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UK Music Festivals Guide: Top 5

The UK music festivals are legendary for their party antics, big-name acts and muddy fields. The great thing about the UK in the summer is the number of music festivals. There are over 200 a year and trust us most attendees are boozing it up and are there to PARTY.

That’s where seasonal workers like us spring into action. In 2017 we spent 14 weeks touring the UK as bar workers, bar managers, stock managers and even on build and breaks. Prior to this Jen had worked at 2/3 music festivals a year for seven years.

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Busy? Pin me for later?!

We even had our first ‘official’ date at a music festival. It was Hen’s first event, and he spent £90 on a ticket to see this lady and rock it out to The Prodigy.

UK Music Festivals: Top 5

The UK music festival can be a rite of passage for young folks but it’s also a place where adults can let loose, dance in fields and enjoy being in that delightful festival bubble. If you’re looking for an alternative travel plan, why not try one of our favourite music festivals?!

  1. Eden Festival, Dumfries and Galloway (Scotland)

Tucked away in an idyllic corner of the stunning Raehill Meadows of Dumfries, Scotland is Eden Festival. It’s set against a backdrop of rolling green hills and lush woodland. The sheer beauty of this carefully crafted ‘Garden of Eden’ is enough to suck you in.

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A boutique festival of around 8-9,000 people, it’s Scotland’s second-biggest festival. The whole ethos of the weekend is built around sustainable living, giving back to the local community, and creating a safe, all-inclusive space for families and other festival-goers.

The acts are often non-mainstream but over the years we’ve enjoyed the likes of Cat Empire, Submotion Orchestra, Boney M, Morcheeba, Mungo’s Hi-Fi. Our festival favourites are Colonel Mustard and the Dijon Five and of course a Saturday morning workout with Mr Motivator!

Eden Festival has music for all styles and tastes and for us, it’s where we feel most at ease. If this was a commune, we would live here all year!

There are countless workshops, a cinema, a cycle powered reggae stage, cabaret, comedy and a host of weird and wonderful performers, art and games. You will constantly discover wee nooks and crannies with something interesting happening!

Dates: 11th to 14th June 2020

Tickets: Adult Weekend – £139

Hoopla Tip: If you leave the campsite there’s an opening to a small river you can go for a swim and don’t miss a Saturday morning workout with Mr Motivator!

  1. Latitude Festival, Henham Park, Suffolk (England)

Often the vibrant Latitude Festival is described as a mini-Glastonbury and it is a good alternative!

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The thought and design that goes into this festival is mind-blowing! However, at 35,000 people it’s not as overwhelming or as much of a trek as some bigger festivals.

Previous headliners include, George Ezra, Snow Patrol, Mumford and Sons, Nick Cave, Primal Scream and Slaves. Don’t miss the cute pink sheep who have become mascots of the festival.

Aside from the music on offer are comedy shows, theatre, light shows, discussions/talks and poetry. In addition, you can even partake in some paddleboarding, lake swimming and wellness and holistic treatments.

For us this festival gets your creative juices flowing. There’s always something inspiring or just plain old-fashioned FUN going on!

Dates: 16th – 19th July 2020

Tickets: Adult Weekend – £226.80

Hoopla Tip: The lake swimming is open to festival-goers until 8 pm so bring a cossie (or go nude, no judgement here!)

  1. The Good Life Experience, Hawarden Estate (North Wales)

As the title suggests The Good Life Experience is a festival with an appetite for good food, sustainability, craft culture and a healthy dose of world music.

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Set up by music legend Cerys Matthews, her husband Steve Abbott and their friends Charlie and Caroline Gladstone. They opened their estate and farm to host the festival which has got to be one of our favourite finds ever!

All the acts are here because they believe in the ethos of the festival. You can wander around and talk to hundreds of local makers and small business owners and sample their goods. Find your new favourite gin, watch chefs cook up a storm, and rediscover the lost art of blacksmithing and learn all kinds of new skills.

The best thing has to be that it’s dog friendly (we love those doggos!). It also encourages a healthy lifestyle and the festival is food orientated. The music is also always superb, you are bound to find something exciting!

Dates: 10th-13th September 2020

Tickets: Adult Weekend – £190 (Friday weekend with camping)

Hoopla Tip – Don’t miss out on the special feast dinners (tickets for these are to be bought separately).

  1. Boardmasters, Newquay, Cornwall (England)

On a clifftop in the very south of England is Boardmasters, a surfing and music festival, bringing sun, sea and sand into the equation!

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If you want surfing competitions, live music, beaches, seafood, and late-night parties in a night club with top DJ’s then this is your ideal candidate. Watch incredible sunsets on the beach with headliners, who have included Faithless, Bastille, Ed Sheeran and Snoop Dogg.

We also recommend digging into some local seafood and scrumptious local cider. On our visit, we incorporated a few days to spend in Newquay and had seafood feasts at local restaurants and explored its luscious beaches.

We were also impressed with the presence of an organisation called Surfer’s Against Sewage who have partnered up with the festival who organise beach cleans, and the post-festival clean-up.

Dates: 5th -9th August 2020

Tickets: Adult Weekend – £179 (+ booking fee and litter bond)

Hoopla Tip: Don’t miss the surfing competitions with world-class competitors on the beaches below!

  1. Doune The Rabbit Hole, Cardross Estate, Doune (Scotland)

As well as being a wonderful play on words, (Doune is a place in Scotland but it’s also the way we pronounce down…(ya get it?!). Doune The Rabbit Hole is the best form of escapism!

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UK-Music-Festivals-Guide-Top-5-Hoopla-Adventures

UK-Music-Festivals-Guide-Top-5-Hoopla-Adventures

It’s was their 10th anniversary last year. As an independent festival, who are dog-friendly they have an emphasis on families and general community togetherness. You will feel like a local for the weekend.

Doune may be small, but they have a BONANZA international line-ups with the likes of Sister Sledge, The Damned, Hot 8 Brass Band, This is the Kit, John Grant and Songhoy Blues.

It’s a celebration of Scotland’s DIY arts scene. Find everything from local craft ales and food to workshops, spoken word and a big kid’s area.

This festival is also the place where your beloved writers also declared their love for each other. Therefore, it’s cemented a place in our hearts.

Dates: 17th -19th July 2020

Tickets: Adult Weekend Ticket – £110

Hoopla Tip: If you’re taking kids check out the yoga for kids and DJ workshops, and the Beat-Root café is the place for veggies!

 

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We hope this helps inspire your own summer of UK music festivals! You can read more about our festival adventures in our Latitude and our Boardmasters memoirs.

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