If you don’t want the hustle and bustle of one of the big commercial festivals and want a stronger line-up than what some of the smaller festivals are offering, then you can start to feel a bit stuck for choice, right? Wrong. The UK is bursting at the seams with medium-sized festivals, many are filled with top names and just cosy enough to make your tent easy to find as well as a good atmosphere. Here are some of our top picks for this summer- the choice is yours…
Kendal Calling, East Cumbria
This year award-winning, independent festival Kendall Calling approaches its tenth anniversary and to celebrate is having its biggest party yet. Returning to the picturesque Lake District this year are hordes of world-class acts spread across eleven stages, as well as arts and crafts and even a kids area to keep the little ones happy. Topping it all off is the famous Saturday fancy dress party, this year’s theme is ‘Kendal Calling Goes Through The Decades’ and they’re hoping to get a huge party going to properly celebrate their 10th birthday. Kendall Calling looks to be the place to be this summer if you’re looking to let your hair down in a fun, friendly and beautiful environment.
Confirmed headliners this year are Elbow, Snoop Dogg and The Kaiser Chiefs, as well as The Vaccines, a special Thursday-night slot from James, Kodaline, The Horrors, Ella Eyre and even DJ slots from Groove Armada and Bondax & Friends among many others- so why wait?
When: 30th July to 2nd August
Price: £135 Adult camping, 11-15 year old camping SOLD OUT and free for U10s (hurry tickets are selling out fast!)
Truck Festival, Oxfordshire
Truck Festival is one of the longest-standing and, argued by many to be, one of the best independent festivals in the UK. The festival prides itself on its family ethos and intimate atmosphere- it’s all about music, friends and enjoying the great outdoors. Following tradition this year’s line-up serves up an eclectic mix that’s sure to suit a wide variety of tastes.
Basement Jaxx and The Charlatans top the bill this year, while other acts include Augustines, Don Broco, Saint Raymond, Fat White Family, Pulled Apart By Horses and Rae Morris among many others.
When: 17th July to 18th July
Price: £84 Weekend, Under 12s Free
Green Man festival, Wales
This independent Welsh festival is the biggest in Wales, welcoming 20,000 people each year. It’s an ethical festival (you may have guessed by the name!) and is popular with psych, folk, indie, dance and even Americana acts. Known for its laidback, family-friendly vibe, Green Man offers more than just a stellar line-up; comedy, literature, theatre and even a designated teens and kids area there to keep everyone entertained.
Electronic band Hot Chip and Grammy award-winning artist St Vincent headline this year, and joining them across the weekend are hundreds of acts, including: Goat, Calexico, Mew, The Staves, Charles Bradley, The Fall and Courtney Barnett.
When: 20th to 23rd August
Price: £165 adults, £140 students, £100 13 to 17 years, £51 5 to 12 & years 4 and under can attend free
Secret Garden Party, Cambridgeshire
Two words: paint fight. Sound good? Then listen up because this should be right up your street. Secret Garden Party is the not-so-secret independent arts and music festival attended by over 30,000 people annually. This festival is for party-goers of all ages, from the infamous Sunday paint fight to dance-offs, parades and, if it all gets too much, even comedy, art and theatre. The yearly theme always sets the mood for the weekend and this year it’s ‘Childish Things’, in other words: don’t be surprised if you see a Bob the Builder lookalike partying by The Great Stage.
So far numerous bands have been announced to grace the stages at this festival, including: Jungle, The Cat Empire, Public Service Broadcasting, Kate Tempest, Temples, Palma Violets and so many more.
When: 23rd to 26th July
Price: £180.50 Adult Weekend, £135 13- 17 years Weekend, Under 12s FREE
Ten years ago Latitude first opened its doors, ever since it’s been offering festival goers a humdrum of great music, culture and a chance to take in the beautiful English countryside (rain or no rain). Latitude is more than its huge line-up- in fact that’s what makes it so unique, it’s got something for everyone. From popular comedians like Nina Conti, Jason Mansford and Adam Hills, literature, a children’s arena, film and theatre, to Simon Armitage and John Cooper Clarke heading up the poetry stage- there’s no shortage of things to see and do. This year’s their tenth birthday so expect it to only get bigger and better.
Announced are headliners Alt-J and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, as well as Manic Street Preachers, Caribou, Laura Marling, James Blake, The Vaccines, Lianne La Havas and many more big names.
When: 16th to 19th July
Price: £192.50 Adult Weekend, £132.50 Teen 12-15 years, £8 5-12 years (Day tickets available)
Y Not Festival, Derbyshire
If you’re looking for a friendly, intimate festival, one where you could end up even camping next to one of the bands, then why not choose Y Not?This festival in Derbyshire always has an impressive line-up and is just the right capacity, at just under ten thousand, meaning the party always gets started but you don’t lose that close-knit feel.
This year’s headlining acts are Snoop Dogg and Basement Jaxx, joining them are We Are Scientists, Saint Raymond, We Are The Ocean, Rae Morris, Nick Mulvey, Don Broco, Reverend and The Makers and many more.
When: 31st July to 2nd August
Price: (Tier Two) £89.50 Adult Weekend, Under 12s free
Boardmasters is a unique festival set in the beautiful seaside town of Newquay in Cornwall which combines surfing and top acts in a 4-day extravaganza next to some of the most beautiful bays and beaches in the UK. Since 1981 Boardmaster’s international surf competitions have been integral to the British surfing scene, whether you’re a surfer or not you’re sure to enjoy watching some of the most stylish pro-surfers around dominating the waves. If that still doesn’t float your boat, there’s always BMX, skating or of course a stellar line-up to suit your fancy.
Headliners Faithless, Rudimental and Bastille will dominate the main stage on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights respectively, joining them across the festival are Catfish & The Bottlemen, Clean Bandit, De La Soul, Nick Mulvey and more.
When: 5th to 9th August
Price: (5 day weekend) £139 Adult, Child (under 10) free. (Day tickets, etc. available)
Beautiful Days, Devon
Twelve years ago, The Levellers launched their own festival with the aim of being able to “offer not only the best in live music today but to re-create a community spirit that many events nowadays lack”- the result was the hugely popular, award-winning Beautiful Days. It’s a festival which caters to all ages and has a community ethos that permeates throughout the family-friendly event. It aims to provide something for everyone; offering guests theatre, comedy activities for kids, arts & crafts and (most importantly) real ale bars. Anyway if the sound of that doesn’t float your boat, you’re sure to enjoy the breath-taking views of the Devon countryside.
The line-up is set to be announced on the 24th March, however, the festival is already confirmed to be opened and closed by hosts The Levellers. With last year’s line-up including Ocean Colour Scene, Primal Scream, Sinead O’Connor and Arrested Development heading the bill- this year surely will not disappoint.
When: 21st to 23rd August
Price: £135 Adult Weekend, £65 Age 10 to 16, £35 Age 5 to under-10s, Under-5s free