The alternative 2017 Festival Guide from The Pit London (2017)
FRESH from The Pit comes a new series of blogs, focusing on the best, smallest and cheapest UK festivals that you and your squad can visit! With prices, line ups and ambience like this, you’d be a mad man not to book off at least one whole festival this summer.
As you may know, I’m a keen festival goer. Getting mash up for three days straight, of a year (at least) is very important to me, and despite it just sounding like a crazy bender and nothing more, It has genuinely played a very important part of becoming the lady I am today. Going to a lot of festivals alone to work, really helped boost my confidence. The community sense of a festival is unbeatable, and if you can’t afford a gap year in the South East of Asia, like myself and all the other middle class white girls, book yourself on to a mini holiday, starting at just £39.00 for a day ticket!
This piece will give you the lowdown on some great events, covering a variety of genres, styles and prices from all around the UK. All given details are listed (correctly at the time of writing) and quick reviews on the vibes and line up based on whether I have been there or not. Sit tight for a quick read.
When: 20th – 24th April
Where: Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
Line-up includes: The Melodians, The Marvels, Toot’n’skaman, Natty Bo and even a set from Milky of This is England!
Money wise: All you have to do is book accommodation, all gigs/sets etc are free!
If you’re into Ska this is an early festival set in scenic Yarmouth with top Ska, Reggae, Mod R&B and Northern Soul acts at a five star holiday park in Norfolk. Deluxe accommodation and holiday homes are available to rent on-site with surrounding facilities like bars, restaurant’s, coffee shops, and even an arcade! If you fancied a mini break away from the hustle and bustle of the city, with great music, this would be a shout for you.
To book visit: Phone, if you’re old school like that 01493857231 or visit the SKAMOUTH Website for details on where to stay.
RIBBLE VALLEY JAZZ FESTIVAL
When: 27th April – 1st May
Where: Various venues
Line-up includes: Norma Winston & The Printmakers, Yolanda Brown, Get The Blessing and The Lancaster Youth Jazz Orchestra
Money wise: All events priced separately. Bar, café and restaurant gigs will be mostly free or OTD.
More like the Fringe or Tramlines type festivals, where one travels around venues to see legendary Jazz acts over a period of a few days. Pick and choose who you want to see, but guaranteed there will be new names to discover and a nice sense of community. The festival seeks to encourage a variety of young people on to the Jazz scene, and actively encourages the integration of generations to get involved. Lots of free acts, including Blues and Jazz bands at various venues across the village.
THE MASKED BALL
When: 26th - 28th May
Where: Beacon Crag, Cornwall
Camping: Yes (Included in tickets)
Line-up includes: 45 Live, Durty Disco and Horse Meat Disco
Money wise: Tickets started at £39.00 but are now available at around £55.00 to £79.00
I’ve heard a lot about this festival and it's one that really excites me with this years’ theme being the underworld. The event has a weird and wondrous feel to it; the idea is to immerse yourself into the notion of walking through a music museum. Previous years have featured venues you can only get to through wardrobes and having to wade through rooms of cuddly toys and mattress forts in a dressing gown. They even had venues that required you to go down a slide into a massive ball pit -trippy!
To book visit: MASKED BALL
INTO THE WILD
When: 14th July - 16th July
Where: The Hounslow Hall Estate near Milton Keynes (Only an hour away from London)
Camping: Yes (Included in the ticket price)
Money wise: Tickets start at £40.00 to a whopping £325.00 (With £100 refundable deposit) on glamping. A booking fee is also applied.
Right in the heat of the summer, Into The Wild is a outdoorsy festival and intimate setting. If you love the countryside and a plethora of music that isn’t too far from home, this is where it's at. Bonuses include a great track record for food stalls and FREE, Yes, FREE hot showers all round!
To book visit: Into the wild festival
When: 2nd - 4th June
Where: Kelmarsh Hall and Gardens
Camping: Yes (with weekend ticket)
Line-up includes: Them Blends, Amy Fitz Doyley and Eda
Money wise: Day tickets start at £75.00. Weekend tickets (both including all activities) start at £145.00 and kids under 12 ‘Flo free’. Glamping accommodation options are available
A right old hippy free-for-all. If you’re of sound mind and body, or with kids, this is a cute little escape to nature for everyone. Including kids yoga and crafts, this is a great little getaway for a festival loving family, or for those who want to introduce the little ones into a world of music without the stress of thousands of people.
To book visit: Flovibe festival
When: 30th June - 2nd July
Where: Glynde, Sussex
Line-up includes: The Jacksons, George Benson, Herbie Hancock, BADBADNOTGOOD and Jordan Rakei
Money wise: Tickets start at £54.00. Weekend £120.00 (£150.00 with camping)
I went to Love supreme a few years back to work and I have to say, it’s a truly endearing Jazz festival in a beautiful part of Sussex. I managed to see Jamie Cullum and Soul || Soul, which was amazing. Even working long ass hours I managed to have a great time and see so many people. The festival is appealing to a much older crowd, however if you wanna schmoose in the sun all day and get tipsy and jam out, this would be perfect for you. With amazing food and an even greater collection of mini festival clubs and cocktail bars, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
To book visit: Love Supreme festival
MOSTLY JAZZ, FUNK AND SOUL FESTIVAL
When: 7th -9th July
Where: Moseley Private Park, Birmingham
Line-up includes: TBA
Money wise: Earlybird tickets start at £42 a day and go up to £95 for the weekend
What can I say - its mostly Jazz, Funk and soul. With previous line ups featuring the likes of De la Soul, Grandmaster Flash and Craig Charles, you’re on to a winner buying early bird tickets. Bonuses include, bring your own picnic and a chilled out weekend vibe.
To book visit: Mostly Jazz festival
When: 14th – 15th July
Where: Victoria Park, East London
Line-up includes: Solange, Frank Ocean, Jamie XX, Annie Mac, Chase & Status, Kurupt FM, Ray Blk, Jazzy Jeff and Late Nite Tuff Guy
Money wise: Day tickets £72.25. Weekend tickets £121.25 - Not bad considering the line up, VIP areas always look amazing so if you wanna party in style deffo check that out and maybe treat yourself. You probably deserve it!
Lovebox holds a special place in my heart. It was the first festival I ever visited. Where I saw the likes of The Flaming Lips and The Go! Team with my parents. I’ve visited three times in total now and the festival has changed a lot - it's bigger; it's full of young people; and the line up is significantly more chart based. But that doesn’t effect the whole experience at all. I since visited with The Pit London brainchild Tramell (aka Darkstepper) for a whole weekend of debauchery (This was when it was three days long, its now only two), still to this day kick myself that we got so messy we missed Damien Marley on Sunday morning. I also visited with my bae, my bestie to see the likes of Sigma, Chase & Status, Katy B and various other DJ’s/ producers / singers on what I can only describe as the hottest day of my life (and I’ve been to Morocco in summer) of which we spent the day filling up water bottles with dirty festival water and pouring it over ourselves and strangers, much to their delight. If these experiences are anything to go by and you fancy dipping your toe into the festival pool, Lovebox is a great place to start. Fridays are usually the best for Electronic and Dance music. Ticket prices have soared but it will be worth it, just trust me. Bonuses include, going home to your own bed.
To book visit: Lovebox
When: 3rd – 6th August
Where: Cornbury Park Estate, Oxfordshire
Line-up includes: TBA
Money wise: From general to boutique and quiet camping on offer, Wilderness meets a lot of needs and desires. Tickets start at a teeth grinding £179.75, but do remember this is 4 days including camping!
Full of mystery, Wilderness fest continues its plea to disconnect us from the woes of modern life. Releasing their line up on the 28th Feb, I haven’t much to tell you other than to sign up to their website to get a first look at whats to come.
To book visit: Wilderness festival to sign up for news and have a butchers at previous years
When: 26th - 27th August
Where: Clapham Common, South London
Line-up includes: Pendulum, DeadMau5, Eric Prydz, Sigma, DJ Hype and Duke Dumont
Money wise: Saturday £57.50 , Sunday £52.50 and Weekend tickets at £102.50 VIP day tickets start at £125.00 and there are group offers on the website
Ah, the festival of city slickers. I’ve never been because its not my style. I’m more into the hippy, whole wardrobe in my tent, falling over guide ropes type of festivaller. However if you love the idea of a festival without the mud and the cultural appropriation galore, SW4 is for you. Lots of my girlfriends you wouldn’t catch dead in a field have been and had the time of their lives. The line up is so good, I might even go. Bonuses include easy to get to, transport options and there is bound to be a Morleys near by, just sayin’.
To book visit: SW4
When: 1st - 3rd September
Where: Hainault Forest Country Park, Tunbridge Wells
Line-up includes: Derrick Morgan, Sons of Dub, Delroy Williams and Sons of Africa, Capital Letters, Iration Steppahs and Reggae Choir
Money wise: Super early weekend tickets at £99.00 and Friday at £35.00. Under 10’s go free
Another Reggae and Ska festival. A perfect close to the Summer but a bit late if you ask me, This vibe is one we should be having at the heat of the moment, but with any global warming luck it’ll still be a Jamaican sun casting over us. Even still, there’s nothing like drawing the Autumn in with a bit of Reggae Soul. Been interested in One Love for as long as I’ve been aware of its existence. Bonuses include the food is probably a collaboration of so many stalls and consisting of the best soul food in England. This years line up is monumental, Jah Love anyone?
To book visit: One love festival
IN THE WOODS
When: 1st - 2nd September
Where: ‘Secret woodland location’ Kent
Line-up includes: TBA
Money wise: Ticket prices will be announced 4th April, only 1,000 guaranteed spaces!
ITW is a magical place. Back in my festival prime I visited for work. I was working crazy hours for a tidy sum, but still managed to enjoy a little of the festival. In the woods is at a ‘secret location’ in Kent, with ‘secret’ meaning, you’ll never be able to find it without the mini bus from the station and back. Kent is a confusing place. However, the location is beautiful, and genuinely everyone involved is so down to earth and kind. I went on my own with no money and I was fed and watered the whole time, I even managed to get drunk, just off the kindness of everyone’s backs. It’s a very community felt festival, with eco loos and ample camping. The stages and acts are all hidden around forest paths, up hills and down little crevasses in the trees. Its an amazing vibe and really feels like you’re exploring off the beaten track. The whole place is decorated accordingly, some of the most influential outdoor arts and craft that I’ve experienced was at In the woods. As for the line up it’s something that would appeal to those of you with eclectic tastes. Including performances of spoken word, art and poetry sessions, including DJ’s at the silent discos and indie bands in the day, it’s a great festival to attend if you want inspiration and adventure. Bonuses include total exclusivity at only 1,000 tickets, GREAT food, lots of crafts and child friendly!
To book visit: In the woods
So there it is!
Keep an eye out for following posts in the Stay Hydrated! Series, let us know if this has inspired any of you to buy your tickets early, or even found you the festival you’ve been looking for all your life! Don’t forget to follow us on all socials so you get our news straight from the source.