18 of the Best Summer Festivals

Sunday 28th May 2017

The UK boasts some of the best festivals in the world and now, more than ever, nothing is overlooked, from award-winning street food to banquets with the country’s top chefs. This year, the line-ups look better than ever so whether you’re more of a glamper or prefer to do it ‘properly’, read on for our pick of 18 top summer festivals. Get booking.

What: Award-Winning Festival

Why: We Are FSTVL have previously been named Best New Festival, Best Medium Sized Festival and Best International Festival so you can expect big things. We Are FSTVL is taking place this May bank holiday at Damyn’s Hall in Upminster – kick off the summer with acts like Craig David, Basement Jaxx and Dizzee Rascal.
26th – 28th May

Where: Damyns Hall Aerodrome, Aveley Road, Upminster, RM14 2TN


What: Disco, Funk, Soul and Street Food

Why: Save yourself the sweaty train journey lugging your rucksack and do a day festival in London instead. The second May bank holiday will see GALA come to South London’s Brockwell Park – a whole day of disco, soul, funk and street food. Honest Burgers, Made of Dough, Forza Win, Kricket and Fatties Bakery (those brownies…swoon) are just some of the big independent names on the foodie line-up and as for the acts – you’ll hear DJs from Paradise Garage a stage takeover from Horse Meat Disco and a David Bowie tribute set from Late Night Tuff Guy.
28th May

Where: Brockwell Park, Herne Hill, SE24


What: Gin Festival

Why: If Hendrick’s Gin was a festival it would be The Great Estate. Described as the most rambunctious garden fete, visit and you can expect camel racing, secret gin gardens, silent woodland discos and hot air balloon rides. Major international headline acts have been promised but trust that burlesque, hot tubs and Cornish sea shanties will give you a weekend to remember.
2nd – 4th June

Where: Scorrier House, Scorrier, Redruth, Cornwall, TR16 5AU


What: Victoria Park

Why: Victoria Park is no stranger to a festival or two. The start of June will see Field Day take over the park for the 11th year, boasting a line-up including Aphex Twin, Flying Lotus and Run The Jewels. It’s one of the UK’s leading festivals and it’s right on our doorstep… Hey, the food line-up isn’t bad either, and also includes organic, vegetarian and vegan options.
3rd June

Where: Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, E3 5TB


What: Glitter and Disco Balls

Why: Years & Years are headlining this year’s Mighty Hoopla, a one day festival in Victoria Park. Other highlights include Will Young, All Saints and the mighty S Club 3 and follow last year’s inaugural festival which took place over three days at Butlin’s Bognor Regis. Expect glitter, alternative clubbing and shameless fun.
4th June

Where: Victoria Park, Hackney, E3 5TB


What: Small Festival, Big Ideas

Why: An intimate festival, back for a fourth year, Also Festival is relatively new to the circuit. Fusing food, music, ideas and nature you can open your mind on topics like mindfulness, storytelling and genetics, whilst we like the sound of the lakeside afternoon tea, shipwrecked midnight feast and a Balearic brunch. Elsewhere, you can get involved in flower workshops, perfume-making and 4:51am sunrise swims in the lake.
30th June – 2nd July

Where: Park Farm, Compton Verney, Warwick, CV35 9HJ


What: An Epic Music Line-Up

Why: Well-established as one of the UK’s top festivals and now in its 11th year, Latitude is known for coloured sheep, waterfront dancing and an epic line-up. 2017 will see Mumford and Sons, The 1975, Goldfrapp and Fleet Foxes take to the Obelisk Arena, which sits at the top of the hill overlooking the whole site. The BBC Music Stage will see alternative talent, whilst the Lake Stage does what it says on the tin, with amazing views out over the lake. Take a trip down there at sunset.
13th – 16th July

Where: Henham Park, Henham, Southwold, NR34 8AQ


What: 15 Years of Love

Why: East London’s favourite festival is back and this year it will be celebrating it’s 15th anniversary – that’s 15 years of music, love and good times. This year’s line up includes Kano, Frank Ocean, Jamie XX, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Solange and Sampha. We also love the fact it is in our own Victoria Park so we can go home and shower and we don’t have to deal with camping. Winning.
14th – 15th July

Where: Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, E3 5TB


What: London’s Ultimate Summer Sunday

Why: Victoria Park comes alive one Sunday every July, when thousands venture east to catch huge names like Foals, Bonobo, Laura Marling and Pharrel’s favourite, Maggie Rogers. Citadel is only in its third year but has the whole festival thing sussed because as well as music, you’ll also find street food from the likes of Bubbledogs and Texas Smoker, and bars from Sharp’s Brewery and Smirnoff.
Sunday 16th July

Where: Victoria Park, Hackney, E3 5TB


What: Accept No Imitations

Why: The original boutique summer festival, Secret Garden Party is the highlight of many a festival-goer’s summer calendar. Imitated often, matched never, there is nothing quite like the original and the big news is that this year will be the last as we know it. Fifteen years ago, 500 friends gathered at the bottom of a garden and now it has set the bar for all others; glamping was practically invented by SGP. 2017s line-up features Crystal Fighters, Honne, Kate Nash and Jagwar Ma.
20th – 23rd July

Where: Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE28 2LA


What: Ancestral Estate Festival

Why: Port Eliot festival takes place on the last weekend of July at the Eliot estate in Cornwall. The festival clearly doesn’t do things in halves; not only will there be music throughout the weekend but you can expect outdoor adventures, fashion, exhibitions, science, comedy and food. Previous years have seen Sunday morning children’s stories from Kate Winslet and a spelling bee hosted by Dominic West, so the bar has been raised pretty high for this mid-summer festival. This year won’t disappoint.
27th – 30th July

Where: Port Eliot Estate, St Germans, Saltash Cornwall, PL12 5ND


What: The Global Festival

Why: WOMAD is an international arts festival, which stands for World of Music, Arts and Dance. Taking place across the globe, the UK leg is taking place in Wiltshire’s Charlton Park and will bring together music from Colombia, Estonia, Zanzibar and beyond as well as spa treatments, yoga, dance classes and specialist bars.
27th – 30th July

Where: Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, SN16 9DG


What: The Ultimate Boutique Festival

Why: Think etherial festival and you think Wilderness. Now in its 6th year, Cornbury Park is set to come alive in August with Two Door Cinema Club, Grace Jones, Michael Kiwanuka and many more, but it’s by no means all about the music. Top chefs including Angela Hartnett, Nuno Mendes and Yotam Ottolenghi are getting ready to decamp to the English countryside for magical long table banquets, feasts and chefs table experiences with street food from the likes of Kricket, Breddos Tacos and Bao. Feed your mind too, with thought-provoking talks, debates and workshops then head back to your teepee to dream a little more.
3rd – 6th August

Where: Cornbury Park, Oxforshire, OX7 3DG


What: Go Green in the Brecon Beacons

Why: With the unbeatable backdrop of the Brecon Beacons, Green Man Festival offers more than just music. This year they are celebrating their 15th anniversary with the likes of PJ Harvey, Ryan Adams and Future Islands. Green Man also supports the arts and will have stages dedicated to film, literature and comedy.
17th – 20th August

Where: Brecon Beacons National Park, Glanusk Park, Powys, Wales, NP8 1LP


What: Family Friendly in the Countryside

Why: What would the August bank holiday weekend be without a festival to look forward to? If you fancy something a little bit different than Reading and Leeds, then Shambala is your answer. There will be over 200 acts across the weekend, 12 stages, cabaret, workshops, debates and talks, plus much more all taking place in a secret estate in Northamptonshire. Shambala provides more than enough to get rid of your end of summer blues.
24th – 27th August

Where: Secret Country Estate, Northamptonshire, NN6


What: London Festival

Why: If you’re looking for something more local, SW4 festival is held on our very own Clapham Common. You’ll have to make an informed decision about which festival to go to on the August bank holiday, as SW4 is competing with the likes of Shambala and, of course, Notting Hill Carnival. If you need persuading, the line up includes acts such as Tinie Tempah, Sigma, Pendulum and Deadmau5.
26th – 27th August

Where: Clapham Common, Clapham, SW4


What: The One on the Beach

Why: Boutique camping, Michelin-starred chefs and Guardian masterclasses makes Wales’ Festival N°6 a little bit eccentric, a little bit glam and a whole lot magical all at the same time. With everything from folk to techno, house to rock and roll (Bloc Party, Laura Mvula and Rag ’n’ Bone Man are on this year’s line-up), and a strong programme of arts and culture, you’ll feel transported to a land far far away.
7th – 10th September

Where: Portmeirion, Gwynedd, Wales, LL48 6ER


What: The UK's Original Food Festival

Why: A true foodie festival, Ludlow Castle is transformed into a haven of tastings, samples and over 180 artisan producers displaying everything from cider, wine and real ale. Sausage, bread and ale trails sound right up our sweet, as do chef demonstrations. Oh, and the scenic setting of Ludlow Castle is pretty hard to beat.
8th – 10th September

Where: Ludlow Castle, Castle Square, Ludlow, SY8 1AY


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