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Five Summer Festivals That You Don’t Want To Miss

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Summer’s landed with a vengeance. Glasto’s been and gone, but that’s not to say there’s nothing left to do, there are plenty more good times to be had before the nights start drawing in again. So pack your Buddha bags and get ready for the redspottedhanky.com guide to the best UK summer festivals…

Your festival guide starts here

The redspottedhanky.com community has given us some  great feedback on the best-kept festival secrets in the country. From the super-spooky Yorkshire Ghost Festival (ooer) to the art-tastic Festival of Neighbourhood at the Southbank Centre in London, fun in the sun is only a train ride away. So, if you fancy doing something different with your summer read on for our top five picks and if that leaves you wanting more scroll down to check out our festival summer calendar.

Southbank Centre Festival of Neighbourhood 31 May-8 September

The big city’s legendary arts and performance hub gets a small town makeover in a three month calendar of events. Watch big men with beards chucking axes about at the lumberjack circus, learn to do the hot shoe shuffle with the London Swing Society or get in touch with your inner child at Beanotown – where Dennis, Gnasher and the Bash Street Kids have been let loose to celebrate 75 years of mayhem and madness! Whatever your preference there’s loads to do and should be on any family to-do list.

Upton Blues Festival – 19-21 July

Hardcore blues fans and hard-rockin’ partygoers alike flock to the pubs and streets of Upton in Worcestershire this July to experience the best the blues has to offer. Get down with the Delta sound of the Revelator Band, shake your tailfeather to the Juke Joints, and finish the night with the mountain-man boogie of Wille and the Bandits. They got the rhythm, they got the blues – all you got to do is move your thang.

Liverpool International Music Festival – 18 August-22 September

Keep the August bank holiday weekend free for a Sefton Park three-dayer that puts the hectic into eclectic: do every stage every day and you’ll see experimental classical music performed by the Liverpool Philharmonic, 8 years’ worth of Beatles covers performed by the best tributes in the business, soul-stompin’ world music from the likes of Robbo Ranx and Portico Quartet and a triple lineup of the Mersey’s greatest homegrown talent. Not to mention old school madness from the greatest haircut ever to grace an outdoor arena – yep, it’s Soul II Soul. Buy train tickets to get you to the LIMF: www.redspottedhanky.com

Broadstairs Folk Week – 9-16 August

If real ale is your tipple, you’ll love the Broadstairs Folk Week. Seaside shenanigans include nightly gigs at the Pavilion, plus plenty of workshops to loosen your dancing muscles. Learn to dance Zydeco style by day, and put on your best clogs for Ceilidh bands at night. Modern reinterpretations and traditional fiddle bands will make sure there’s plenty of foot-stomping for all ages.

iTunes Festival, London – 1-30 September

Free festivals don’t get much bigger than this. If you want to see Icelandic hipsters Sigur Ros, the brilliant Rizzle Kicks or rock monsters Kings of Leon without paying a penny, you know what to do. Free tickets are won through iTunes for the shows – and you can buy train tickets to get you to the iTunes Festival at www.redspottedhanky.com

Your Festival Calendar

  • 31st May – 8th September, Festival of Neighbourhood, Southbank Centre, London
  • 12th – 20th July, Brazilica, Liverpool
  • 13th & 14th July, Shoreditch Festival, Hoxton Street, Shoreditch
  • 19th – 21st July, Tramlines  Festival, Sheffield
  • 19th – 21st July, Upton Blues Festival, Upton upon Severn
  • 26th – 28th July, Bristol Harbour Festival, Bristol
  • 1st – 4th August, Stockton International Riverside Festival, Stockton
  • 4th August, Brixton Splash, Brixton Town Centre
  • 8th – 11th August, Bristol International Balloon Festival, Bristol
  • 9th – 16th August, Broadstairs Folk Festival, Kent
  • 18th August – 22nd September, Liverpool International Music Festival, Liverpool
  • 1st – 30th September, iTunes Festival, London
  • 6th – 15th September, The Mayor’s Thames Festival, Thames River, London
  • 22nd – 31st October,  York Ghost Festival,  York City Centre
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