From Leeds & Reading to Bestival and the mighty Glastonbury, music festivals are bastions of the summer, leading hoards of music lovers young and old to mud-laden fields and soaking wet tents. But whilst the festival is as loved now as ever, what about those unique summer hideouts that offer something a little bit different? We run down the Top 5 Alternative UK Festivals to check out this summer.

5) Lost Village, Lincolnshire / May 27–29, 2016

Sticking close to Loughborough, it’s unlikely many have heard of the Lost Village festival, and yet, nestled between Lincoln and Newark, the concealed Lost Village has been harbouring some of the best acts around. Described as a ‘kaleidoscopic dreamscape of sights, sounds and secret hideaways’, and with the likes of Brit award winner Jack Garratt and major dance heavyweight Fatboy Slim taking to its secretive stages, the festival is definately welcoming in its second year in style.

But music isn’t the only form of entertainment on display. Comedian Katherine Ryan will be taking to the Lost Theatre stage, whilst a multitude of short films, abstract performances, global street food and dark magic are all set to feature. Not only that, boasting hot tubs by the rather aptly named Lake of Tranquillity, Lost Village is the perfect alternative for anyone looking to get lost amongst the woods.

4) Fire in the Mountain, Ceredigion / June 3–5, 2016

Between the beautiful Cambrian Mountains and the picturesque Cardigam Bay, Fire in the Mountain is set amongst some of the best scenery the UK has to offer. Created back in 2009, the not-for-profit festival is eco-friendly and sustainable, with all money made going straight back into the farm that Fire in the Mountain calls home.

With herbal teas and healthy snacks part of this festival’s diet, Fire in the Mountain is all about healing and helping. Professional therapists, tarot readers and astrologists are on hand to lend some spiritual direction, whilst the Welsh Culture Dat, Sunday craft market and pedal-powered cinema bring something fresh to the festival table. Expect music from Foghorn Stringband and an acoustic set from Alwa too!

3) Wilderness, Oxfordshire / August 4–7, 2016

Dipping down into the scenic country of Oxfordshire, Wilderness festival is a fustion of great music, live acts, sumptuous food and cultural conversation. Available through a full weekend ticket only, Wilderness is the place for new experiences and new people, with the opportunity to explore the great outdoors along the way too.

Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant will be headlining the eclectic main stage alongside psychedelic rockers The Flaming Lips and soul singer, Lianne La Havas. In the food and drink tent Raymond Blanc is set to be cooking up a storm, whilst Shakespeare will be making an appearance in the form of the Oxford Shakespeare Company letting loose on Love’s Labour’s Lost. The literary tent also brings with it musical meditation and Charlotte Church, overall preaching an experience that is not to be missed.

2) Shambala, Northamptonshire / August 25–28, 2016

Set in a secret location in Northamptonshire and boasting 12 stages, 200 musical acts, talks, debates, stand up comedy, think tanks and a collection of workshops, the summer festival has never looked so good. For such small size compared to the big hitters of Glasto and T, Shambala is a gateway into diversity.

More than just music, the festival has a number of activities. Hailing from Bristol, Fishy City chat all about the environment and sustaining our eating habits, whilst the Live Film Score brings an intimate cinematic vibe to proceedings. If you’re still craving some excitement, The House Party is a huge night of classic tracks and drunken fun, with the Kitchen, Living Room and Bathroom all connected by an underground tunnel. Be sure to check out their Adventures in Utopia blog too, bringing you all the latest information about this year’s festival.

1) Boomtown Fair, Hampshire / August 11–14, 2016

Taking the top spot (although to be fair the others look pretty damn good too) Boomtown Fair is as humbling as it is inspiring. Brought to life in 2009, the independent festival has grown into a community, more than tents in fields; Boomtown is a place all on its own. High streets, shops, a true metropolis, this is a festival unlike anything else.

With accommodation placed across a number of districts, from DownTown to TrenchTown and beyond, Boomtown is all about immersing youself in the experience. Major club act Leftfield will be taking to the Town Centre main stage, whilst the London based hip-opera band Josephine and the Artizans will be making waves over on the Crazy Calamities Saloon stage. Expect a whole load of street theatre and circus acts too, with over 60 shops housing any number of items. Head over to Barrio Loco to celebrate all things Latino as well!


Written by Emily Harrison


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