So Glastonbury is having a fallow year in 2018. But that’s totally OK because when we asked you what festivals you’d like to attend they were nearly all small, independent and wonderfully quirky UK festivals. We were amazed when we jotted them down and looked them all up. There really is a festival for everyone! Below are 23 of the best, put forward by our community. And we love the sound of each and every one of them!
Is your favourite band no longer? At Glastonbudget you might just be able to relive them. Located not in Glastonbury but in Wymeswold, Leicestershire, Glastonbudget is Europe’s largest tribute festival. Oasish, The Darkside of Pink Floyd, Four Fighters and the Happy Mondaze are all set to perform in 2018. It’s also a mecca for all those who love fancy dress!
When: 25-27 May
We recommend: Finn is all about adventure, and Glastonbudget will definitely deliver on that!
Ticket price: £85(Adult/weekend). Campervan pass: £49
Elderflower Fields is intentionally kept small. It’s an award winning three-day festival, designed especially for families with children, to open minds to new opportunities in sport, music, the arts, the environment and food.
When: 25-28 May
We recommend: Angel. Beds for 4, a toilet shower AND hot running water. The perfect festival companion.
Ticket price: £130 (Adult/weekend). Campervan pass: £45
The Green Gathering claims to be a festival that goes beyond a big party, to have a “lasting impact”. It runs on a non-profit basis and all electricity on site is solar or wind powered – from the lights to the stages to the production cabins. Ideal!
When: 2-5 August
Ticket prices: £90 (Adult/weekend). Campervan pass: £65 minimum
Beautiful Days has won and been shortlisted for best medium sized festival, best family festival and the grass roots festival award. Founded and managed by the band The Levellers, Beautiful Days is clearly winning at festivals!
When: 17-19 August
Ticket price: TBC
Yup, that’s us! Camp Quirky started out as simply an opportunity for Quirky Campers vans and owners to come together. To swap stories, share tips and learn from each other. However, it is already outgrowing this modest aim and 2018 sees us step up a notch. With live music, workshops and stalls all aiming to please van lovers.
When: 20-22 April
We recommend: Many of our campers will already be there with their owners, but we will have a special deal for campervan hire + festival tickets – get in touch to see what’s available
Ticket price: £50 plus booking fee. Campervan pass: FREE
Lighshows, fireshows, performance art, interaction and workshops. This magical festival is perfect for the late summer cool down.
When: 21-24 September
We recommend: Baloo
Ticket price: £105.82 (Adult/weekend) | £256.80 (Family pass). Campervan pass: £34.78
One of our lovely Facebook followers Fiona Crump sums it up nicely: “It’s all about my three favourite things in life – original music, food and literature. And of course our lovely van! Sitting in the sunshine drinking Pimms and listening to poetry one minute and rocking out with a pint of ale the next”. Bliss!
When: 26-29 July
We recommend: Our wonderful Cornish camper Agnes
Ticket price: £176.80 (Adult/weekend). Campervan pass: £68.90
The ultimate surf and music festival on the Cornish Coast. What epitomizes the height of summer more than the beach, friends and great music?
When: 8-12 August
We recommend: Bumblebee – our picture perfect, surfer camper
Ticket price: £154 (Adult/weekend). Campervan pass: £70
Timed just before the kids go back to school and set next to a beautiful lake, the Big Cwtch is a great way to end the summer holidays with craft fun, laser tag, storytelling, archery to choose from for the little ones or for you just sit with a pint in hand listening to the best emerging and breakthrough artists from across Wales.
Ticket price: £40 (Adult/weekend) £40 campervan pass
Winner of Best Tiny Festival by Festival Kidz in 2015 and 2017. And with entertainment for kids including animal experiences and circus entertainment there’s no wonder why! Another of our wonderful Facebook followers Laura Varney told us that it is ‘one of few festivals where you can park next to your tent and have campfires. Always see lots of interesting converted vehicles there. Highly recommend it’. So let’s get this right – it’s got exciting entertainment for the kids, allows campfires and has interesting converted vehicles? I think we might find a lot of fellow quirky friends here…
When: 10-12 August
We recommend: Dave who is just an hours drive from the site
Ticket price: £75 (Adult/weekend). £10 campervan pass
“Small but perfectly formed”
Another great recommendation from one of our community – thanks, Tina Le Coyte! She says “It’s camper van friendly with a big field for vans and their tent dwelling buddies to camp alongside if you wish. It’s close to the action so you can nip back to camp if you need to. A small festival with maybe a couple of thousand punters so you never feel crushed and can always get close to a performance. The two main stages are in barns so even if it’s raining (which it never has for us there yet!) you’re under cover. There are also a couple of stages outside if you want to lie in the sun.
The standard of music is extremely high and range from small acoustic performances to a big rollicking klesma band. Folk is a loose term to describe the performers and it certainly isn’t much hard core finger in the ear stuff. There are lots of other activities on offer such as laughter yoga, children’s crafts, adult storytelling etc.”
When: 16-19 August
We recommend: Just a 15 minute drive from the festival site, Little Tina is the perfect Quirky Camper for this one.
Ticket price: £116 (Adult/weekend/van pass)
“Shambala is a space to play, to reinvent, revitalise, and return to the world fuelled-up on the beauty of being alive. It’s a playground, a realm for wild experimentation and alternative education, where unforgettable life skills are shared, learned and put to use.”
When: 23-26 August
We recommend: Freya for all of her colour and vibrancy, you’ll fit right with her at Shambala
Ticket price: £195.50 (Adult/weekend). Campervan pass: £53.50
Where the kids roam free… Starry Skies is the ultimate family festival. Forest school, drama, dance, fancy dress and Family Sports Day are just a few of the activities that the awesome people at Starry Skies have in mind for the little ones.
When: 8-12 August
Ticket price: £166.95 + £40 child ticket. Campervan pass: £44
Nestled amid the counties of West Midlands, South Derbyshire and Staffordshire Bearded Theory is a multi-award winning creative and performing arts festival set in the beautiful grounds of Catton Hall in the heart of the National Forest. Jimmy Cliff and the Sleaford Mods are already confirmed with two more biggies yet to be confirmed.
When: 24-27 May
We recommend: Saffiyah. Because well, he looks amazing and you’ll stand out
Ticket price: £115 (Adult/weekend) Campervan pass: 37.50
“No tribute bands. No X-Factor. No Carling lager. No hipsters. No tossers. Just eclectic music and local cider, ale and food.” Where do we buy tickets? Here!
When: 3-5 August
Ticket price: £59 (Adult/weekend) Campervan pass: £20
We recommend: Located in Backwell, Wilson is just an hours drive away
Celebrating the rich cultures of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean on the cliffs of Cornwall! Vegetarians you’re in for a treat as the festival is 100% veggie!
When: 13-15 July
Ticket price: £70 (Adult/weekend) Campervan pass: £45
We recommend: Agnes is just a 10 minute drive away and can sleep up to 4 adults
The UK’s most unique festival. Set on its own peninsula in Snowdonia, No 6 Festival is known for its Italianate location surrounded by estuary, mountains and woodlands. A unique festival surely requires a unique camper 😉
When: 6-9 September
Ticket price: £175 + booking fee (Adult/weekend). Campervan passes: To be announced
“Homegrown in the Highlands” Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival won 1st place for the UK’s Most Popular Summer Music Festival. This festival is sure to tickle whatever your music fancy as it’s known for its wide-ranging musical scope. Tom Jones, Madness, The Procalimers and Travis have all performed in the Belladrum Estate near Inverness, in Scotland.
When: 2-4 August
Ticket price: £155.4909 (Adult/weekend pass) Standard campervan pass: £77.75
We recommend: Elliott who can be hired from near Aberdeen.
Discover “the happiest, friendliest, quirkiest festival in the land…”. Enjoyed by up to 4000 party goers we love that Larmer Tree Festival identifies as Quirky. Which Quirky Camper will you choose to fit right in?
When: 19-22 July
Ticket price: £175 + booking fee (Adult/weekend) Campervan pass: £52
We recommend: Spike is located just outside Bournemouth, so just a 45 minute drive from the festival site.
Art and décor replace advertising at this gorgeous independent festival in the Lake District in Cumbria. Known for its anti-corporate roots you can meditate, do some Yoga or participate in a Shamanic ritual at Solfest!
When: TBC, August
Ticket prices: £94.56 (Adult/weekend pass). Campervan pass: £26.56
We recommend: Emma is the breathe of fresh air you’ll need after a long day dancing.
Fun fact: The stage at Small World runs off the equivalent of 1/5 of a kettle. The festival runs off the equivalent of one kettle. WOW! Community, solar powered, sustainable living and creativity are all celebrated here (sounds all too similar to van life, don’t you think?!). Small World, we love you!
Ticket price: TBC
We recommend: Magic Mike
2018 will be its second year and it’s a small, super family-friendly festival set in the heart of the Kent countryside. It makes you feel as though you are in a different world, as the site is surrounded by woodland.
When: 8-10 June
Ticket price: £98 (Adult/weekend) Campervan pass: £35
We recommend: Angel, because she can sleep up to 4, has a toilet, shower AND hot running water. And she’s also located in Kent!
Now in its fifth year, the festival stays true to it’s roots and pays tribute to the idea that started it all. The belief that when people come together to share their talents, passion and inspiration through music, dance, circus and art, wonderful things can happen and a frolicking, delightfully good time can be had by all.
Ticket price: TBC
What do you think of our round-up of the best small festivals in the UK? Are there any we’ve missed?