Family festival provided the right mix of magic and music
Underneath the Stars festival provides just the right mix of entertainment to keep all the family amused.
We spent most of the daytimes taking advantage of the free crafts and circus skills. My daughter, who is six, absolutely loved balancing plates, practicing the diabolo and hula hoop, chasing the giant bubbles and getting to grips - somewhat unsuccessfully - with a unicycle at the Panic Family Circus tent. The regular workshops there provided additional amusement, while in the crafty kids tent, she painted rocks, decorated a teatowel and tote bag, and got stuck into painting and play dough.
There was also a range of crafts aimed at older children in a second tent - something for all the family.
The wide range of music - which provided the entertainment for me, and all the other adults - was absolutely top notch.
The lovely weather meant we listened to most of it outside the marquee tents, but there was plenty of room inside if the rain had arrived.
The highlights, for me, were Kate Rusby, the Yves Lambert Trio and Lau.
My daughter loved seeing the younger stars of the Barnsley Youth Choir, who really were a credit to their parents. We also enjoyed Amythyst Kiah - not my usual style of music, but fantastic nonetheless - Fat Suit and Kizzy Crawford.
There was a fabulous range of tasty food stalls, and the £1 plastic pint deposit at the bar meant the fields stayed relatively free of rubbish - unlike other festivals - while helping the environment. Another thing that must be mentioned were the toilets - always spotless and well-stocked.
The venue moved this year to Cinderhill Farm, still in Cawthorne. There seemed to be more space in the camping fields and in the arena. I often find a move or expansion leads to organisers getting too big for their boots, but this festival seems to have stayed true to its roots.
Keep an eye out at underthestarsfest.co.uk for details about next year’s festival. You won’t be disappointed.