Summer is synonymous with music festivals, family festivals and the sorts of pop-up, weekend-long events that you can lose yourself in (we’re thinking in a good way here – long-lasting enrichment as well as hedonistic times – honest guv). Here’s our guide to the best festival experiences taking place in a field or on the streets near you.
Here are our picks
Leeds International Festival, the UK’s leading metropolitan festival of new ideas and innovation, is back for its second year, this time featuring more than 50 events and 40 speakers over 15 days.
Salford’s Sounds From The Other City festival showcases the best of new and avant-garde music, arts and performance. The festival conducts its usual sprawling takeover of venues along Salford’s Chapel Street strip, lending churches, art galleries, breweries and old mills its own brand of unpredictability.
Entering its third year in 2018, bluedot is a festival of discovery located in the shadow of the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics; the iconic space observatory and the heart of our quest for knowledge. With announced names for 2018 including The Chemical Brothers, The Flaming Lips and Future Islands, as well as the festival’s signature science experiments, talks and immersive artwork, expect big things from bluedot in 2018.
This charismatic folk and acoustic music festival in the stunning South Yorkshire countryside has a cracking family-friendly arts programme and tremendous food. Musical highlights in 2017 included Newton Faulkner, Lucy Rose and Kate Rusby – who is also one of the festival’s organisers.
With back-to-back sell outs in 2017 and 2018, we recommend you beg, borrow but don’t steal to get in to Kendal Calling. Catfish & The Bottlemen, The Libertines, Run DMC, Ocean Colour Scene and James are among the big names announced for 2018.
The best family festival in the UK? We think so. Adventure together into a wonderland of the best outdoor theatre, music, comedy, literature and other curious creative escapades. 2017 was all about midnight feasts, pillow fights and the bonkers Tribal Tournament. Be sure to snap up a 2018 ticket fast.
Step into Portmeirion’s sleepy cobbled streets, Italianate piazza, sandy shorelines and pastel-coloured buildings as it makes its annual transformation to play host to one of the most imaginative summer season events. Highlights of last year’s festival came in the shape of The Flaming Lips, Adam Buxton’s BUG and a Sgt Pepper’s-themed carnival through the village.
Formerly Ramsbottom Festival, the award-winning Head for the Hills returns for its eighth outing this September, with a musical line-up including The Bluetones, The Futureheads’ Barry Hyde, The Lovely Eggs, Stealing Sheep and plenty more – as well as exciting arts, theatre and activities programmes.
Co-founded by Cerys Matthews, The Good Life Experience returns for its fifth outing, in the shadows of two castles on the Hawarden Estate in Flintshire. The festival features music from the likes of Gwenno, Bill Ryder-Jones and Norman Jay, as well as campfire cooking, spoken word, a 1930s fairground and dozens of activities for all ages.