Kaleidoscope: new three-day family friendly festival announced

Musicians and DJs to feature along with nine stages dedicated to ‘spoken word and inspiration’ aimed at family and friends

Kaleidoscope organiser Richard Seabrooke says the festival addresses many of the “pinch points” associated with bringing children to festivals. File photograph: Simon Lazewski

Kaleidoscope organiser Richard Seabrooke says the festival addresses many of the “pinch points” associated with bringing children to festivals. File photograph: Simon Lazewski

 

Electric Picnic organisers have announced details of a new family-friendly music and arts festival.

Kaleidoscope is billed as a three-day camping festival aimed at family and friends. The festival will take place in the surrounds of Russborough House in Blessington, Co Wicklow, from Friday June 28th to Sunday June 30th.

Loosely inspired by Little Picnic, the child-friendly area of Electric Picnic, this new festival will have family campsites and a programme designed to appeal to children, teenagers and grown-ups.

While the lineup has yet to be announced, there will be six stages featuring international and Irish musicians and DJs as well as nine stages dedicated to “spoken word, workshops and inspiration”.

Moreover, there will be a host of wholesome family activities for attendees to partake in. Think talks, nature walks, urban sports, vintage carnivals, creative workshops, food areas, and more.

Richard Seabrooke is the festival’s creative director. A father-of-two, Seabrooke is a festival and events veteran. While most music and arts festivals have a family-friendly element, Seabrooke says he wanted to create a festival that was aimed squarely at families with quality programming aimed at all age groups.

“It’s giving permission to parents to pack up the car and come camp for three days with us and enjoy all the trappings of a music and arts festival, but also know they can bring their kids to a safe, secure site,” he says.

The programming is geared towards five distinct age groups up to four year of age, five to eight year, nine to 12 years, 13 to 16 and their families. Much of the festival is aimed at “unlocking the creativity and potential within kids” and “setting their minds alight”.

Seabrooke says the festival addresses many of the “pinch points” associated with bringing children to festivals. For instance, there will be a communal breakfast to ease punters into the day while the rest of the programming will be staggered throughout the day to prevent energy levels peaking too early.

“If a child knows there’s a carnival open at six o’clock in the morning, goddamnit they’ll be there,” he jokes. “I am really conscious that I don’t want mum or dad to be withered by 6pm,” says Seabrooke.

Families needing a break from the festival will be able to escape the site and walk the Blessington Greenway. There will also be events catered especially towards children with special needs and autism. It’s all about making the experience as “manageable and pressure-less” as possible, says Seabrooke.

Details of lineup, ticketing and capacity will be announced in the coming weeks, but Seabrooke is keen to emphasise that the festival isn’t just for children or even necessarily parents.

“This isn’t a kiddie festival,” says Seabrooke. “It’s not a children’s programming event that is very much tailored to them and not their parents. It’s the opposite. This is a music and arts festival for everyone.”

“It’s kind of like when school breaks and everyone escapes to the Algarve. This is the Irish version of that. It just happens to be in a field for a weekend.”

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