Fun for all the Family at Stendhal Festival

Stendhal Festival is Northern Ireland’s biggest and best grass-roots music and arts festival.
With over 100 performances from the likes of Ash, The Magic Numbers, Sharon Shannon and Lisa McHugh taking place over August 11 and 12 at Ballymully Cottage Farm, Limavady, there is certainly plenty of musical variety but did you know that the festival also has a dedicated family programme that caters to children and families of all ages?

Such is the focus on the family aspect of the festival, Stendhal has won awards naming it Ireland’s Best Family Festival over the years and organisers of the event are keen to improve the family and children’s entertainment offerings each and every year.

This year families can enjoy; Drumming Workshops, Storytelling, puppet shows, dance workshops, mini boat making workshops, clay modelling, bush craft workshops, arts and craft workshops, laughing yoga, a sensory tent, Circus skills performances, big bubble making and loads more.

Organiser Ross Parkhill explained: “The family element to the festival is hugely important for us. We want to provide an incredibly safe space for youngsters to not only enjoy the specific entertainment put on for them, but to also discover a wider world of music and the arts.

“We believe that introducing children to the arts at a young age can help sow the seeds of innovation in future generations and it’s always great to see families enjoying the event, that’s why our family ticket is priced in such a way as to make Stendhal a really affordable option for families.”

The family programme this year will include two dedicated family tents, one for creative workshops and one for performances, while there will also be family themed acts taking to the other stages around the festival site as well.

One of the family tents, the Discovery play tent, is brought to you by The Dry Arch Children’s Centre, a Limavady based day care facility which this year is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
Stephen Lowry of the centre spoke of how proud they were to be coming back to Stendhal.

“The Dry Arch Children’s Centre is really excited to be part of the Stendhal Festival this year for the second time to add our very own spin to the family experience,” he said.
“Our ‘Discovery Play Tent’ will be bigger and better this year and will have loads of fun play activities for young children; encouraging them to learn through play; creating, investigating, exploring and most importantly have fun.”

He added: “The Dry Arch Children’s Centre is proudly celebrating its 20th anniversary supporting families. Some of our day-to-day activities include day care, SureStart programmes, youth and family support services and community events. We have a lot more information on what we do and what’s on at the Dry Arch on our website”

Family programme includes;

Artsekta presents their Bollywood dance workshop and Chinese lion Dancer. Watch in awe as these interactive performances captivate the young and the old.
Like big Bubbles? Look out for the Bubble Trouble Collective at Stendhal 2017! Fun for all the family, they’re guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face.

Community Tribal Drummers family drum percussion and song. These workshops are mood enhancing, encourage self-expression, bonding and creativity as well as making in the moment music! These workshops encourage camaraderie and are fun for all the family.

Like creating, making and all things arty? Krafty Kidz offer a wide range of arts & crafts activities and projects to suit groups of children and young people of all ages and abilities. Kids of all ages can have fun creating their very own masterpieces.

Doodlebugs make weird and wonderful creations from recycled or everyday objects.
Inspirational, unique, funky and fresh, why not be inspired and see what we can achieve through creation?
Doodlebugs provide creative experience, promote community involvement, enhance environmental awareness, and encourage group work, increase confidence and initiative. Extend your creative experiences beyond the workshop encounter, raise awareness of the arts and their various forms.

Fi Flo is a well-established hoop performer having worked at Vantastival Festival two years running and as a coordinator and facilitator at the Bilbao circus camp in the Basque Country in 2016.
She has also been involved in many community events and fundraisers around Northern Ireland.
She really enjoys watching the joy that children and adults get from her teachings and spreading the word of how much fun Hula Hooping is.
Hula Hooping is an amazing creative outlet that invites people to just let go of stress and worries, not to mention all the good endorphins from all that exercise.

Phoenix Forest School
Ever wondered about what happens at a forest school? Come join Lucy O’Hagan from Phoenix Forest School and find out. There will be woodland crafts & nature-inspired games for young ones to weave in and out of. Find her in the woodland at this year’s Stendhal Festival.
And for adults ‘Wild Fire’ @ Annan’s Arch
For anyone that’s ever wanted to have a go at creating fire using the timeless bow drill friction fire method- this is for you! Creating fire without matches is a truly inspiring thing to do and touches a primal note within each of us. This workshop will be led by Lucy O’Hagan of Phoenix Forest School/Wild Awake.

In Your Space Circus Presents:
Carnival of Colours (on the road…)

Come along to our beautiful Big Top Tent to see some jaw-dropping shows, meet our madcap characters and maybe even try your hand at a bit of Circus.

Jumping Clay visits Stendhal Festival 2017 for the Ultimate FUN MESS FREE Family Workshop.
They will be running mini make and take workshops on Saturday 12th of August.
The clay is really cool it’s colourful and mixes like paint its completely mess free and air dries so you can treasure your creation forever.
The workshops are really cool, fun and everyone will be guided step by step, supported and encouraged. You will love it.

Lily’s Driftwood Bay is the multi-award winning pre-school mixed-media animation from Belfast production company Sixteen South.
Join the Driftwood Bay Band as they live score some of season one and two’s favourite episodes, as well as playing sing-a-long versions of the show’s most memorable songs.

My Fathers Chair
A performance for young audiences and their families about the nature of fatherhood.
What is it like to have a Dad? What’s it like to be a Dad?
What makes the relationship between Dads and children unique and special?
A funny and heart-warming show for young audiences.

The Sunshine Project is Northern Ireland’s very first dedicated Laughter Wellness business and has grown organically to be the largest leading expert in laughter & happiness practices. They have a range of positive programmes specifically designed to empower adults and children with the positive tools to manage the stress and understand their emotions, whilst promoting confidence, self-esteem, peace & calmness. The positive programmes explore a wide range of Mindfulness Based Practises, Laughter Yoga & Creative Play and Positive Thinking.