We were so lucky to be invited to spend the day at Cheshire’s family favourite festival, Deva Fest, based at Cholmondeley Castle just outside of Chester. Jam-packed with amazing music, comedy acts, food, drink and kids’ entertainment – it’s fair to say we had an absolute blast!

Deva Fest

In this blog, join us in hearing from Fiona Bebbington, our Head of Events, as she recounts her personal highlights from the festival, plus her four moments that makes Deva Fest the perfect day out/weekend for the whole family.

1) Stress free planning

When it comes to planning a day out with young children, I don’t know about you, but it can often feel overwhelming with so much packing to think about before you even try to leave the house! Deva Fest helped to make the planning process as easy as possible, with so many online resources on their website such as tips for festival camping and useful advice for parents who are visiting for the day.

There were also some lovely touches at the event for families to take advantage of, including the two shuttle bus routes which permitted under-fives to travel for free. The routes covered not only urban areas but passed through some more rural locations on the way to the festival site. This inclusion gave an opportunity for more guests to use public transport to attend, reducing traffic congestion on site and promoting sustainability.

2) The perfect festival for families  

Entertainment for the family had been carefully thought through too, with dinosaur wranglers roaming the site with their lifelike accompanying friends, plus a craft and circus tent for the children to test out their skills.  One of our families’ personal highlights was seeing a fully costumed Batman with large decorated wooden Batmobile walking around the site accompanied by a brass band playing the Batman theme tune!

Deva Fest

Another major benefit for families is the inclusion of the six fairground rides within the festival entrance fee.  As can be expected from a free-to-ride fairground (and I really do mean there’s limitless times you could ride), there were sometimes queues for the more popular rides, but since they were all within the same area, we saw many families designate one person to retain their place in the queue, whilst children were taken off and entertained with the smaller rides. 

3) Better for the planet

The event's strong commitment to sustainability was evident, with those purchasing drinks from the bar paying a small levy for a plastic cup, with the incentive to return the cup in exchange for a clean one when they went back for a refill. There were stations all over the site to collect any finished cups, which were then cleaned and brought back into rotation at the bar. 

There were also freshwater taps located around the festival site, making it easy to fill up your own water bottles as needed for refreshments. 

On the catering front, there was an impressive range of regional based outlets.  It was fantastic to see Deva Fest supporting local businesses such as Artezzan and Vocation Brewery, and in turn, those businesses supporting the festival goers with their reasonable pricing.

4) The special touches

For me, it’s the small touches that matter most, and Deva Fest had an abundance of them! One aspect I particularly liked is that children were issued with blank wristbands for guardians to write their phone number on in case the child became separated on site.

Visitors were also allowed to take some respite away from the hustle and bustle of the festival to enjoy an up-close view of Cholmondeley Castle and enjoy the tranquillity of the surrounding gardens. 

Cholmondeley Castle Gardens

The least glamourous but the one of the most important touches for me was the loos. The toilets at Deva Fest were extremely well maintained, as well as self-contained, so that you could lock the door and you’d have all the amenities needed, with sinks, a hand dryer, mirror, the works. It made it hassle free when going to the toilet with little ones. We didn’t queue for longer than 2 minutes to use them either, even at the peak visitor numbers on site. 

However, our favourite part of the festival was the music.  With four stages to choose from there was music taste for all and it’s also worth noting that two of these, the big top main stage and the busker’s tent, were under cover.  Thankfully we didn’t need to be protected from the elements, but there is never any telling with the British weather!

Live Music at Deva Fest

So, what makes Deva Fest different?  They really have thought about visitors’ time on site, from start to finish, there truly is something for everyone.

Whilst there is a real family focus at this event, there was a whole age range from young to old and diverse groups of friends and families on site.  From what we saw, the festival’s third year was a huge success, and we shall look forward to learning more about plans for 2024 - 8th - 11th August 2024!

Find out more about Deva Fest here.


Deva Fest
Deva Fest, Cheshire

Deva Fest is a great value family-friendly three-day extravaganza of music, comedy, camping, family entertainment and fabulous handpicked food and drink stalls from local suppliers.

Cholmondeley Castle Gardens
Castle / Fort
Events held at Cholmondeley Castle throughout the year

The Cholmondeley Family have lived at Cholmondeley since the Norman times.  The gardens were originally laid out in the early 19th Century using architectural elements from the formal gardens of the Old Hall.



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