Did you know? Beyond the Woods originally started as a party in a back garden in Lincolnshire! It steadily grew each year, became known as Joefest, and is now the Beyond the Woods that we know and love.
With that in mind, what’s stopping you from holding your own mini festival in the garden? We’ve compiled some tips on recreating that festival feeling in your own home! We’ve also included some fun, kid-friendly extras – but there’s nothing stopping you from doing these even if there won’t be any children present.
Check the weather forecast
Pick a nice day – doesn’t have to be 30 degrees but ideally not chucking it down with rain!
Invite your family, friends, or housemates
Make a Facebook event, a Whatsapp group, or even an open invite on your social media (nb: always be careful sharing your personal information with people you don’t know too well!). List all the information you think is necessary: the date, time and place, of course – and perhaps the theme, the dress code, the drinks policy (alcohol-free? bring your own? open bar?!), or even a link to add a song to a Spotify playlist, so you know you’re catering for everyone’s tastes.
For kids: Create ‘tickets’ for people to hand to you at the door! There are two options here: decorate it yourself and treat your child as an exclusive VIP – or call them ‘head of security’, and involve them in decorating, sending, and checking tickets. Be sure to include all the information, and even some personalised decorations. This really helps the event stand out from any other day in the back garden!
Decorate the garden
Fairy lights are always a must! String up lights and bunting around the garden, from tree to tree, or in hedges.
For kids: Buy plain white bunting, and colour it with pens and glitter!
It’s your choice: you could drag your patio furniture into position, use some old foldaway chairs, or just sit on blankets on the lawn. Depending on space, tents would also be great!
Plan your outfits
A big part of the festival vibes are the outfits – this is the perfect excuse to get all dressed up. Bucket hats at the ready!
For kids: face painting! Learn some simple patterns (butterflies and tigers are always popular!), or risk asking your child what they would like to be. Expect some tough answers – my personal favourites are Squidward from Spongebob, a horse, a train, ‘that guy from that thing’.
Food and drink
Everyone’s favourite part of the evening! So many options: order a massive takeaway, host a barbecue, or do a bring-your-own picnic buffet. You could even make some themed cocktails!
For kids: non-alcoholic cocktails! A fancy straw, a little umbrella, and some fun-coloured drinks – slushies are great for this!
Not essential, but usually a big part of the festival experience! Pitch a tent in the back garden – and again, fairy lights are always great! You also have the added bonus of not queuing for toilets, which is never a bad thing.
and finally… Music!
What’s a festival without music? If you’re lucky, your friends and family will be musicians, and you can have your own private performance. But failing that, a Spotify playlist and some speakers will suffice! (Hint: our Beyond the Woods playlists are ideal!)
For kids: If you’re feeling brave, provide some instruments and let the kids do a solo!