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25 of SUMMER’S TOP FESTIVALS

25 of SUMMER’S TOP FESTIVALS

Whether you’re looking for great music, a foodie feast, or hearing your favourite author, here’s the lowdown on the best festivals on your doorstep…

Great entertainment, foodie heavens, top chefs, world-class opera, pop stars, family fun, all on your doorstep! Here’s your ultimate guide to the best summer music and culture – the fun has only just begun!

Top image: Surrey Gin Fest

Near you

1 HAMPTON COURT PALACE FESTIVAL

Located in the gorgeous Tudor Courtyard, the Hampton Court Palace Festival really has it all – stunning scenery and great music from Michael Ball and Alfie Boe, Elbow and McFly, among others.

9 – 25 June

Image credit: Joshua Atkins / Fanatic

2 GRANGE PARK OPERA

Celebrate summer in style with the most exquisite opera, starring Grammy and Classic Brit Award winner Bryn Terfel, Royal Opera House veteran Simon Keenlyside and the famous Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja. And all this amongst magical landscapes of Surrey…

9 June – 16 July

3 PUB IN THE PARK

If you missed May’s Pub in the Park in Wimbledon, fear not as it will be coming to Dulwich and Chiswick too, with awesome live music and food from Michelin-starred restaurants, from delicious seafood to classic steak & ale pies. And don’t forget to attend a cooking session with a celebrity chef to learn their secrets, tips and tricks.

Dulwich 24 – 26 June and Chiswick 2 – 4 September

4 ICANN

Fancy a session (or two, or more) of exciting wellbeing sessions amongst glorious nature? Head to Cannizaro Park and choose between Pilates, laughter yoga classes, Osteobreath Breathwork Therapy, mindful sketching and even sound healing – all led by professionals and experts in the field

Cannizaro Park, 10 – 12 June

5 KINGSTON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Celebrating emerging film talents, as well as established filmmakers, Kingston International Film Festival offers an impressive selection of feature films and documentaries produced by small independent production companies. Patrons include Dame Vanessa Redgrave and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’s director Mike Newell.

24 – 26 June 

6 BARNES CHILDREN’S LITERATURE FESTIVAL

The UK’S largest dedicated children’s literature festival has a fabulous line up including Liz Pichon, Dr Adam Kay, Axel Sheffler, Lemn Sissay, Nick Sharatt and Rob Biddulph, among many others. Take your little ones for a meet and greet with a famous author filled with mirth, joy and laughter.  

25 – 26 June 

7 SANDOWN MUSIC FESTIVAL

Paloma Faith, Nile Rodgers & CHIC and Simply Red head to Sandown to perform at this summer’s atmospheric music nights.

July & August

8 WIMBLEDON BOOKFEST

Celebrate the 15th anniversary of the beloved book festival with a stellar-line up of children’s writers, award-winning novelists and best-selling memoir authors, including the Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah, Susanna Clarke of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell fame, and Booker Prize winner Julian Barnes.

Sunrise 9 – 15 June, Sunset 22 – 25 September

9 WANDSWORTH ARTS FRINGE

150 unique events over 17 days – from family drumming to Japanese sword art, and from radical quilt making to power flamenco, Wandsworth Arts Fringe boasts the most diverse and colourful line-up.

10 – 26 June

10 FUSE INTERNATIONAL

Formerly known as International Youth Arts Festival, FUSE International offers an unbelievably rich programme that showcases the best young artists and their work. Encompassing dance, theatre, spoken word, visual arts and even circus, this is one bound to inspire.

Kingston, 1 – 10 July

11 KEW THE MUSIC

Set in spectacular Kew Gardens, Kew the Music features top names from across music genres. This year, that includes Van Morrison, James Blunt, and Bananarama.

Kew Gardens, 5 – 10 July

12 YAM CARNIVAL

A mind-blowing celebration of Black culture from across the world – this year’s star-studded line-up includes MOBO-award winning Wizkid, Nigeria-born, Peckham-bred Naira Marley and Congolese singer-songwriter Fally Ipupa.

Clapham Common, 27 August

13 GIN FEST

The country’s biggest outdoor gin festival is coming to both Wimbledon and Surrey in September. Expect amazing live entertainment, delicious food and of course: gin, gin, and more gin!

Surrey Gin Fest, Loseley Park, 10 September and Wimbledon Gin Fest, Wimbledon Park, 17 September

14 GUILDFORD BEER FESTIVAL

Featuring a dizzying number of cask ales and craft keg beers sourced from 25 independent and micro-breweries in Surrey, Hampshire, Sussex and Berkshire, this one is for all beer lovers out there. Oh, and they have ciders, wines and gins galore, too. Plus live music and tasty food.  

Guildford Cricket Club, 29-30 July 

15 IBIZA CHILL HOUSE 2022

Get a taste of Ibiza in a quintessentially English setting of East Molesey: martinis, prosecco and sangria galore, world, latin and soulful music flows from the stage, delish food available from various stalls. And there’s fun for kids, too: from festival glitter to arts and crafts… 

East Molesey Cricket Club, 29 August

16 SHYNEFEST 2022

Guildford’s event of the year provides fun for the whole family! There’s camping options, delicious food and drink and an attractive line-up of brilliant bands and vocalists.  

Guildford, 3 – 4 June 

17 THE GREENWICH + DOCKLANDS INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL 2022

One of the UK’s leading free festivals of outdoor arts and theatre, GDIF, will have a total of 25 premieres (12 UK premieres and 13 new to London), and the highlights include a monumental 32ft high artwork featuring Zoetrope technology, contemporary dance and voguing, and innovative, participatory theatre.

 26 August – 11 September 2022

18 STAYCATION LIVE

This ultra-local, community-based festival (run by three local residents for the past decade!) boasts a fantastic atmosphere and great music – everything from blues and jive to funk and hip-hop to turntablism. They also donate 25% of the collection each year to a chosen charity – a brilliant way of supporting a worthy cause whilst having fun. 

Godalming, 5 – 7 August 

Worth travelling for

19  BIG FEASTIVAL 2022

Great food and great music – Big Feastival returns to Alex James’ Farm in the picturesque Cotswolds. Expect fab music by Stereophonics, Anne-Marie, The Human League, and Sugababes along with award-winning delish food prepared by renowned chefs and a fantastic programme of family entertainment led by Children’s TV Megastar Justin Fletcher. 

Oxfordshire, Alex James’ Farm, 26 – 28 August 2022   

20 PENNFEST

Enjoy the gorgeous surroundings of the Chilterns and get ready for two days of marvelous fun. PennFest is more than just music: expect fab camping, an array of great performers, various workshops, and even a global artisan market. Your little ones will enjoy it too, with activities galore – including even a circus workshop. 

Buckinghamshire, 22-23 July 

21 STRAWBERRIES & CREEM 

Music, culture and good vibes – Strawberries & Creem has camping, glamping, DJs and Lil Wayne. If you fancy two days of hyper festival fun in a glam setting, this is your direction for the summer. In addition, Strawberries & Creem champions a gender-balanced line-up, with 60% female artists on the bill and, to ensure the safety of its female participants, partakes in the ‘Safe Spaces Now’ scheme in partnership with UN Women UK. 

Childerley Orchard, Cambridge, 17-19 June   

22 ROCHESTER CASTLE CONCERTS

A self-proclaimed “music extravaganza”, Rochester Castle and its surroundings will host an array of the most eclectic artists and performers, from The Human League to James Blunt – all this against a gorgeous backdrop of this imposing fortress with history dating back to the 12th century.  

Kent, 6-9 July 

23 WOMAD

WOMAD is a festival with history – nearing its 40th year, it will showcase the best talent from across the entire world. And this means great music and much more – see the best chefs cooking up the (international) storm, relax at the World of Wellbeing and enjoy the spoken word from all sides of the globe. Plus activities for children galore.  

Charlton Park, Wiltshire, 28-31 July 

24 KITE IN KIRTLINGTON PARK 

Fancy something a little bit different? Have a shot at this brand-new festival of ideas and music. Expect a unique line-up of best musicians, comedians, artists, writers, activists, and thinkers across seven stages: sessions include “How to be a poet with Anthony Anaxagorou”, “The staff are revolting: is the office really dead?”, “Can democracy save itself?”, and much, much more.  

Oxfordshire, 10-12 June 

25 LOVE SUPREME 

Celebrating jazz, funk and soul, Love Supreme offers a wonderful atmosphere in style. Not only does it feature Lianne La Havas, Ezra Collective, and Erykah Badu, but also offers a five-star experience comprising of breathe wellbeing, yoga, a record store, food village, and plenty of activities for the youngest.  

Glynde Place, East Sussex, 1-3 July