Be There or be Square: 5 Festivals You MUST go to

Be There or be Square: 5 Festivals You MUST go to

Guest Post

There’s a festival out there now for everyone and everything, from cheese rolling to high-end fashion to conventions celebrating everything geeky. So which ones should you be putting in your diary this year and waking up at 6am on ticket sale day to get into? These are five festivals you absolutely must go to!


Takes place: 10-13th September 2015, Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight

If you’re looking for a festival which features incredible line ups of alternative, dance, electronic and indie then Bestival is the place to be.

Last year’s line up included big names such as London Grammar, Basement Jaxx, Clean Bandit and Sam Smith alongside themed fancy dress – 2013’s event saw tropical as its main inspiration, think Hawaiian shirts and coconut bras but you could just attend in an all in one from Morph Costumes and still fit in. There are also comedy shows, disco parties and Bestiversity – which features arts, plays and lectures for visitors to enjoy in between sets.

The line up for 2015 is yet to be announced so keep an eye on the website.

Secret Garden Party

Takes place: 23rd-26th July, Mill Hill Field, Abbots Ripton

Forget squelching through the mud and having to dodge around the irresponsible and dangerously inebriated that usually grace music festivals, the Secret Garden Party is one of the most relaxed events around, which embraces everything creative and quirky.

It offers alternative bands, creative outlets, unusual music tents that feature sofas and the chance to grab a cuppa whilst you watch an act, as well as the option to enjoy luxurious camping. There are plenty of opportunities to let your hair down though, with paint fights, dance offs and even areas for children to play and get creative.

Acts for 2015’s festival are being announced now and the theme for next year is Childish Things.

The Great British Beer Festival

Takes place: 11th-15th August 2015, Olympia, London

If like any true Briton you enjoy a glass of delicious amber liquid now and then, a beer festival should be on your list of activities in 2015. Around the country beer festivals take place throughout the year, with towns and cities such as Peterborough, Nottingham and Derby featuring events of note, but if you can only attend one then make it the Great British Beer Festival, which takes place in London.

It’s not your typical beer festival setting, it takes place in a large exhibition hall instead of the usual outdoor venue, but you can make your way around the event sampling some cold glasses of delicious brew.

V Fest

Takes place: 22nd – 23rd August 2015, Weston and Hyland Parks

For any chart music fan, V Fest is the ultimate festival to head to. The line up for 2014 included huge names such as Justin Timberlake, American rockers The Killers, the loveable Ed Sheeran and 80s legends Human League. 2015’s line up will be announced in March.

V Fest is one of the more commercial festivals, with lots of big name sponsors but that only means that you’ll witness some of the biggest names in music, comedy and there should be plenty of celebrities to spot. The festival offers warm showers and toilet facilities as well as the opportunity to store your valuables away in personal lockers.

Up Helly Aa

Takes place: Tuesday 27th January 2015, Lerwick, Shetland Islands

Finally, the more unusual festival to grace this list is perfect if you’re a fan of Viking history or just enjoy something a little more on the unusual side. Up Helly Aa is a fire festival that features the men of Lerwick marching in full Viking attire carrying torches, setting fire to a wooden long ship, putting on acts in the town halls throughout the day and finishing off with a procession and some hearty drinking in local pubs afterwards.

It’s not quite a camping and music experience but something that should prove quite incredible to see.

Image courtesy Candiche

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post helped us to fund our own working travels

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Shane

    Some of the festivals listed above will provide free tickets and other perks to volunteers. Paid work might also be offered. Most event stewards, bar staff, traffic marshalls and all the other roles that go into making a successful festival are now filled via third parties. (These can be found via the links below).

    Bestival are not yet recruiting for 2015, but some information from 2014 can be found at the bottom of or sign up to the newsletter of Feststaff to be notified when applications are open via

    A Google doc for applying to volunteer for Secret Garden can be found at

    For V Festival, and other UK festivals, a good selection of links can be found at

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