John Shedwick

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 and the next with a stop-off at a motorway services on the way home the only light at the end of the tunnel.

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 2020. From hedonistic weekends of underground music like Sounds From the Other City to immersive family festivals Just So to rural film festivals (Hinterlands), 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. Neighbourhood Weekender 2021

    Neighbourhood Weekender

    Neighbourhood Weekender 2021 at Victoria Park, Southport, 29–30 May 2021, from £64.25 - Book now

    The Neighbourhood Weekender returns to Warrington for its third outing this May bank holiday. We make our top five picks from the line-up.

  • 2. Parklife 2021 at Heaton Park


    Parklife 2021 at Heaton Park, Manchester, 12–13 June 2021, from £69.50 - Book now

    Parklife celebrates its 10th anniversary in June 2020, when it will showcase a diverse lineup of underground dance and alternative music in Manchester’s Heaton Park.

  • 3. Bluedot 2021 at Jodrell Bank


    Bluedot Festival 2021 at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, 22–25 July 2021, from £59.75 - Book now

    Entering its fifth year in 2020, Bluedot is a festival of discovery located in the shadow of the world-renowned Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank.

  • 4. Manchester Psych Fest 2021

    Steve Double

    Manchester Psych Fest at The Ritz, Manchester, 4–5 September 2021, from £19.50 - 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.