10 tiny festivals to try this summer (because who needs Glastonbury?)

Festivals 2018? Looking for the small but oh-so-perfectly formed one? Read on for the Marie Claire edit of the ten we cant wait to try this Summer…

Festivals 2018 guide: Glastonbury is having a year off so that’s that off the list then and perhaps you’re away during Lovebox or Wilderness,  but fear not there are many more smaller dare we say cooler festivals to try in their place, these ten great small festivals happening this summer are just as good.

Here’s our pick of the smallest festivals 2018 edition…

Fiesta x FOLD

When: Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July 2018

Where: Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow

Who: Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Earth, Wind & Fire, De La Soul, Emelie Sande, Ana Matronic plus Goldfrapp and many more.

Why? If you’re in the mood for a little funk, soul and disco, er yes always we hear you sing, then Fiesta x FOLD should be on your radar. The newcomer to the festivals 2018 scene is one we can’t wait for. Created in collaboration with Nile Rodgers who’s hosting the party as well as performing on both days, alongside a pretty mega female-led line up you’re in for a treat. Plus we are very into the idea of the pop up restaurants they have just announced from Masterchef winner Gary Mclean who will be curating the food over the two day event. Delicious food and dancing, Winning!

Festivals 2018


Positive Vibration

When: Friday 8th and Saturday 9th June 2018

Where: Baltic Triangle, Liverpool

Who: Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Subatomic Sound System, Roni Size, Carroll Thompson, Don Letts, Dub Pistols, Sister Nancy & Legal Shot Sound System

Why? Positive Vibration is the destination for reggae lovers. With live performances from Godfather of Dub, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, and Mercury Prize-winning Roni Size, as well as a Reggae Q&A, an art exhibition and open-air market traders, there really is something for every reggae fan at this award-winning festival.

🎉 ARTIST ANNOUNCEMENT 🎉 Legendary producer & dub innovator, Lee Scratch Perry (official) will be performing at this year’s festival. The Godfather of dub will be backed by New York-based collective, Subatomic Sound System (Emch Subatomic, Screechy Dan & Larry McDonald). As well as the Godfather of Dub, the festival will also play host to the Godfather of Drum ‘n’ Bass, as Roni Size makes his long-awaited return to Liverpool. There will also be live performances from the Queen of Lovers Rock, Carroll Thompson, prolific drummer & MC, Horseman and the exceptionally gifted vocalist, King Lorenzo Lorenzo Reggae, all of which will be backed by one of the UK’s finest reggae bands, The Upper Cut Band. Weekend tickets ONLY £40: skiddle.com/e/12997064 www.posvibefest.com

A post shared by Positive Vibration (@positivevibrationfestival) on Apr 19, 2018 at 2:06am PDT

Strawberries & Creem

When: Saturday 16th June

Where: Haggis Farm, Cambridge

Who: T-Pain (in a UK festivals exclusive), Not3s, Kojo Funds,  David Rodigan, Shy FX, Ghetts, DJ Luck and MC Neat, Pied Piper and Nay Nay

Why? Boasting the youngest team of organisers in the UK (average age of 24!), this festival is as fresh as they come. Starting as a boutique party on a farm in 2014, Strawberries & Creem brings the very best of rap, grime, house and throwbacks to the summer festivals 2018 scene.

Gottwood Festival

When: 7 – 10th June

Where: Anglesey wales

Who: Andrew Weatherall, Ata, Margaret Dygas, Avalon Emerson, Axel Boman, Mr Scruff, Ben UFO, Commix, Grain b2b Jackmaster, Palms Trax

Why? This little boutique electro festival, nestled in the welsh forests, tops the list for one of the most beautiful of the festivals 2018 season about. With only 5,000 capacity, it remains intimate and magical – there’s even a walled Garden and a tree house, for full-on fairytale vibes.

A post shared by Gottwood (@gottwood) on Feb 13, 2018 at 9:24am PST


When: 5th – 8th July

Where: Vicarage Farm, Hampshire

Who: Gold Panda, Baxter Dury, Mr Jukes, Slamboree, Pink Kink, Stanton Warriors and Maxxi Soundsytem

Why: There’s something for everyone at Blisscamp, whether you want to party all night to Gold Panda at The Outpost, the central campfire and stage, or marvel at the fire and trapeze acts. There’s food, crafts and theatrics to keep you blissfully busy.


When: 8 – 12 August

Where: Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay, Cornwall

Who: The Chemical Brothers, George Ezra, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Years & Years, Craig David, Annie Mac, Everything Everything and Idris Elba.

Why: Surf, surf, and more surf. And if you’re not a surfer, you can always watch the pros showing off and soak up the sun (weather permitting). When it comes to researching festivals 2018 you’re actually after more of a holiday and less of a mosh pit vibe, then this is the small festival for you.


Callum Morse (Boardmasters Festival)

Standon Calling

When: 26th – 29th July

Where: Standon, Hertfordshire

Who: Paloma Faith, George Ezra, Bryan Ferry, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Little Simz, The Horrors

Why: The swimming pool – the only UK festival with one – the 16th century manor house setting, rockaoke, the annual dog show… did we mention the swimming pool?

Credit: Standon Calling

Neverworld by Leefest

When:  2 – 5 August

Where: Hever, Kent

Who: Bastille, Clean Bandit, Tom Grennan, We Are Scientists, Sub Focus, Rae Morris and Hollie Cook

Why: New for this year, Leefest launches Neverworld a magical Peter Pan universe where you can get totally extra in OTT fancy dress and sparkles. In its previous form, Leefest had a reputation for launching new bands into next big things (hello, London Grammar and Bastille), so it’s the place to go if you want to get ahead of the curve. It’s also a lot of fun.

When: 6 – 9th September

small festivals uk

Festival No. 6

Where: Portmeirion, Wales

Who: The Friendly Fires, Franz Ferdinand, Jessie Ware, The Charlatans, Everything Everything, Suggs, Will Self

Why: Small festivals always claim to offer something a bit different, but set in what can only be described as the magical fantasy land of Portmeirion, Festival No. 6 really does. You can sleep in a castle, watch theatre in the woods and eat in actual restaurants. We are sold, add it to our list of festivals 2018 to try. Boom!


Credit: Festival No. 6

Truck Festival

When: 20 – 22nd July

Where: Hill Farm, Oxford

Who: Friendly Fires, Jake Bugg, Editors, Shy FX, We Are Scientists and George Ezra

Why: The ‘godfather of the small festival scene’ features rolling green hills, cute indie boys and a friendly, unpretentious local crowd.


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