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Summer festivals in Somerset and beyond

Glasto may be over but the festival fun's only just begun - with six family friendly festivals with tickets left to buy

Glasto may be over but the festival fun’s only just begun. Check out six of the best family friendly festivals coming up over the summer in Somerset and beyond.  And unlike Glastonbury (bless its little cotton socks),  all of these babies still have tickets available at the time of writing.

Samphire Festival, Exmoor National Park, nr Minehead, Fri 7-Sun 9 July

Named after the bright green, salty veggie that looks a bit like baby asparagus and grows on the salt marshes near the coast, this intimate 1,000 capacity music and arts festival on the edge of the Exmoor picked up the gong for Best Small Festival 2016 (NOEA awards) in its debut year. See what the fuss was about this time round. There’s an eclectic live and electronic line-up headlined by Crazy P, The Correspondants and Resonators, street food, giant human snakes and ladders,  films, yoga, immersive theatre – and samphire foraging, of course. Tip:  boil your samphire, drizzle with melted butter and a squeeze of lemon.

Womad, Malmesbury, Wilts, Fri 27-Sat 30 July

Muddy Wilts recommends this one. In the warm blur of the festival season, this celebration of international music, arts and dance still stands out. Check out acts including Ladysmith Black Mambazo, listen to Benjamin Zephaniah’s tomes and take a World Rhythm’s workshop, then ditch the worthy stuff and join Steven Moffatt (of Sherlock fame) chatting about Dr Who, check out Matthew Bourne’s new ballet and stuff your face with the Hairy Bikers. Not literally, mind.

Farmfest, Gilcombe Farm, nr Bruton, Fri 28-Sat 29 July

Now in its 12th year, this pocket-sized festival in a few fields just outside Bruton, showcases emerging and established genre-defying artists in seven venues, along with comedy, kids’ discos, chill time workshops and theatrical wig-outs.

Camp Bestival, Lulworth Castle, Dorset, Thurs 27- Sun 30 July

Bestival’s smaller, family friendly offshoot in the grounds of Lulworth Castle just over the border in Dorset. Awarded Best Family Festival many times, Bestival is chock full of with every conceivable kids’ workshops and entertainment. Music-wise, big names a-plenty: headliners Mark Ronson, Madness, Brian Wilson, Right Said Fred, All Saints, Holly Johnson plus the kids’ show School of Rock – The Musical. Honey, don’t forget to take the kids.

Valley Fest, Chew Valley, Fri 4-Sun 6 August

Photo: paulbox

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.  Food’s an integral part of the fun, so chow down on freshly cooked local nosh, watch cookery classes with top chefs and hunker down at the giant communal Midnight Feast and Sunday Picnic.  When you’re not filling your face, there’s José González, alt. folk star Sam Brookes, award-winning hip hop DJ Yoda and a whole bunch more on the Lake stage and Tipi Valley (yep, they’ve got seven stages in actual tipis) plus loads of kids’ stuff.

Smoked and Uncut, The Pig near Bath, Sat 19-Sun 20 August

More glamour than grunge,  set against the rolling Mendips with views across the Pig at Bath’s deer park, top chef Angela Hartnett’s Italian banquet and a cocktail or two – this isn’t yer average festival. Music supplied by Dr Feelgood, Noisettes,  Ephemerals et al. No actual camping here but you can book yourself a night in the very gorgeous Pig at Bath hotel (if you must) or they can suggest another place to hang your hat for the night.


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