Hidden Gem: Boutique Festivals


Every year we are bombarded with the deliberation of which festivals go to. Often these are the stalwart Reading, Boomtown and Creamfields. Yet, it is often worth exploring smaller (and less expensive!) festivals that will provide the same experience, just in a more caring and concise way. Another thing that sets these festivals apart is their location: more isolation works in the favour of escapism those crave when partying for a weekend. Moreover, acts are finely-tuned to their audience with an invitation of less mainstream artists.

Most inviting of all is Wilderness festival in Oxfordshire: a celebration of all things laid-back and whimsical. Appropriate for both families and 19-year-olds, Wilderness offers an array of music, food and activities tailored to keep you busy day and night. During the day you can find spectacles such as ‘Hip-hop Karaoke’, a glorious cringe of middle-aged men rapping to Notorious B.I.G. Musically, previous line-ups include creative icons such as Björk, Grace Jones and Goldie. Come night, the music can be taken to ‘The Valleys’ which is (shockingly) a valley that provides predominantly the electronic music to take you through to the little hours of the morning. Often the issue with festivals can be waiting around for your favourite artists, killing the time with a lukewarm cider. Yet, with Wilderness, you have an abundance of things to do throughout, including mass yoga and naked cricket matches.

Gottwood Festival is a diverse (mostly electronic) music festival in the tranquil and isolated Anglesey, Wales. Never has such a festival existed where it feels like a giant house party on a monumental estate. An intimate 5000 person capacity, its a party for those who have come to see their favourite DJ’s (think The Black Madonna). Another option, of course, is Gottwood’s younger sibling Houghton, made by the same producers but on a larger scale. Indeed, this secret is best kept-well as to avoid the demise of other boutique festivals such as Farr and Secret Garden Party.

Lincolnshire’s Lost Village encompasses mini-worlds into woodland. The line-ups never disappoint with something for the electronic music fans, combined with talks from artists and intimate performances from comedians. Anticipate ~wavy garms~ and a sanctuary to boogie in a rainbow dystopia.

A small, boutique festival is a great way to enjoy a less intense, but equally as fun festival experience this summer. More intimate crowds make for a community-like feel, something we can all appreciate if only for a weekend. Be sure to check out and support smaller festivals this summer.


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