This family guide has been developed for families attending Astral Harvest, to maximize their fun, comfort, and over-all experience at the festival. Here you will find suggestions provided by families who have attended previously and other information parents may be curious about. It is our wish that this guide will also give families a sense of what Astral can offer both children and parents.
Alberta can often have fluctuating weather and Astral Harvest is not spared! Be prepared and your family will be happy campers no matter what mother nature throws our way. Rain is not uncommon at some point during the festival, days can be sunny and hot, and nights are often damp. Rain gear is a must for all family members, including rain boots. Clothes that can be layered, with enough for several changes throughout the weekend, are great for weather fluctuations while away from the campsite. Good footwear is also crucial. The bugs can be bothersome, so make sure to bring your preferred bug repellent and itch relief. Check out our camping essentials guide for more packing suggestions.
Some suggested ways for keeping kids cool in the heat include; keeping frozen water bottles in the cooler (also act as ice packs for keeping foods colder!), use spray bottles and cool cloths, supervised rivers visits, and a small plastic tub with some cool water for babies. Enjoy the shade and don’t forget your preferred sunblock!
Rainy day suggestions; include fun activities for the tent or camper such as coloring, simple crafts, or books to read. If the rain is persistent, it might be a good time for a little nap (maybe for the adults as well!). With the right rain gear, adventuring in the rain is fun! Be sure to have warm, dry clothes on hand for afterwards.
Ultimately you know your family best, so pack what you know everyone will use! If you forget any items be sure to check out the General Store on site, as they carry a variety of things, including ice.
There are many possibilities for campsites, including a dedicated family campsite that is located a short walk to the main festival area. The land is quite large so if your family would prefer to be farther away, a wagon is useful for the little harvesters in your life. Get imaginative and decorate your campsite as a family!
Music festivals are fun and we all love dancing, but we also must ensure we are taking care of our ears. Loud noises, such as those from festival sound systems such as PK sound, damage the tiny hair like structures in our ears called Stereocilia. When the Stereocilia are damaged, they can’t send information about sound to the brain. If you go to shows and festivals regularly, and especially if you enjoy being up front and in the action, you are subjecting your little ear holes to a constant barrage of both high and low frequencies which can deliver some seriously un‐fun long term side effects such as NIHL or worse, full on hearing loss. PK sound regularly runs at approx 96db (sometimes higher/lower depending on the show). Children are especially at risk and should be wearing earmuff style protection any time they are near the stages. These can be found on our online store: http://store.astralharvest.com/item/kids-earmuffs
Adults should also use a pair of reusable silicone plugs with multiple tip sizes and about a -19db filter. There are numerous brands that all offer the same quality, available online or in local music stores. High-density foam earplugs are often available on site from EMS, Haven, and other vendors, however they do not provide good quality of sound while protecting.
Astral Harvest is a family friendly festival, however it is still important to ensure your children are being kept safe at all times. If possible or necessary, you may choose to chat with children about the festival experience, and what they may see around them. Be sure to register your children in our family registry. Children should be informed of ACM Security staff (roaming and located at each of the stages) as safe people to approach and where the EMS tent is located (in vendor row) if they are hurt. Additionally, be sure to show your children where the Information Booth is (located at the Interstellavator stage) and inform them that if they are lost they may go there. The Astral Advocate team located at the booth has radios on hand, as does security and EMS.
Maximizing fun for the kids doesn’t mean the adults have to miss out! Staying in family camping may help to meet other families. Utilize your self-care practices, and ensure that you are as hydrated, well rested, and nourished as your children. If possible, share the responsibilities with your partner or other parents you are friends with, so everyone gets a chance to enjoy the festival for a time without the kids. Festivalling with kids will mean you will likely not get to enjoy all the things you would have otherwise, and that’s ok! The family experience has a lot to offer family members of all ages. Enjoy the time with your wee ones and make the most of what the festival has to offer.
Be sure to check out all the family friendly magic at Astral Harvest! Meet other families at the family potluck, boogie down at the kiddie dance party, or immerse your children in the many creative workshops for kids. There are also plenty of music options and workshop choices for the adults as well!
The full list of family fun workshops can be found here.
Check out our interactive schedule, where you can personalize and print your own schedule!
Have fun, be silly, and adorn some funky costumes! The Astral Harvest Tickle Trunk is located at the Info Booth. The Tickle Trunk is a costume swap for all ages. Stop by and see what magical items you may encounter. If you have any gently used and clean costume items that are no longer being used, bring them by so they can find a new home.
Astral Harvest is a chance to explore, dance, create, and grow with the ones you love, in a community minded setting. We hope you and your family enjoy the festival!