If you're more glamping than Glasto, read on for MC's pick of this summer's best micro festivals
With the Isle of Wight kicking off last weekend and Glastonbury a mere two weeks away, festival season is officially upon us. It’s definitely the year of the micro festivals so for those of you who fancy something a little different, we’ve handpicked our top boutique festivals happening across the UK this summer.
If you’re a student (or young at heart)… Go to Beach Break Live, South Wales, 16-20 June
It’s the UK’s biggest beach party, so grab your oversized shades and get ready to roll in the sand to the sounds of Tinie Tempah and Professor Green. Taking frivolous fun to a whole new level with an adventure playground and establishments such as ‘The Leeky Sheep’, what happens on Beach Break, stays on Beach Break.
If you like a little luxury… Go to Winterwell, Glouchestershire, 17-19 June
For those who love festivals but are more into glamping than camping, Hotel Winterwell is a super-luxe camping area, with Belle tents and tipis. Think extravagant queen-sized beds, electricity and your own personal bouncers. It can be found in the middle of a valley in Cirencester where this year’s theme is ‘Battle of the Board Games’. Expect oversized Scrabble, Twister tournaments and Cluedo characters causing mischief.
If you like a country getaway… Go to Lounge on the Farm, Kent, 8-10 July
Located on Merton Farm, in Canterbury, Lounge is quickly gaining a rep as one of the coolest festivals around. With Ellie Goulding, Example and The Vaccines taking to the stage, Lounge also promotes local bands and musicians from Kent. Boasting green credentials with a solar powered cinema and locally sourced food and drink (including the Roots ‘n Shoots stall – essential for those in need of a revistalising boost), LOTF transports you to a real working farm – and it’s just 55 minutes outside London.
If you’re strapped for cash… Go to Lovebox, London, 15-17 July
Follow London’s trendiest and head to Victoria Park in the East End, for a hedonistic inner-city bash. At just £28.50 for a day ticket, it’s bargain-friendly – but with a plethora of guitar-wielding hipsters, a stonking atmosphere and a line-up including Snoop Dogg, Too Many DJ’s and the Scissor Sisters – choosing one day alone may prove impossible…
If you’re looking for family friendly… Go to Larmer Tree Festival, Salisbury, 13-17 July
With comedy from the likes of Russell Kane and music from Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, this 5 day extravaganza is not just for adults. Woodland crafts, an adventure playground and circus workshops ensure that all the under-age are kept suitably entertained.
If you’re heading up north…Go to Kendal Calling, Lake District, 29-31 July
Located in Lowther Deer Park, it’s only 6 years old and is already boasting a line-up including Blondie and Chase and Status. Where else can you dance in an amphitheatre surrounded by oak trees? And when the dancing gets too much, chill-out time comes in the form of a massage in the Garden of Eden and Rocknory – bedtime stories read by rockstars of course.
If you’re into vintage… Go to Vintage at Southbank, Southbank Centre, 29-31 July
After the roaring success of Vintage at Goodwood, brainchild of Wayne Hemingway, this 3-day festival is back – and this year, it’s on London’s mud-free Southbank. A dressing up box and collector’s dream, celebrate film, art, design and dance from the 1920s to 80s, with hair parlours, a vintage funfair and themed tea parties to boot.
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If you love fancy dress… Go to Standon Calling, Hertfordshire, 11-14 August
Set in the grounds of a 16th century manor house, this quirky festival is renowned for showcasing breakthrough artists. With previous acts such as Florence and the Machine, Friendly Fires and Mumford and Sons, this year’s lineup is jampacked with the next big things. With a fancy dress theme of ‘Gods and Monsters’, tree-top bar and a 6am cowshed party- if you’re not already convinced – it’s the only UK festival that has a swimming pool. Bikinis at the ready!
If you hate the rain… Go to Stop Making Sense, Croatia, 11-13 August
So we’re cheating a little here, but who can resist the thought of swapping wellies for flip flops and listening to music aboard a moored yacht? Situated on the remote village of Petrcane, the music starts at noon until the sun goes down. With everything from jazz to house and dubstep to techno, it makes a lot of sense. Actually.
If food and music are the way to your heart..Go to Harvest, the Cotswolds, 9-12 September
Championing the simple things in life, we’ve found a festival which embraces food and music in abundance. Brainchild of Blur’s Alex James and hosted on his Oxfordshire farm, expect a crowd of uber-cool foodies. With cookery lessons and pop-up restaurants from the likes of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Mark Hix and Yotam Ottolenghi – get full on food while listening to the tunes of KT Tunstall and The Futureheads.