JOIN our family travel Facebook community run by travel experts – helping you to navigate Covid & holidaysJOIN NOW


The First Socially Distanced Outdoor Family Festival – Gisburn, Lancashire

By Emma Banks – 28th July 2020
Outdoor Family Festival

Glasto’s cancelled, holidays have been canned and summer outings seem a thing of the past. 

Not at Gisburne Park! They are hosting the very first socially distanced outdoor family festivals and pop up events all through August.

From symphonic Ibiza to open-air screenings of classic movies they’ve thought of everyone! We went to the Family Picnic which is a “jam-packed live stage production show to delight children of all ages including well-known songs from Lion King, Little Mermaid, Frozen, Mary Poppins, Beauty & the Beast, and many others”.

After being holed up at home for the best part of 5 months, we were desperate to get out and see friends but also anxious about the logistics of attending larger events and staying safe. The Family Picnic was a perfect step into what is looking like our “new normal” (I hate that phrase).

Situated in the heart of Gisburne Park, surrounded by trees and beautiful countryside it‘s the ideal place to host these big pop up events.

The Set Up

Upon arrival, you’re greeted by a member of staff who sorts you out with lanyards (a highlight for my daughter who felt very important with that dangling from her neck!) and whisks you off to your very safe hexagon! Recently featured on local news, these 6 sided shaped booths are where you’ll spend your day.

Each hexagon fits up to 6 people and has seaside deck chairs, a big umbrella, crate/table and bin inside. If you upgrade to a VIP booth you get cushioned chairs and sofas but to be honest we were up on our feet most of the time and found our humble striped seats absolutely fine!

Before the event kicks off, the cast of the show come around to do a meet and greet with the kids (and big kids). My 7-year-old daughter, Lyla, loved this element and was able to get socially distanced snaps with The Greatest Showman, Belle and loads of other Disney favourites.


The Toilets

As always, I like to do a little toilet recce before I get settled so off we went (this is the only time you’ll need to vacate your hexagon). I was impressed. They weren’t the plastic, smelly Porto loos you got stuck in at Leeds Fest. Instead, a very clean and hygienic cabin with both men and women’s cubicles (3 each) fully kitted out and cleaned within an inch of their lives by a member of staff who went in and out after every few people. The toilets are less than a 1-minute walk from the main area and hand sanitising stations are found all along the pathways and all staff are wearing face masks (something I never thought I’d be saying).


The Food

Next point of business – the food. Think festival style burgers, hot dogs, loaded fries and mac’n’cheese with a separate kids menu too. It was reasonably priced and really tasty. To order you wave a flag and a member of staff is over within seconds. When it’s ready they bring wheel the food out in brightly coloured wheelbarrows which can very handily be pushed directly into your hexagon meaning no one other than those in your party step over the boundary lines! These nifty little carts come around at various points of the afternoon with popcorn and snacks should you be peckish. A heads up – you’re not allowed to bring in any food or drinks from home and payments are all contactless so come prepared.


The Show

Bladders empty and tummies full – it was time for the show to kick-off! Fabulous costumes, special effects and a professional talented cast of singers and dancers the show is fully interactive and includes audience sing-a-long and party dances all performed live and also projected onto a large screen. The singing and dancing more than exceeded our expectations and we had a great view of the show.

If you’ve got any lockdown birthdays or celebrations coming up a visit to this outdoor family festival would make a great day out and something that you’ll remember for a long time to come! Also if you let a member of staff know what you’re celebrating they’ll tell the cast who’ll give you a shout out on stage!



Hexagon £35/VIP £70

Adult £15/VIP £20

Children £10/VIP still £10


Tips for the day:     

Obviously, with social distancing the name of the game, things like face painting, etc are off the cards so come armed with your own festival glitter to really get into the spirit of things!

It’s free parking and there’s plenty of it (keep an eye out for the peacocks though!).

The walkways are all on gravel paths which are pram friendly. Your hexagon is on grass but unless there’s torrential downpour it shouldn’t be a wellies kind of day out (don’t quote me on that after the August rain we usually get during the summer hols!)

The gates open at 11am with the show starting at 12pm but arrive as early as you can to make the most of your booth and to meet as many of the cast as possible.

You pay for your hexagon booth on top of your tickets so it’s worthwhile (if you can) coming with friends so that you can split the cost of that.

To find out more visit: www.gisburneparkpopup.com


Emma x


This is a Girl About review. I was invited by the management to visit the event free charge in exchange for an honest and frank review. All my opinions are my own and in no way have they been swayed by their kind invite. Girl About reviews are always 100% honest. We only publish reviews that, for the most part, are positive.

Emma Banks WestYorks
Share it on your own social media channels or with friends


Become a Girl About Travel Club member and benefit from our travel concierge service, itineraries, rewards, offers, discounts, resources, retreats and more!

Featured Articles & Sponsored Posts