Top 10 Festivals
Books, welly boots and boutique food
Summer in England is festival time. But don’t be fooled – Wellies are still a must. From intimate parties with a few small stages to events that take hours to walk the length of, take your pick. Dancing in a field as the sun goes down will make the mud worth it – promise.
is green through and through. In 2011 it will celebrate its 5th birthday, so expect a special vibe. Ticket prices are kept low and things done on a small scale (three stages, six organisers, 2,500 festival-goers). It’s all about new music.
2. Wirral International Kite Festival
Held every June this is the chance to fly a kite with award winning guest flyers, international champions and the best of the British. The free two-day event at The 'Dips' at New Brighton also boasts a Kite Making workshop, a children’s funfair and trade stands. The climax though is the spectacular show kites of all shapes and sizes that fill the Merseyside sky.
Talk about grassroots … LeeFest began in 2006 when Lee’s parents left him home alone with the warning “Don’t you dare have another house party”. Instead he staged a festival for 150 people in the garden. Now, the non-profit festival takes place in a field, with 1,500 people.
4. York Food Festival
While the quality of food at most festivals has these days improved beyond burger and chips, here, you can expect a whole lot more. Enjoy food and wine matching classes, chefs’ demonstrations, and the taste of fine Yorkshire fare. All this comes with a great historic backdrop – the city of York.
5. Lounge on the Farm
There are many reasons to rock out on Merton Farm . Take a UK Festival Award winning line-up, for example. The 5,000 capacity LOTF also has a non-musical field. Food is taken seriously, and all suppliers are local (from Kent and East Sussex). Book early for fine dining in a field …
6. Ilkley Literature Festival
This October celebration of literature is held in a Victorian spa town at the foot of Ilkley Moor. With 180 events taking place, there’s no shortage of inspiration. All ages are encouraged to put books centre stage – there are many events for children including a children’s weekend.
7. WOMAD Charlton Park
The enthusiasm here for art, music and dance of the world is infectious. Experience Indian dance, Ethiopian music or Irish art installation. Since the first festival took place in the UK in 1982, WOMAD has held more than 160 festivals in 27 countries.
Can’t decide between music, theatre or literature? Here, you don’t have to. Latitude has won many fans since it began in 2006, dreamed up by Melvin Benn, one of the most influential figures on the festival scene. To capture the essence of Latitude, check the community section of the website for YouTube, Spotify and facebook activity.
What better way to end the summer than dancing around in fancy dress on the Isle of Wight? Buying a Bestival travel and ticket package is easier than booking a separate ferry crossing to the island. Each year, a fancy dress theme is chosen, sparking serious costume creation.
10. The Big Chill
At Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire, step out of the everyday world of demands, into tranquil countryside, where party guests stay up late. Still going strong after more than 15 years, The Big Chill has a faithful following. The festival forum has a dedicated lift share section.
Psst.... Handy Hints
Organise shared travel via a forum on a festival site such as www.efestivals.co.uk . This is also a useful community for any festival questions.
Take the kids
If you are taking children to a festival book a space in the family field. Usually these areas have more facilities.
Flag it up
Use a flag or inflatable to mark your tent. Memorise a route back to your pitch via other ‘landmarks’.
Consider using a trolley to transport your belongings across the festival site. Sometimes you’ll be walking for miles before you pitch your tent.
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