This weekend we headed to Grillstock, a two day festival located at Bristol’s harbourside. The festival is mostly about meat, but also music. We decided to go on the Saturday and it was to be Wilf’s first festival experience!
The site is open from 11am till midnight and as we had a baby we planned to get there early to 1. Get parking as close as possible and 2. Avoid a late night. We arrived before midday and left just before 7pm. However we also went off site a couple of times to do baby changes and feeds and also meet up with a friend in Bristol for a drink before heading back in to meet other friends who were arriving later. I would say from a family perspective (roughly translated to mean ‘without drinking’) this was more than enough time on site.
These pictures show the crowds at around 1pm which was quite a nice amount of people, especially when negotiating a pram, but also when finding somewhere to sit down. This was one drawback, lack of seating, which for a festival based around eating, isn’t great. The whole site seemed crammed by about 2-3pm with no room to find a space to even stand without being in someones path, let alone sit down! They really need to either make the site bigger next year or reduce ticket sales as it was just too cramped, even forgetting the pram/baby situation. I think attendee numbers were also evident when my friend had to wait 45 minutes whilst they cleaned/restocked all the toilets, not great…
There was a lot of choice for food, as you would expect! Near the entrance were all the competition entrants and further in, mainly near to / around the amphitheatre were all the stalls to buy food and drink. We tried a few savoury burgers and the like. My favourite being the brisket burger (above) which melted in the mouth and came with cruncy slaw which worked perfectly together.
Dunc tried some ice cream, going for the not-so classic two scoop combo of beef flavoured ice cream on top with a maple and pecan scoop below. It was certainly different! I spied the churros stand fairly early on and by early afternoon decided it was time to devour some.
They were delicious, I haven’t had churros in years and these tasted so good, they also came with some beautiful melted chocolate. At £4 they were also very reasonable, especially considering that most of the food was priced around £8-9.
We saw one eating competition (before the crowds got too busy) which was quite fun to watch. It was the spicy chicken wings contest and the winner was the quickest to eat 25. Worryingly it didn’t take too long before a winner was crowned!
All in all we had a lovely day. The sun shone and we caught up with friends. However we won’t be heading back next year. We just didn’t feel we got value of money for the price of the tickets (almost £70 for two). Add onto that £12 for car parking and the cost of eating / drinking on site it was an expensive day out.
From a family perspective it was great to see other families there, but they did dwindle off before the evening set in. Wilf had ear defenders which were perfect and helped him sleep through most of the festival. Although I did feed him once on site when we managed to find a small bit of ground to perch on, we really had to go off site to feed and change him as it just wasn’t practicle enough on site, especially by the time it got busy. I have to say the festival goers were all polite and helped us wheel our way around the site and Wilf was a hit for sure!
Have you ever been to Grillstock? What did you make of it? Can you recommend any family friendly festivals in the South West?
Thanks for reading!