Just So Festival is an annual festival for children and their families set in the sprawling landscape of Rode Hall, Cheshire (near Congleton). Imagine a farmland that’s been bewitched by Roald Dahl and Lewis Carroll, decorated by Cath Kidston and soundtracked by Kate Rusby, Fats Domino and the Muppets and you’re halfway there.

Just So Festival. Photo by Chris Payne. It combines theatre, live music, craft, clowning, storytelling, dance, food, film and magic to create a wonderful celebration of childhood and imagination. Last year we enjoyed a midnight feast, pillow fights, mushroom-making and stone balancing. There were nature trails, art installations, circus skills and even pirate and cowboy training. We bounced about to ska with beers in our hands (the grown-ups are looked after here too – don’t you worry about that), watched jugglers and conjurers, guzzled ice-cream, ate pizzas, watched cartoons, munched too many Swizzels and stayed up way past our bedtime. That’s not to mention the wild rumpus at the culmination of the weekend: a final gathering of the six tribes we had all chosen to align ourselves with over the weekend  (Owls, Fish, Stags, Foxes, Frogs and Lions) creating a glorious tumult of cheering, chanting, banging, crashing and ringing. The Owls won last year but the FOXES will triumph this year, mark my words…

ALL of this is happening again next weekend (August 15-17) and incredibly there are still a few tickets left (some for the whole weekend and a few Sunday tickets too). The festival caters for tiddlers, older children and big grown-up kids in equal measure. If you don’t believe me, just watch here.

Just So Festival. Photo by Chris Payne. Preview and images by Chris Payne

For more information about the Just So Festival, follow this link: www.justsofestival.org.uk