A guide to England's music festivals - 2016

by Katie Rowe

Category: Weekend ideas
June 6 2016

Didn’t bag tickets to Glastonbury? Not to worry; there are many other music festivals to check out around the country, spreading that Friday feeling across an entire weekend. Here’s our round up of some of the best festivals in England for the late-night clubbers and families alike…

Party vibes…

A festival reveller in fancy dress Standon Calling in Hertfordshire

Party in the Peak District with Noel Gallagher (29 – 31 July)

From hosting local bands to attracting the best in the music business ten years later, the award-winning Y Not Festival is set to unleash another epic line up across 12 stages.  You’re also spoilt for choice when it comes to drinking options. Drop into The Watchtower, home to a real cider and ale festival, or soak up good vibes in a deck chair at the Mussel Beach cocktail bar.

Who’s playing?  Kelis, Madness and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

Find more things to do in the Peak District >>

Join a massive house party in Hampshire (1 to 2 July)

Blissfields Festival knows how to throw a party, and this year’s instalment promises to be the most unique house party you will ever attend. Bring your sleeping bag and PJs for a weekend long slumber party in the serene surroundings of Vicarage Farm where retro living room discos, late night film screenings and exotic circus madness are the order of the day.

Who’s playing? Dizzee Rascal, Everything Everything, Norman Jay MBE.

Find more things to do in the Peak District >>

Dance ‘til dawn in Hertfordshire (29 to 31 July)

Set in the beautiful grounds of Standon Lordship, Standon Calling is more a manor house party than a festival, where you can fly through the air on a trapeze lesson, lounge by the pool, and throw on your best fancy dress and dance the summer days away whilst watching your favourite bands. You’ll literally ‘party ‘til the break of dawn’ as you get on down during DJ sets that play until 5am.

Who’s playing?  Ghostpoet, Jess Glynne and Suede.

Find more things to do in Hertfordshire >>

Family friendly…

Lakefest in Herefordshire

Bring your baby along for Just So Festival in Cheshire (19 – 21 August)

Just So Festival puts on an enchanting show for babies and grown-ups alike, with changing and bath tents for babies, pirate and cowboy training for mischievous young things, arty events for creative kids and yoga and massages for parents in need of TLC. Don’t miss the annual pillow fight on the village green or circus workshops where you’ll learn juggling and acrobatic skills.

Who’s playing? Zorita, Skinny Lister and Baghdaddies

Find more things to do in Cheshire >>

Celebrate 10 years of Chagstock with the Stranglers (22 – 23 July)

Just the ticket for first-time festival goers and the budget-conscious, Chagstock Festival in Devon is a small-but-perfectly-formed musical haven with glorious views of  the northern edge of Dartmoor. Hop on the Magic Bus with the little ones for hair braiding, face painting and hat making. That ought to keep them busy for the afternoon!

Who’s playing? The Stranglers, Donovan and The Blockheads

Find more things to do in Devon >>

Enjoy yoga sessions and indie acts in Herefordshire (11 to 14 August)

With family firmly at the core of Lakefest, you’ll find plenty of ways to entertain kids as well yourselves, including yoga sessions for both children and adults, water sports on the lake, face painting, tightrope walking and jaw-dropping cycling stunts at the UK BMX Dirt Series Champs Final.

Who’s playing? Primal Scream, Cast and We Are Scientists.

Find more things to do in Herefordshire >>

For the cool kids…

By The Sea, Dreamland, Margate By The Sea, Dreamland © Dreamland Festival

Party at Europe’s largest free music festival in Liverpool (21 to 24 July)

Embrace your love of music at the Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF),  which showcases big names, new talent and celebrates the city’s world-famous musical heritage. Made up of three main events - LIMF Presents, LIMF Academy and Europe's largest free music event, LIMF Summer Jam, discover your new favourite acts in unique and iconic venues across Liverpool, including a Victorian palm house.

Who’s playing?  Lianne La Havas, Sigma and KWABS.

Find more things to do in Liverpool >>

Mix retro rides with modern music in Margate (30 September to 1 October)

Hidden in the Dreamland theme park, Dreamland is a festival alive with vintage charm and a youthful spirit. Now attracting artists of all kinds, Margate is fast becoming a bohemian haven. This is epitomised by the festival's intimate stages and eccentric side shows. See the roller disco transformed into a mosh pit and DJ sets delivered from a dodgem booth.

Who’s playing?  Super Furry Animals, the Mystery Jets and Wolf Alice.

Find more things to do in Kent >>

For something different…

Port Eliot Festival Port Eliot Festival © Port Eliot

See top acts at a quaint cricket club in Lancashire (16 to 18 September)

A cricket club is not your average festival venue, but then Ramsbottom Festival, or ‘Rammy Fest’ as the locals call it, is anything but ordinary. This is a festival with an air of gentility, where people smile at you as they dance to the silent disco, form an orderly queue while waiting to sample some local black pudding, and help out if you can’t get your tent up.

Who’s playing?  Gaz Coombes, Fun Lovin’ Criminals and Julian Cope.

Find more things to do in Lancashire >>

Step into a midsummer night’s dream in Cornwall (28 to 31 July)

Every July, the St Germans family open their Cornwall estate to host the Port Eliot Festival. Originally a literary event, it has grown to encompass fashion, food, flowers and music and even attracts celebrities (Kate Winslet, Dominic West), who wander undisturbed through the crowds. The food is sublime; with local chefs serving everything from freshly-caught oysters to fresh crepes.

Who’s playing?  Erol Alkan, Bo Ningen and Andrew Weatherall.

Find more things to do in Cornwall >>

Ten more music festivals not to miss in 2016...

1. SummerTyne Americana Festival, Newcastle

2. Tramlines, Sheffield

3. Secret Garden Party, Cambridgeshire

4. Indietracks, Derbyshire

5. Kendal Calling, Cumbria

6. Farm Fest, Somerset

7. End of the Road, Dorset

8. Victorious, Portsmouth

9. Wilderness, Oxfordshire

10. Deer Shed Festival, Yorkshire

Katie Rowe

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