A large crowd watching a band on stage
Charlotte Birchall

Charlotte Birchall

Charlotte is a marketing specialist and a writing genius. She has a distinct and hilarious way with words and a fine eye for the best topics to cover. In Charlotte's hands we know you'll be both entertained and informed.

If you want to put your lease car through it's paces, consider taking a trip to one of these fantastic festivals this summer.

Arguably one of the best reasons to pack up your camping gear, hop in the car and take to the roads every summer, the UK festival circuit has a lot to offer. 

With a plethora of live music events spanning every conceivable genre -  literature; art and spoken word festivals;  food-centric feasts and family friendly affairs there is sure to be something to suit every age and taste. 
Despite the slightly disruptive influence of a certain global pandemic in recent years, the good news is that some UK festivals are planning on going ahead this summer - albeit with some alterations to dates and on site precautions. 

So regardless of whether you're joining the ranks of seasoned festival goers and have already secured a ticket for 2021's events or you're simply looking for future inspiration, we've picked our five favourites to get you in the festival mood. Wellies and mud optional.

1) Isle of Wight Festival 16th - 19th September 2021. Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight.

The iconic island festival, usually held in June, is back with a stellar line up for 2021 including Liam Gallagher, Snow Patrol, Sam Fender, Tom Jones and Duran Duran.

Describing itself as being for 'music lovers of all ages' the event has an impressive 51 year history and boasts past performances from some of the biggest names in rock, pop and indie music. 

Originally started in 1968 as a series of mini festivals, IoW quickly gained notoriety as Europe's equivalent to Woodstock - and with appearances in its formative years by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Joni Mitchell and The Doors, it's easy to see why.

Families are widely encouraged to join in the action and are well catered for. Under 5s can attend for free and there is a generous discount on child and teen tickets. Camping options are plentiful and the compact nature of the area means that anyone not wishing to stay onsite has easy access to a range of alternative accommodation.

Getting there: Despite its comparatively secluded and tranquil location, the festival is just a 2 hour round trip from London with easy access by ferry from Southampton, Portsmouth, Lymington and Southsea - all of which have good rail links. 

Shuttle buses are available to take you to the festival site once on the island, so if you're after a car free festival experience, it's entirely doable. For those who prefer to keep the comforts of their own vehicle, there is ample car parking onsite and car ferries operate from Portsmouth, Lymington and Southampton.

People at a music festival with lots of flashing lights

2) Camp Bestival 29th July - 1st August 2021. Lulworth Castle, Wareham, Dorset.

The multi-award winning 'little sister' of renowned event Bestival, Camp Bestival is the ideal place for families. As well as a wonderfully eclectic musical line up including Fat Boy Slim, Groove Armada and Becky Hill, festival goers can enjoy talks, theatre performances and comedy acts from a range of popular figures. 

Camp Bestival promises a 'wealth of entertaining wonder and intellectual nourishment' and it's unique combination of music, art, contemporary theatre and spoken word are sure to delight audiences of all ages. 

Camping is plentiful, with car parks located as close as possible to each camping area, so the dreaded trek to your pitch with all of your kit is infinitely more manageable. 

This year sees the introduction of an eco-friendly camping area comprising of 20 teepees and offers an 'earthy adventure' with nightly fire pits, rainwater showers and compost toilets for the chance to experience an alternative weekend of camping fun. 

Getting there: Lulworth Castle has plenty of onsite parking for those wishing to make their way to the festival by car. Smaller groups are encouraged to car share where possible and the festival website has a dedicated lift share page to assist this. 

Rail links are also good and taxis can be booked from Wareham or Wool stations to get you to the festival site.

Woman dancing at a festival

3) NASS 23rd - 26th September 2021. Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset.

If you're looking for a festival with a difference, look no further! NASS is the UK's only music and live action sports festival offering a heady combination of prolific musical performances and a wealth of sports demonstrations and competitions. 

The musical vibe focuses on hip hop, drum and bass, garage and grime offset against a backdrop of street art and sports. Festival goers can expect an adrenaline fueled weekend in which the biggest names from their respective international disciplines battle it out in BMX, FMX, Skate and Inline competitions.

Street Art reigns supreme at NASS, who have partnered with Upfest - Europe's biggest Street Art festival - with live and curated work showcased across the site. At the time of writing, the full musical line up was yet to be announced but acts such as The Streets and Shy FX get a mention on their website.

Getting there: The festival site is easily accessed by car, with plenty of designated parking. The nearest train station is Castle Cary and shuttle buses run regularly to the site - however, be warned it's not the largest train station around so expect to be tightly packed in!

Large crowd at a festival, throwing juggling clubs in the air

4) The Big Feastival 27th - 29th August 2021. Alex James' Farm, Kingham, Oxfordshire.

A relative newcomer to the circuit, The Big Feastival is the brainchild of former Blur bassist turned cheesemaker Alex James.

As the name suggests, the event is a celebration of food, family and music all set against the backdrop of James' house (a very big house) in the country. Ok, that's not strictly true but we couldn't resist.

As you would expect from someone with James' musical credentials, the line up is always strong and 2021 is no different with headline performances from Rag N Bone Man, Sigala and the legendary Nile Rogers and Chic.

The entire site is geared towards families and those with younger children benefit from plenty of entertainment options and the opportunity to see acts such as Justin Fletcher, Horrible Histories and Aardman animation.

Foodies will revel in the sheer choice of eatery options and there are plenty of talks and demonstrations from Michelin starred chefs to boot. 

Getting there: The site is easily accessible, with onsite parking and excellent road and rail links. However, EV drivers should be aware that there are no charging points available on the festival site.

Street food and bottles of water from a food vendor

5) Wireless 10th - 12th September 2021. Crystal Palace Park, London.

Since it's very first event back in 2005, Wireless has morphed from a somewhat generic rock and pop festival into a behemoth of urban music. 

With its roots now firmly based in hip hop, grime and R&B, it aims to 'represent forward thinking artists from the UK and USA' and is widely acknowledged as a platform for fresh new talent.

2021 sees performances from big names such as Skepta, Future and Megan Thee Stallion and a move from Finsbury Park to Crystal Palace Park owing to the new September date. 

Getting there: The central London location negates the opportunity for a road trip as there is no access or parking for cars. However, this is where the absolutely fantastic Big Green Coach comes into it's own! 

If you've never heard of The Big Green Coach company, they are definitely worth a look as they work in partnership with many UK festivals. The basic concept is simple - buy a return ticket for a very reasonable £35 per day and they will pick you up from one of 21 locations across the UK, drop you at the festival before the acts kick off, pick you up once the music has ended and have you home and sleeping in your own bed the same night! Ideal for camping-phobes! 

In addition to this, included in the price of your coach ticket, each paying customer will sponsor 5 sq ft of Amazon rainforest for 10 years.