Reviewed by Ann Durrell
On 1st June I headed down to Manchester Rugby Club in Cheadle Hulme For Cheshire Fest 2019. The festival was launched in 2016 and this year’s festival has three times more space than in 2017. There are three stages – the main stage boasting 20 hours of live music over the two days, kids and acoustic stages, foodie village, beer tents and bars, play park and festival market.
I opted to get a lift to the festival and met my friend at the rugby club at 1pm, doors opened at 12. When I arrived the parking at the rugby club was already full, but there was ample space 100m down the road at a cost of £5 per car. Walking down to the main gates there were plenty of helpful security and event staff. There was no queue and after a quick bag check we were in.
The first thing that struck me was how much there seemed there was to do! Next to the entry was the play park, with fairground rides for big and little kids, trampolines, bumper cars, battle zorbs to mention a few. We decided to have a walk around first, Beauty and the Beast were enchanting a crowd of youngsters on the kids stage, further along the main and acoustic stage were setting up to start at 2 so we had a peak along the Foodie Village. The choice of food looked fantastic, Thai, Pizza, Pancakes, Churros, Fudge, Noodles, Wraps, Hog Roast there was something for everyone. Before we could decide on lunch we were outvoted kids to adults that it was time to try out the rides.
First, we tried out the Helter Skelter (£2.50 a go). Under 6’s had to be accompanied by an adult which meant I had to join in the fun. I was impressed with the health and safety, to avoid friction burns everyone had to cover up bare skin, to prevent tears, the organisers had spare clothes to lend. Next on the hit list was the bouncy castle with slide (£3 for 6 mins). Next door to the bouncy castle was a Total Wipe Out style wrecking ball inflatable that some teenagers were having a go on. Each were stood on a podium trying to knock each other off and having loads of fun in the process. After ours were finished we headed back over for food.
We decided on Wood Fired Pizza, a Margarita and Fungi £6.50-£7.50, there was no queue and we had our food within 10 minutes. There was plenty of canteen style benches by beer tents and bars to eat at. We grabbed a coffee from the horsebox, my friend was particularly impressed that she could get a coffee with oat milk. Whilst we were eating we got a chance to listen to some of the acoustic stage which sounded great.
The pizzas were amazing, general agreement was that they were the best pizza in the world ever, they certainly were demolished in no time! After pizza the lady from the fudge stall let us try some flavours which were delicious so we had to buy some. We opted for three slices of the Malteaser fudge, topped with chocolate and cut into huge cake slices for £10. Obviously after pizza and fudge the next stop is ice cream. Totally Tina was on the Main Stage so we got our Mr Whippy and sat to watch her for a while. Totally Tina is a Tina Turner tribute and was brilliant, complete with backing dancers it was an impressive performance.
After lunch we headed back for more rides, most were £2.50 however some of the rides for younger children were £2. One of the days favourite activities for our boys (4 years old) was the inflatable assault course £3 for two goes. There were also inflatable bumper cars and zorbs which we didn’t get a chance to try out. It did get a quite expensive with all the rides. It would be good if you buy tokens up front. After the money for rides ran out we headed over to the kids stage.
We managed to catch some of the Voice Kids singers earlier in the day and they were superb. When we got to the stage everyone was dancing to Superman. After a couple of dances Amy’s Bollywood dancers took to the stage, first the kids, then the adults, it was brilliant, everyone really enjoyed the traditional dancing and costumes. After they had finished there were some very special guests all the way from America, The Hulk and Captain America who posed for photos with lots of very excited girls and boys.
We spent 4 hours at the festival and we had immense fun, we could have stayed much longer. The event is well organised and the area well laid out. All of the event staff and security we spoke to were extremely pleasant and helpful. With early bird day tickets starting from £6 for children and £12.50 for adults or weekend at £10.75/£18.63 its excellent value. I will certainly head along again next year and will try out the evening entertainment too.
Tickets cost from £6
For more information or to buy tickets online visit cheshirefest.co.uk.
Cheshire Fest, Manchester Rugby Club, Grove Lane, Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, SK8 7NB