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6 Small Festivals Worth Going To This Summer


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Sometimes V Fest, T in the Park, Reading and Leeds can just be a bit too... big. Who wants to watch Arctic Monkeys on a huge stage from three miles back?

This summer, get intimate at some of the UK's best small music festivals. Here are some top intimate events you must visit:

Barn on the Farm

Location: Gloucester
Capacity: 1,500
Date: 1st - 3rd July

Barn on the Farm is an intimate, folky festival set in barns on Over Farm in Gloucester - see what they did there? Fuelled by good cider and proper Pimms rather than beer and class As, it’s not home to the paralytic mud-covered type, but everyone’s still made up of 90% cider by lunch time. They have a good eye for the up and coming, having had the likes of Bastille, Ed Sheeran, Gabrielle Aplin, James Bay, The Staves and Ben Howard grace the barn in past years. If you want a festival that’s chilled, picturesque, intimate, folky, and home to some of the best new music, Barn on the Farm is one to check out.

Truck Festival

Location: Steventon
Capacity: 5,000
Date: 15th-17th July

Truck is somewhat of a boutique festival institution, with a long history of bringing exceptional acts to Hill Farm in Oxfordshire. 2016 maintains its love of eclectic line-ups, with something please everybody. With some of the biggest names playing in a small scale setting, Truck Festival oozes a sense of community. This year sees acts such as Manic Street Preachers, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Kodaline, Everything Everything, Circa Waves, Jurassic 5 and many, many more take the stages for a weekend of music, fun, and (hopefully) sun.


Location: Withington
Capacity: 5,000
Date: 7th - 9th July

Branded as “the best festival in the UK” by Stereoboard, 2000Trees is a rock festival with the underground at its core. This year punk legends Refused headline alongside Twin Atlantic whilst elsewhere there is a veritable who's who of underground rock with The King Blues, The Bronx, Neck Deep, Yuck and Mallory Knox amongst the fray. A slightly heavier line-up to the previous two festivals mentioned, however with a friendly, laid-back overall vibe, this one is mainly for the rock fans, though there are folk, indie and S/S acts dotted through the line-up. There’s even a silent disco, and, new to last year, a silent cinema!

Scarborough Fair

Location: Scarborough
Capacity: 8,000
Date: 27th - 29th May

2016 will be Scarborough Fair’s first run. Despite the classic song they'll be no array of herbs at this fair just a packed schedule of music, culture and theatre at Redcliffe Farm just outside of Yorkshire seaside town Scarborough, overlooking the beautiful Cayton Bay. Headlining are Richard Ashcroft, Everything Everything and Lianne La Havas along with acts such as Billy Bragg, Public Service Broadcasting, Craig Charles and Submotion Orchestra and many more taking the stage across the bank holiday weekend. Expect art installations, acclaimed playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn giving a talk on the Saturday, the local Stephen Joseph Theatre putting on events across the weekend, and Edith Bowman hosting a film club on each date.

Gottwood Festival

Location: Anglesey
Capacity: 4,000
Date: 9th - 12th June

Set in beautiful woodland in Anglesey, Wales Gottwood is a feast of blips, bleeps and bass. Promising an eclectic mix of house, UK garage, soul and techno from some of the best upcoming underground artists, this is a festival for the ravers and the dancers. Because it’s small, it’s fairly chilled out and laid back away from the stages but in the midst of the music, bright lights paint the trees a kaleidoscope of colours as 4,000 excited ravers dance without a care. The festival is famous for its aesthetic: light-based art installations come alive at night; artfully created and interestingly sculpted stages; a stunning, picturesque location; lasers, smoke machines and lights, and, of course, its incredible electronic lineup.


Location: Bristol
Capacity: 5,000
Date: 18th - 20th August

If you're guitar music tastes are a little leftfield then ArcTanGent is your new Mecca. Self described as “the world’s ultimate music festivals for connoisseurs of Math-rock, Post-rock, Noise-rock, Alt-rock and everything in between” if none of those genre titles rings a bell, it might be best to avoid. If it all gets you excited 2016 looks set to be the festivals best year yet. They have a UK festival exclusive from post-rock overlords Godspeed You! Black Emperor and emo legends American Football.

This is the UK’s only festival dedicated to these specific genres of music, so you’re bound to find something new and original here that you simply won’t be able to experience at, say, Download or Reading. It’s a niche market, but it’s all pulled off incredibly well. All you need to do is search Google for a couple of reviews to see what brilliant fun previous festival-goers describe it as. And, just as what seems to be becoming a festival staple, there’s even a silent disco.

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