5 festivals you need to go to this year

Camp Bestival

When: 28th - 31st July

Where: Lulworth Castle, Dorset

How much: £197.50

Family friendly it may be, and to be fair if you are one of those people that detest children and all their ways then this is not for you. Honestly you'll be sick of the sight of the fucking trolleys that they yummy mummies insist on dragging the kitchen sink round in however read on, read on.

This is one of the better festivals around because it's big enough to get decent acts, small enough not to be overwhelming and because there are kids around the organisers make a real effort to put on some awesome other stuff. Last year I particularly liked the wall of death and the cycle/skateboard demos.

It's pretty damned chilled too, even though it is a fiver a pint but the fireworks over the castle was definitely damned spectacliar




Larmer Tree

When: 13th to 17th of July

Where; Larmer tree Gardens, Dorset

How much: about 250 quid for the whole week

Another festival in the 'family friendly' category this is probably half the size of Camp Bestival but this doesn't detract from the size of acts they are able to attract.

This event has an wonderfully chilled out vibe and there's a lot going on. The best thing is that they make a real effort to get some of the best local bands along as well as the national headliners.

They don't want you to go hungry here with an immense array of foodstalls on show. The beer wasn't badly priced either.

The festival site is enclosed so it's a good place to take the kids because there's only so far they can go and unlike much bigger festivals you can see the headliners from pretty much any point on the main lawn. (seriously though what's the point of going to glasto only to watch the acts on a big telly?).

They have some pretty good comedy acts on too.

It does veer towards the 'knitting your own yoghurt' fraternity at times but nonetheless it's a great festival to go to.



Grooves on the Green

When: probably 9th 10th July

Where; Lower Parkstone, Poole

How much: about 5 quid a day

Grooves is one of the success stories of the local festival scene being in its 16th year and this is a testament to the proper community feel you get.

With two stages of mainly local acts it's a great couple of days with the best in local live music.

They have a kids entertainment area too where you can park the little brats and allow them to bounce until they are sick whilst you check out the reasonably priced beer and burgers.

This gets a massive thumbs up for being not only reasonably priced but also giving money to charidee so it's all good.




When: 26th & 27th of August

Where; Somewhere in Cornwall

How much: about 40 quid

This cheeky little festival had a year off last year to recharge their batteries and it's really good to see them back on the scene.

Held at a 'secret location' (a farm) in Cornwall, Kneedeep is a small or as we now have to call them 'boutique' festival but don't let that put you off.

The organisers have an unerring knack for choosing some amazing acts just before they break big. Previous alumni include Wolf Alice, Drenge, Big Deal and Kate Tempest and if you are a serious music fan then you need to get along.

Be aware though that tix are limited



Common People

When: 28th & 29th of May

Where; Southampton Common

How much: £49.50 weekend adult


An early one this, taking place on the late May bank Holiday. This is a day only festival so there's no camping nonsense to go with it which makes it a nice low stress weekend. You can also buy day tickets.

Given the sort of acts they get on it's also pretty good value at only fifty squids for the two days.

Although its on Southampton Common this is a bigger site than you think it is and they have all sorts of stuff going on and lots of stages with both bands and dance acts. Personally I preferred the smaller stages with some of the local bands on than the dance tents!

Even though they had something like 30,000 bods in on the Saturday last year you could still get a good view of the headliners which is novel for a lot of the larger festivals.

The beer is expensive to my mind, but you could take beer in plastic bottles last year and there was some very lovely food on show too.

if you're not near Southampton then they are doing the same thing in Oxford. Huzzah!



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