We LOVE com­pil­ing this list each year. And it feels par­tic­u­lar­ly lib­er­at­ing to almost be back to ‘busi­ness as usu­al’ on the fes­ti­val front – plus some new and expand­ed events are going ahead, mean­ing those in charge of the fes­ti­val purse strings are con­fi­dent we’re head­ing back in the fields this sum­mer. So here’s the Gourmet Gigs annu­al list of our favourite UK fes­ti­vals for 2022. As usu­al, we try not to just do a press release ‘copy n paste’ job – most fes­ti­vals on the list are tried and test­ed – we lived to tell the tale, and we bloody loved them!

Focus Wales 5, 6, 7 May

This indus­try fes­ti­val is the real deal, with hun­dreds of artists, work­shops, con­fer­ences and events tak­ing place in Wrex­ham over the three fes­ti­val days.

Over 300 inter­na­tion­al artists from Aus­tria, The Balearics, Mon­go­lia and more will be play­ing on a total of 20 stages. Pub­lic Ser­vice Broad­cast­ing are head­lin­ing Llwyn Isaf, the new big top tent on Thurs­day 5th May. For any­one involved or hop­ing to be part of the music indus­try, Focus Wales attracts a very high cal­i­bre of pro­fes­sion­als. First speak­ers announced include: Lau­ren Down (End of The Road Fes­ti­val), Oskar Stra­jn (ESNS, Nether­lands), Jude Rogers (The Guardian), Jessie Atkin­son (Gig­wise).

This year on the Line­up: The Besnard Lakes, Echo and the Bun­ny­men, Gwen­no, Adwaith. Focus Wales

Sea Change 27 to 29 May

Sea Change is set in inter­est­ing and often quirky spots around the Devon town of Totnes, such as the Bar­rel House Ball­room, 17th Cen­tu­ry Bird­wood House, a cin­e­ma and a church, plus near­by Dart­ing­ton Hall Estate. The spe­cial launch night event, on Thurs­day 26th May, sees the Chilly Gon­za­les per­form­ing an inti­mate solo piano con­cert at Dart­ing­ton’s Great Hall. Sea Change’s cura­tion is by the knowl­edge­able team at Drift Record Shop and the fes­ti­val is a zeit­geisty mix of cin­e­ma, arts, talks, and of course, music.

This Year on the Line­up: Chilly Gon­za­lez launch show, Tim Burgess, Katy J Pear­son, Pale Blue Eyes, Sinead O’Brien. Sea Change festival

Bearded Theory 26 to 29 May

One of our con­stant favourites and a great starter to the sea­son, Beard­ed The­o­ry is one of the most friend­ly fes­ti­vals. Check out the beau­ti­ful sec­ond stage in the woods, and the illus­tri­ous Mag­i­cal Sounds dance tent with a mad mix of trancey and glob­al music, this year Ed Tan­gent, Eat Sta­t­ic, Astrala­sia . Sun­day morn­ing hands over to the annu­al fan­cy dress com­pe­ti­tion and make sure you are sport­ing a love­ly beard (see pho­to below). Tick­ets, always tempt­ing­ly cheap, are run­ning out so step on it if you’re interested.

This year on the Line­up: Flam­ing Lips, Fero­cious Dog, Fat White Fam­i­ly. Beard­ed The­o­ry tickets.

Wide Awake 27 to 28 May

Wide Awake is an exu­ber­ant Lon­don fes­ti­val tak­ing place in Brock­well Park, south Lon­don. It start­ed last year as a one-day event, but its suc­cess sees it take over a whole week­end for 2022 – I was very impressed with Wide Awake last year, and there was a wide-rang­ing mix of music from indie, post punk, elec­tron­i­ca, tech­no and more. Fri­day will fea­ture more elec­tron­i­ca, while Sat­ur­day builds on the inau­gur­al Wide Awake empha­sis on gui­tar bands and alter­na­tive sounds, once again part­ner­ing with The Wind­mill. There’s also a huge range of craft beer stalls and a nice­ly chilled atmosphere.

On the Line­up we like: Bicep, Float­ing Points, Cari­bou, Yard Act, Boy Harsh­er, Sofia Cour­te­sis, Pri­mal Scream will be play­ing Screa­madel­i­ca in full Wide Awake tickets

The Eden Festival 9 to 12 June

We’ve heard won­der­ful things about Eden Fes­ti­val, set in the Dum­fries and Gal­loway area. Set with­in the wood­lands of Rae­hill Mead­ows, there are 10 stages cov­er­ing all musi­cal bases from World to Funk, Clas­si­cal to Jun­gle, Indie to Acoustic, Dance­hall to Folk and every­thing in between.

On the Line­up we like: Super­grass, Coo­lio, Hybrid Minds, Sherelle, David Rodi­gan, Hol­lie Cook Eden Fes­ti­val tickets

El Dorado 30 June to 3 July

Par­ty ani­mals will love El Dora­do, which is set in the mega pic­turesque loca­tion of East­nor Cas­tle, Led­bury – one-time home of Big Chill, for those who may remem­ber. El Dora­do is now four days long too, with a huge range of feel­go­od dance acts, com­pris­ing drum and bass, house, soca, hiphop, jun­gle and more. 

On the Line­up we like: Groove Arma­da, Earth Wind and Fire Expe­ri­ence, Hybrid Minds, Sherelle, David Rodigan 

Timber festival 1 to 3 July

Tim­ber is a beau­ti­ful event set in the Nation­al For­est, near Fearne­dock, on a 70 acre site on the Der­byshire bor­der. Immerse your­self in a range of activ­i­ties and enjoy music along with talks, lit­er­a­ture, work­shops, and at dusk, walk through The Gloam­ing, Tim­ber’s inspir­ing light trail.

The Eyrie Stage

Poet Lau­re­ate Simon Armitage will be read­ing from his lat­est book and also hits the decks for a throw­back set. Enjoy camp­fire sto­ries, wood­land skills, slow­food cook­ery. BBC Radio 4’s Geoff Bird will host the fourth series of Tim­ber pod­cast Wilder­ness Tracks, where guests chat about their favourite nature-inspired pieces of music, such as Janet Ellis MBE, writer and broad­cast­er Natal­ie Haynes and hip-hop artist MC Tes­ta­ment. And bring an item of cloth­ing for the clothes swap!

On the Line­up we like: The Orielles, Bil­lie Marten, Alabaster dePlume, Smoke Fairies Tim­ber Festival

Bluedot 21 to 24 July

The unique Blue­dot takes place at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire. Day­times offer a superb mix of talks, work­shops and music. As night falls, music head­lin­ers takes over and there’s always a heavy­weight evening selec­tion of electronica/dance on the main stage with light­shows bounced off the Lovell tele­scope. Chil­dren are well catered for with a host of sci­ence work­shops and the­atre. Thurs­day’s clas­si­cal con­cert – an option­al extra – always pro­vides a suit­ably grand open­er – this year stars Han­nah Peel with the Paraorchestra. 

On the Line­up we like: Mog­wai, Bjork, Metron­o­my, Kel­ly Lee Owens, Lanterns on the Lake; Tim Peake, The Clangers Blue­dot festival 

Underneath The Stars 29 to 31 July

A cosy and very fam­i­ly-friend­ly feel set on a farm in the York­shire vil­lage of Cawthorne. Kate Rus­by and fam­i­ly cre­at­ed and still run this charm­ing music (lots of folk) and arts week­ender. “Stargaz­ers” (as they’re known) who vis­it Under­neath The Stars enthuse about the love­ly sup­port­ive and pos­i­tive atmosphere.

On the Line­up we like: Suzanne Vega, Kate Rus­by (of course), Imel­da May, N’Famady Kouy­até Under­neath The Stars tickets

Kaleidoscope 23 July

Kalei­do­scope offers a very chilled fam­i­ly day out in the grounds of Alexan­dra Palace, north Lon­don. The main stage is set half way down the grassy slope, so every­one gets a clear view of the stage – plus a back­drop of Lon­don. There’s a DJ dance venue next to the Palace, lots of great food, sev­er­al bars and a spe­cial area with enter­tain­ment set aside for children. 

On the Line­up we like: Orbital, Hap­py Mon­days, Craig Charles, Crazy P Soundsys­tem Kalei­do­scope festival

Womad 28 to 31 July

Wom­ad (pic­tured, top) is back for anoth­er year with a tru­ly amaz­ing glob­al line­up. Check out the amaz­ing ‘Taste the World’ where artists cook their favourite dish­es and chat a lit­tle… so you can real­ly get a greater insight into the artist and their cul­ture. The All Singing, All Danc­ing tent hous­es work­shops cov­er­ing every­thing from Brazil­ian folk­loric dance to Pales­tin­ian singing from Iyen­gar yoga to reg­gae­ton dance.

On the Line­up we like: The Flam­ing Lips, Angelique Kid­jo, Kae Tem­pest, Fatouma­ta Diawara, Nitin Sawh­ney, The Selecter Wom­ad festival

Just So Festival 19 to 21 August

Just So offers an imag­i­na­tive out­door adven­ture for fam­i­lies. The gen­tle week­ender offers arts, lit­er­a­ture, the­atre, dance, music, com­e­dy and cre­ative pur­suits. There’s even mag­i­cal mid­night feast. The­atre per­for­mances include The Adven­tures of Madame Car­ol Sell and Mr Pop­sy, and dancer Sohan Kai­ley leads Bol­ly­wood Danc­ing and Bhangra Tots work­shops.  It all takes place in the glades and wood­lands of the Rode Hall Estate in Cheshire, a beau­ti­ful and nat­ur­al won­der­land for you to explore. Brand new areas for its twelfth year include The Inky Deep ‚full of aquat­ic antics and fishy goings-on.

On the Line­up we like: Hope & Social, Kweku of Ghana with his band KOG & the Zon­go Brigade, São Paulo’s Theo Mizú & Banda

Moovin’ 26 to 28 August

“Once Man­ches­ter’s best kept secret, it has now estab­lished itself as the place to par­ty over the August Bank hol­i­day week­end.” Yes it’s Moovin with its biggest line up to date at eco-friend­ly White­bot­tom Farm, a beau­ti­ful, seclud­ed spot in the heart of Etherow Coun­try Park, just 30 min­utes from cen­tral Man­ches­ter. Stages include The Barn, a large con­vert­ed cow shed with a huge bar for speedy ser­vice at rea­son­able prices, space to dance and hay bale seat­ing to kick back on.

On the Line­up we like: Orbital, Roy Ayers, Sis­ter Nan­cy, The Mag­nif­i­cent DJ Jazzy Jeff, The Sug­arhill Gang, Alaba­ma 3. Moovin Fes­ti­val

Manchester Psych Fest 3 September

Man­ches­ter plays host to the Psych Fest this Sep­tem­ber with a great line­up. Venues are scat­tered around Man­ches­ter’s cen­tre: Albert Hall, O2 Ritz, RNCM, Goril­la, Deaf Insti­tute and YES. Lots of food, murals and arts will be dot­ted around, for a tru­ly buzzy Man­ches­ter day. 

This year on the Line­up: The Lucid Dream, Tinari­wen, Gwen­no, Goat Girl, Hinds, Heavy Sal­ad, Kurt Vile, Man­ches­ter Psych Fest

Anthropos 8 to 12 September

Five days of camp­ing; three days of music. For those more keen to be involved in the music and arts tak­ing place, Anthro­pos offers a nur­tur­ing, cre­ative space. Check out our guest review­er’s account of the first year of Anthro­pos here.

Envi­ron­men­tal­ly aware, the Hert­ford­shire fes­ti­val is a small, inti­mate and friend­ly atmos­phere with lec­tures, well­be­ing and over 60 hours of mul­ti-genre elec­tron­ic music and live bands across three stages. There are open mic slots avail­able on the Yew Stage as well as a Jam Space for you to bring your own instru­ments and voice.

Anthro­pos tickets 

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