I was expecting dessert spoons at dawn at Ben & Jerry’s Sundae on the Common last weekend where aside from the music (Ocean Colour Scene, Maximo Park, Fun Loving Criminals, Ash, Gary Numan and loads more), the main event was all-you-could-eat ice cream.
Actually the vibe was all peace, love and Fair Trade with folks lining up in civilised (and luckily, fast moving) queues for their free scoops.
Ten minutes after our entry the babes were licking our first cones of Jamaican Me Crazy, a yummy pineapple sorbet. ‘It’s very juicy,’ Ezra said.
Unbelievably we only managed to get one more round of ice cream (Cookie Dough – come to mama), because there was so much else to do. Grabbing a cocktail from the Pimm’s double decker bus, I led the way to the Kid’s Zone. There I was promptly chucked out for carrying alcohol and had to lurk on the outskirts, watching my boys get busy with diabolo, plate spinning and table football.
They could have probably spent another hour playing but I wanted to check out the rest of the festival.
Ben & Jerry’s Sundae on the Common is great for families with attractions including animals from Vauxhall City Farm, giant helter skelter, carousel, coconut shy, swing boats, dressing up, and an air guitar stage.
The boys loved watching toe wrestling (Toe-tal destruction put the smackdown on Terminator Toe) and grown people fighting with blown-up bananas. It was the Pants to Poverty dudes who got mummy grinning.
After munching on succulent burgers from Cattle Grid – one of about 20 food stalls – we finally settled down by the main stage to catch Fun Loving Criminals hype the crowd. By this stage, Jed was snoozing in the buggy, but Ezra partied on way past his bedtime.
Ash was on stage when I got a text from a friend that Amy Winehouse had died.
It was Simon Fowler of Ocean Colour Scene who made the announcement during his set and a chill swept over the crowd. ‘Amy, this one’s for you,’ he said, dedicating the track ‘One for the Road’.
I hugged Ezra close as the lyrics rang out: ‘Get up and dance/get up and smile/get up and drink to the days/Ones that are gone in the shortest while/I’ll sing my sorrow’.
Ben & Jerry’s Sundae on the Common was truly a ‘mootiful’ day out, bursting with fun and flavour. But as we made our way home, the mood was bitter sweet.
‘This is my 5th year at Ben & Jerry’s festival, it’s Bella’s first obviously. It’s been really good today although we could have done with a bit more sunshine. And yeah I have eaten a lot of ice-cream, I feel a bit sick now.’
Ben & Jerry’s Sundae on the Common also took place at Heaton Park in Manchester on Jul 23-24. Click on the web site link for info and updates