More than 4.000 festival-goers each day enjoyed a packed line-up at this year’s Underneath The Stars, making it the most successful event yet since it was founded six years ago.
It's easy to see why the festival is so popular - it offers a fantastic line-up of music, along with theatre, performance arts, crafts, entertainment, and a great atmosphere for all the family.
I went along with my seven-year-old daughter - it was our third time and I can honestly say it is now one of the highlights of our summer.
There's just so much to do. For the most part, the weather was glorious and we spent a lot of time sitting outside, enjoying the music from the stages and taking advantage of all the other activities. My little girl loved the Panic Family Circus and spent hours there, practising her circus skills and learning acrobatics. There was even a show for the kids to perform in on Sunday afternoon, which was the perfect end to her time in that tent.
There's also lots of crafts to keep little ones occupied and the interactive outdoor theatre show The Unknown was brilliant. All the children of all ages were really engaged and seemed to be having lots of fun.
Music-wise, we thought every single singer, group and band that we saw were fantastic. It was a sell-out festival but there was still always plenty of space within both of the marquees. We even bagged a seat during the Proclaimers and a few times we were stood at the front of the Little Lights stage with plenty of room for dancing.
My particular favourites were The Proclaimers - they were great - and I really enjoyed the CC Smugglers, Kate Rusby and the hilarious Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican.
It was also nice to see the Barnsley Youth Choir performing - I think this just shows how the festival is still close to its roots, allowing a young local group time on the stage. That's not to say they didn't deserve their slot - they definitely did and their performance was wonderful and moving.
Everything about this festival is great. The arena has a wide range of food choices, and the bar also had a fair few options for everyone. The prices are much more reasonable than at some other festivals. The event also feels really safe, with regular security and fire patrols around the campsite.
On a final note, I have to praise all the staff and facilities. The toilets were always spotless, with toilet roll and hand wash. There was plenty of litter pickers keeping the fields neat and tidy and every camper received a black bag at the campsite. After we got drenched by the rain on Sunday and we made our way back to the tent, several staff spoke to us along the way, still cheerful despite the fact they were standing in the rain, and one even handed us black bags to put our wet stuff in!
The Underneath The Stars team is already busy planning for 2020’s event, set to take place Friday, July 31 to Sunday, August 2.Tickets will no doubt be on sale soon - so keep an eye out because this is one event you don't want to miss.
Pictures by Bryan Ledgard.