In the middle of the action.
Aberystwyth is the home of many things. A university and world-renowned arts centre. The National Library of Wales, and the longest electric railway in Britain. It’s also the home (since 2012) of arguably one of the best tribute act festivals in the UK (perhaps even the world?).
The hyperbole is warranted. Situated 6 miles outside of the seaside town of Aberystwyth, the Big Tribute is a family-friendly festival. It’s tucked conveniently between beautiful Cardigan Bay and the grandeur of the Cambrian Mountains.
On one side, world-renowned shorelines and dolphin-spotting. On the other, an enormous unspoiled landscape in which an array of wild and plant life can be found. For one weekend every summer, in the middle of this extraordinary natural beauty, you can find a different sort of attraction.
900 people attend the first festival on the family-run farm near Aberystwyth. Now, several thousand people come to visit this little field in Mid Wales. Despite the numbers, the whole event is geared towards families. The organisers seem to know the importance of a sociable, family-friendly event and work hard to achieve that. Their website says they’re trying to avoid the extortionate ticket prices and rowdiness that has come to be associated with other so-called family festivals around the UK. They definitely deliver on this promise.
Paying tribute to The Trib.
Local bands are the focus of the second stage line-up. Local food and drinks are favoured here. And, on top of the music they also host a fully fledged cider and ale festival. They also provide free camping and parking. The Little Rockers tent is a cracking space home pop tribute acts, circus skills, discos and loads more, purely for the kids. And there’s Fancy Dress Saturday.
In collaboration with Spellbound, the local balloon and party shop, anyone in fancy dress is entered into a competition and prizes offered. It makes for a really fun buzz around the event that goes way beyond the “stag weekend dressed in mankinis” that you’re often subjected to at festivals.
The festival isn’t just for locals. Seasoned festival goers attend, as too ex-students, holidaymakers and more. A big part of this is the vibe and the epic Aberystwyth sunsets (they’re seriously worth the ticket price alone). And then you get to the bands themselves. Obviously a festival line-up that offers U2, Pink, Tina Turner, the Stereophonics and Tom Jones would ordinarily attract a larger ticket price than the £80.00 you’ll pay for a weekend at the Trib (as it’s affectionately known by the locals).
But you get a lot of bang for your buck for the money in the tribute game. The tribs are honestly given the same welcome the real bands might receive. This year the line-up featured Really Hot Chilli Peppers, One Step Behind, Sarah Jayne’s Dolly Parton Experience and others. The latter in particular was met with real affection from the festival goers. We enjoyed a particularly spirited singalong to Islands In The Stream!
Frequently asked questions.
Pets aren’t allowed on site unfortunately. The rule protects the pets themselves and the many people in attendance. Including sticky fingered kids who might want to pet your furry baby without their consent! But the rules more generally are pretty relaxed.
There’s a limited amount of daily tickets on sale from the on-site box office. But these will only get you into the main stage. There’s no camping overnight with these ones. So you might be able to chance your arm on the day and get in. But you might easily be disappointed if you don’t plan ahead.
You can take folding camping chairs into the main stage area (but don’t complain if people are standing up in front of you!). And visitors can take in their motor home or camper van to the site, provided you’ve paid for a live-in vehicle pass.
It’s also really wheelchair friendly, as the site itself is pretty flat, though if there’s rain the usual problems of muddiness in a field will apply.
So why the Trib?
The DYW team absolutely love a festival. Warm cider, circus performers, singing your heart out as the sun goes down. Seriously, what’s not to love? And after the sunset, a canopy of stars cover your temporary home. Blissful. All in all, a fantastic, family-friendly experience.
This one pays to put a bit of planning into it and sort your tickets out in advance. It can perfectly augment your family holiday.