Looking for small, boutique festivals for 2017? From black-tie dining to woodland spas, we round up the best luxury festivals in the UK for 2017

Looking for small, boutique festivals for 2017? From black-tie dining to woodland spas, we round up the best luxury festivals in the UK for 2017

Looking for small, boutique festivals for 2017? Whether you’re looking for family-friendly festivals or extra-special small independent music festivals, we’ve rounded up the best. From black-tie dining to woodland spas, we round up the best luxury festivals in the UK for 2017.

Best small festivals 2017

Hampton Court Palace Festival, 8 – 24 June

Corinne Bailey Rae and Amy Macdonald amongst the stellar line-up at the 25th-anniversary line-up at Hampton Court Palace. Artists perform to a beautiful backdrop in Henry VIII’s open air Base Court for an intimate audience of 3,000 at what is sure to be one of the summer’s biggest celebrations. Other artists confirmed to perform include Will Young, Bryan Ferry, Van Morrison, Michael Ball & Alfie Boe, James Morrison, Jools Holland, Rick Astley, Björn Again and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Register at www.hamptoncourtpalacefestival.com

Henley Festival 5 – 9 July

Pet Shop Boys and Chaka Khan amongst this year’s heavy hitters at Henley Music Festival. Jess Glyne, Goldie and All Saints will also grace the famous floating stage for the countries only black-tie music festival this summer. But if it’s festival food that gets you excited, you won’t find a better culinary line-up than this one on the banks of the river Thames. Food highlights include The Spice Merchant, The Dog & Badger, the Riverside Restaurant (Europe’s largest field dining experience) and Snob Lobster & Champagne.

The Henley festival also boasts a stellar comedy line-up, with the likes of Sara Pascoe, Russell Kane, Andy Parson and more. Henley Festival’s ongoing support of independent artists and galleries continues for 2017, too. The Festival’s sculpture gardens will feature works including Philip Jackson’s imposing and operatic bronze figures; David Ogle’s illuminated forest of light; Simon Gudgeon’s minimalist, semi-abstract forms; Dawn Conn’s whimsical sculptures inspired by fairy tales; and Stephen Newby’s ‘Infinity Pools’ of light. henley-festival.co.uk

Henley Festival

Henley Festival

Samphire Festival 7 – 9 July

Completely sold-out last year, Samphire Festival makes its much-anticipated return to Exmoor National Park this summer. The independent music and arts festivals plays host to a range of music, as well as food stalls, yoga, talks, and even giant human snakes and ladders. This year a new Club House will open, offering games and theatre events throughout the weekend – what more could you want from a festival? The brainchild of Flora Blathwayt and Josh Beauchamp, the festival has grown quickly and established itself as a platform for new and up-and-coming talent. With a mixture of music from psychedelic group Flamingods to classic soul music of Jack Tyson Charles, there is something for everyone. With a capacity of 1000 people, you don’t want to miss out so make sure you buy your tickets now before they all go. www.samphirefestival.com 

Samphire Festival

Summer Series at Somerset House, 6 – 16 July

This brilliant series of outdoor gigs in the beautiful setting of Somerset House courtyard is the perfect alternative to muddy fields and cold showers. This year’s highlights include Norah Jones, Goldfrapp, Foster the People and The Cinematic Orchestra. For the full line-up and to book tickets, visit www.somersethouse.org.uk

Somerset House Summer Series

Cornbury 7 –  9 July

In the Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire, this luxe family-friendly affair features music from Bryan Adams, The Pretenders and Jools Holland. The kids zone features children’s yoga and a toddler disco. www.cornburyfestival.com

Bluedot Festival, 7 – 9 July

This spacey celebration at Jordell Bank, Cheshire is a science-lovers dream. This fun fusion of music, science and the exploration of space takes place at the iconic observatory. Headliners this year include Orbital, the Pixies and Alt-J. www.discoverthebluedot.com

bluedot festival

Truck Festival, 21 – 23 July

This small, independent, family-friendly music festival boasts headlining performances from The Libertines, The Vaccines and Franz Ferdinand and takes place on Hill Farm in Oxfordshire. www.truckfestival.com

Curious Arts Festival, 21 – 23 July 2017

This stylish and beautiful arts and music festival is held in the grounds of privately owned Pylewell Park in the New Forest. Music comes from the likes of Tom Odell, Izzy Bizu and Martha Gunn, with comedy performances from Ed Byrne, Simon Evans and Paul Tonkinson to name but a few. Keggie Carew and Eimear McBride are amongst the stellar line-up of authors attending this year’s event. There’s plenty on offer for kids, too – find out more in our round-up of the most family-friendly festivals

Curious Arts Festival

Big Feastival, 25 – 27 August

Held on founder and Blur star Alex James’ farm in Kingham, the Big Feastival features music from the likes of Olly Murs, Madness, Hacienda Classical and Louisa Johnson and food from superstar chefs Nathan Outlaw, Antonio Carluccio and Cyrus Todiwala. With festival fun for all the family, little ones can enjoy the Little Dudes’ Den, pop along to the Farm Park, laugh with cheeky duo Dick & Dom, enjoy entertainment from children’s TV megastar Justin Fletcher and more. uk.thebigfeastival.com


Festival No 6, 7- 10 September

In beautiful Portmeirion, Wales, this luxury, bespoke celebration of music, arts and culture gets more and more popular each year. This year’s headliners are Flaming Lips, Mogwai and Bloc Party with other highlights from Rag’n’Bone Man, The Cinematic Orchestra, Wild Beasts and Laura Mvula. Weekend passes are £190. festivalnumber6.com

Festival No 6

Falmouth Oyster Festival 12 – 15 October

Kick off oyster season in style with a visit to Falmouth Oyster Festival, where visitors can enjoy a packed programme of cookery demonstrations, live music and, of course, freshly shucked oysters. Expect cookery demonstrations by leading local chefs, oysters, seafood, wine and local ale to sample, plus children’s shell painting and entertainment. There’s also sea shanties, a town parade, live music, an oyster shucking competition, a Falmouth Working Boat race and marquees brimming with Cornish produce. If you’re in town earlier in the year you can also enjoy the Falmouth Spring festival (30 Mar-17 Apr), Cider & Folk festival over Easter and the Gyllyngdune Tea Festival in September.


Cheltenham Jazz Festival 26 April – 1 May

‘Cheltenham continues to lead the way in celebrating the amazing variety of music that Jazz has to offer. It’s an absolute pleasure to bring you the best in music over these special 6 days. In a year when some say jazz is 100 years old, the music is as vibrant as ever. For its 22nd edition, Cheltenham Jazz Festival celebrates the past, present and future of jazz.’ – Jamie Cullum: artistic curator at Cheltenham. Buy tickets to individual events: www.cheltenhamfestivals.com

Love jazz? Check out our round-up of the best jazz bars in London

Pub in the Park 19 – 21 May 2017

Tom Kerridge presents Pub in the Park; a special three-day event celebrating the very best food, drink and music the country has to offer. With Monica Galetti, Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown and renowned restaurateur Raymond Blanc on the culinary line-up alongside Tom Kitchin, Angela Hartnett, Atul Kochhar, and Paul Ainsworth, guests will not leave disappointed. Guests will enjoy music from the likes of Tom Odell, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, James Morrison, Toploader and Fun Lovin’ Criminals. This is now sold out – but watch this space for next year’s event. pubintheparkuk.com

Tom Kerridge

Elderflower Fields, 26 – 29 May

This Sussex-based festival is fun for all the family, and is designed especially with children in mind. With music, sports, nature and art, this lush festival features hot showers and a woodland spa, set in beautiful Sussex countryside. www.elderflowerfields.co.uk

Byline Festival 2-4 June

Held in East Sussex over the first weekend in June, Byline Festival is the first festival in the UK for free speech and independent journalism. Guests and speakers include John Cleese, Hugh Grant and Lenny Henry, plus guests can visit on-site newsrooms, journalism workshops, and enjoy a recreation of London’s Frontline Club bar. There will also be immersive theatre plus rap and arts battles, along with live music across the weekend. www.bylinefestival.com


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