7 small festivals to try this summer if you're not heading to Glastonbury

The hottest festivals this summer are small and oh-so-perfectly formed.


Festivals 2019... Looking for the small but oh-so-perfectly formed one? Read on for the Marie Claire edit of the seven we can't wait to try this summer...

Festivals 2019 guide: Glastonbury is back this year but if you couldn't get a ticket, fear not - there are many more smaller (dare we say cooler) festivals to try in their place. These great small festivals are happening this summer and they are just as good.

Small Festivals 2019

Here's our pick of the small festivals 2019 ...

Camp Bestival

When: Thursday 25th July to Sunday 28th July

Where: Lulworth Castle, Dorset

Who: Nile Rodgers & Chic, Jess Glynne, Lewis Capaldi, The Human League, Annie Mac, Sister Sledge, Sara Cox, Big Shaq, Goldie, Morcheeba, Ash, East 17 and many more.

Why: If you’re looking for a child-friendly festival, you need Camp Bestival on your radar. Situated in the grounds of Lulworth Castle on Dorset’s spectacular Jurassic Coast, this multi-award winning family ‘festi-holiday’ has something for everyone. Expect sets from Nile Rogers & Chic, Annie Mac, Sara Cox, Jess Glynne and Lewis Capaldi, as well as comedy, theatre and top notch kids’ entertainment from Mr Tumble to Mister Maker, face painting, fireworks and the world’s biggest bouncy castle. This year’s theme is heroes vs. superheroes, so pack your sparkly cape and plenty of glitter.

small festivals camp bestival


When: Wednesday 7th August to Sunday 11th August 2019

Where: Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay, Cornwall

Who: Wu-Tang Clan, Razorlight, Florence + The Machine, Dizzee Rascal, Franz Ferdinand, Foals, Jorja Smith, Lewis Capaldi, The Wombats, Rudimental, Plan B

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). When it comes to researching festivals 2019 you're actually after more of a holiday and less of a mosh pit vibe, then this is the small festival for you.

Callum Morse (Boardmasters Festival)

Standon Calling

When: Thursday 25th July - Sunday 29th July 2019

Where: Standon, Hertfordshire

Who: Rag'n'Bone Man, Wolf Alice, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Friendly Fires, Lewis Capaldi, Kate Nash, Simian Mobile Disco,

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?

Credit: Standon Calling
(Image credit: Giles Smith)

Neverworld by Leefest

When: Thursday 1st August - Sunday 4th August 2019

Where: Hever, Kent

Who: Craig David, The Vaccines, Mystery Jets, Professor Green, Shy FX, Grandmaster Flash, Craig Charles

Why: Last year, Leefest launched 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.

small festivals uk


Festival No. 6

When: 6th September - 9th September 2019

Where: Portmeirion, Wales

Who: Friendly Fires, Jessie Ware, Franz Ferdinand, Lewis Capaldi, Django Django, Tom Walker, Hot Chip

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. We are sold, add it to our list of festivals 2019 to try. Boom!

Credit: Festival No. 6

Truck Festival

When: Friday 26th July - Sunday 28th July

Where: Hill Farm, Oxford

Who: Wolf Alice, Foals, Two Door Cinema Club, Kate Nash, Lewis Capaldi

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

Playground Festival

When: Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th August 2019

Where: Rouken Glen Park, Glasgow

Who: Groove Armada, The Cuban Brothers, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Anna Calvi, Craig Charles, Hot Chip, Django Django

Why: Playground is a brand new festival and has already booked some huge talent to grace the stages, so head on up to Glasgow and enjoy the fun.

Lucy Pavia