30+ summer festivals in Somerset and the South West
One-day boutique fests, family weekenders, festivals by the sea, festivals celebrating wellbeing, history and the great outdoors...
Here’s our pick of the best summer fests of all kinds, both in Somerset and further afield…
Shindig Festival, Gilcombe Farm, Bruton, Thurs 23 – Sun 26 May
Four days with a line-up including hip hop queen Estelle, LA 6-piece, Ozomatli ft Chali 2na; Benjamin Zephaniah; family stuff; and comedy. No main stage, but a series of stretch marquees. Wanna dress up? The theme is ‘Get Fruit’. Discounts for locals and NHS staff.
Bath Festival Finale Weekend, Bath Recreation Ground, Bath, Sat 1 & Sun 2 June
Headliners Clean Bandit and Van Morrison end the 10-day Bath Festival. Two music stages, one spoken word and a family fun zone.
Gin, Fizz and Food Festival 2019, Woodlands Castle, Taunton, Sun 2 June
Over 40 gins, fizz, cocktails, mocktails and more, with live music, food stalls, demos, talks and a whole raft of family entertainment to keep the little ones happy. Chin chin!
Party at the Castle, Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe, Thurs 6 June to Sat 8 June
Get ready for a serious celebration at Sudeley Castle this summer, with amongst others, tenor Alfie Boe, Will Young, All Saints and Sara Cox’s full on party show – Just Can’t Get Enough 80s.
Home Farm Festival, Chilthorne Dormer, Fri 7 – Sun 9 June
Charity music fest with proceeds going to the Piers Simon Appeal’s School in a Bag initiative. Three days, eight stages, with headliner Reef. Posh Wears & Wellies on the Fri eve.
Top of the Gorge Festival, Cheddar, Fri 14 – Sun 16 June
Live music comes with trail running, mountain biking, rock climbing, caving, walking, foraging, campfire cooking and stargazing on a spectacular site overlooking the Cheddar Gorge.
Smoked and Uncut, THE PIG-near Bath, Sat 15 June
More glamour than grunge, set against the rolling Mendips with views across THE PIG-near Bath’s deer park, top chef Angela Hartnett’s Italian banquet and Mark Hix Ruby Curry House – this isn’t yer average festival. Music supplied by Kaiser Chiefs, Imelda May and more.
Sidcot Festival of Peace, Sidcot School, Winscombe, Sat Jun 15
Live music from a cappella group Sons of Pitches, inspirational speakers polar explorer Alez Hibbert and para-Olympian John Willis, ethically sourced food, local craft stalls, games, workshops and more. Free.
Pub in the Park, Royal Victoria Park, Bath, Fri 21 – Sat 23 June
Tom Kerridge’s popular gourmet scran meets live music fandango, with Basement Jaxx (DJ Set), Texas, Will Young, Gabrielle, Soul II Soul Sound System and cookery demos and talks from Michelin-starred chefs like Angela Hartnett, Chris Cleghorn and Josh Eggleton and First Dates Fred Sirieix. Read our interview with Tom here.
Chalke Valley History Festival, nr Salisbury, Mon 24 – Thurs 30 June
See, hear and feel history at this vast festival dedicated entirely to – you guessed it – history. Through-the-ages encampments; interactive events; Victoria Hislop, Mariella Frostrup and Niall Ferguson; SOE Commando training and Secret Agent Training, archaeology, vintage vehicles…
Glastonbury, Worthy Farm, Pilton, Weds 26 – Sun 30 June
The biggie. The cream of the music world on over 100 stages.
The Newt Beer & Music, North Newton nr Bridgwater, Fri 5 – Sun 7 July
Boney M and as much cider, beer and grub as you can manage.
NASS, Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Thurs 11 – Sun 14 July
Skateboards, BMX, street art and music come together. Your teens will love it.
Live in Somerset, Vivary Park, Taunton, Fri 12 – Sun 14 July
Fab line up over three days: Sir Tom Jones, Madness, Bananarama, Aswad, Jason Donovan, Doctor and the Medics and Hazell Dean.
Dorset Street Food Festival, above SWIM, Lyme Regis, Fri 12 – Sat 14 July
From Thai to toasties – street food and drink from around the world for meat eaters to vegans and everyone in between. Free but register to enter the draw to win an hot pepper sauce Encona Taste Explorer pack and street food meal plus cocktails for four.
Wonder Fields, Great Fulford Estate, Dunsford, nr Exeter, Fri 12 – Mon 15 July
Fat party vibes, family fun, outdoorsy japes and all sorts of escapades. Music spans folk, reggae, electro, swing and more, with DJ Yoda and Too Many Zoos.
Priddy Folk Festival, Priddy, nr Wells, Fri 12 – Sun 14 July
The friendly folk fest reaches its 28th year, with concerts, ceilidh and clog dancers in village of Priddy, up on the Mendip Hills.
Buddhafield Festival, Blackdown Hills, Weds 17 – Sun 21 July
Song, dance, arts and crafts, yoga, live music, meditation, Buddhist teaching, workshops and ritual, under sun and stars – but no booze.
Larmer Tree Festival, Larmer Tree Gardens, Salisbury, Wed 18 July – Sat 21 July
A bigger line up than ever with The Cat Empire, KT Tunstall, Kate Tempest and Jack Savoretti. Activities, family fun and live events.
Godney Gathering, Garslade Farm, Glastonbury, Sat 20 July
One-day micro fest with The Feeling, Dreadzone, The Bottom Live and Buster Shuffle, silent disco, comedy/cabaret and stuff for kids.
Camp Bestival, Lulworth Castle, Lulworth, Thurs 25 – Sun 28 July
The super child-friendly alternative to Bestival, this one has loads to keep little people happy while you empty that box of wine. Human League, Chic, Jess Glynne are playing, with Sara Cox, Annie Mac and Spice Girl Mel C on DJ duties.
Farmfest, Gilcombe Farm, nr Bruton, Thurs 25 – Sat 27 July
Pocket-sized festival showcasing emerging and established genre-defying artists, with comedy, kids’ discos, chill time workshops and theatrical wig-outs. Morcheeba, Craig Charels, James Holden & The Animal Spirits, Portico Quartet and over 100 more.
Womad, Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Thurs 25 – Sun 28 July
Founded by Peter Gabriel in 1980 this fest still stands out. Acts include Ziggy Marley, Orbital and Anna Calvi – there’s always a feel-good offering of global culture with large side dish of happy vibes.
Somerset Street Food Festival 2019, The Italian Gardens, Weston-super-Mare, Fri 26 – Sun 28 July
The touring collective Street Food Warehouse are coming to Somerset. Super sushi, beautiful bao buns, creamy mac and cheese, more-ish Morrocan, Mexican and Malaysian, crunchy churros – all washed down with ice cold beer, mojitos and more. Grub for carnivores, pescatarians, vegans, veggies and gluten-free. The festival is free but if you register, you could win a meal and cocktails for four.
Valley Fest, Chew Valley, Fri 2 – Sun 4 Aug
Organic food, eclectic music and all round good times in an idyllic location on the banks of the Chew Valley lake just south of Bristol, with Basement Jaxx, Razorlight and Tom Odell on the bill.
Boardmasters, Watergate Bay, Newquay, Weds 7 – Sun 11 Aug
Beach side sun (hopefully), surf and music. International surfing comp, Florence and the Machine, Dizzie Rascal and Franz Ferdinand headlining on the stages above the cliffs of Watergate Bay, and Wellbeing area at Zennor Haven.
ArcTanGent, Fernhill Farm, Compton Martin, Thurs 15 – Sat 17 Aug
‘A haven of progressive metal across a spectrum of all things heavy.’ Ooh er….
Beautiful Days, Escot Park, Devon, Fri 16 – Sun 18 Aug
The Levellers’ independent family music festival with seven stages, amazing site art installations, comedy, theatre and huge kids area. Music-wise: Skunk Anansie, Ziggy Marley, The Stranglers, The Levellers (natch) and more.
Watchet Music Festival, Watchet, Fri 23 – Sun 25 Aug
The Lightning Seeds, Embrace, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Reverand & The Makers, Peter Hook and The Light headline at this West Somerset music fest.
End of the Road, Larmer Tree Gardens, near Blandford, Fri 29 Aug – Sun 1 Sept
Small but perfectly formed, this alternative music festival is perfect for anyone who balks at massive crowds and loves a bit of folk, Americana and alt country.
The Downs, Clifton Down, Bristol, Sat 31 Aug & Sun 1 Sept
Bristol’s largest one-day fest with Ms Lauryn Hill, Grace Jones, Neneh Cherry, Madness ….
Verve Festival, Ebbesborne Wake, Fri 7 & Sat 8 Sept
New wellness festival celebrating health, fitness and the great outdoors.
Priston Music Festival, Priston, nr Bath, Fri 13 – Sun 15 Sept
Annual community music festival which has grown and grown, with an eclectic line up of local and national talent.