Somerset’s Summer Festivals (apart from you know what)
Glastonbury may be done and dusted (well, hosed down) for another year but the Somerset festival season is far from over. There are plenty of other shindigs to enjoy around the county before the summer’s out…
NASS, Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Fri 8-10 Sun July
The Muddies’ teenage cousin is off to this heady mix of high octane sports and live music next weekend. BMX legend Mat Hoffman will be taking part in the BMX World Championships, there’s an international pro-skate competition and extremely loud music from the likes of the subtly named Stormzy, Big Narstie and Knife Party.
Priddy Folk Festival, Priddy, Fri 8-Sun 10 July
The ‘friendliest folk festival in Britain’ in the tiny Mendip village of Priddy started life as a PTA fundraiser 25 years ago. Today it attracts top artists from all over the world into ticketed events in two large marquees and the village hall, as well as free concerts and an open mic at The Fringe tent. There’s a Dance Festival (clog and Morris not rave), Word Tent (storytelling), Kids’ Festival, walks and workshops.
The Godney Gathering, nr Glastonbury, Sat 16 July
A cool, one-day festival with over 75 acts, including Scouting for Girls and Chainska Brassika, across a range of genres on six stages. It’s family friendly; kids under 15 go free accompanied by over 18s and there’s a dedicated kids festival area. Although it’s a one-dayer, campers are welcome on the family farm.
Smoked & Uncut, The Pig-near Bath, Sat 23-Sun 24 July
‘Small, select and civilised’ is how they describe this festival, one of a series in the west country, held in the grounds of The Pig-near Bath. Stay in the hotel or glamp – state-of-the-art bell tents, some even with their own decking, hampers delivered to your ‘door’ and even supper cooked by top chef Angela Hartnett – or come for the day (tickets still available for Sunday). Oh, and the music? The line-up includes Hugh Cornwell, Vangoffey and Turin Brakes.
FarmFest, Gilcombe Farm,Bruton, Fri 29 & Sat 30 July
FarmFest started at the organic Gilcombe Farm as a party for friends. Eleven years on it retains the same, low key, indy atmosphere: up until two years ago, the main stage was a converted trailer bought on eBay for 50p. Music comes from a range of genres and includes emerging talent, cult heroes and local gems. Expect poets, comedians, storytellers, artists, magicians, dance and music workshops, film-screenings and theatre (and some). There’s no entertainment on Sunday but you can chill out in the camping area.
One World Summer Festival, Cannington, Mon 1-Sun 7 August
Relax with yoga sessions and big plates of macrobiotic nosh at the week-long, family friendly One World Health and Wellbeing Festival. There’s live music every night in the main marquee as well as over 300 workshops and lectures over the week – complementary therapies, yoga, dance, physical and spiritual development, holistic health, arts and crafts.
Outcider Festival, Fernhill Farm, Compton Martin, Fri 5-Sun 7 August
‘No tribute bands. No X-Factor. No Carling lager. No hipsters. No tossers’ promise the organisers of this new festival. Just eclectic music – 30 acts on two stages, including The Slackers and The Skimmity Hitchers – local ciders (17 different ones last year) and ales, with grub mostly grown or reared on Fernhill Farm.
ArcTanGent, Fernhill Farm, Compton Martin, Thurs 18-Sat 20 August
ArcTanGent is the award-winning festival for connoisseurs (as indeed am I) of math-rock, post-rock, noise rock and alt-rock. Seventy bands will be playing across four stages plus there’s a silent disco. Expect good facilities: ATG won Best Toilets at the UK Festival Awards 2014 – and it’s on the shortlist for Best Grassroots Festival at this year’s awards.
Watchet Live Music Festival, Watchet, Fri 26-Sun 28 August
Family-friendly music festival this Bank Holiday weekend up on the West Somerset coast. Now in it’s 10th year, there will be three stages, over 50 live acts, camping, etc. This year’s headliners include UB40 (Friday), The Feeling (Saturday) and The Levellers (Sunday). Sunday’s fancy dress theme is ‘comic characters’. Profits to charity.
Live from the lawn, Tyntesfield, Wraxall, Sat 27-Mon 29 August
Two-tone ska Ranking Roger and The Beat is appearing in the third Live from the Lawn music festival in the grounds of National Trust Property Tyntesfield House on Sat 27 August. Listen out for songs from their new studio album Bounce on release in September. Show of Hands return with Walk with Me – the Big Autumn Tour on Sun 28 August. There are children’s activities too.
ValleyFest, Chew Magna, Fri 2-Sun 4 September
This is a family festival all about the land, with music, merriment, cabaret, workshops, crafts and food on an organic farm with view of the Chew Valley and lake. Music is on the Lake Stage and in Tipi Valley Line-up includes The Blockheads, Stereo MCs, and Craig Charles, with grub by the folk behind Yurt Lush and Eat Drink Bristol Fashion. Free entry if you volunteer to help.
Chill out and enjoy…