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Top 7 Music Festivals to Check Out This Summer
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Top 7 Music Festivals to Check Out This Summer

Picture of Suzy Rabikowska
Updated: 13 December 2015
We have all heard of the famous British festivals such as Glastonbury, Isle of Wright and Reading. But every year more and more people are starting to reject large commercial festivals in favour of smaller, more local events. If you’re looking to fill your summer diary with some new musical vibes, check out these festivals.
Lunar Festival @ Lunar Festival
Lunar Festival | Courtesy Lunar Festival
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Lunar Festival

June 5-7 2015

Set in the rolling hills of Warwickshire, this festival features firework launchers and lanterns, in reference to the Chinese New Year celebration – in other words, the Lunar New Year. This is a family friendly festival with a great line up of music and activities for adults and kids – a definite must for those seeking a more unorthodox musical twist. Other activities include an African drumming workshop, street theatre, Thai Chi or Bangra Dancing.

Selected performers: Tinariwen, Wilko Johnson, Sun Ra Arkestra

Lunar Festival, Umberslade Estate, Warwickshire, UK

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Lounge on the Farm

Saturday August 2 2015

Lounge on the Farm is the perfect embodiment of the shift in demand from huge festivals to intimate and more locals ones, where supermarket presence is rejected and small markers’ markets and local produce is embraced. All the fruit and vegetables served during the festival are grown within 20 miles of the site. The idea of ‘locality’ extends to the music, where local bands play alongside more established performers. This year Lounge on the Farm returns for its ninth anniversary.

Selected Performers: Dub Pistols, DJ Alfredo, The Ramona Flowers, Radio Riddler, Cover

Lounge on the Farm, Merton Farm, Canterbury, UK

Frank Turner at 2000trees | Courtesy 2000trees
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July 9-11 2015

This festival is dedicated to giving you the best of new and underground British music for one weekend in July. During the festival you get a chance to see more than 80 acts on four different stages and can participate in other activities such as the outdoor headphone disco. The festival started in 2007 and was set up by six friends who got tired of paying high prices for seeing bands they loved at other festivals. Instead, they chose to introduce a value of money alternative which also helps to raise environmental concerns.

Selected performers: Idlewild, Black Peaks, We are the Ocean, The Subways.

2000trees, Upcote Farm, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK

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July 15-29 2015

Buddhafield is a collective of Buddhists involved with the Triratna Buddist Community. This festival offers a mélange of music and meditation and is completely alcohol and drug-free. In previous years the participants were able to embrace the ‘flourishing of clear and radiant awareness’ by bathing in mud or meditating in the forest whilst covered in leaves. The festival also focuses on reducing the carbon footprint and the organisers have arranged for buses and a lift-sharing service.

Selected Performers and Activities: Healing Garden, Ethical Refreshments, Enlightening Sauna or Acoustic sessions in the evenings

Buddhafield, Blackdown Hills, Taunton, Somerset, UK

Boomtown Fair | Courtesy Boomtown Fair
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Boomtown Fair

August 13-16 2015

If reggae is up your street this festival is made for you. Often described as a vibrant ‘mini-city’ this is a reggae lover’s heaven. There are also other genres including Ska, World, Hip-Hop, Drum ‘n’ Bass, Jungle and Garage – so there is bound to be something you will enjoy. The festival offers its own nine districts, like Chinatown, Downtown and Wild West. It features four days of live music and art events that offer an array of fringe comedy and theatre.

Selected Performers: Flogging Molly, Gogol Bordello, Goldie Lookin Chain, The Beat

Boomtown Fair, Matterly Estate, Winchester, UK

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Secret Garden Party

July 23-26 2015

This is definitely one of the most magical festivals this summer. Secret Garden Party, or the SGP amongst those in the know, is an annual arts and music festival set in a 10-acre landscaped garden of a Georgian farm. It is a place where silly behaviour is encouraged and getting messy expected. Initially, it was launched in 2004 by Fred Fellows as an alternative to mainstream music and as a way replacing normality with new experiences and surprises. Over the years it has grown from welcoming 1,000 visitors and having one stage to 15 stages and 26,000 nonconformist music lovers in 2011. The organisers want the installations to be engaged with rather than just observed.

Selected Performers: Jungle, The Cat Empire, Caravan Palace, Angus& Julia Stone

Secret Garden Party, Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon, UK

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End of the Road Festival

September 4-6 2015

This independent music festival focuses mainly on alternative music, folk, country and Americana. The festival has fours stages: Woods Stage, the Garden Stage, the Big Top Stage and the Tipi Tent, as well as a clearing in the woods around the Garden Stage containing a piano at which semi-secret sets take place. Because this festival is set in stunning Victorian Larmer Gardens, it is not unlikely that you will see peacocks wandering around or macaws in the trees.

Selected Performers: Sufjan Stevens, Tame Impala, The War on Drugs, My Morning Jacket, Django Django

End of the Road Festival, Larmer Tree Gardens, Wilshire, UK

Suzy Rabikowska