student life

Five Alternative Festivals to See this Summer

With summer around the corner, it’s likely that you’re thinking about what to do and how to make it a good one. I would always suggest going to a festival.

With summer around the corner, it’s likely that you’re thinking about what to do and how to make it a good one. I would always suggest going to a festival. What could be better than a weekend filled with friends, drinks (of course alcoholic ones drunk in moderation), laughter and maybe a ray of sunshine if you’re lucky? Why not make this summer even better and instead of going to the regular music festival filled with mud, beer and rain, try out an alternative festival? The world is your oyster and there are truly festivals for everything out there. Yes, I mean everything. So I’ve come up with a list of the 5 best alternative festivals that are around this summer.

A festival abroad
Come away from the classic British festival with your hoodies and jumpers, drenched tents and mud filled puddles and stubble across the waters. Benicassim Festival in Spain (which I am attending), Hideout Festival in Croatia and Super Bock Super Rock Festival in Portugal are just a few of the guaranteed sun filled festivals taking place this summer. The music tends to be played at night time when its cooler, allowing you the WHOLE day to sunbathe, relax on the beach or be a proper British tourist and go sightseeing. I can imagine it now, sun on my back, cider in my hand, swaying whilst on someone else’s shoulders listening to the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Artic Monkeys and Jake Bugg. I have a rather idealistic image in my head but more than likely I’ll just look like a wannabe party rocker getting a piggy back, clutching on for dear life. But who careS? It’s a festival most probably without rain! I can hear you gasp and recall in horror with the worries of baggage and allowance (or should I say, the minimal amount we are now allowed) on airlines but don’t worry, calm down. Most festivals abroad have a system where you can buy canvas tents that are already put up. Yes, no more running after the pop up tent whilst it’s blowing in the UK’s winds and that ‘friend’ that disappears every year when it’s time to put up the tents won’t go wandering. And yes, canvas, you did hear right, canvas to keep you cool because it really will be sunny. One word: Bliss.

A family festival
Wilderness festival in Oxfordshire is a 4 day festival combining music, arts, games, craftsmanship and dining. The motto of the festival is ‘A 4 day fiefdom of fairy-tales and fables for all ages.’ If highly excitable, whining children, hyper on sweets and too many fizzy drinks is just your thing for the weekend then head to Oxfordshire. No, I’m joking (Well I’m not). But seriously this weekend is said to be great for families wanting to experience a light hearted festival with the kids without the rock music, mosh pits and drunkenness. Sound fun?

A food festival
Big Festival has something for everyone. Eat, drink and dance, as well as chances to watch a celebrity cook-off, shopping or wandering around the vintage funfair! For me this festival sounds amazing BUT Jamie Oliver hosts it meaning you will unfortunately hear his voice A LOT (he really irritates me and I could probably write a whole article just on my dislike for him). Anyway, set in the idyllic Cotswold’s, this festival is for food lovers and I suppose they might start at a mosh pit at the smell of roasted potatoes and a red wine jus… (Maybe? Okay now I’m being stupid).

A countryside festival
The countryside festival in St David’s celebrates the Welsh countryside (Yes, why? I hear you ask). A festival celebrating natural life and harmony, they persuade people to not drive to save the air from fumes. Sounds thrilling, doesn’t it? Okay, I’m just biased because I’m used to thousands of people at Reading every year but I’m sure once I got there, I would enjoy it… Well I’d have to have a few ciders first.

A secret festival
Buddhafield festival in Somerset is a true alternative to the mainstream festivals. Celebrating colour, clean living and celebration of life, the venue for this festival is kept a secret and can only be reached by shuttle bus from a secret location. Don’t expect to recognise many of the bands or DJs that play here, but do take along a mat so you can join in the morning meditation. Instead of headliners there are healers and no alcohol is allowed on site. The strongest brew you will find is a cup of chai. Instead there are social debates and demonstrations—natural highs don’t get much higher.

What do you think? Is an alternative festival on your summer list this year? Have your say in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.