Top 5 alternative festivals

There’s no shortage of great festivals on offer in the UK, including the likes of Glastonbury, V Festival and T in the Park. However, as well as these big name musical extravaganzas, there are a host of alternative events that are well worth checking out. Here are five of the best.

In The Woods

For something truly out of the ordinary, In the Woods is hard to beat. The event, which is taking place in August, will be staged in a beautiful and secret woodland setting just an hour south of London.

Now in its 9th year, the show has received critical acclaim and it is a great place to spot new talent. The likes of Lucy Rose, Lianne la Havas and Nick Mulvey all appeared there just months before their careers took off. Organised by a small group of helpers, the festival has a magical feel and the music is complemented by mesmerising art installations and atmospheric lighting.

Green Man Festival

In August, the Black Mountains in Wales will form the backdrop to the Green Man Festival. The perfect event if you’re after a mixture of music, comedy and theatre, this celebration is far from mainstream. Its organisers focus on creating an immersive experience for revellers of all ages and there is even a Little Folk area for the under-12s.

This year, it will feature ten entertainment areas, 1,500 performers and 24-hour entertainment. It will also boast luxury camping areas complete with piping hot showers. If you don’t fancy driving there, you can take a train and hop on a free shuttle bus that runs from the local station right to the festival.


Another four-day party is set to get underway in Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire. The Wilderness festival offers a complete holiday experience, combining music, food and plenty of fun.

The estate, with its ornamental lakes and forest, forms the ideal setting for a weekend escape and the lineup for this year’s event includes London Grammar, Burt Bacharach, Jessie Ware and Sam Smith. Also, world-class chefs including Angela Hartnett and Simon Rogan will be on hand to oversee the food.

Beacons Festival

Over the same long weekend, the Beacons Festival will run in Yorkshire. The event has an intimate, garden party feel, with the number of visitors capped at 2,500. Kids are welcome there too, and there is a special field for them to play in. This family-friendly festival even includes a calming space for parents to feed babies and to enjoy a cup of tea away from the action.

Among the acts set to appear at the event this year are Daughter, The Fall and Joy Orbison. As well as the music, festival goers can enjoy installation art, tasty street food and drink and much more.

End Of The Road

Last but by no means least, End Of The Road is set to take place at the Larmer Tree Gardens in Dorset. Just one of the quirky features of this gathering is the authentic village post office that is set up in the heart of the action. Open from 9am until 5pm, this allows visitors to send each other messages the old-fashioned way, which can be especially handy if mobile reception or batteries are low.

Among the acts to be taking part this year are The Horrors, British Seapower and The Flaming Lips.

If you’re on the lookout for tickets to the UK’s best festivals, check out the Gigantic website.