We think that the Westcountry offers the best in fields, food and music. It is, of course, home to Glastonbury and the Isle of Wight festival, but there are plenty of other independent parties and events cropping up throughout this corner of the country. Keep reading for some of the festivals we’re most excited about this summer…
27th – 28th May, Totnes
Founded by the independent and music obsessed Drift Records, Sea Change presents live art in different venues throughout bucolic Totnes. Think historic guildhalls, abandoned gymnasiums and 550-year-old churches. Performances are intimate and span film, literature, music, conversation and culture. It’s a unique festival with an expertly curated lineup, a credit to the talent involved.
11th June, Musbury
Each year, Castlewood celebrate the vineyard’s harvest with a posh, boozy festival. Set on a stunning Devonshire hillside, overlooking the River Axe, there’s live music, locally sourced food and glamping. Food and drink are king here; it’s really a showcase of local ingredients grown in the surrounding landscape. There will be plenty of Castlewood wines flowing and a limited amount of tickets to feasting experiences, where guests can dine at a long table banquet.
This incredible venue owned by Forestry England provides a unique setting to enjoy live music. It’s not a festival as such, but more a forest for headliners to play different dates throughout the summer. The Arboretum is a Victorian garden of rare and beautiful trees from all over the world, creating a natural and characterful backdrop to the sounds of Madness, Texas and Rag’n’Bone Man.
29th – 31st July
Hailing from the banks of the Camel Estuary, Rock Oyster attracts well-known headliners as much as it does famous chefs. Hosted by Jack Stein, this Cornish food and music festival presents open-fire cooking and alfresco dining – head to the pop-up Chef Tipi’s for dishes from Cornwall’s best-loved restaurants. It must be the only festival where you can you taste fresh oysters then experience the Happy Mondays in the same afternoon.
1 – 4 September
End of the Road is one of the most well-curated music festivals in the south west. Held in Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset, it’s a smaller, laid-back festival where artists know they are in the company of music-lovers, granting an intimacy to each performance. It is set in magnificent woodland dotted with art installations, with the main stage attracting the likes of Damon Albarn, Little Simz and Arlo Parks. This year the carefully selected lineup is headlined by Khurangbin and The Pixies, and last remaining tickets are only available on resale link on their website. It’s certainly one to keep an eye on.
9 – 11 September
There’s more than a few cider festivals in the South West, but The Little Orchard is the most established, set in Healey’s Cyder farm. Hosted in Penhallow, Cornwall, this family-friendly festival has a light-hearted, eccentric feel with venues like Grandma’s Tent and a BBC Introducing stage. There’s also a silent disco held in The Orchard where the DJ reigns from an atmospheric treehouse, as light filters through the shadows of the trees. There is also, of course, plenty of selection for cider lovers.