The first thing that struck me about LolliBop Festival 2012 was that it looked fantastic. I actually caught my breath at the vibrant splash of colour overtaking Regent’s Park, just a trot away from London Zoo.
The second thing I noticed is that the atmosphere was way more laid back than last year. It seemed bigger but less crowded and I didn’t spot a single grumpy person standing in line for anything. Well done to the organisers for acting on feedback from 2011.
Sure there were extended waiting times for some activities (by 4pm it was a 1 and a half hour wait to ride the scooter circuit at Halfords Bike City). But the process was smoothly handled with a ticketing system that allowed you to wander off and come back at your leisure.
This was our third LolliBop outing as a family and I didn’t expect many surprises, although I still got a kick out of familiar sights like mystical creatures on stilts, the mechanical horse, the fire breathing dragon and the amazingly life like polar bear. Titan the talking robot (who cried real tears that sprayed the crowd) was a big hit with both young and older onlookers.
LolliBop is like the Kids Zone at your favourite family festival, after it’s eaten one of Alice’s magic ‘shrooms. With so much to see and do, you either have to tackle it with military precision – arrive early and map out your targets – or try the ‘stumble upon’ approach.
We chose the latter and enjoyed wandering about, taking it all in. To escape that Saturday’s blazing 30 degrees+ heat, we ducked into a tent in time to catch a street dance workshop. It was led by a backflipping dynamo who’d been told by Simon Cowell on Britain’s Got Talent that he was too old to dance. Um, hello Simon?
I loved how super chilled out all the bubbas looked in the Baby Sensory tent. The babes had lots of fun in the 3ft and Under section, playing with the brilliant WOW toys, chasing bubbles and bouncing on space hoppers. Old school!
Ezra could have spent all day on the consoles in the Skylanders area, while Jed was the happiest guy around riding a balance bike in wacky racing.
My favourite moments included relaxing on the grass, munching on a Big Apple Hot Dogs sausage (represent!), followed by a roast corn on the cob and watching from a safe distance as Dick and Dom shot foam over the crowd at centre stage.
I’d groaned that morning when Ezra insisted on wearing his ‘I love LolliBop’ t-shirt to the festival. But the feeling is true.
We are LolliBabes. No doubt.
Visit LolliBop Festival online for more info and details of upcoming events