Missed out on Glasto tickets? Here’s 7 tiny festivals to try this summer instead

Marie Claire's edit of small but oh-so-perfectly formed festivals to head to this summer

You might not have been quick enough off the mark to score Glastonbury tickets, or perhaps you’re away during Lovebox or Wilderness, but never fear, these seven great small festivals happening in the UK this summer are just as good.

What: Samphire Festival

When: 7th – 9th July

Where: Exmoor National Park

Who: Crazy P, The Correspondents, Ardyn, Freddie Dickson, Resonators

Why: As far as small festivals go, Samphire is as boutique as they come. Set up only last year by couple Flora Blathwayt and Josh Beauchamp, the festival takes place on a beautiful stretch of the Exmoor National Park, with its sweeping coastal views and natural samphire growing in the bay (the inspiration for the festival’s name). This year’s edition promises to bring 1500 festival goers a mix of new music, delicious grub and even some tree climbing.

What: Blissfields

When: 6th – 8th July

Where: Vicarage Farm, Hampshire

Who: The Cinematic Orchestra, Metronomy, Shura, Lady Leshurr

Why: There’s something for everyone at Blissfields, whether you want to party all night to Sian Anderson in the Blisscoteque or try your hand at origami in the craft tent. Just don’t forget to dress up. This year’s theme? ‘The Bizarre’

small festivals uk

What: Boardmasters

When: 9th – 13th August

Where: Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay, Cornwall

Who: Two Door Cinema Club, Jamiroquai, Alt-J, The Flaming Lips, The Vaccines, Stormzy

Why: Surf, surf, and more surf. And if you’re not a surfer, you can always watch the pros showing off and soak up the sun (weather permitting). If it’s a holiday vibe you’re after, this one’s for you.

small festivals uk

What: Standon Calling

When: 27th – 30th July

Where: Standon, Hertfordshire

Who: Orbital, Clean Bandit, Grace Jones, Editors, Slaves, Kate tempest, Gary Numan, Laura Mvula, Nothing But Thieves, KT Tunstall, Steve Mason

Why: The swimming pool – the only UK festival with one – the 16th century manor house setting, the nightclub in a cowshed, the annual dog show… did we mention the swimming pool?

small festivals uk

What: Leefest

When: 10th – 12th August

Where: Highams Hill Farm, Sheepbarn Lane, Warlingham (South London)

Who: Jake Bugg, Annie Mac, Kate Tempest, Wild Beasts, Wilkinson

Why: Leefest has a reputation for launching new bands into next big things (hello, London Grammar and Bastille), so it’s the place to go if you want to get ahead of the curve. It’s also a lot of fun.

small festivals uk

What: Truck Festival

When: 21st – 23rd July

Where: Hill Farm, Oxford

Who: The Libertines, Franz Ferdinand, The Vaccines, The Wombats, Slaves, Maximo Park

Why: The ‘godfather of the small festival scene’ features rolling green hills, cute indie boys and a friendly, unpretentious local crowd.

small festivals uk

What: Festival No. 6

When: 5-7 September 2014

Where: Portmeirion, Wales

Who: Beck, London Grammar, Bonobo, Neneh Cherry

Why: Small festivals always claim to offer something a bit different, but set in what can only be described as the magical fantasy land of Portmeirion, Festival No. 6 really does. You can sleep in a castle, watch theatre in the woods and eat in actual restaurants.

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