Top 5 Unique British Music Festivals 2019

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Image © Green Man Festival via Facebook

Missed out on Glastonbury tickets and too old for R&L? Here are our top unique festival recommendations for 2019…

Glastonbury is great if you are a lucky ticket holder, and Reading and Leeds is superb if you’re still waiting to find out your a-level results, but what about all the other festivals the UK has to offer? Combining exciting line-ups and exhilarating late night areas, as well as art installations, comedy, cabaret and theatre, check out our round-up of the best unique music festivals in the UK. Festival season is well and truly on the way.

Image credit: Green Man Festival via Facebook

Green Man Festival

15-18 August

What? A rural Welsh festival offering an extensive line-up of live music alongside plenty of family friendly and late-night fun catering to every Green Man visitor.

Where? In Wales, nestled amongst the Brecon Beacons and around 10 miles from Abergavenny train station.

Why? A stay at Green Man is more than a festival, it’s a short and glorious rest bite from modern society. With the scenic mountains overlooking the festival site, you can nurse your sticky room temperature pint of cider atop the hill overlooking the main Mountain stage, and enjoy artists such as Father John Misty, Four Tet and Eels. With 10 main festival areas there’s always plenty to see and do, including comedians and performing artists. They also have a science area called Einstein’s Garden, where you can enjoy demonstrations, talks and workshops with leading UK scientists. The stage here is also 100% solar powered! As Green Man knows it’s located in one of the prettiest corners of the world, you can purchase a settler ticket and camp in the Welsh valley for the entire week, enjoying hikes and the community of the area close by before the party begins. Join them for the climactic Sunday evening when they ceremoniously burn the green man and you ponder the wonderful weekend just passed.

Image credit: Boardmasters via Facebook


7-11 August

What? A festival hosted on the glorious golden sands of Cornwall’s coast.

Where? Fistral Beach in Nequay, 1.5 miles from Newquay train station and walking distance to the centre of town.

Why? The festival goer’s main nemesis is often sticky, sloppy mud, and festivals such as Glastonbury are often wash outs in bad weather. Boardmasters, however, is a much sandier experience, and is perfect for music loving surfer dudes who dream of days lounging on the beach. The week-long festival is a celebration of surf and sea, with surfing competitions, lessons for beginners and displays from WSL (World Surf League) professionals. For three days the surfers share the beach with music lovers, where an amazing line up is presented across five stages. With headline acts like Wu-Tang Clan, Florence + The Machine and Foals, the festival is sure to attract a wide range of avid music fans. The party rages on through day and night, where late night sets follow onto after-parties in the venues of Newquay. The best bit? You can nurse a hangover on the wonderful beach before it kicks off again in the afternoon. The unique changeability of British summertime makes this festival a risky one, and in 2014 the festival was sadly cancelled due to Hurricane Bertha. However more often than not the beach is soaked in August heat, and if the summer of 2018 is anything to go by a trip to Boardmasters might be better than an expensive holiday abroad.

Image credit: Boomtown Fair via Facebook ​​​​​​​


7-12 August

What? An immersive experience of art, theatre and performance alongside a line-up of underground and global music.

Where? The Matterley Bowl in Hampshire, around 4 miles from Winchester.

Why? One of the largest independent festivals in the UK, Boomtown is a unique world within a world. Made up of 14 areas in the hilly South Downs, hundreds of actors and performers roam Boomtown’s city streets and encourage the citizens (that’d be you) to come their inner character and etch their story into a chapter of Boomtown’s history. Interaction with the inhabitants of Boomtown Fair will lead you to tasks and challenges and the opportunity to gain Boomtown’s unique currency. The festival is an out of control five-day rave and a truly unmissable experience of escapism. Headlined this year by Lauryn Hill, Prophets of Rage and The Streets, this is truly a weekend you won’t want to miss.

Image credit: TRUCK FESTIVAL via Facebook​​​​​​​

Truck Fest

26-28 July

What? “The Godfather of the small festival scene.”

Where? In the heart of Oxfordshire, Hill Farm, 4 ½ miles from Didcot Parkway train station.

Why? An amazingly successful smaller festival filled with indie chart toppers. Truck is the perfect first festival, and we’d recommend any younger music fan dips their toes in the water at Truck before heading off to the much more intense Reading and Leeds Festival. Six stages offer plenty of space for the festivals 100+ artists to perform across four days, as well as fairground rides, a kid’s field and plenty more to see and do. The fest encourages new music and yearly curates a shortlist of 100 new artists within a chance to play the festival and offering the public the chance to pick their favourite. This weekend is the ideal place to discover some new talent whilst also catching huge headliners Wolf Alice, Foals and Two Door Cinema Club.

Image credit: Download Festival​​​​​​​ via Facebook


14-16 June

What? The UK’s premier rock and heavy metal festival.

Where? Donington Park, on the grounds of Castle Donington in Derby.

Why? Whilst festivals are remarkably versatile in using genres across the board, they tend to be quite indie-rock and pop heavy. Download is unique in its devotion to rock and heavy metal bands, and often boasts impressive iconic bands headlining the main stages each year. This June you can catch Def Leppard, Slipknot, Tool, Smashing Pumpkins and Slayer at Donington Park. The fun doesn’t stop there, however. Download has a whole range of unique festival activities to get involved with, including the UK Air Guitar Championship, a WWE wrestling event and even Rockfit, the UK’s biggest rock and metal dance fitness classes. In a seemingly contradictory motion, they have wellness and yoga sessions alongside The World’s Greatest Wall of Death, and even have a resident Download tattoo artist. There’s also a fairground because even goths need to have fun sometimes. Grab your face paint and dye your hair purple, and don’t forget to pack your air guitar.