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The Big Feastival | © Max Miechowski/Courtesy of The Big Feastival
The Big Feastival | © Max Miechowski/Courtesy of The Big Feastival
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6 Music Festivals to Experience in The Cotswolds

Picture of Sarah Dawson
Updated: 23 April 2017
When it comes to vibrant, lively music scenes, the Cotswolds might not spring to mind. But look again and you’ll find a wealth of amazing, individual and welcoming music festivals, calling out to be explored. Here are six of the best festivals in the Costwolds coming this year.
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The Big Feastival

This family-friendly festival, set on Blur’s Alex James’s Cotswolds farm – just a stone’s throw from Kingham – brings together music and food in a unique two-day celebration. Enjoy live music from top UK and international acts, watch some of the world’s best chefs demonstrate their cooking talents on The NEFF Big Kitchen Stage, hone your own skills in one of the cookery classes, then fill up at one of the many incredible street food stands. Welcome to foodie heaven, with an unbeatable soundtrack!

The Big Feastival, Kingham, UK

The Big Feastival | © Max Miechowski/Courtesy of The Big Feastival

The Big Feastival | © Max Miechowski/Courtesy of The Big Feastival

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Wilderness

Leave your inhibitions at that door and prepare for a festival experience like no other. Embracing all the arts, Wilderness is an intimate and inclusive outdoor wonderland that is all about good vibes. Explore the different musical stages covering an eclectic mix of musical genres, be blown away by some crazy late-night cabaret revelry, watch the Wilderness cricket match or go all-out and join in the infamous naked swim in the crystal-clear lake. Wilderness is the kind of party you wish you’d been invited to – so best not miss out!

Wilderness, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire

Wild Swimming | Courtesy of Wilderness

Wild Swimming | Courtesy of Wilderness

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WOMAD

Set in the stunning grounds of Charlton Park, WOMAD is a global celebration of music, arts and dance – offering visitors the chance to see performances by incredible talent from all around the world. The diverse line-up (anything from a Ghanaian tribal drumming group to an Estonian fiddle player) helps to create a laid back, summer vibe, made even better by the sunshine. One of the friendliest festivals around – and perfect for discovering quirky, under-the-radar artists.

WOMAD, Charlton Park, Malmesbury

WOMAD letters | Courtesy of WOMAD

WOMAD letters | Courtesy of WOMAD

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Cheltenham Jazz Festival

Every year, jazz fans flock to Cheltenham for this annual celebration, where this elegant Cotswolds town comes alive with the sound of music. With its trademark mix of legendary icons and up-and-coming artists, Cheltenham is one of the UK’s most prestigious jazz festivals – and the perfect place to fall in love with this musical genre. Catch one of the free performances at the chilled-out main festival site, then venture further-afield and take your pick from one of the many free gigs or ticketed shows held across town.

Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Montpellier Gardens, Cheltenham

Cheltenham Jazz Festival | © McPherson Stevens/Courtesy of Cheltenham Jazz Festival

Cheltenham Jazz Festival | © McPherson Stevens/Courtesy of Cheltenham Jazz Festival

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Forest Live

Imagine watching your favourite band deep in the heart of one of the UK’s stunning forest locations. Sounds too good to be true, right? Forest Live makes this a reality. Each summer, Westonbirt Arboretum (among six other forest venues) is transformed into a unique concert arena and plays host to some of the hottest acts in the world. The line-up changes each year, but has already welcomed such eclectic acts as James Bay, Massive Attack, Simply Red and UB40. Music venues don’t get much better than this!

Forest Live, Westonbirt Arboretum, Westonbirt

Tom Odell at Westonbirt | Courtesy of Westonbirt

Tom Odell at Westonbirt | Courtesy of Westonbirt

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Cornbury Music Festival

There is something so quintessentially English about the Cornbury Music Festival. Family-friendly, full of character and with bags of charm, the festival is a real one-off. Likening itself to ‘a country fair with a rock ‘n’ roll twist; a farmers’ market with a dancefloor’, it’s a place to let your hair down, make friends and dance to feel-good music. With a Comedy Emporium, fairground and magical kids’ area all on-site, the focus here is on unpretentious fun – so turn up and let yourself be entertained.

Cornbury Music Festival, The Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire

Main Stage | Courtesy of Cornbury Music Festival

Main Stage | Courtesy of Cornbury Music Festival