, which grows each year.

About The Writer

Brighton born and bred Ellie is passionate about all things creative and musical in the city! Mother of one and student at the University of Brighton, Ellie takes on an active role with children in the community co leading a local Woodcraft Folk Group and running a pre-school creative art club. She also writes as a freelance music journalist for BN1 Magazine and presents Noise Reel on LatestTV, providing a platform for up and coming local musicians.