Houghton (Norfolk, UK)
The woodland party is among the most talked-about new festivals in the UK, and it isn’t difficult to understand why. All the music you can hear at Houghton is played through the highest-quality sound systems, selected by Craig Richards, a long-standing resident of Fabric and the man responsible for curating the event. Richards puts together a wonderful mix of DJs that include a number of the biggest and the best names from disco, techno, house, and more. There’s also sculpture and visual art to please the eyes and ears of the more artistic festival-goers.
Wilderness (Oxfordshire, UK)
The almost fairytale-like August getaway features music that seems to keep on getting better and better with each passing year. Wilderness isn’t purely about great sounds, either. From talks and debates to outdoor theatre, yurt building to horse riding, a lakeside spa, there’s a whole host of activities to get involved with and enjoy.
And to top all of that, there are long-table banquets with leading chefs. Clearly, this is one festival that’s about more than just music. It’s also one that you would need to book well in advance in order to secure your ticket (s).
Boomtown (Winchester, UK)
Boomtown is another festival that offers more than it suggests. In fact, what it offers is a complete break from reality. Each annual event features a different chapter in an ongoing storyline, with the entire festival turning the city into a mental, pulsing, and vibrant place. There are hidden hotels with beds, live ska music, hides oaths, actors doing weird and wonderful things, and even a job centre.
It’s a wonderful way of experiencing childlike escapism and is hard to sometimes tell what’s real and what isn’t, with everyone and everything having a role to play in the overall experience. There are people of all ages ready to meet Downtown’s crazy ones, the Wild West cowboy raves, and the psychedelic forests.
Mighty Hoopla (Brockwell Park, Herne Hill, London)
Mighty Hoopla is the biggest pop festival in London, as well as being a feature event on the LGBT+ summer calendar. The lineup balances a big headline name or two, retro favourites such as Jamelia and Bananarama, and some rising stars from the LGBT+ scene. Mighty Hoopla also features a selection of mainly LGBT+ venues and club nights. Some of the venues throw afterparties to keep the slut-dropping, dancing, and drinking going until the early hours. Expect lots of glitter!
Lovebox (London, UK)
One of the more colourful parties you’ll find in London. The big-name MCs, DJs, and odd-genre busting act perform on the main stage, with the small stages featuring a lineup curated by the likes of Noisey offering the chance to see a possible new star on the rise. Lovebox keeps pumping the beats and pouring the drinks for two days straight (typically over a weekend). You’d need to pace yourself, though- the festival has a reputation for its full-on afterparties.