Summer Festivals

Creative Tourist

Festivals! From all-nighters to family-friendly fun via considered, thought provoking weekends, we pick out the best experiences in the North.

For some, probably (but not exclusively) younger readers, summer is synonymous with late nights enjoying music in what’s usually a farmers field, possibly even rubbing elbows with strangers in an increasingly boggy dance tent until dawn, then repeating it all over again the next day.

For others, that just sounds too exhausting to even think about. While we fully endorse party-sized weekends that require their own holiday from which to recover, it’s not for everyone.

The brighter months are also about family experiences and the sort of pop-up, weekend-long events that you can get good and lost in together.

Scanning the festival calendar for the cream of the crop, we’ve selected our top picks for summer 2022. From hedonistic weekends of underground music to immersive family festivals, we’ve got all bases covered.

Here’s our guide to the best Summer Festivals taking place in a field or on the streets near you.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Leeds International Festival of Ideas 2022

    Image courtesy of Leeds International Festival of Ideas.

    Leeds International Festival of Ideas at Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds, 22–25 September 2022, from £15 - Find Out More

    Leeds International Festival, the UK’s leading metropolitan festival of new ideas and innovation, is back for its third year.

  • 2. Buxton International Festival

    Buxton International Festival

    Buxton International Festival 2022 at Buxton Opera House, Buxton, 7–24 July 2022, from £12 - Book now

    One of the UK’s leading arts events, Buxton International Festival is a  summertime celebration of opera, music and books.

  • 3. REFRACT Festival 2022 at Waterside

    Refract Festival 2022 at Waterside
    Image courtesy of Graeme Braidwood Photography.

    Refract Festival 2022 at Waterside Arts, Manchester, 21–30 July 2022 - Book now

    Back with an even bigger bang – Trafford’s flagship arts festival returns to Waterside for ten-days of experiential performance and cultural delight.

  • 4. Bluedot 2022 at Jodrell Bank

    Bluedot Festival 2022 at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Macclesfield, 22–24 July 2022, from £59.75 - Book now

    After two years without Bluedot, the 2022 instalment was always going to go down as a special one, but the star-scanning, genre-hopping lineup lays to rest any doubts that this year’s festival is going to be the biggest ever.

  • 5. Manchester Craft Beer Festival

    Manchester Craft Beer Festival

    Manchester Craft Beer Festival at Mayfield Depot, Manchester, 22–23 July 2022, from £49 - Book now

    Manchester Craft Beer Festival returns this July with a world-class selection of craft beer from over 50 breweries – some local, some international – alongside big-name DJ acts and a great line-up of restaurants.

  • 6. Kendal Calling Festival 2022

    Kendal Calling

    Kendal Calling at Lowther Castle and Gardens, Cumbria, 28–31 July 2022, from £178.75 - Book now

    Featuring over 200 artists and performers, immersive arts experiences and kids activities, Kendal Calling is a great, family-friendly festival set in the stunning Lake District.

  • 7. Underneath The Stars Festival 2022 at Cinderhill Farm

    Underneath the Stars
    Underneath The Stars Festival

    Underneath The Stars Festival at Cinderhill Farm, Barnsley, 29–31 July 2022, from £55 - Book now

    Family favourite Underneath The Stars Festival returns to Barnsley’s Cinderhill Farm in 2022 with a line-up of 30 artists spanning soul, indie, brass bands, ska, Americana and folk.

  • 8. Just So Festival 2022

    Just So Festival, Rode Hall Cheshire
    Photograph by TenEight

    Just So Festival at Rode Hall, 19–21 August 2022, from £20 - Book now

    One of the best family festivals in the UK returns for its 11th outing. Think live music, midnight feasts, hidden retreats, woodland opera, and the best new outdoor arts for families.

  • 9. Manchester Psych Fest 2022

    Manchester Psych Fest

    Manchester Psych Fest at The Ritz, Manchester, 3 September 2022, from £45 - Book now

    Manchester Psych Fest, an all-day celebration of psychedelic music and art, returns this September with more musicians, DJs and visual artists than ever before.

  • 10. We Invented The Weekend

    Image courtesy of Salford City Council.

    We Invented The Weekend at MediaCity and Salford Quays, Manchester, 10–11 September 2022, free entry - Find Out More

    Expect everything from community feasts, vintage markets, water sports, live music and performance, right across MediaCity and Salford Quays this September. A new free festival for everyone.

  • 11. Manchester Folk Festival 2022

    The Drystones

    Manchester Folk Festival at HOME Manchester, Manchester, 13–15 October 2022, from £13.20 - Book now

    In October 2022, Manchester Folk Festival will be back with another joyous celebration of the best in British folk, with some brilliant artists performing at venues all over the city.