Best festival guide for 2024

Our favourite time of the year is here again. The fes­ti­val scene is always evolv­ing and this year sad­ly sees a few sig­nif­i­cant changes. Sev­er­al we thought of as a con­stant pres­ence on the fes­ti­val cal­en­dar are either tak­ing a fal­low year or have decid­ed to call it a day. No secret the chal­lenges are mainly…

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Festivals through summer and beyond

Fes­ti­val sea­son has moved into high gear. Sev­er­al have sold out (Green Man, Kendal Call­ing and Beau­ti­ful Days to name just three – and Ral­ly is close to sell­ing out) but there’s still over­all plen­ty of choice. Our list includes sev­er­al met­ro­pol­i­tan (non camp­ing) shindigs too, right into Sep­tem­ber. If you’re des­per­ate to attend a…

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Our best festivals for 2022

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…

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Back to the fields: festivals for 2021

Our fes­ti­val piece looks a lit­tle dif­fer­ent this year. It’s been a dif­fi­cult and rather har­row­ing task putting it togeth­er as many have decid­ed – and are still decid­ing – to can­cel, main­ly due to the lack of Gov­­ern­­ment-backed covid insur­ance. Oper­at­ing on a knife edge is every­day stuff for fes­ti­val organ­is­ers, but this is…

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World music and world food at Womad

In the third of my ‘fes­ti­vals and food’ series, Gourmet Gigs this week takes a look at the gor­geous glob­al food treats at Wom­ad. The fes­ti­val might be known pri­mar­i­ly for world music, but it has steadi­ly built a name for itself in the food are­na too, and the Taste the World stage has proved pop­u­lar over the…

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Green and pleasant: the ultimate festival guide 2016

If you’re a fes­ti­val fan, by now you’re dream­ing of a green field, ban­ners wav­ing in the breeze, the sound of a band on the main stage… yes, fes­ti­val sea­son is near­ly upon us again, and here is my Ulti­mate Fes­ti­val Guide. Most have been per­son­al­ly tried and test­ed, some on a year­ly basis – plus there’s…

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Running a festival business – four traders tell their stories

Do you have a busi­ness that you think would go down well at fes­ti­vals? I asked four such  entre­pre­neur­ial types, with ven­tures in T‑shirts, vin­tage tents, gourmet cof­fee and holis­tic mas­sage – about their expe­ri­ences as fes­ti­val traders. Is it a com­bi­na­tion of fun and prof­it, and are you guar­an­teed enough time out to catch a favourite band? One…

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The best festivals for 2014 – an update

Here’s an update of some of my top fes­ti­val rec­om­mends for 2014 and as of the time of post­ing, still have tick­ets avail­able. These are all small to medi­um-sized gath­er­ings (no hour-long trudges to the are­na). All these fes­ti­vals have plen­ty of well thought-out activ­i­ties for chil­dren and a fair­ly broad age range of atten­dance, so whether…

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