Summer has finally made an appearance (hooray!) and that means that festival season is officially here. But, while you might love the thought of glitter, boho fashion and fun in the sun, three days of packed campsites, portaloos and mud isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Not to worry – if a weekend of wellies isn’t your idea of fun, this festival guide is for you. From feasts to fairytales to fancy dress, forget Glastonbury and enjoy these gorgeous alternatives!
Kicking off our list is a boutique festival set in the actual magical fantasy land that is Portmeirion. Aside from the eclectic mix of music, arts and culture, there are plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy – from paddle boarding along the coast to watching the carnival procession through the streets. There’s plenty of fun for kids too, whether it’s the Daft Punk Kids Rave or Portmeirion Pirate Training. If waking up in a tent doesn’t float your boat, why not book a luxury tipi, or a night in the castle? This is a princess-friendly festival, after all!
Be sure to pack ALL the glitter for this gorgeous festival in Oxfordshire. As the name suggests, Wilderness is set amid a beautiful natural landscape of lakes, woodlands, and hills. On top of the packed programme of music, theatre and arts, festival-goers can partake in arts and crafts, group singing, workshops. Plus, for the more adventurous, there’s skinny dipping in the lake! With a variety of camping options to suit all needs (even the most tent-phobic), this is definitely not your average festival.
Forget the usual festival fare of soggy burgers and chips, this one is all about the food. Think street food stalls, pop up restaurants and an actual cheese hub. Our mouths are watering already! Situated on Alex James of Blur fame’s farm in the Cotswolds, you won’t go hungry at the family-friendly Big Feastival. With music from the likes of Basement Jaxx and Paloma Faith, you can still pack your dancing shoes – just remember to bring a big appetite, too!
If you’ve got an adventurous side but your idea of adventure doesn’t involve trekking across endless fields of mud, the Good Life Experience is ideal. With organisers billing it a “voyage of discovery,” you’re bound to learn something new here. Bask in nostalgia as you learn to cook the perfect S’more or push yourself to new limits with abseiling or Tai Chi classes. With plenty of fun activities for children too, and world-class food and drinks aplenty, you’ll never want to leave!
More giant playground than festival, Port Eliot will surprise and delight adults and kids alike. Located on a large estate in Cornwall, the mansion’s many rooms are opened up and transformed into music venues, poetry dens and the like. Swim in the estuary or canoe along the river, explore and get lost in the fantastic grounds, spend an afternoon belly-laughing in the comedy tent and an evening boogying under the stars – there’s truly something for everyone at this festival like no other!
– Ruby McGuire