Best small festivals in England

Best Small Festivals in England – An Unforgettable Experience

Did you know the UK has over 1000 music festivals each year? They cover lots of music types from indie to reggae.1 While many know about Glastonbury, the smaller festivals are true hidden gems. These festivals usually cost between $150 to $300 and offer lots of live music and fun experiences.1 The special thing about England’s boutique festivals is their unique and close-knit vibe. Festivals like Camp Quirky in Northamptonshire and Elderflower Fields in East Sussex stand out. They are small but full of heart and real community feel. You’ll find amazing art, fun outdoor stuff, and great music in a cosy atmosphere. It’s a chance to ditch the big crowds and make real connections at these hidden UK festivals. Places like Roarsome Summit Festival in Cornwall are perfect for families. They mix music, arts, and nature activities in a calm but fun setting, creating memories that last.

Key Takeaways

  • The UK hosts over 1000 annual music festivals, providing a vast array of experiences for music lovers.1
  • Glastonbury might be the largest, but smaller festivals offer intimate, community-focused experiences.
  • Festival tickets in the UK range from $150 to $300 and come with various offerings.1
  • Small-scale festivals like Camp Quirky and Elderflower Fields are known for their passion-driven, eco-conscious offerings.2
  • Intimate family festivals provide a mix of music, arts, and outdoor activities, making them perfect for family bonding.3

Introduction to Small Festivals in England

Small festivals in England are special and different from big ones. They are often known for being cozy and close to their community. This makes them stand out as charming places that more people should know about.

What Defines a Small Festival

In the UK, small festivals stand out for their unique focuses. They might be about a specific type of music, for families, or for caring about our planet. Places like Oxfordshire, Leicestershire, and Cheshire are perfect for these events. Each has its own vibe with music, laughter, and ways to feel good4. You might see your favourite bands like Crowded House at these festivals. Plus, they’re great for families, offering a lot more than just music4. To get in, you can use easier ways now, like Ticketmaster or the Wilderness Festival website4.

The Unique Charm of Small Festivals

There’s something very special about England’s small festivals. They are full of love and joy. Unlike big festivals, there are no long lines. This means you can really enjoy the performances. For example, look at the festival at Walton Hall and Gardens or The Cambridge Club. They offer a chance to really enjoy the music5. The Cambridge Club, happening from 7th to 9th June, has a great lineup including Jungle5. There are also family-friendly festivals like Roarsome Summit. Here, everyone, young and old, can have fun together.

boutique festivals in England

Green Gathering: Eco-Friendly Fun

Green Gathering is a unique and standout festival in England. It takes place from August 3rd to 6th at Piercefield Park in Chepstow. This festival is set in the beautiful Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It has grown over the years to become a key eco-friendly event in the UK. The festival is known for its green efforts and use of renewable energy from solar and wind sources6.

Dates and Location

This festival runs over four days. You can start camping on Thursday from 12pm. The festival itself runs from Friday to Sunday from 10am to 10pm6. It landed in Chepstow’s Piercefield Park in 2011 and has been there since. Now, it’s a must-visit event for those who care about the environment7.

Highlights and Activities

Green Gathering has a mix of musical performances including Indian Man, Salena Godden, Mobius Loop, and The Trouble Notes. The festival offers stages for intimate shows, craft workshops, and permaculture demos. It’s also known for its eco-friendly facilities like moon loos and plate rental services7.

What Makes It Special

What makes Green Gathering unique is its strong focus on sustainability. It won the International Greener Festival Award in 2018 and 2019. The festival is pushing to be ‘regenerative’ instead of just ‘sustainable’. It does this by planting trees and serving food from local, meat-free sources7. Plus, you can camp in anything from basic tents to luxury yurts, making it very inclusive6.

Green Gathering eco friendly festivals UK

Camp Quirky: The Ultimate Campervan Festival

Camp Quirky is now a top highlight on the campervan festival calendar in the UK. It all started as a small meet-up for owners of Quirky Campers’ vans. But now, this special festival in England pulls in thousands. People join in for the fun of van life, unique workshops, and great performances.

Overview and History

In Kelmarsh, Northamptonshire, Camp Quirky has become a favourite. It happens every year from 28th April to 1st May and welcomes about 3,000 people and 600 dogs. This shows just how much folks love it, especially its relaxed family feel8. Some even come early by getting special Thursday arrival tickets to enjoy it even more8.

Camp Quirky

Must-See Workshops and Performances

The festival is known for its exciting mix of activities and workshops. There are talks on Conversions, Van Life, and the Environment8. Food lovers will find lots of options, from tasty burgers and tacos to plant-based meals and delicious cakes8. Evening times are live with music and a huge campfire that brings everyone together8. There’s also a special space for crafts and wellness. Here you can try your hand at making things from wood, or relax with massages, sound therapy, and yoga8.

Why It’s a Camper’s Paradise

What makes Camp Quirky so special is the strong sense of community and its green approach. It has compostable toilets and is mostly off-grid because of little phone signal. This all adds up to make it a great example of eco-friendly living8. The festival site is level and easy to move around; perfect for families and solo travellers8. Even though Camp Quirky 2024 won’t happen, it remains an important source of inspiration for camper lovers9.

Elderflower Fields: A Family Favourite

In the lovely Pippingford Park, East Sussex, the Elderflower Fields Festival shines. It’s a unique choice for families in England, happening from 26th to 29th May. This event is made for young ones, offering many fun things to do and see for all.

Dates and Location

Found in Pippingford Park, it’s about 18 miles from Brighton and 32 miles from London10. This setting, along with its small size and focus on families, makes it special10.

Top Activities for Families

When you join Elderflower Fields, loads of activities await at no extra cost. From forest school to circus skills, there’s plenty to enjoy11. For the daring, there’s tree climbing and ziplining. Kids can also get creative in the Woodland Tribe zone. And on Sunday, there’s a relaxing family picnic with local food.

family friendly festivals UK

Music Lineup and Performances

The music scene is just as varied as the activities. Tankus the Henge and others will get everyone dancing with their upbeat tunes10. If you like something different, the Beatles Dub Club mixes Beatles hits with reggae beats. This makes Elderflower Fields a music lover’s paradise.

But the festival is about more than fun. It cares for the planet, too. There are compost toilets, and they’ve ditched plastic straws and bottles12. Plus, most of what gets thrown away gets recycled. This shows their big green heart. They also use reusable cups and have a £1 deposit system to keep things clean and green.

And they haven’t forgotten about those who might need a bit more help getting around. Buggies are on hand for the rough paths. This accessibility means everyone can enjoy the festival. That’s what makes Elderflower Fields such a standout family event.

Feature Details
Location Pippingford Park, East Sussex
Dates 26th to 29th May
Music Acts Tankus the Henge, Beatles Dub Club
Top Activities Forest School, Circus Skills, Woodland Tribe, Tree Climbing
Sustainability Compost Loos, Recycle 85% of Waste

Shambala Festival: A World of Creativity

Shambala Festival is a shining star in the UK’s creative lineup. It blends adventure with tons of new things to discover. Over four days, from the 24th to the 27th of August, people gather in a hidden spot in Northamptonshire. This year marks their 20th anniversary and they’re very focused on giving you not just a good time, but moments that sink deep into your memory1314.

Location and Dates

This extraordinary event is tucked away in Northamptonshire, England. It’s set for the 24th to the 27th of August. The location adds a special touch to Shambala’s aim – to inspire you to explore and seek new experiences. This makes it stand out amongst other creative gatherings in the UK15.

Art, Music, and Workshops Overview

Shambala Festival is not just about partying. It’s a place where you can learn useful skills while you play. The line-up covers music from all over, avoiding anything too mainstream. Yet, if you find the music isn’t your taste, the live performances are exceptional, keeping the festival’s charm alive year after year13.

If learning is your thing, you’ll love it here. The festival offers all kinds of workshops. They mix up fun with new ways to grow as a person. And music? You’re looking at a global jam that’s anything but ordinary. This year’s special live acts promise to keep you on the dance floor13.

Key Attractions and Experiences

Shambala Festival goes the extra mile for everyone, including families. It’s a spot where learning is fun for all. Going meat and fish-free in 2016 was huge. It cut down the festival’s greenhouse gas by 100 tonnes yearly. Surprisingly, most people loved this adjustment right from the start, and love for it only grew1514.

At nights, comfy Bundle Beds wait for campers, making the whole adventure even better14.

Shambala Festival

Outcider Festival: Music and Cider Galore

Looking for a mix of great tunes and the best local cider? The Outcider Festival is the place to be. It’s at the Mendip Hills near Bristol from 3rd to 6th August. This event gives a special twist to regional festivals in England.

Location and Dates

The festival shines in the beautiful Mendip Hills. From 3rd to 6th August, it’s a spot for music and cider fans to come together. It’s known for its relaxed atmosphere and welcoming spirit.

Music Lineup

Over 35 acts will perform at the Outcider Festival. You’ll hear different music styles that everyone can enjoy. Whether you like indie or folk, there’s something for you. It’s why this festival stands out in England’s live music scene.

Why You Can’t Miss It

What makes the Outcider Festival special is its love for local drinks. You can try many kinds of local cider and ale. This mix of great music and special drinks is an amazing experience. It’s a must-visit for anyone who loves festivals in England.

Outcider Festival

This festival is perfect for music and cider fans. If you enjoy England’s local festivals, it’s a great pick. Get ready for fun vibes, different music, and tasting local drinks at the festival.

Glastonbudget: Tribute Heaven

Glastonbudget is Europe’s biggest tribute festival, happening 26th-28th May in Wymeswold, Leicestershire. It started in April 2005 and quickly became a favourite. It draws big crowds with its excellent acts16. In 2010, 7,000 people came, a huge leap from 680 in 200516.

Location and Dates

In the beautiful Wymeswold village, Glastonbudget is recognized across Leicestershire. It runs over a long May weekend, a perfect time to listen to music. People come to hear different genres and enjoy the friendly atmosphere16.

Main Performers and Acts

Glastonbudget shines with its mix of performers. The 2015 show had 30 tribute acts and 130 local bands16. Acts like T.Rextasy really bring the original artists back to life17. In 2017, fans enjoyed bands like Traps, Whiskey Rebellion, and Anoa. This variety ensures there’s something for everyone to love16.

Unique Festival Features

What makes Glastonbudget special isn’t just its music. It’s famous for its amazing fancy dress. You get to see people fully in the festival spirit. Plus, there are different stages for endless music16.

This festival is also deeply committed to honouring the real acts they tribute. It’s a standout in the UK’s tribute festival scene.

Glastonbudget festival

Starry Skies: Ultimate Family Festival

Starry Skies truly shines as the top family festival, mixing fun activities with peaceful nature settings. It will take place at Kentchurch Estate in Herefordshire from 27th to 30th July. Expect an amazing time for everyone involved.

Location and Dates

Kentchurch Estate in Herefordshire is the stunning setting for Starry Skies. It’s set for 27th to 30th July, providing a magical weekend for families. This beautiful location is perfect for creating lasting memories.

Activities for Kids and Families

There’s a lot to do at Starry Skies for families to enjoy together. They can join in on forest school and stargazing. Kids have fun building dens, playing in the sandpit, or dressing up at the disco2. The festival leads with interactive activities, making it stand out among UK family events.

Event Highlights

Starry Skies’ strong focus on community adds to its appeal. The family camping experience helps families come closer under the stars. Plus, introducing the Starry Village in 2024 means even more fun activities and stargazing are in store18.

The event tickets are fairly priced, showing its dedication to good value. For example, an adult ticket costs £202.95; teens’ tickets are £60. A Campervan pass is also available at £66, ensuring affordable family fun at this leading UK festival2.

Ultimately, Starry Skies is more than a local festival; it’s a treasure for families looking for meaningful experiences. We’re excited to see the happiness and memories it’ll create!

The Best Small Festivals in England

Discovering England’s top small festivals is like diving into British culture. From boutique events to family-friendly gatherings, there’s something for everyone. Take the BST Hyde Park in London; it welcomes 65,000 people, showing big spirit in a small setting4. On the other hand, the Timber festival in Leicestershire is known for its focus on sustainability, setting a leading example4.

The Best Small Festivals in England

In Dorset’s countryside, Camp Bestival shines with its family fun. It’s packed with activities for kids4. Here, the festival goers connect over music, arts, and care for the environment, creating a unique sense of togetherness.

Then there’s the Wilderness festival in Oxfordshire, loved for its boutique feel. It draws a committed fan base each year4. This festival gives a deep experience with special music shows, unique art, and skill-sharing workshops.

If you love music, caring for the planet, and community feeling, England’s small festivals are for you. They provide a unique, personal experience not found in bigger events. Rest assured, these special English festivals will give you unforgettable memories. To learn more about these fantastic events, visit Condé Nast Traveller’s Guide.

Roarsome Summit Festival: Beachside Adventure

The thrilling Roarsome Summit Festival is at Polzeath Beach, Cornwall. Celebrated for its mix of music, arts, and family fun, it happens every year. Families love it for creating special moments on the beautiful Polzeath Beach.

Location and Dates

The festival is set on Polzeath Beach, spanning a summer weekend. It’s a perfect escape full of sea fun and outdoor excitement for everyone. This event highlights the beauty of beachside fun in the UK, making it a top choice for family festivals.

Outdoor and Family Activities

The Roarsome Summit Festival is packed with outdoor fun for families. You can visit Polzeath Beach & Pentire Headland, go dolphin spotting, or join in the kids’ Olympics, a must-do for little ones. The festival’s success comes from many volunteers, making every moment joyful and well-arranged19.

Music and Performances

Live music fills the air at the Roarsome Summit Festival. There are many beachside shows with different music styles, appealing to everyone. Families love the lively performances that always make each festival different and full of fun19.


Exploring the UK’s music scene shows us something special about its small festivals. Events like Camp Quirky and Elderflower Fields offer more than just music. They create close-knit spaces full of culture and personal joys20.

These small festivals shine with their unique activities. They help people connect deeply with art and nature. This ensures everyone leaves with memories that last a lifetime21.

Festivals such as the Roarsome Summit Festival celebrate local culture in an exciting way. They provide fun activities for everyone, making them perfect getaways for both families and individuals22.

Some festivals, like the Green Gathering, stand out for their eco-friendly focus. They blend caring for the earth with artistic creativity. This approach shows a future where festivals and nature work together2021.

The UK’s festival scene offers a wide range of experiences. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly adventure or an eco-conscious celebration, there’s something for everyone. These events leave a lasting impression, connecting people with the communities they celebrate20.


What defines a small festival in England?

Small festivals in England feel close-knit and friendly. They can be about unique music, families, or saving the planet. This makes them special and different from big events like Glastonbury.

What makes small festivals in England unique?

They’re special because they’re personal and you don’t have to wait in long lines. These festivals really care about their theme, such as supporting the environment or family fun. This creates a unique experience for visitors.

What is the Green Gathering festival about?

From 3rd-6th August, the Green Gathering happens in Chepstow. It uses solar and wind power and cares about the planet. It’s for people who love eco-friendly fun and want to make a positive difference.

What can attendees expect from Camp Quirky?

Camp Quirky is from 28th April-1st May in Northamptonshire. It started for fans of unique campervans but now has top music, cool workshops, and tasty food. It’s perfect for campervan lovers and is very special.

Why is Elderflower Fields a family favourite?

From 26th to 29th May, Elderflower Fields is in East Sussex. It’s full of fun like music, games, and making things. It’s a great choice for families with kids, offering a friendly, fun space.

What makes the Shambala Festival special?

Shambala, from 24th-27th August, is in Northamptonshire but the place is secret. It’s known for its mix of art, music, and learning. This blend creates a fun and educational festival for all.

What can you tell us about Outcider Festival?

Outcider Festival is near Bristol from 3rd-6th August. It’s a friendly event with great music and local cider. There are over 35 bands, creating a special, intimate atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.

What is the essence of Glastonbudget?

Glastonbudget, from 26th-28th May, lets you enjoy your favourite bands’ music. It’s big on having fun with costumes, adding a special and memorable vibe to the music scenes.

How does Starry Skies cater to families?

Starry Skies, from 27th-30th July, is perfect for families. It has forest schools, stargazing, and workshops. Families can enjoy a magical time outdoors together.

What can families expect at Roarsome Summit Festival?

Roarsome Summit Festival is in Polzeath, Cornwall, with activities by the sea. There’s dolphin watching, an Olympics for kids, and live music. Families will have a fun and memorable time at this festival.

Source Links


Healing Spirit festival takes place at Drummany Spirit, Milltown, Cavan, Ireland on the 4rd to 5th August 2024. Our festival is run by our small community group, Drummany Spirit, is family and child friendly and is alcohol and drug free. This boutique festival features a large lineup of live music, plus a large array of holistic events and practices including sweat lodges, yoga classes, movement meditation (ecstatic dance), pranayama/breathwork, meditation; plus alternative healing and therapies, crafts, art, drumming circles and talks by leading authorities on personal and spiritual growth, sustainability, conscious living, and healing.

We are set on beautiful sacred land overlooking Lough Oughter in Cavan. Drummany Spirit is a community group which hosts the festival each year. 2024 is our third year running the festival and it's been a major success so far with new friends from across Ireland and abroad attending. You can see the festival lineup here, see photos from previous years here and you can get tickets here (note: the festival has very limited capacity and is almost sold out) .

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