By Vickie Maye
When the sun shines, Imelda May shouts to the crowd, Ireland you’re a ride.
And she was right. Standing in a field at Russborough House on Saturday evening, at the inaugural Kaleidoscope festival, at that moment it was the best place in the world.
A warm evening sun, blue skies, children playing in the grass as families danced to Imelda May.
Keeping in the spirit of this family festival, May brought first her mum, then her dad on stage.
Earlier The Riptide Movement played the main stage, the previous night Bell X1 headlined.
Kaleidoscope is brought to us by the people who gave us Electric Picnic.
Fifteen years since they transformed our expectations of what a music festival was meant to be, the organisers have grown up - and now they have families of their own, they want them to be part of the action too.
While Electric Picnic can - just about - work for families by day, as darkness falls it transforms into a very different beast.
Arriving at Kaleidoscope, it is like arriving at the Picnic - the same show stopping main stage, funky circus big tops, cool food trucks. Except here there’s also the world’s biggest bouncy castle - and children and families amble around the fields.
There’s a fairy forest with life size flowers leading to Wonderlands where children can potter into tents to try stand up comedy, art, animation workshops, book readings, teddy bear picnics, discos for tots, and even mindfulness.
Mark ‘the science guy’ was one of the highlights, turning up from Explorium to teach the kids about everything from launching rockets to electrical currents in an interactive show on the front lawn.
Programmes are streamed for ages 4-8, 8-12 and 12-16 year olds - so they festival caters for all ages (stroppy teens included).
It was safe and secure too, with parking and camping conveniently located near the main site.
Kaleidoscope continues today - if you are near Wicklow pick up a day ticket. Otherwise mark the diary for next year - it truly is Electric Picnic for kids.
Hands down, it’s the highlight of the summer calendar.