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 summer festivals and 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.
The sound of jazz floats across the city for ten days in July, as Manchester Jazz Festival hosts performances across the city, with the central hub in Albert Square brimming with live music until late, street food and, of course, alcohol.
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.
Manchester International Festival is the world’s first festival of original work and special events – a biennial celebration of performance, art, music, theatre and more, which marries the world’s best-known artists with Manchester’s cultural institutions. Returning 4 – 21 July 2019, MIF19 is the second festival under Artistic Director John McGrath.
Entering its fourth year in 2019, bluedot celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landings with a special weekend of music, science, arts, technology, culture, food and film beneath the iconic Lovell Telescope.
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. Courteeners, Doves, Manic Street Preachers, Nile Rodgers & Chid, Orbital and Years & Years are among the big names in 2019.
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 2019 include The Proclaimers, Billy Bragg and Kate Rusby – who is also one of the festival’s organisers.
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.
Indulge in a long weekend packed with amazing gigs in great venues. Get involved in singing, songwriting and craft workshops. Grab your friends and dance a ceilidh. This festival is a chance to discover new bands, create something you’re proud of, relax with friends and make new connections. Plus the added excitement of the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, which it will host on the 16 October.