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.
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’
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.