Quite why the small village of Hartfield in East Sussex became home to this wonderful celebration of all things literary, we never did find out, yet STORYFEST proved to be an amazing experience and one that re-ignited our children’s passion for stories and books.
We were even blessed with a glorious sunny day after an entire month of nothing but rain. The field that doubled-up as car park for the weekend bore testimony to just how much rain there had been in recent weeks, yet for this special weekend, the springtime sun shone throughout.
The organisers had not been fazed by the recent weather and left nothing to chance. Some of the events had been moved to various indoor locations across the village with the local church, school, village hall and pre-school all being used. Far from proving an inconvenience, we loved following the brightly coloured flags that had transformed the village to find the venues. Apart from showing a real sense of community spirit and involvement, some of these ‘back-up’ locations could not have been more perfect in providing an enriched experience – for example, the treasures found in CREATE’s imaginarium were beautifully complemented by the backdrop of the traditional church building and what better place for the ‘Mess Tent’s art and craft activities than a school classroom.
The author event that had drawn us to Storyfest (well more specifically my two son’s aged 6 and 7 who are into all things ‘gross’) were the Fleabag Monkeyface authors Knife & Packer, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. Our sons have been so inspired that they haven’t stopped creating comic characters since!
Despite only having pre-booked onto the one author event, there were plenty of other activities to keep us busy all day from seeing how shadow puppets are made, to the lovely items on sale in the marketplace, the fab books in the bookstore (which also hosted author signings truly making those books treasured possessions), dressing-up, storytelling, arts & crafts and the list goes on.
The “poetry take-away” where you could ‘order’ a poem to be created and performed to you (free of charge) proved so popular that despite a couple of visits to their takeaway van they were too busy cooking up poems to take any more orders…so we’ll definitely be back next year to try again.
A very big well done to Storyfest for pulling off such a fabulous event, in a super-organised way that left us hugely impressed. Thank you for a wonderful weekend.
For more information about StoryFest, visit http://www.storyfest.co.uk/