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20+ fab festivals in Somerset, Dorset & Bristol

Whatever type of music gets you into the grove – pop, rock, indie, folk or thrash punk neurohop – there's a festival for you this summer and beyond.

Throw shapes, knock back booze and chill out in fields, by lakes, in the grounds of a castle, on a village green and on the beach.

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Bristol Folk Festival, venues around Bristol, Fri 29 April – Sun 1 May

Know your fiddle from your fujara? Then you’ll be dancing a little jig when you know that Kate Rusby, Jon Boden, O’Hooley & Tidow, Amadou Diagne, Medicine Creek and Kitty Macfarlane wil be amongst the line up at venues including Clifton Cathedral, St George’s Bristol, Bristol Folk House and The Architect.

Marston Park, near Frome, May, June & July

Boogie lakeside over the summer at We Rise – electronic music, wood-fired eats and wellness – hosted by music producer and DJ Carly Wilford, Fri 6 – Sun 8 May; Huey Morgan brings his NYC Block Party to Marstonbury, Fri 24 – Sun 26 June; up-and-coming local and national talent as part of the Frome Festival, Fri 1 – Sun 10 July; and Soho Radio breaks out of London and New York with DJ Yoda and Norman Jay MBE from Fri 15 – Sun 17 July.

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Shindig Festival, Dillington Estate, near Ilminster, Thurs 26 – Sun 29 May

© Sarah Koury

The seventh edition of the best boutique festival in the UK (according to The Guardian back in in 2019, when we last had festivals), in the grounds of 16th century Dillington House. Line up includes New York’s Grammy winning hip-hop trio De La Soul, Goldie and 70s/80s chart toppers Odyssey. Circus, spoken word and workshops galore. Kids aged 12 and under go free. Dress up theme: Mardi Gras.

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Home Farm Fest, Chilthorne Dormer, Fri 10 – Sun 12 June

Charity music fest with proceeds going to the Piers Simon Appeal’s School in a Bag initiative. Three days, eight stages, 150+ bands, silent disco, workshops, kids stuff. Posh Wears & Wellies on the Fri eve.

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Pub in the Park, Royal Victoria Park, Bath, Fri 17 – Sun 19 June

Tom Kerridge’s popular gourmet scran meets live music fandango,  with Supergrass, Faithless DJ set, Natalie Imbruglia & Melanie C, Supergrass, The Sugar Hill Gang, Norman Jay, and more. Cookery demos and talks from Michelin starred and celebrity chefs like Simon Rimmer, Atul Kochhar, Andi Oliver, Stephen Terry and Steve Horrell.

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Glastonbury, Worthy Farm, Pilton, Weds 22 – Sun 26 June

The biggie. The cream of the music world on over 100 stages, with headliners Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney, Kendrick Lamar and Diana Ross.

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High Tide, Bournemouth Beach, Fri 1 & Sat 2 July

Party on the beach between Bournemouth and Bosombe Piers with Clean Bandit, The Manic Street Preachers, Tinie, Dodgy, Morcheeba and buckets and spades more.

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Americana Fest, The American Museum & Gardens, near Bath, Fri 1 – Sun 3 July

Coinciding with celebrations for US Independence Day, three days of Americana music – folk, country, blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll , comedy, food, and family fun – in the Museum’s gorgeous landscaped grounds. Reginald D Hunter, Ethan Johns’ Black Eyed Dogs, The Magic Numbers are on the bill.

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NASS, Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Thurs 7 – Sun 10 July

Skateboards, BMX, street art and music come together. Your teens will love it.

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Priddy Folk Festival, Priddy, nr Wells, Fri 8 – Sun 10 July

The friendly folk fest with concerts, ceilidh and clog dancers on the village green in Priddy, up on the Mendip Hills. Line up includes Jiggy, Manran, De Temps Antan. If you’ve tickets from 2020, they’ll honour them.

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Jurassic Fields, Bridport, Fri 8 – Sun 10 July

Scouting for Girls, The Pigeon Detectives and Mad Dog McCrea headline at this not-for-profit three day fest in Asker Meadows.

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Smoked and Uncut, THE PIG-near Bath, Pensford, Sat 9 July

More glamour than grunge, set against the rolling Mendips with views across THE PIG-near Bath’s deer park, top chef Angela Hartnett’s pop-up field kitchen and Mark Hix Biryani House – this isn’t yer average music festival. Line up includes Sister Sledge with Kathy Sledge, Jools Holland with Eddie Reader and the Dub Pistols.

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The Godney Gathering, Garslade Farm, Glastonbury,  Fri 15 & Sat 16 July

The two-day micro fest celebrates its 10th birthday with 50 acts on seven stages – The Lightning Seeds, Dr Meaker, The Coral, Judge Jules, Sea Power, Laid Blak, The Leylines, Sum Ting Wong and more – plus a silent disco, comedy/cabaret and stuff for kids (who go free if they’re under 15).

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Camp Bestival, Lulworth Castle, Lulworth, Thurs 28 – Sun 31 July

The super child-friendly fest has loads to keep little people happy while you empty that box of wine. Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Kool & the Gang, Rudimental, Sister Sledge, Razorlight, Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Kitchen Disco, Faithless on DJ duties – and Mr Tumble (obvs).

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Farmfest, Gilcombe Farm, near Bruton, Fri 29 & Sat 30 July

Pocket-sized festival showcasing emerging and established genre-defying artists and DJs, with comedy, kids’ discos, chill time workshops and theatrical wig-outs. Elder Island, Gentleman’s Dub Club, Joy Orbison and around 100 more.

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Fields of Fantasy, secret location on the edge of Bristol, Fri 29 – Sun 31 August

This brand new festival promises three days of hedonism surrounded by nature, with over 100 DJs and artists – all things house and techno – on five stages hidden amongst the trees and open fields.

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Valley Fest, Chew Valley, Thurs 4 – Sun 7 Aug

Organic food, eclectic music and all round good times in an idyllic location on the banks of the Chew Valley lake just south of Bristol, with Travis, Clean Bandit, Kosheen, Craig Charles, Judge Jules and Faithless DJ Set on the bill.  Arcadia (the people behind the iconic 50 ft fire-spitting spider at Glastonbury) will be providing an added dimension this year.

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ArcTanGent, Fernhill Farm, Compton Martin, near Bristol, Thurs 17 – Sat 20 Aug

‘A haven of progressive metal across a spectrum of all things heavy.’ Ooh er….

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Watchet Music Festival, Watchet, Fri 26 – Sun 28 Aug

Belinda Carlisle, Level 42, The Fratellis, Scouting For Girls, Alabama 3, Sleeper, Dreadzone – and The Wurzels (this is Zummerzet) – headline at this West Somerset music fest.

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Live in Somerset, Vivary Park, Taunton, Sat 27 – Sun 28 August

With Olly Murs cancelling because of his dicky knee, the three-day bash becomes two days with Rag ‘N’ Bone Man on the Saturday; Simply Red on the Sunday

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End of the World Festival, Larmer Tree Gardens, near Blandford Forum, Thurs 1 – Sun 4 Sept

Small but perfectly formed, this alternative music festival, a sort of avant garde Green Man festival with more music, is perfect for anyone who balks at massive crowds and loves a bit of folk, Americana and alt country. This year: Pixies, Fleet Foxes, Bright Eyes, The Magnetic Fields, plus surprise acts and gigs.

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Forwards, Clifton Downs, Bristol Sat 3 & Sun 4 Sept

The Chemical Brothers

This city music fest not only hosts international names like Jamie XX, The Chemical Brothers, Little Simz, Róisín Murphy, Caribou and more but provides a space for ‘activism, examination, debate and understanding on today’s current affairs and cultural issues’. Edgy, man.

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