With Glastonbury and Reading festivals just around the corner, it’s time to heave aside the pinstripes and spreadsheets and to embrace your inner cool. And though we’re big fans of the big festivals, we thought we’d take a look at some of the smaller set-ups that sometimes slip under the radar.
And if you’re heading to a festival this summer, why not hire a larger car or people carrier from Avis to get you, your mates and all of your stuff there in total comfort? – As we all know there is never quite enough room for everyone and everything in a small car.
Indietracks – 23-25 July 2010
Near Ripley, Derbyshire
A hidden gem for the lucky 2,500 who get tickets. Bands play in a train shed or on moving trains: trippy. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart headline, along with plenty of off-the-grid new talent.
National Forest Folk Festival – 2-4 July 2010
Conkers, near Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire
A natural outdoor amphitheatre in a forest with Adrian Edmondson and The Bad Shepherds, Eliza Carthy and Saul Rose, Lau and the Peatbog Faeries. Bring your woggle.
The Secret Garden Party – 22-25 July 2010
Near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
A Fact or Fiction theme plus the Gorillaz Sound System and Mercury Rev competing with the Suicide Sports Amphitheatre, 20ft punch fountains and the Kissing Den. And busboys to carry your bags if you really must.
International Gypsy Guitar Festival – 30 July-1 August 2010
Cam, Dursley, Gloucestershire
Paulus Schafer, Antonio Forcione and Andreas Oberg twang guitars in a small but perfectly formed festival. Bring your guitar, fiddle or double bass and jam.
Truck – 23-25 July 2010
Steventon, near Abingdon, Oxfordshire
No advertising or sponsorship, just young up-and-coming bands plus Bellowhead, Pulled Apart by Horses and Steve Mason. Village fete meets Woodstock, where the local vicar runs the tea stall.
Rame Dance Festival – 2-4 July 2010
Mount Edgcumbe, Cornwall
Small-scale event by the beach. It’s dance plus live bands, experimental cabaret, open mike and a dance tent with reggae and dance tunes. Hire a teepee and get that mike.
North Wales Bluegrass Festival – 1-4 July 2010
The 22nd year of this humdinger, where you can catch Jeni Hankin and Billy Kemp, Brian Golbey, Chill Until Blue and Chris Moreton.
Summer Swing – 6-10 July 2010
Kew Gardens, Richmond, Surrey
What to do when you grow up? Get down to Kew for Jools Holland, Björn Again and a Queen symphonic spectacular suite. Dahling, did you pack the organic terrine?
The Big Chill Festival – 5-8 August 2010
Eastnor Castle, Ledbury, Herefordshire
Massive Attack and Lily Allen are the biggies, with a lucky dip of alternative, reggae, electronica, dance and chill-out music and comedy – from seasoned to green. Film, art, cabaret, poetry and some really, really good food stalls.
2000trees Festival – 16-17 July 2010
Withington, near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
50 acts encompassing rock and indie, folk and metal, pop and experimental, with campfire sing-a-longs and famous headphone disco. Watch out for Frank Turner and Your Twenties and The Xcerts.
These are just a few of the smaller festivals we think you might like to visit, but if you think there are other great festivals that we have missed off please let us know.