Can you go on a lesbian party holiday with a toddler? Our correspondent Maz Ogden reveals how she got on at L Fest Del Mar in Spain and then at L Fest in Wales a month later.
As a queer, solo parent I don’t have much choice but to take my two year old most places I go. I’d had such a good time at L Dest Del Mar in Spain before having my son that I really wanted to go back. I also don’t get out to lesbian social events as much as I used to, so I thought it would be a good way to combine a family beach holiday with meeting some new and old friends.
Some couples I spoke to who had children said they’d hate to go on a “hedonistic” lesbian party holiday with a child. However, I was determined to give it a go. I found out before I went that I’d be the only person taking a child but he’s pretty sociable, so I hoped he’d charm the ladies for me – and he did.
My friend couldn’t come out for the first four days, so I braved the flight and turning up at the venue on my own, hoping I wouldn’t put any women off children. I went for the budget option of the bus, that meant I turned up almost green with travel sickness. Our apartment wasn’t ready but I couldn’t have asked for a more welcoming reception. Cindy was really helpful and found us someone to help carry our things over for when we could move in. It was the day before the official start and a group of women were round the pool. Robbie wanted to jump straight in and before long I was playing ball games in the pool with my new friends and a happy toddler. The good thing about getting there early was it was a nice small group, ready to introduce themselves to every new person who arrived.
Baby L Fest
Most days there was music and entertainment by the pool. We met new friends who invited us out for dinner with them. Robbie became “baby L Fest” and loved the attention. With over 200 lesbians, there were some who wanted to party harder than others and some who liked doing things like coming to the beach with us. I really like L Fest Del Mar as it’s a nice group size to be able to get to know most people who were there by the end of the week. Yes, I didn’t party as late as other people but we enjoyed getting dressed up in drag for the drag shows then Spanish fancy dress another night.
Sadly, it was the last L Fest Del Mar and this year will be the last UK L Fest, so we are going to have to go to Wales again. It’s a hard life!
The Welsh camping festival is quite different. I believe there are well over 1,000 women that go in July, plus a few token men as friends or volunteers. We decided to camp in the family area and I volunteered to help with the Les Flicks cinema. Maybe the rain kept lots of families in their tents or they were out around the site, as although there were lots of kids there, we didn’t meet many.
We also spent a lot of time doing Les Flicks questionnaires down at the Campervan Solos areas, where many people who’d been to Del Mar were camped. There is so much to do at Lfest. My only problem was scheduling it all in and also trying to find some lovely person who would watch Robbie if I wanted to go to a child free show. Thankfully, I wasn’t short of volunteers. One show I got to see after dark was the Prosecco & Pyjama party, hosted by the self proclaimed Sex Goddess, Imanni Love. As well as Imanni entertaining and terrifying some of the audience, the burlesque show by Little Peaches proved you can still be an athletic, skilled performer while suffering from a disability. It would have been a memorable show even if it wasn’t the first time I’d seen a burlesque performer with a wheelchair. After that there were some pretty good loop performers and then dancing till the small hours in various venues.
Two of the other shows I loved were the much acclaimed Hannah Brackenbury’s Victorious, a tribute to the late, great Victoria Wood and Karen Fische’s (AKA King Frankie Sinatra’s) Rebel Dyke. There were massive queues to get into these shows and for good reason. LFest do an amazing job of attracting such talent and keeping it all within the ticket price.
During the day, I also spent a good bit of time around the Les Flicks Cinema area. I heard a lot of films from outside and only got to watch some when Robbie had his afternoon nap. I think many women had their eyes opened to lesbian films, both the traditional lesbian rom coms and more political films, such as one about horrific female rapes and murders that are happening in Uganda.
L Fest has something for most people. They have bands playing, DJs, comedians, workshops, yoga and even a dog show. Their timetable is massive. There is also a lot of diversity of couples, solos, young and old and those with children, which I liked.
As well as catching up with old and new friends, one of the big attractions to me was an excuse to finally go to Wales. The scenery on the way was amazing. We camped an hour out of Llandudno on the way up. Right by a lake recommended to us from a Welsh friend I’d met in Del Mar. If you decide to go, I’d definitely recommend an extra day or two to recover and enjoy Wales. The shower didn’t ever seem to have big queues but most mornings we went across the road for a morning swim.
Sun, sand, lesbians and live music. What more could I ask for?