7 Welsh festivals you need to attend in the summer
We’ve all heard of Glastonbury, Creamfields, Download and V Festival (and if you haven’t, where have you been, exactly?!). In fact, many of us have probably already completed the trek to dance our socks off at one of these festivals already.
However, did you know that there are plenty of great alternatives to be found a little closer to home? You may not know it, but there are a number of music, comedy, and cultural festivals in Wales to enjoy each and every year!
From dancing along to the likes of Rag’n’Bone Man, Laura Mvula, and a range of other great musical acts at Festival Number Six in Portmeirion, to sampling the world’s best gins at the Cardiff Gin Festival, here’s our round-up of the best Welsh festivals to attend in the summer months…
- The Green Man Festival
- When: 17th – 20th August 2017
- Where: Brecon Beacons
- Website: greenman.net
Held in the beautiful and inspiring location of the Brecon Beacons since 2003, the independent Green Man Festival has evolved to become the largest contemporary music and arts festival in Wales.
The winner of a number of awards (including “Best Festival” at the 2015 Live Music Business Awards), Green Man is famed for its ethical approach, being a charitable partner of The Bevan Foundation and Oxfam Cymru. It also combines the Brecon Beacon’s sprawling views of mountains, forests, rivers, and waterfalls, with charity stalls, and performances from the best up-and-coming acts in music, comedy, film, and literature.
To mark Green Man’s 15th year celebration, festivalgoers can enjoy music from the likes of PJ Harvey, Ryan Adams, Kate Tempest, The Shins, and British Sea Power, as well as comedy from Josie Long, Rob Deering, and more.
- Festival No. 6
- When: 7th – 10th September 2017
- Where: Portmeirion, North Wales
- Website: festivalnumber6.com
If you want a festival that combines great music with a beautiful landscape, Green Man isn’t your only option; say hello to Portmeirion’s Festival No.6!
Described as a “unique and magical site”, the Italianate village of Portmeirion in North Wales provides the perfect contrast to the festival’s upbeat, lively atmosphere with its surreal, yet picturesque views. Since its first event in 2002, Festival No.6 also makes the effect to ensure everyone feels welcome with its family friendly vibe, disabled access, and its wide range of music genres, from rock to folk, to dance, house, and techno.
Standout performances this year will include big acts such as Rag’n’Bone Man, Laura Mvula, Bloc Party, and our very own Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon, as well as Colour Me Wednesday, The Blinders, and a host of other great acts ready for you to discover.
- When: 21st – 30th July 2017
- Where: Bute Park, Cardiff
- Website: friendsfest.co.uk
‘Friends’ is one of those classic TV shows that need no introduction; if you’re a 90s kid, then you’ve no doubt spent countless hours watching the boxsets, and can probably quote many of the scenes word-for-word. If that is you, then good news; the sets are coming to Cardiff!
As well as relaxing in full scale recreations of Chandler and Joey’s apartment, and Monica and Rachel’s apartment, visitors can enjoy a coffee at the Friends’ favourite hangout, Central Perk, go for something a little stronger at the Chick and Duck Bar, or even grab some lunch at Monica’s Moondance Diner.
You can also ‘Recreate the Titles’, and purchase exclusive merchandise and memorabilia from the on-site gift shop, making FriendsFest the perfect experience for any Friends fan.
- Glass Butter Beach
- When: 13th – 18th July 2018
- Where: Abersoch, North Wales
- Website: glassbutterbeach.com
Hosted near the picturesque surf village of Abersoch, with beautiful views of Cardigan Bay and access to its very own beach, the Glass Butter Beach festival is in a prime location for its annual Wakeboarding event, GBB Quadra Crown, and musical performances from some of the UK’s biggest and best acts.
Although the festival won’t be hosted this year due to inappropriate weather conditions, Glass Butter Beach will be back in full swing next summer. Plus, with 2016’s headliners including Naughty Boy, Katy B, The Amazons, and Wolf Alice, we’re expecting good things for next year’s event.
If you want to attend Glass Butter Beach next year, be quick; a limited number of tickets will become available on 1st December!
- Gin Festival Cardiff
- When: 5th – 6th August 2017
- Where: Tramshed, Cardiff
- Website: ginfestival.com
Describing itself as “the UK’s first, biggest, and best gin festival”, Gin Festival Cardiff is the place to be this summer if you consider gin to be your favourite tipple.
As well as being able to sample and buy over 100 different gins from around the world (many of which are exclusive to the festival), visitors will also have access to live music, talks, food, and a gin cocktail bar, as well as gin masterclasses and the opportunity to meet many of the gin distillers in person. This will give you plenty to keep you occupied!
Even if you’re not a seasoned gin lover, experts will be on hand to provide help and recommendations. So, you never know; you may just discover your new drink of choice here.
- Burning Lantern Fayre
- When: 12th August 2017
- Where: St Fagans, Cardiff
- Website: burninglantern.com
Though some may argue that this doesn’t technically count as a ‘festival’ (taking place on a single day) the Burning Lantern Fayre is still worth a mention due to its exciting musical line-up, and its interesting choice of location in the St Fagans National History Museum in Cardiff.
A brand-new event for Wales, the Burning Lantern Fayre will pair stellar musical performances with a family fayre feel, offering a range of street food stalls, and workshops and activities for children of all ages; these will include pony rides, arts, and crafts, and even circus tricks.
As well as music from Tom Odell, The Shires, Into the Ark, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, and many more great acts to be announced, older audiences can also enjoy craft beers and ales on site.
- The Real Ale Trail
- When: September – actual date T.B.C
- Where: Flintshire, North Wales
- Website: realaletrailflintshire.co.uk
The official date for this year’s event might still be kept under wraps, but the Real Ale Trail is still worth getting excited about for anyone that loves to spend a summer’s evening in the pub!
Born in 2010 and based on the idea of the humble pub crawl, this one-day event involves you hopping on a festival bus, and being driven to and from 10 pubs in the beautiful Flintshire countryside; the best type of landscape to enjoy as you sample ales from a range of the area’s many local microbreweries.
Interested in tickets? These can be purchased from all participating pubs, including The Crooked Horn, The Britannia, Crown Inn, and Y Dderwen – Royal Oak (who, just FYI, may even teach you a little bit of Welsh…).