Festivals 2016: The best Glastonbury alternatives if you missed out on a ticket

Because there's plenty more fun to be had outside the muddied fields of Worthy Farm 

Jess Denham
Tuesday 19 April 2016 13:16
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Wilderness might be a lot smaller than Glastonbury but its arguably got even more charm
Wilderness might be a lot smaller than Glastonbury but its arguably got even more charm

Glastonbury tickets have sold out, leaving many would-be festival-goers staring forlornly at their flower garlands, resigned to recreating the Stone Circle in their gardens and watching Muse rock the Pyramid Stage from the sofa.

If this sounds distressingly familiar, it might be time to open your mind to the myriad of alternatives to Worthy Farm , for there is plenty of fun to be found outside Somerset.

From Green Man in the Brecon Beacons and Forgotten Fields in Kent to Wiltshires family-friendly Womad and the intriguing Wildfire Adventure Camp (in a mystery location, naturally), there is no need to sentence your tent to a summer in the shed just yet.

To help you find the perfect Glastonbury substitute, here’s a brief round-up of the best smaller festivals channelling its hippy spirit. Fear not: those wellies will see muddy fields yet.

Latitude

Dusk at Latitude performing arts festival in Suffolk

The Maccabees, The National and New Order head the bill at this atmospheric festival in Henham Park, Suffolk. A real performing arts event, similar to Glastonbury in ethos, complete with comedy, theatre, poetry and cabaret stages. Magical come rain or shine. 14-17 July, tickets £197.50

Green Man

Take in the music and the gorgeous scenery at Green Man in Wales

This Welsh folk festival wins all the prizes for most breathtaking location. Set at the foot of the imposing Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons, there are chilled vibes and abandoned hoedowns in equal measure. Belle & Sebastian, James Blake and Wild Beasts are among the confirmed acts this year, while the food stalls offer some of the best grub on the circuit. The burning of a giant wicker man closes the weekend. 18-21 August, tickets £175

Womad

Festival-goers soak up the culture at Womad festival in Wiltshire

If you want to spread your musical wings and explore the sounds of different cultures, head to Wiltshire for Womad, which boasts inspiring talent from across the globe. You can try yoga and Sabar dance classes, indulge in a massage, enjoy vintage rides at the steam fair and shop in the global market. This year’s theme is Brazilian Carnival so get ready to join the party. 28-31 July, tickets £175

Wilderness

Leave your busy daily life behind to relax and try new things in the countryside

Head to Oxfordshire for a taste of rural paradise at Wilderness, which this August features exclusive UK sets from Robert Plant and The Flaming Lips. Music aside, mouthwatering food is served at famous long table banquets great for meeting like-minded people. Wellbeing workshops, a carousel and boutique camping strike the perfect balance between relaxation and revelry. 4-7 August, tickets £164

Forgotten Fields

Enjoy freedom in the fields at Forgotten Fields festival 

Enjoy a taste of the stunning Sussex countryside in this picturesque festival headlined by Suede, Kodaline and Dizzee Rascal. Set in Eridge Park in Tunbridge Wells, Forgotten Fields is the sister to Kendal Calling and boasts a similarly charming atmosphere. Expect a genre-spanning line-up and fun for all the family. 5-7 August, tickets £125

Festival No 6

Festival No 6 describes itself as a 'bespoke banquet of arts and culture'

This is the trinket box of festivals; small but packed full of treasures. This year, Welsh village Portmeirion plays host to a diverse bill topped by Noel Gallagher’s Flying Birds, Hot Chip and Bastille, while guests can also expect poetry readings, exclusive film screenings, stand-up comedy, woodland storytelling and pop up theatre. There’s culture in every corner. 1-4 September, tickets £180

LeeFest Presents Neverland

Lianne La Havas tops the bill at this 5,000 capacity independent festival in Kent, supported by 30+ bands including Ghostpoet, Roots Manuva and Shura. Set in a top secret location, LeeFest’s new Neverland creation spreads over three distinct, immersive realms - The Neverwoods, Mermaids Lagoon and Skull Ridge - and is an excellent choice for music lovers hoping to discover new artists. 28-31 July, tickets £99

Kendal Calling

Discover more than music at Kendal Calling in the Lake District

Nestled in the heart of the beautiful Lake District, this lovely low-key festival will play host to Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Madness, Rudimental and The Charlatans. Renowned for more than just the music, Kendal Calling also features gourmet food stalls, art installations, kids entertainment and a real ale festival. 28-31 July, tickets £135

Wildfire Adventure Camp


For something a little different and arguably far more exciting, try this adults-only half-adventure camp, half-music festival. Campers are encouraged to take part in a huge array of activities across the secret forest site, with all electronic devices banned. Only 500 people can go, with more than 80 activities from circus skills to rocket building including in the ticket price. Music takes over once darkness falls. Curious? 17-19 June, tickets £156.65

End of the Road

End of the Road has an intimate feel with surprise gigs popping up in the woods

Joanna Newsom, Bat for Lashes and Animal Collective headline this small festival focusing on alternative music, folk and Americana. Expect four pretty stages, as well as a woodland clearing where secret sets enthral both festival-goers and roaming peacocks. A healing field, film tent, forest library and games area make temptation even harder to resist. 2-4 September, tickets £195

Mandala

If you fancy going abroad for your Glastonbury alternative, Mandala in the Netherlands could be just what you’re looking for. There are no Pyramid Stage-sized stages but instead, musical ‘tribes’ roaming the beach, forests and fields entertain small crowds. Mandala becomes a dreamy visual light festival at night as festival-goers strike up their campfires. 3-6 June, tickets €50

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