With the sun finally showing its face, it’s starting to feel like summer. And that means it’s time to look forward to the Great British festival season. But if you’re fed up of huge crowds, identikit line-ups and shit beer, fear not – while Glasto and Reading/Leeds get all the coverage, the UK has some of the best alternative festivals on the planet. And we’re here to help with our guide to the best alternative UK summer festivals 2017!
Line-Up: 1975, Mumford & Sons, Fleet Foxes, Fatboy Slim
Date: 13th – 16th July
Price: £197.50 Adult Weekend Ticket
Probably the biggest festival on our list, Latitude has quickly established itself as one of the most popular festivals on the UK circuit since its inauguration in 2006. With a focus on all the art forms as well as a great musical line-up, Latitude has grown in size over the years but has still managed to maintain a real family friendly feel. This year sees the likes of the 1975 and Mumford & Sons headlining, while BBC Music Introducing will have their very first stage at Latitude, offering a specially curated programme of classical, world, jazz, country and folk music hosted by an array of BBC presenters.
Line-Up: Bloc Party, The Flaming Lips, Mogwai, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man
Date: 7th – 10th September
Price: £205 Adult Weekend Ticket
There’s very few festivals in the UK as unique as Festival No. 6. Set in the picturesque coastal village of Portmeirion, you’d be forgiven for feeling like you were on the Italian Amalfi coast as opposed to North Wales. The village setting and the yurt or The Castell Deudraeth accommodation options makes No. 6 a genuinely unique option on the UK festival scene and the music is always great. This year sees The Flaming Lips, Mogwai and indie legends Bloc Party headlining.
Line-Up: PJ Harvey, Future Islands, The Shins, Ryan Adams
Date: 17th – 20th August
Price: £180 Adult Weekend Ticket
Another Welsh option on our list, for us the Green Man Festival offers the best setting on the lot with the stunning backdrop of the Welsh Black Mountains accompanying great music and great partying. Green Man is split into ten areas, each with its own vibe and artistic policy, such as ‘Fortune Falls’, ‘a shamanic hideaway for the creative and cultured’, and ‘Einstein’s Garden’, where you can ‘learn and gawp at something strange’. The line-up for 2017 isn’t half bad either with PJ Harvey and Ryan Adams headlining.
Line-Up: Two Door Cinema Club, Grace Jones, Bonobo, First Aid Kit
Date: 3rd – 6th August
Price: £168.50 Adult Weekend Ticket
Oxfordshire’s Wilderness Festival is relatively new to the UK festival scene having started back in 2014 but it’s already gaining quite the reputation. Now in its fourth year, to put it candidly Wilderness is perfect if you’re looking for a real old school hippy love-in. The forest setting is idyllic to say the least and there’s even a chance to go wild swimming. As well as great music from the likes of Two Door Cinema Club and Grace Jones, Wilderness is also a foodie’s paradise with a huge array of street food trucks, as well as the option to sign up to one of the festival’s many banquets.
Line-Up: Fatboy Slim, Dizzee Rascal, Stormzy, Jess Glynne
Date: 9th & 10th June
Price: £116.75 Adult Weekend Ticket
Having been created by Disclosure and Rudimental back in 2015, you won’t be surprised to hear that the Wild Life Festival is perfect for any urban dance fans out there. Taking place at Shoreham’s Brighton City Airport for its third year, Wild Life brings with it an extensive mix of music from emerging talent on the Sounds of the Near stage to the massive and legendary artists headlining the Wild Life stage. Brighton’s own Fatboy Slim should be the real highlight but the eclectic line-up also features the likes of Dizzee Rascal and Chaka Khan too.
Line-Up: The Cinematic Orchestra, Metronomy, Shura, DJ Yoda
Date: 6th – 8th July
Price: £110 Adult Weekend Ticket
Tucked away in the picturesque Hampshire countryside, Blissfields is one of the more intimate British festivals on the UK circuit. This year’s theme for the festival is ‘The Bizarre’ which is described as, ‘a tunnel through the fantastic, via fantasy and freakshow, will see the festival celebrate and fearfully poke the unknown.’ Essentially, expect the unexpected. The headliners for 2017 are synth-pop maestros Metronomy and the brilliant The Cinematic Orchestra.
Line-Up: Los Colorados, Sonido Vegetal, Worldly Savages
Date: 10th – 13th August
Price: £170 Adult Weekend Ticket
But if you’re looking for something truly ‘alternative’ where the music is secondary to the weekend experience, look no further than Boomtown Fair. The UK’s most unusual festival is back for its 9th year of music, art, theatre design, and architecture with a vast open air theatrical production on a scale unrivalled anywhere in the country. Boomtown Fair is all about adventure and escapism, and as such comes with a storyline that unfolds in real time throughout the festival weekend. Brought to life by hundreds of actors, Boomtown features a number of different interactive and immersive venues celebrating the grassroots culture of festivals all across the globe. Boomtown’s musical line-up doesn’t feature any giant names but you will hear ska, folk, gypsy, reggae, world, punk, jazz, blue-grass, drum and bass, garage, funk, soul, dub, and hip-hop at some point or another across the weekend.