With Download and Isle of Wight this past weekend, the festival season is very much upon us. Now everyone knows abouts the large festivals like Isle of Wight, V, Tea in the Park and Reading / Leeds but what about the smaller festivals out there? Here’s our round-up of some of the best looking small festivals this year…

2011 Small Festival Preview

Wakestock
8 – 10 July 2011

Wakestock is Europe’s largest wakeboard music festival. Situated in North Wales the festival is actually now part of the World Wakeboard Series, but it’s not all about boarding. In previous years the likes of Moby, N*E*R*D, Chase and Status and Dizzee Rascal have graced the stage. This year is no different with huge bands including The Womabts, Biffy Clyro, Example, Chase & Status, Nero, Jaguar Skills, and Zane Lowe to name just a few.

There are three main sites to the festival which include the Marina and Abersoch Bay which play host to the Wakeboarding comps. There is also a ‘Pool Gap’ at the main site where you will see riders doing tricks along a cable system and handrails.

If you like your festivals with an edge and some extreme sports thrown in, this is a must on your list!

wakestock-festival-preview

Beach Break Live
16 – 20 June 2011

Not far away and pretty much kicking off the season, Beach Break Live is THE student festival! 20,000 students gather at Pembrey Country Park, South Wales this June to celebrate their summer off! Now in it’s fifth year, 2011 promises to be it’s very best with sets from Magnetic Man, Mark Ronson, Professor Green, Tinie Tempah, We are Scientists and the White Lies to name but a few.

Situated along 8 miles of beach, plus acres of woodland and camping, this is 4 days of madness and with tickets starting at just £99, this is pretty much unmissable! Just think of it as a UK version of spring break!

I for one wish I was going, but my charity cycle ride clashes, so lucky ole Tom will be heading there instead! Gutted! We believe there are still a few tickets available to head over and nab yours now!

beach-break-live

The Big Chill
4 – 7 August 2011

This is not a weather warning for these dates, fear not. The Big Chill is actually, a stalwart of the UK festival scene, as it is celebrating its 17th year with an eclectic and attractive line-up. This year you can see The Chemical Brothers and Kanye West tearing it up, with the likes of James Blake, Chipmunk and Example also thrown in for good measure.

The Big Chill represents a chance for dipping into a wide range of tastes. There is bound to be offerings of folk, jazz, African, dub, eletro, reggae and potentially some epic colaborations on stage. Of course, there isn’t just music on offer, as artistry is celebrated in other forms, including cinema, poetry, cabaret and art. What makes this extra special is that it is set in the beautiful surroundings at Eastnor Castle. Of course many people probably won’t notice the scenery, but some probably will, since this is festival enjoyed by families and ravers alike.

This is a festival for those who love live music, but aren’t the biggest fans of indie or rock which dominate the festival scene. Good beats, good rhymes, good food, good family fun. Tickets are like rocking horse crap, but if you can. Go.

kanye-west-big-chill-festival

Latitude Festival
14 – 17 July 2011

The Latitude Festival is the East of England’s festival which everyone our way heads to! Taking place at Henham Park in Southwold it’s been going strong since 2006 and has featured some real world beaters: Snow Patrol, Paolo Nutini and Cold War Kids. It also features the very best of comedy talent with appearances from the likes of Alan Carr, Phill Jupitus, Bill Bailey and Lee Mack.

Latitude has more of a European / cultured feel to it, with theatre, art and literature amongst the standard activities of music and comedy. Run and managed by the same group as Leeds and Reading, you can be sure everything is top notch and well organised.

This year sees acts such as: Hurts, the Eels (how good were they!!), The cribs, Glasvegas and Suede. You will also find your sprinkling of comedy which includes Alan Carr, Omid Djalili, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Jason Byrne.

If you like your festivals slightly different and more relaxed then this is definitely the one for you.

Kendal Calling
29 – 31 July 2011

Entering its 6th year, Kendal Calling in the Lake District aims to bring some of the world’s great artists to the north of England, as well as provide a platform for local northern acts to shine. Since its inception it has managed to grow exponentially, having hosted talented artists such as Dizzee Rascall, The Streets, Munford and Sons, Beardyman, the Doves, Calvin Harris, OKGO, and so on and so forth. This year some old favourites return to accompany headliners The Cribs, Blondie, Chase and Status as well as Frank Turner.

This is fun-packed festival for all alike, with a variety of different stages and more than just music on offer. There will be random performers wandering the crowds offering entertainment such as moustache jenga, or magicians whipping out their tricks (calm down) on the unsuspecting crowd. The fancy dress theme has been picked and will be associated with key stages, and this is beasts and machines. There will also be a library with a rock’n’roll twist and a Monstrous Garden.

If you are looking for something offbeat, crazy, fun, northern and immersive then you’d want to be heading here. It sold out in record time, take that as an indication of how amazing it has been and undoubtedly will be this year!

Ben & Jerry’s Double Scoop Festival
23 – 24 July 2011

This isn’t your typical music festival. This is beyond a music festival. In fact, music plays second fiddle to the ice cream. This is the first year that it has expanded beyond Clapham Common in London and the acts over the weekend will interchange sites. Headliners this year will be Maximo Park and Ocean Colour Scene, supported by the likes of The Fun Loving Criminals, Ash and Gary Numan. These are the guys less important than ice cream?

The real benefit of this festival is the fact that, after you pay a paltry £17 for a ticket, you have unlimited ice cream cones all day long from the entire range of Ben & Jerry’s flavours. Thats more than I can count on fingers and toes, as well as limited edition flavours. Here’s a challenge – try and eat a cone of each in one day! It’s impossible without being sick. There is also a Pimms bus, a Helter Skelter, Toe Wrestling and an acoustic stage.

A real fun festival day out in the city, and one for all the family and friends to pig out. WARNING: You won’t want ice cream again for the rest of the year.

Ben Jerrys London

Keep an eye out for the mighty chaps over at Lucozade this year. They are sponsoring a Beach Break Live, The Big Chill, Wakestock and Kendal Calling. As soon as you arrive go and check in at the Lucozade Energy Exchange for the chance to win festival goodies from sunglasses to pop-up tents. There will also be a Big YES on-site where you can pick up free bottles of Lucozade Energy to keep you energized for the weekend.

Not to mention we will be there with them, so there is no excuse!!

Are you going to any of these? Will you be now? Let us know!

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