A Guide to Boutique Festivals in the UK
Over the years, music festivals have evolved from being musically exclusive into an immense gala of food, entertainment and attractions. However, as the popularity of festival-going increases and the venues continually expand year on year, more and more people are seeking a more niche experience. The desire to create something offbeat, something significantly different from the taxing experience of the modern day mega-festivals, has inspired a fascination for more boutique festivals offering an eclectic array of eccentric attractions and events.
Although the major festival giants – Glastonbury, Reading, Wireless and T in the Park – will always attract a populous crowd, some of the smaller gatherings are starting to pick up some momentum and make some rumblings.
We have compiled a list of our favourite whimsical themed festivals to date:-
Latitude Festival is becoming one of the largest and most popular boutique festivals with a sterling line-up of renowned musical acts and conceivably one of the most absorbing comedy tents in the UK. The festival is situated on a picturesque lake where a whole host of swimming and water based activities will be available to festivalgoers.
Originally starting off in life as a humble village fair, BoomTown has grown out of it’s roots and now boasts a metropolis of creative independent fairs organized into a series of international city districts. BoomTown is a very diverse festival celebrating a assortment of different music genres, art and performances.
Often referred to as a “hidden gem”, Kendal Calling is the Lake District’s answer to boutique festivaling, seeing over ten thousand revellers celebrating the event compared to the initial 900 capacity in 2006. The artistic event includes a bounty of attractions such as a rustic late night cinema experience in the woods and for those staying over, the famed Deer Lodge provides the essentials for any luxurious camping experience.
Probably one of the most innate of all boutique festivals, the Wilderness Festival removes the reins of the social roles and expectations and allows people to connect with their primitive self via a variety of stimulating natural activities. At this outdoors extravaganza you will be able to try your hand at horse riding, fishing, wild swimming, archery, philosophy walks, hunter gather cook classes, butchery, boating, foraging and more!
The team behind the acclaimed Wilderness Festival welcome Somersault, a five-day Summer camp encapsulating the essence outdoor bliss and relaxation into the ultimate holiday-festival experience. After a day out field trip trekking, mountain biking or surfing, Somersault festival goers will return to campfire feasts whilst enjoying outdoor theatre and performances. The North Devon affair is a magic rambling headlined by an assemblage of indie music bands all hosted in a countryside escape punctuated with lakes, temples and glorious views.
Festival n.o. 6
Aptly dubbed as a ‘bespoke banquet of music, arts and culture’ Festival Number 6 is a multi award winning fiesta of fun and fantasy based in the picturesque location of Portmeirion, North Wales. The 4 day event has grew so large that is now attracts the name of big-name artists such as Catfish and the Bottlemen, Pet Shop Boys, Beck, Tom Odell, Years and Years and James Bay to name a few.
Lost Village Festival
Set in an abandoned woodland forest in deep in the Lincolnshire countryside, the Lost Village Festival offers the opportunity to enjoy unspoilt landscape whilst being shepherded through the bucolic surroundings by the sweet renditions of popular music. The Lost village’ theme is encapsulated by the authentic ruins of dilapidated buildings and remains, transcending the experience into something truly memorable.
Tucked away deep within the Llanfaethlu forest in the very North of Wales, the critically acclaimed Gottwood is a mystical party which promotes some of the finest electro-dance music. The intimate festival features the perfect combination of up and coming artists and veteran electronic DJs from all corners of the globe. If electronic music is your bag, this is the festival for you.
There are but just a handful of the boutique festivals which are out there at the moment; there are more and more events popping up each festival season!