After feeling like an eternity in lockdown and living in a world consumed by Covid, we can, possibly, maybe, begin to look forward to the future. As the country begins to reopen fully the return of full capacity restaurants, bars and pubs is a welcome sight. As a result this summer the arrival of festival season is now well and truly underway with Reading and Leeds, amongst others, being set for a monumental reappearance. The UK is home to some of the world’s biggest and most famous music festivals, as well as other culturally significant carnivals. On the surface you can easily find a wide array of festivals to suit your tastes and preferences, however, dig a little deeper, and the choice and variety suddenly explodes. So as the summer gets well and truly under way, we have carefully curated a list of the best festivals in the UK that you may have never heard of.
There will not be many festivals that are set in a location like Junction 2. Held below a motorway bridge in west London, Junction 2 is a festival like no other. If you want a serious line-up of the biggest artists in techno, then look further than Junction 2. Put together by a mix of labels and brands including Drumcode, Junction 2 leaves nothing to the imagination. This year hosts a full-blooded line up with Adam Beyer, Jon Hopkins and Amelie Lens. For a festival right in the heart of the capital, in one of the best grungy locations you could wish for, Junction 2 should be top of the list.
Love Supreme Jazz Festival
Jazz is a very broad term to use to describe this spectacular amalgamation of various music genres. From reggae and soul to blues and R&B as well an abundance of DJ sets, it is a festival of real musical pedigree with past headliners including Lauryn Hill, Louie Vega, as well Sergio Mendes fronting this year. Regardless of your taste in music, Love Supreme is certainly a summer highlight and is a festival that offers something different. Not only that, but the surroundings are stunning. Set in the grounds of Glynde Place in the South Downs, Love Supreme has an idyllic setting that is unrivalled.
Nyetimber Dorset Seafood Festival
For a complete celebration of the best seafood that the UK has to offer, then look no further than Nyetimber Dorset Seafood Festival. Based on the Weymouth Peninsula, harbour side and beach, the festival is a fantastic way to interact with the fishing industry and try expertly cooked seafood. The streets are converted into a Seafood Village where you can find a plethora of stalls offering seafood and shellfish. It is both an entertaining and enriching experience, that will demonstrate the intricacies of both seafood cooking and the fishing industry.
Making its debut on the UK festival scene this summer, Bigfoot Festival is a unique mix of top headlining acts alongside innovative drinks companies, with a focus towards specialist craft beers. With The Kernel Brewery, Deya, as well as the ground-breaking East London Liquor Co. all being some of the drink’s companies attending the festival, you will not be short of options for a beer, cocktail or wine. Coupled with this, you can expect to find open fire cooking from some of the UK’s top chefs, such as Rovi Neil Campbell. The music sets are blockbuster, and this year you can expect to find Primal Scream headlining.
In the depths of Norfolk, you can find a phenomenal electric festival, that really showcases the best of electronic music, that caters to lovers of brilliant sound systems and the DJs to compliment the set up. The range of electronic music on offer stretches from house to techno as well as disco, therefore making for the perfect place to indulge in every variation of electronic. A bonus for the festival is that it has a 24-hour licence meaning that you can keep on dancing the whole night through.
In what is a very quirky festival found deep in a hidden forest, you can expect to find an avant garde, yet immersive experience that caters more for lovers of raves. With a variety of eccentric attractions including abandoned houses and old airports, the festival really caters to stimulating the senses. Lost Village is all about dancing, so you can expect to find DJ sets and lively live acts, which in the past have included the likes of the unconventional Slow Thai. Lost Village is an eclectic mix of rave culture, and in doing so offers a completely unique experience.
Paul Ainsworth’s Travelling Feast
If you would rather have a fusion of phenomenal music acts and mouth-watering food, then superstar chef Paul Ainsworth’s Travelling Feast may well be the option for you. The convoy moves along the Cornish coast, visiting places such as Padstow, Wadebridge and Port Isaac. A two-week festival, you can participate for the whole itinerary, or choose individual days, with the assurance that no two days will be the same. With a full range fantastic chefs such as Tom Kerridge heading up the food arrangements and star-studded line-ups such as Rudimental and Jake Bugg taking control of the music, you can be guaranteed of an experience like no other.