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. 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.

  • 3. 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.

  • 4. 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.

  • 5. 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.

Things to do right now

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Just So Festival, Rode Hall Cheshire
Families 19–21 August 2022, from £20

Just So Festival 2022

The Gruffalo at The lowry
Families Until 21 August 2022, from £10.00

The Gruffalo at The Lowry

The Jungle Book at Williamson Park
Families Until 28 August 2022, from £15.00

The Jungle Book at Williamson Park

Open Air Theatre in Manchester and the North
Childrens Until 29 August 2022, from £28.00

Stig of the Dump at Grosvenor Open Air Theatre

Activity Until 30 August 2022, Quarry Bank admission prices apply (free for National Trust members) £1.50 for trail

The Lost Words at Quarry Bank

Festivals Until 31 August 2022, from £9.95

Flying Fighters of Taiwan at HOME

Great Northern Sandpit
Families Until 31 August 2022, FREE

The Great Northern Sandpit

Activity Until 31 August 2022, from £40

Northern Quarter Taster Walk with Manchester Food Walks