Marie Claire's edit of small but oh-so-perfectly formed festivals to head to this season...
Maybe Glastonbury isn’t your cup of tea (or, you’re just waiting for Fallow year to be over to get your ticket) , 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.
Here’s our pick of the smallest festivals 2018 edition…
When: Saturday 16th June
Where: Haggis Farm, Cambridge
Who: T-Pain (in a UK festivals exclusive), Not3s, Kojo Funds, David Rodigan, Shy FX, Ghetts, DJ Luck and MC Neat, Pied Piper and Nay Nay
Why? Boasting the youngest team of organisers in the UK (average age of 24!), this festival is as fresh as they come. Starting as a boutique party on a farm in 2014, Strawberries & Creem brings the very best of rap, grime, house and throwbacks to the summer festival scene.
When: 7 – 10th June
Where: Anglesey wales
Who: Andrew Weatherall, Ata, Margaret Dygas, Avalon Emerson, Axel Boman, Mr Scruff, Ben UFO, Commix, Grain b2b Jackmaster, Palms Trax
Why? This little boutique electro festival, nestled in the welsh forests, is one of the most beautiful festivals about. With only 5,000 capacity, it remains intimate and magical – there’s even a walled Garden and a tree house, for full-on fairytale vibes.
When: 5th – 8th July
Where: Vicarage Farm, Hampshire
Who: Gold Panda, Baxter Dury, Mr Jukes, Slamboree, Pink Kink, Stanton Warriors and Maxxi Soundsytem
Why: There’s something for everyone at Blisscamp, whether you want to party all night to Gold Panda at The Outpost, the central campfire and stage, or marvel at the fire and trapeze acts. There’s food, crafts and theatrics to keep you blissfully busy.
When: 8 – 12 August
Where: Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay, Cornwall
Who: The Chemical Brothers, George Ezra, Catfish and the bottlemen, Years & Years, Craig David, Annie Mac, Everything Everything and Idris Elba.
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.
When: 26th – 29th July
Where: Standon, Hertfordshire
Who: Paloma Faith, George Ezra, Bryan Ferry, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Little Simz, The Horrors
Why: The swimming pool – the only UK festival with one – the 16th century manor house setting, rockaoke, the annual dog show… did we mention the swimming pool?
When: 2 – 5 August
Where: Hever, Kent
Who: Bastille, Clean Bandit, Tom Grennan, We Are Scientists, Sub Focus, Rae Morris and Hollie Cook
Why: New for this year, Leefest launches Neverworld a magical Peter Pan universe where you can get totally extra in OTT fancy dress and sparkles. In its previous form, Leefest had 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.
When: 6 – 9th September
Where: Portmeirion, Wales
Who: The Friendly Fires, Franz Ferdinand, Jessie Ware, The Charlatans, Everything Everything, Suggs, Will Self
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.
When: 20 – 22nd July
Where: Hill Farm, Oxford
Who: Friendly Fires, Jake Bugg, Editors, Shy FX, We Are Scientists and George Ezra
Why: The ‘godfather of the small festival scene’ features rolling green hills, cute indie boys and a friendly, unpretentious local crowd.