As the season of getting weird in a field draws ever closer, we thought we'd do you a solid by introducing out top picks for boutique festival experiences in Britain. Whether you're looking for relaxed weekenders offering as much in the way of wellness as they do in world-famous acts, or hoping to lose three days dancing to the best artists coming out of the country's electronic underground, we rounded up the best festivals in the UK to help you scope out the one for you.
Bedfordshire, 3rd-27th June
A new boutique festival experience for 2021, this Bedfordshire based blow-out is one for those looking to keep things socially distant for another summer. The Estate Festival takes places across June, with an incredible lineup of DJs and quirky events to keep you entertained. Alongside the activities, this gorgeous experience offers luxury camping areas, complete with pools, prosecco bars and private areas for you and your bubble to feel safe and secure in.
Kent, September 4th-7th
One for the adventurers among us, this quirky, congenial and downright crackers festival is the perfect long weekend for joiner-inners. Going over and above your habitual drink-camp-and-dance combination, Camp Wildfire promises activities galore, from hovercraft racing and swing dancing, to zombie runs, raft building, axe throwing and even speed-dating.
Northamptonshire, August 27th-31st
Dedicated to sustainability, Shambala is a favourite among eco-minded revellers for its use of renewable power and meat and fish-free food stands. On top of their planet-friendly initiatives however, there's 12 stages of music hosting more 200 musicians across the weekend, as well as circus, cabaret, comedy, poetry and an artfully curated series of talks, debates and inspirational speakers.
We Out Here
Cambridgeshire, August 15th-18th
DJ Gilles Peterson is the brains behind this Huntingdon offering. Alongside line-ups fronting some of the finest contemporary jazz talents on the planet, you'll find some very enticing foodie activities too, from charity supper clubs to bespoke natural wine bars and international street eats. And if that weren't enough, We Out Here also brings eclectic cinema nights, wellness sessions and a vinyl record fair.
Holyhead, June 11th-14th
Situated in one of the most bucolic parts of the Welsh countryside, Gottwood is a small festival with a big reputation. This cult weekender throws focus on electronic artists and underground party starters with 72 hours of cleverly curated acts across various stages, letting you catch some of dance music's most notable disruptors and innovators against a backdrop of serious pastoral eye-candy.
Brecon Beacons, August 20th-23rd
Flying the flag for a more alt scene, this charming festival, held on a Welsh hillside, brings nothing if not the best programming with edgy but accessible acts across a whole range of themed stages. If you're looking for between-set activities, there's eccentric art installations, literature and comedy to see, alongside health and fitness sessions including sunrise yoga, massages and mindfulness sketching.
Kent, August 2nd-5th
Enter a world of fun, fantasy and great bands at Neverworld. Formerly Leefest, this corker of a festival goes in on the decor, crafting a full immersive wonderland of mermaids, pirates, cabaret, circus and glitter wrestling. Their stages have previously seen sets from the likes of Craig David, Bastille and Mike Skinner, while the surroundings activities are bringing you beach games, drag shows and forest raves.
Oxfordshire, August 2nd-5th
The thinking person's music festival, Wilderness blends big name line-ups and late-night party antics with stunning gastronomic experiences and unique activities. Whether it's the dance tent, the feasting table or being part of the world's largest spooning cuddle that floats your boat is your prerogative, Wilderness is taking the quirky festival thing to new heights.
Hertfordshire, July 23rd-26th
Don't let the 'family-friendly' tag deter you, Standon Calling is a festival that knows how to play with the big kids. A fun and expansive event in the middle of the Hertfordshire countryside, they've got musical flavours to suit every palate, from the yummy mummies to the modern ravers with a mix of pop and rock headliners until twilight, then big name DJs taking it through to the dawn.
Birmingham, August 1st
Bringing the party brigade to Birmingham, MADE is here to provide one of the top 10 festivals in the UK. Found in Sandwell Valley Country Park, MADE isn't just a top DJ and urban music showcase, there's artists, designers, visual creativity, musicians and street food to boot, Not to mention that the line-ups never fail to hit the spot - previous incarnations have featured Dizzee Rascal, DJ EZ, Andy C and Kurupt FM.
Want more festival news? Check out our picks from across the globe.