Common People has a very different feel to traditional festivals due to its location. Situated on beautiful Southampton Common, very close to all the amenities of the city centre, it opens up into an oasis of tree-lined utopia.
Granted, getting here, we were concerned that without parking and not being local we would find it a mission to drag our kids along on public transport. How wrong were we? On a glorious day of sunshine we parked our car at the nearest multi-storey and took the very convenient and regular bus direct to the common. All in all, parking and the bus ride cost us just over a tenner. Money well spent.
Arriving at the festival we were immediately taken by the relaxed feel around the site and the amount of activities for the kids. Having arrived in the morning before the crowds the kids had a field day. They headed for the bouncy castles, then held a bird of prey each (new to us at a festival) and spent a lot of time on the more traditional fairground rides.
Once again though, us adults were eager to enjoy ourselves too and we were not disappointed. The disco-theme, in honour of The Jacksons who were performing, added to the party atmosphere. Adults and teenagers alike turned up dressed in classic seventies sequins and glitter gear.
The site itself is reasonably compact; no traipsing from one area to the next and covering long distances. This is a medium-sized festival and it was easy to get near the stage and see some amazing performances from popular artists such as Lily Allen and All Saints. James once again showed why they are such a good festival band by wowing the crowd with their usual energetic show.
Overall, Common People was a slickly presented city event that made you feel away from it all the moment you walked through the tree-lined entrances. There was plenty here for families but the organisers (of Bestival fame), didn’t forget the adults and teenagers. There was a huge range of ages and every one of them seemed to enjoy soaking up the atmosphere of this unique, well-organised, fun-packed festival.