My requirements from a festival have changed somewhat in recent years.
In the earlier days of the relaunched Isle of Wight Festival I was happy spending three days staring at the Main Stage.
Nowadays, I much prefer pottering about, wandering from big tent to big tent. It's partly because I'm less obsessive about seeing certain bands (as I'm a bit less up to date with music) but this year it was mostly because I was attempting the Festival with our four year old for the first time.
I decided to keep it simple yesterday with a few hours on site in the afternoon before taking her back home to bed and then returning in the evening thanks to willing babysitters.
Her previous closest experience was a funfair in a park so she was slightly amazed at the scale.
Whereas previously we would have focused our day around getting a prime position for a particular band, yesterday our schedule was based around Milkshake Live. For those without children (or those with Netflix), Milkshake is Channel 5's preschool TV with grinning presenters who introduce Peppa Pig episodes and sing songs about chickens or telling the time. It's similar to CBeebies but the Milkshake presenters seem to be trapped inside a medium sized wardrobe.
And so we enjoyed a couple of hours wandering around, watching fairground rides (but not going on, she wasn't keen), standing in front of Minions and doing a bit of painting in the Kidzone.
We did manage a few minutes at the Main Stage with my daughter eating a picnic whilst Jack Savoretti played. His set was punctuated with the phrase "how long until Milkshake?" but it was otherwise enjoyable.
Milkshake Live finally arrived and thankfully was a success, otherwise I fear the mood in our party could have turned.
I spent much of today explaining how the presenters are able to get into our TV each morning, whilst also existing as real people.
Anyway, after a slightly protracted bedtime we returned to the site and headed for the ferris wheel which was well worth the £5 (somewhat better value than a £5 Slush Puppie I felt). I'm not exactly sure why the owners of the wheel insist on blasting out deafening dance music when they are within earshot of the Main Stage, but I endured it for the sake of the view.
For me, the main event of the weekend was Arcade Fire, who were suitably brilliant with bass which I suspect prompted a couple of minor landslides in the South Wight overnight.
A proportion of the crowd found them a bit left field and chose to wander off to a burrito stand or the British Airways bar but that's what I love about big festivals - if you don't like something, there are seven other things happening at the same time.
We got back home just before one, exactly an hour before my daughter called for me because she'd lost her dolly or couldn't remember how to spell pink or something equally necessary at 2am.
My conclusion? Sure, it's not quite as care free as it was when we wandered the Festival without children but you couldn't ask for more from organisers who lay on hours of preschool entertainment. These kind of things don't go on the adverts on the backs of the buses but they obviously cost a lot to put on and they are the headline acts for a 4 year old.
In a way it's nice to visit parts of the Festival which I walked past without a thought in previous years. We'll certainly be back and I'll have learned the words to the Milkshake songs by then.
Isle of Wight Guru's Blog