This coming weekend Blackpool Cricket Club opens its doors to one of the best family lead, music festivals in the UK. The hugely popular Alfresco runs every year and is one of the only child friendly festivals in the UK, with hundreds of families travelling from all over the UK to experience a weekend of fun activities and great music. This year’s festival is set to be bigger than ever so we thought we’d get in touch with the wonderful Mark Davis, the man behind Alfresco, to learn more about what the festival means to him. Here is what he had to say;
1. What inspired you to start Alfresco?
“There aren’t many festivals that cater to both adults and children. I’ve taken my children to other festivals and they got bored quite quickly with nothing much for kids to do. If you’re lucky there’ll be a fairground ride for £2 or £3! At Alfresco we don’t have any fairground rides, focusing instead on crafts and activities for kids. Once the gates are closed Alfresco becomes essentially a giant playground, where kids can run around and play, let loose, and parents can relax and enjoy themselves knowing that their children are safe and happy as everything is fully supervised.”
2. There's under a week to go before the gates open. Is everything on schedule?
“Everything’s working to schedule, so it’s looking good. We’ve sold 2,000 tickets so far and we should sell another 1,000 before the gates open on Sunday. There’s actually a cricket match on the grounds the day before the festival, so we can’t set anything up until the match is over. We’ve got a quick turnaround – we have 36 hours to set everything up, enjoy the festival and take everything down again! We’re hoping the weather’s going to be good at the weekend. I’d rather get the bad weather out the way now and have nice weather for the weekend!”
3. What does the festival mean to you?
“With Alfresco, my aim is to get an equal measure of enjoyment for both kids and parents. Create a day where kids and adults alike can have a great day! It’s only one day and although there is camping available, at the end of the day the majority of people will be going to a hotel or going home so it takes the stress out of an enjoyable time! We try to make Alfresco completely affordable for all. Kids from a low income family may sometimes have to watch other kids doing things, rather than doing it themselves too. This isn’t what we want at Alfresco. We want everyone to get involved and have a good time. We do also cater for adults with no children, there’s something for everyone here! We’d like Alfresco to be known as an event in Blackpool and not just a ‘Blackpool event’.”
4. Your favourite festival?
“I like Electric Elephant festival in Croatia. I also like Festival No 6, I was lucky enough to DJ there last year! I tend to like the underground music festivals; where we all go as music lovers. I don’t like the mud you inevitably get at mainstream festivals!”
5. Do you have kids yourself? How many?
“Two boys aged ten and eleven”
6. What is your ideal holiday as a family?
“Holidays as a family for us have progressed over the years. We go to London a lot now. The boys love seeing all the famous sights, Big Ben, the museums and so on. It’s great because there’s such a mixture of things to do. We can spend a few days splashing out on events and attractions, and then have a few days just seeing the sights or spending time at the skatepark which the boys love! Even going on the tube is an adventure for them. We’ve had a beach holiday in Bournemouth as well, but we love visiting London. We like to stay in the UK as there’s a lot to do without going too far.”
7. Perfect day out with your kids?
“As above really, I love to have an exciting day out with my kids, seeing them mesmerized by the sights. It’s so important for the whole family to enjoy and have a good time. I don’t really like theme parks and the like, they’re such busy environments. You spend the whole time following your kids around, worrying that they’re safe, and you end up having a bad time as parents.”
8. Your favourite childhood activity as a kid?
“Coming from Blackpool, I used to love spending days at the beach. I was also a football mad kid, so a day on the beach playing football was a perfect day for me!”
9. Your favourite holiday as a kid?
“Being a kid of the 70’s I enjoyed Benidorm!”
To view more of our child friendly festivals please visit our events page.