THOUSANDS of people flocked to an Overton farm over the weekend to enjoy CarFest.

The festival, which was founded in 2011 by Chris Evans, offers ticket-holders a host of entertainment in the fields at Laverstoke Park Farm.

It has been a few years since I have attended the annual festival, and this year I took along my son for his first festival experience, giving me a completely different perspective having a six-year-old in tow.

Basingstoke Gazette: CarFest

READ MORE: Praise floods in for Hook's Ben Pattison who overcame heart condition to win bronze medal

The festival has grown year-on-year and I was impressed with how much there is on offer now, including plenty to keep kids entertained.

The site itself is enormous, so planning was key to making the most of the event.

We wandered around taking in the festival spirit, which always has a very relaxed, happy vibe, and seeing what was going on. Various busking stops are located around the festival, where groups perform for the crowds which made queuing for activities feel much less tedious.

Freddie was keen to try everything and had a great time enjoying all the free activities on offer including tackling a climbing wall hosted by Hampshire Scouts, bouncing on a trampoline, and racing cars around a track on a Scalextric.

Basingstoke Gazette: CarFest

The KidsFest area was dedicated to entertaining children and had a huge range of performances and activities for youngsters. 

SEE ALSO: Children can take part in Basingstoke Half Marathon event as 300 places up for grabs

We enjoyed watching a performance by Andy and the Odd Socks – a band popular with young children fronted by children’s TV personality Andy Day.

Everyone was up on their feet joining in with the dancing in the upbeat performance, which delivered a positive message of individuality, acceptance and tolerance.

Basingstoke Gazette: CarFest

In the afternoon we discovered the bp pulse EV silent disco – the world’s first 100 per cent electric vehicle-charged silent disco.

With capacity for 600 people, we joined hundreds of others inside a marquee for a disco like no other.

We made some incredible memories dancing and singing to tunes provided on headphones with three different channels, with something to suit every musical taste.

A DJ and lights added to the experience. The highlights were singing to Christmas songs and dancing to Cotton Eye Joe with strangers! The popular event had queues during every session, and we returned twice more to enjoy a sing-along and dance together.

Basingstoke Gazette: CarFest

READ MORE: Basingstoke based company relocating all 280 staff out of Basing View office

CarFest has various stages with constant entertainment provided throughout. It was difficult to choose what to watch with so much on offer.

We enjoyed watching some of the entertainment on the Showcase Stage - which celebrates fresh new talent on their journey to stardom – including the super-talented West End Kids who performed a medley of songs from musicals including Sing 2 and Shrek.

In the evenings we found a spot in front of the main stage to watch various acts including The Bootleg Beatles on Saturday and Peter Andre on the Sunday, when I relived my youth singing along to the top 1990s hit Mysterious Girl.

Basingstoke Gazette: CarFest

Festival goers are spoilt for choice when it comes to food with both tempting sweet and savoury options available. However, it was a little disappointing to find that many of the catering outlets didn’t offer kid-sized portions.

Freddie was worn out from all the festival fun during the day, so we didn’t stay to watch the headline acts, meaning it was quick and easy to exit the festival.

His first experience of a festival was definitely a positive one for both of us. CarFest is the perfect introduction to festivals for children, with every consideration given to ensuring the youngest members of the family are thought about and entertained throughout.