8 Festivals You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
Looking for something a bit more off the beaten track? We've sought out some of the best-kept secrets on the UK festival circuit.
End of the Road
When: 31st August – 3rd September 2017
Where: Larmer Tree Gardens, Wiltshire, SP5 5PY
Family Friendly: Yes
Perfect For: Music lovers
Noteworthy Acts: Father John Misty, Mac Demarco, Bill Callahan, Band of Horses
If you go to Festivals because you love music and don’t really care about the other stuff, End of The Road is right up your street. This festivals manifesto is to book bands that the creators love and to create an atmosphere that respects the artists, the music and the audience. Because this is a festival made for music lovers, any film and literature events are based around music. End of The Road offers a cinema tent, a festival shop and trolley hire for anyone who doesn’t want to lug their tent around. Tickets start at £185.
When: 3rd- 6th August 2017
Where: Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire
Family Friendly: Yes
Perfect For: Modern hippies and art freaks
Noteworthy Acts: Two Door Cinema Club, Grace Jones, Bonobo
Held in a nature reserve, Wilderness is packed with music, theatre, art, debates, food, drink and any other form of art or performance you can think of. The festivals stunning back drop of decorated wilderness includes a lake you can swim in and a waterfall you can let wash over you. It offers workshops, wellbeing classes, a kid’s corner for your little ones and family camping with baby changing facilities. Wilderness is an environmentally friendly Festival with a “leave no trace policy” that ensures all rubbish is taken off site, where it is recycled and any leftover food is packed up and taken to a food bank. They only offer weekend tickets starting at £178 including camping.
When: 13th-15th July 2017
Where: Bygrave Woods, Hertfordshire, SG7 5JX
Family Friendly: No, 18+
Perfect For: Edgy people who wear a lot of rings and own round sunglasses
Noteworthy Acts: Todd Terji, Bookashade, Nad, Floating Points, Mono le Tough, Omar-s, Craig Richards
Offering hot tubs, Mixology masterclasses, massages, yoga classes, shops, boutiques and hip-hop yoga classes (yes, you read that right), Farr Fest is the perfect place for any person who dances to the beat of their own drum. It has a picture house for hungover mornings when you just want to crash in front of a film and offers shower passes if you feel particularly gross. Their tag line is ‘Back to woods’ and they respect this by putting rules in place to make sure everyone is recycling and cleaning up after themselves, they even sell biodegradable glitter. They have a range of glamping options from huge bell tents with a double bed, fairy lights and rugs to a simple tent that is set up from when you arrive. Farr weekend tickets start from £90 including camping and £45 for a day, which is insanely cheap. Perfect alternative to a summer holiday with your pals.
When: 14th-16th July 2017
Where: Ribble Valley, Lancashire, BB7 4LH
Family Friendly: Yes.
Perfect For: Ravers who like cheap beer
Noteworthy Acts: Crystal Fighters, Kelis, Sleaford Mods, Toots and the Maytals
Set on a farm in Lancashire, Beatherder is one of the most anticipated boutique festivals in the North. Every year it promises talented acts and a great vibe throughout the weekend. Famous for its Saturday night dress up, this year’s theme is the letter D, so dress as your fave things beginning with that letter. A donkey, a dog, a door, or if you’re lazy, you could just wear a dress. It is held on a farm so please expect mud and loads of it. They have a Facebook page where attendees can sort out lift shares to stop too many cars appearing at the site, and with £12 car parking it’s probably a wise idea to share a car and split the cost. Like many festivals this year, Beatherder is trying to cut down on litter so all their tickets include a £5 litter bond. A litter bond is an amount of money that you can claim back when you produce a full bag of litter, very environmentally friendly. Tickets start at £105 per adult, and you can buy tickets from some independent vinyl shops that are listed on their website. Oh, and it has an Absinth bar…
Lee Fest Presents The Neverland
When: 10th-12th August 2017
Where: John Darlings Farm, Kent, TN8 5NP
Family Friendly: Yes
Perfect For: People who never grow up… or just hardcore Peter Pan fans
Noteworthy Acts: Jake Bugg, Annie Mac, Kate Tempest
Probably the most individual festival in this list, Lee Fest Presents the Neverland is a festival that literally creates its own fantasy world. When you arrive, you can choose a tribe (Lost Boys, Mermaids and Pirates) and spend the weekend dressed as a member. There are three realms for you to explore: Neverwoods, Mermaid Lagoon and Skull Ridge. With a games field, the Wendy House stage hidden in the woods, the Tinkerbell tap house, Gentlemen Starkeys Cabaret Club (with comedy, spoken word, debates, burlesque), the jolly roger casino, Wondersand Beach (beach games by day, disco by night), Tiger Lily’s cocktail bar, Rainbow Rooms (comedy club by day and drag bar by night), kids workshops, family camping, hot tubs and a communal camp fire to name but a few, there really is something for everyone. Tickets start at just £99 (what!?) with 13-16 year olds costing only £50 and children under 12 get to go for free. Tickets include a litter bond (refundable when you produce one bag of rubbish) and camping that has running water, toilets, showers, coffee and food traders. This wonderfully weird world is not something that you want to miss.
Festival Number 6
When: 7th-10th September 2017
Where: Portmeirion, North Wales, LL48 6ET
Family Friendly: Yes, Kids go free!
Perfect For: People after something a little more tasteful
Noteworthy Acts: Bloc Party, Flaming Lips, Mogwai, Bootleg Beatles, Rag n’ Bone man, Castles, Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon.
Set in the picturesque village of Portmeirion, North Wales, this celebration of music and arts is one of the prettiest festivals the UK has to offer. Festival No. 6’s main stage is based in the fantasy village itself, which is decorated with vibrant colours and beautiful pieces of art, and by night the village is lit up by the stage and lanterns. The festival has everything; Art, talks, theatre, cabaret, spectaculars, screenings, comedy, food and drink, kid’s activities and pretty much anything else you would expect from a festival! After spending a few hours there, you’ll understand why this is a multi-award-winning festival. Prices start at just £195 (plus £10 camping) and with kids going free, a trip to Festival No. 6 doesn’t need to break the bank.
When: 10th-13th August 2017
Where: Unknown Location, Norfolk
Family Friendly: No, 18+ event
Perfect For: People who like to do things before their pals… and brag about it.
Noteworthy Acts: Ricardo Villalobos, Nicolas Jaar, Vilod, Craig Richards
It’s hard to know too much about Houghton as it debuts this year, but from all the information that’s available, it sounds like it’s going to be incredible. A mix of Art and music with back to back sets and overrunning DJ performances encouraged, Houghton has already bagged some of the top names in techno and house. It offers pre-pitched tents and tickets start at just £80 for the weekend (day tickets not available).
When: 21st-23rd July 2017
Where: Balderby Park, Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, YO7 3BZ
Family Friendly: Absolutely
Perfect For: Parents who aren’t ready to let go of partying just yet
Noteworthy Acts: Teenage fan club, Kate Tempest, The Devine Comedy
Dubbed the most family friendly festival on our list, Deer Shed is perfect for any family with young kids. It has family camping, under 5s sensory tent, teeny beans tent, boom chicka boom baby rave, a workshop with Michael Bourne, a wounds scars and scary stuff work shop (it’s a make up masterclass, they won’t hurt your child) and poster design workshops. All content within the festival is acceptable for kids, even all comedy is rated PG! They don’t offer day tickets, but a weekend ticket starts at £145 for adults, £45 for kids 6-11, £10 for kids 3-5 and 2 and under go free!