How was the brief met? This year was the event’s first in the capital, having outgrown its original home at Clissold Park in Stoke Newington. A total of 25,000 people descended on Regents Park over the three days, each being handed a detailed map of all the activity areas and a timetable of performances on entering.
The live performance stages were a hit, with appearances from children’s TV characters such as the Zingzillas, The Bopps and Waybuloo. H&M organised music and dance workshops in its Itsy Bitsy Strictly space, with a programme that included street dance, zumba and cheerleading, while the Minimission tent featured a baby disco and mummy and daddy dance-offs.
Creativity was actively encouraged. A marquee in the centre of the site housed a workshop where children could paint, make puppets, and just get messy. Several imagination stations dotted around the site gave kids a chance to make their own pizzas, create badges and take part in experiments with the Science Museum.
Sport was a key theme, with a Lolliskills area hosting Tottenham Hotspur Football School, a separate trapeze workshop, a swingball area and go-karts. Well-known kiddy brands like Robinsons Fruit Shoot and Organix had a presence, hosting their own activities to draw in crowds.
For a more relaxed vibe visitors headed for the Enchanted Forest with its interactive storytelling area with readings from The Fly and Puffin by Peter Horacek and Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Terrible Secret.
A dedicated meet and greet area gave young fans the chance to come face to face with their favourite TV characters like Peppa Pig, Bob the Builder and Ben and Holly.
Food and drink was available at various stalls with organic baby food manufacturer Organix using the opportunity to promote its new Mighty Meals product for toddlers. Its exhibition stand had a wooden vegetable puzzle table for children to play with while parents could purchase food and find out more about Organix products.
What was good? Despite it being a festival for kids, it was clear organisers had thought about the adults too – an Adult Crèche served Pimms, beer, and champagne.
What was bad? For popular acts like Rastamouse and Da Easy Crew it did get packed quickly, and at times was uncomfortably hot. The rain on the last day also meant the festival was a washout for two hours, with visitors diving for cover and having to huddle into the small covered areas.
On the Spot
Mandy Janes, director of experiential marketing, Continental Drifts
What were the biggest challenges?
As the majority of our audience is under ten years old we do face many challenges that other events don’t. These include careful planning for all types of weather from shade from the sun to rain cover. We also have a very strict entrance policy where no lone adults can enter the event and a wristband procedure where parents are encouraged to write their phone numbers on their wristbands to avoid lots of lost children. Criminal records are checked for all staff running activities, and we ensured there was something on offer for everyone.
Ticket prices caused us a lot of controversy [prices were from £18 per person for children over one year old and adults]. We thought about many different options but finally decided it would be best to charge a higher entrance fee and then have all activities within the festival for free.
What would you do differently next time?
We would change some of the programming to ensure we don’t have so many queues. Next year we are going to introduce more open activities that people don’t need to queue for. We will be overhauling all our entertainment as well.
What did the event achieve?
We felt the event was really well received and attracted 25,000 visitors across the three days. We feel we have opened up the festival market to a brand new audience. People who were nervous of taking children to a festival felt safe to bring them to Lollibop.
Eleanor Tinsor, primary school teacher
What was good? There was a lot to do, and it was well laid out. We especially liked the ‘Lollibooks’ storytelling area, the disco in the ‘Minimission’ tent and meeting the characters like Peppa Pig, as well as face painting and the Fairy and Wizard School.
What was bad? The weather as we didn’t expect it to rain so hard today.
How did you hear about the event? We were guests of my sister-in-law who works for Heart FM, who organised the sand pit area.
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