Didn’t get to go to Glasto this year? Fear not. While it’s true that Glastonbury is the tour de force of festivals, there are plenty others in the UK where you can experience that party atmosphere and the thrill of discovering your new favourite band. And, like Glasto, these festivals aren’t just about the music; you’ll find amazing food, comedy, poetry, crafts and much, much more.
So, let the good times roll and get your tickets for one (or more!) of these 11 fabulous festivals.
When: 2-4 September
Rated as a top ‘Small is beautiful’ festival by the Sunday Times, this independent, three-day event staged at the beautiful Donington Park farm is a must for anyone wanting to let their hair down and enjoy some fantastic entertainment. The line-up is exciting and varied, while the real ale, delicious food and countryside camping is the cherry on the cake. Off The Tracks really does prove that great things come in small packages.
When: 20-21 August
Since launching in 2013, SportsBeat has already built up quite a following and hosted some notorious headline acts, such as Razorlight, De La Soul and The Fratellis. 2016 sees The Charlatans and the Happy Mondays topping the bill. Wondering where sport comes in? The festival was founded by local professional athletes, so dancing isn’t the only way to get your blood pumping: there’s grass volleyball and netball tournaments to enter too, so bring a team.
When: 18-21 August
If you love a tribute band, then Tribfest is the summer festival for you! The fun takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Sledmere House and the festival’s facilities are some of the best in the country. Acts this year include Meet Loaf, Antarctic Monkeys, Viva La Coldplay and The UB40 Experience. There’s also comedy to be found in the Laughing Bull Marquee and up-and-coming artists in the Unsigned Marquee.
When: 17-21 August
Taking place in various venues across the Mull of Kintyre, a region brought to prominence in Sir Paul McCartney’s famous song, this eclectic and intriguing festival has a programme to suit all tastes, from traditional Scottish and Irish music to legends of the rave scene. Performances include a festival ceilidh on Friday night and a traditional concert on Saturday.
When: 19-21 August
If you’ve always wanted to take the kids to a festival, but never quite had the courage, Doune the Rabbit Hole might be a good place to start. This intimate, independent music and arts festival is set amongst the stunning surroundings of Cardross Estate, Lake of Menteith, and is perfectly set up for kids as well as adults. You’ll find excellent local food and drink stalls, crafts, workshops, art and, of course, plenty of music.
When: 26-29 August
Getting to Colne, where the festival is held, is just as much fun as the festival itself! Take the Blues Train at 6pm from Preston on the Friday and arrive in Colne at around 7.15pm. On board, there’ll be real ale and live music to get you in the mood for a bluesy weekend. The festival itself is a toe-tapping celebration of some of the best British rhythm and blues bands around so get ready to boogie on down until the small hours.
When: 1-4 September
With the breathtaking backdrop of the mythical Holy Island and the Northumberland coastline, this festival takes place in one of the most beautiful settings in the UK. Its main appeal lies in letting go for a few days, focusing on giving yourself some time to relax and enjoy the experience. Some of the nation’s best alternative therapists will be on site to help you unwind, and the street food stalls are mouth-wateringly good. The music is eclectic with a mix of indie, funk, rock, folk and dance.
When: 2-4 September
Since this festival started in 2007, it’s gone from strength to strength and hosts a wide range of musicians from new talent to platinum-selling artists. This year’s headliners include Tinie Tempah, We Are Scientists, Echo & The Bunnymen and Travis. There’s a fancy dress theme each year, too, to help you get into the festival spirit.This year, it’s the music of the late and great David Bowie. So, don your stripy spandex and platform shoes and head to Bingley Music Live this year.
When: 9-10 September
For two days only, Brighton Racecourse hosts over 65 acts celebrating alternative music from punk and ska to dub and reggae. Bands include The Selecter, Dreadzone and Sonic Boom Six. The music might be loud and full of bite, but it’s known as one of the friendliest festivals around. It’s also weather-proof as (the clue is in the name) all of the stages are indoors.
When: 9-10 September
Calling all dance music aficionados! This boutique music festival in the Kent County Showground in Maidstone features some of the world’s greatest dance music acts. Let Ibiza come to you and dance the night away in this idyllic setting surrounded by like-minded music lovers. The Social gets its name from the emphasis on the local community and works with nearby companies, universities and food outlets to keep things close to home. When you’re not dancing, there’s a funfair and market stalls to keep you entertained.
When: 27-28 August
If you like nothing better than to “get up offa that thing”, then you’ll love this funk, jazz and soul festival in Milton Hill, Oxfordshire. The festival had small beginnings – a marquee in a field – but has now grown to be an amazing two-day event that any soul fan should have in their diary. Weekend tickets are still available, so get on down to Funkytown (Campsoul) this summer.