Free family fun is the ethos behind third Meraki Festival

PUBLISHED: 17:04 07 August 2019

It wouldn't be Meraki without The Flying Seagull Project.

It wouldn't be Meraki without The Flying Seagull Project.


The kids are firmly at the forefront of the fun at this year’s Meraki Festival.

Fun with Bubbles at Meraki Festival 2018. Picture: KEVIN RICHARDSFun with Bubbles at Meraki Festival 2018. Picture: KEVIN RICHARDS

St Albans' own music festival is back for its third year from August 23 to 25, and promises to be packed full of family-friendly activities as well as featuring a host of brilliant artists and exciting entertainment.

From laser tag to circus training, there is something for everyone. What's more, all these activities are free of charge once you have your ticket. Meraki have made sure that it has never been easier to say yes to your children as they enjoy unlimited access to what the festival has to offer. Based on the ideology of having family fun for free, Meraki are the only British festival to combine the two at their event.

Festival founder Kerry Marks explained: "We are a festival with a difference. At Meraki, we are an all-inclusive festival, which basically means that once you're through the gates you pay for nothing.

"What that means for families especially is that when the kids get in, they can do absolutely everything. We've got amazing acts performing live from 10 in the morning to 11 at night on the main stage, and then the dance tent continues until 1 in the morning"

Dad is the merry-go-round at the bar Meraki Festival 2018. Picture: KEVIN RICHARDSDad is the merry-go-round at the bar Meraki Festival 2018. Picture: KEVIN RICHARDS

"We are family friendly, so it's all about people coming with their families and having a great time, or even just coming with your friends for the evening if you just want to do the party part. We've got great food vendors, Champagne buses: there's something for everyone."

"The most important thing is that you can budget. Once you've got your tickets, all you need to get is your food and drink and then you can do absolutely everything - even the massages and the glitter and the face painting is free!"

You may also want to watch:

Budding performers can look forward to an array of theatrical and circus-themed activities. Street performers, acrobatic displays and a theatre are all widely available throughout the weekend to entertain and inspire.

Ferris Wheel queues grow at Meraki Festival 2018. Picture: KEVIN RICHARDSFerris Wheel queues grow at Meraki Festival 2018. Picture: KEVIN RICHARDS

Fancy something active? How about having a go on the climbing wall or playing a game of mini golf? The more adventurous festival goers might enjoy the laser tag arena or the caving experience. And if that's not enough action, you can learn archery or go swimming in the Little Swimming Pools. Maybe you'll even be brave enough to take part in the talent shows held in the Blue Moon Lounge…

The Flying Seagull Project, a troupe of clowns, magicians, circus performers and musicians, will put on various performances throughout the festival, encouraging the adults to join in with their children for old school games and fun.

Or for a more chilled-out weekend, you can find a selection of more mellow activities. As well as a movie house playing films such as The Greatest Showman, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Finding Dory, you can take part in a yoga session or hair braiding lesson. Similar activities include Lego, slime-making and magic workshops, as well as a festival glitter bar.

Some highlights from the main stage line-up include the tribute band Daft As Punk and British country band The Shires. For the retro music fans out there, Amazing 80s features singers Paul Young, Carol Decker (T'Pau), Garry Christian and Katrina (of Katrina and the Waves).

Meraki Festival 2018. Picture: KEVIN RICHARDSMeraki Festival 2018. Picture: KEVIN RICHARDS

And when you're not walking on sunshine, there is an array of activities available to fill you and your kids' time, including fairground rides and powder paint parties.

And if you're bringing really little ones to Meraki, don't worry - they've got you covered with clean, well-lit baby changing facilities on site, with private spaces for changing and feeding.

If all of this tickles your fancy, tickets for this year are still available via the website at

If you value what this gives you, please consider supporting our work. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Herts Advertiser