Hey music lover! Check out the best local summer music festivals. Load up with pear cider and see you down the front…
So Glastonbury’s having a fallow year? Meh, no bother. Who needs to travel when we can get our rocks off at a music festival closer to home.
Our neck of the woods is offering an increasing number of summer celebrations. What’s more, unlike Glastonbury which sells out in seven seconds, these local music-gigs all still have some tickets available, at time of writing at least. So, whether it’s for all-round family fun or a groovy slice of foodie heaven, here’s where you’ll find Muddy decked out in daisy chains and denim hotpants this summer…
BEST FOR…FAMILY FUN
Woodlands Festival, Hawkhurst, Fri 8 – Sun 10 June
A truly gorgeous boutique, intimate festival set amongst the rolling green fields of the Kent countryside near Cranbrook with outdoor activities all-day for the kids, glamping Belle Tents and a Woodland Spa. There’s live music, DJs taking over at the Woodlands Silent Disco and a giant screen at the outdoor cinema, with vintage style pick n mix, hot chocolate or a cocktail.
For the kids there’s activities including arts & craft, treasure hunts, storytelling, bush craft adventures, a tree maze (pictured above), as well as the Fabularium Forest Disco.
BEST FOR…MUSIC AND FOODIE FANS
Pub in the Park, Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells, Fri 6 – Sun 8 July
The massively popular sell-out Pub In The Park event is coming to Tunbridge Wells for the first time this summer. In case you haven’t heard of it, Pub in the Park is Michelin-starred chef and TV personality Tom Kerridge’s food and music festival, and this year is set to go on tour to four towns, after its first event in Marlow sold all its 18,000 tickets within 24 hours earlier this year! Dunorlan Park will play host to this huge gourmet food and music festival with great live music, chef demonstrations, top quality shopping and other festival fun.
Still tickets left on FRIDAY to see super-talented rising star Tom Odell (ask your kids) and Sophie Ellis-Bextor (Murder on the Dance Flo-or) and on SUNDAY don’t miss Scouting for Girls (She’s So Loverrrrrly); legendary pop veteran Billy Ocean and for some essential jumping-up-and-down indie rock, The Rifles.
BEST FOR…COUNTRY COOL
Black Deer Festival of Americana & Country, Fri 22 – Sun 24 June
Black Deer is on a mission to bring the real Americana & Country music, and way of life, to the UK – expressed through a unique music festival. Here they promise the best of a bygone rural era, made relevant, right now. With wholesome food & drink, artisan wares and custom-built motorcycles, just some of the things – in addition to the music – paying homage to the cultural heritage of America. Taking place in picturesque Eridge Park.
AND THE REST…
Big Day Out, Mote Park, Maidstone, Sat 14 July
Family-friendly festival Big Day Out in Mote Park will be headlined by Strictly and The X Factor star Alexandra Burke. There’s also X Factor 2017 runners-up Grace Davies and Kevin Davy-White, X Factor 2014 winner Ben Haenow and Fame Academy finalist Lemar too. With family friendly fun like CBeebies favourite Mr Bloom who will take to the stage alongside his menagerie of talking fruit and vegetables, and also putting in an appearance is Peter Rabbit and the ever-popular Paw Patrol. If you have really little ones this could be a good option.
Vicar’s Picnic, Yalding, Fri 20 – Sat 21 July
Taking place again on ‘Vicar’s Island’ on the banks of the River Medway in Yalding in support of charity. You can expect: Starsailor, Fun Loving’ Criminal, Cast, Norman Jay to perform with many more. This is a great event, organised entirely by enthusiastic volunteers. The festival will be held on The Lees with two stages and a DJ tent, plus overnight camping for families.
Ramblin’ Man Fair, Maidstone, Sat 30 June – Sun 1 July
Ready to rock? Ramblin’ Man Fair is an annual music festival celebrating classic and contemporary rock, progressive rock, blues and country. I’m not too up on any of the acts but in case this is your thing, there’s the likes of Mott The Hoople, Steel Panther, Steve Earle And The Dukes, The Rising Souls, The Cult, Chas and Dave (oh, I know those guys!) and many, many more!
Weald on the Field, Uckfield, Sat 4 Aug
A day of local produce, street food, drink, live music & entertainment at this boutique, family-friendly event. A more sedate affair where local produce and food takes centre stage over the music – one for the grandparents too.
Leefest, Edenbridge, Thurs 2 – Sun 5 Aug
Imaginary kaleidoscopic realm, The Neverland, has been created for this festival, comprising three main stages, or ‘tribes’ each with a different theme and musical feel (pop, ambient or pumping beats). An eclectic boutique festival featuring music, theatre, comedy and walkabout performance that famously started in 16-year-old Lee Denny’s back garden! Bastille, Clean Bandit and Declan Mckenna to name a few are all headlining this year’s Leefest, it’s not one to miss.
A New Day Festival, Faversham, Fri 3 Aug – Sun 5 Aug
A three day family-friendly festival of music, held at Mount Ephraim Gardens near Faversham, featuring the best of classic rock, blues and roots. The line-up for this year’s popular festival includes Feeder, Hawkwind, Jethro Tull’s Martine Barre and Caravan – those are just some of the big names playing! Make sure to pop this one in your diary.
Margate Soul Festival, Fri 3 – Sun 5 Aug
Like sunshine, soul music and the seaside? Atlantic Starr and Grammy Award-winning Deniece Williams are among the line-up for the three-day music event which is spread over several picturesque venues and outside areas in Margate Old Town, Margate Harbour and Margate Winter Gardens. There will be more than 50 DJs, two stages and seven themed venues.