Image Credit: Wilderness Festival
With the giant that is Glastonbury out of the way, it’s time to look at what else is out there in ways of diversity and maybe not walking half an hour to get back to your mud filled bed.
These days with so many festivals to choose from and new ones popping up every year there is something for everyone. I for one had written off festivals for many years, I went to V Festival and Reading in 2005 and really enjoyed it…so what put me off…? For me it was the unpredictable weather, my music taste shifted from the mainstream and the cost, but lots has changed in the last few years (not the weather).
Smaller festivals have been popping up, giving us more affordable options which is awesome and their line ups generally manage to hold their own against the big old timers, but the smaller one tend to have more of an intermit vibe and you are able to find lots more unknown and up and coming artists.
With festivals becoming more and more diverse, the focus for many is no longer just about the music, so instead the lime light is shared with poetry, comedy, food and a higher standard of camping (glamping). On the food front, festivals like Wilderness Festival and Camp Bestival stand out for me; these festivals focus half their attention on things of the edible nature. They have also managed to do so without scrimping on the music side, but when it comes to the food they don’t do it by halves, including all things local, independent, and of course, delicious.
Image Credit: Camp Bestival
If gourmet food at a festival sounds like all kinds of misplaced madness to you, then the comedy and poetry side of things might be more up your street. A comedy tent is nothing new when it comes to festivals, but these day they’re not just shoved in a corner and something you just accidently stumble into looking for the toilets. Of course, at the forefront of the comedy and arts festival scene is The Edinburgh Festival and our very own Brighton Festival, which like The Great Escape and Tramlines fall under the ‘Urban Festival’ umbrella. But if what you’re looking for is that ‘classic’ experience of festival life in a field somewhere, you’re in for a treat. These festivals tend to be of the cleaner family fun variety and not so much the mud up to your middle, forgotten where your tent is type. This new breed of artsy fun has been dubbed the ‘Guardian Festival’; this is mainly due to one of the first to arrive on the scene of this kind, Latitude Festival . Latitude not only manages to produce an amazing music line up every year but they also have extensive line ups in theatre, dance, film and poetry….all the joys of a city fringe festival, while laying in a field (hopefully) in the sunshine.
Image Credit: Latitude Festival
I myself have been pulled away from the good old British festival to sunny shores in the form Soundwave, in the beautiful setting of the Croatian coast. I attended said festival last year and had such a good time I’m going again this year in just a few weeks. The self labelled ‘non-festival goer’ is no longer. Croatia itself has around 15 festivals, ranging from Soul, Funk, Hip Hop, Techno, D&B and House. With more popping up every year and even a few from Ibiza either moving over or holding a second festival there, it has become the festival setting of choice over the last few years. This is not to say other locations in the Mediterranean don’t have anything worth going to, Primavera in Barcelona, Spain and it’s smaller cousin Primavera Porto in Portugal defiantly held their own when it comes to live music, but unfortunately these have been and gone this year...defiantly one to keep an eye out for next year though.
Image Credit: Soundwave Festival
So if you have never partied in a field with flowers in your hair because what you’ve seen on the telly has put you off, maybe have another look around. And for all you festival veterans, don’t be afraid to venture out to pastures new….maybe even abroad!