If you were one of the 2.4 million hopefuls who registered but failed to get Glastonbury tickets for next year, then fear not – there are plenty of worthy alternatives to book instead.
Yes, there are all the usual festival heavyweights: Reading, Leeds, Bestival and Green Man, but if you’re after something a little more “Glastonbury”, then there are some lovely boutique and independent affairs to consider.
We’ve taken some time to research some of the best the UK has to offer and have provided a helpful list below, in order of what’s happening and when.
Alfresco Festival, Kent
It’s one of the first festivals of the season, taking place on the late May bank holiday weekend and offering electronic music lovers the chance to dance under the stars in Paddock Wood near Tonbridge. For 2020, you can expect to see Juan Maclean, Matthew Dear and Joe Goddard amongst the lineup. And there’s plenty of daytime activities to keep you happy, too.
21-24 May 2020. A full weekend ticket costs £114 and camping starts from £31.90 for two people. Discover more: alfrescofestival.co.uk
Shindig Festival, Somerset
A glorious little festival in a “secret location in the South West”, Shindig returns for 2020 with its usual mashup of a gig, house party, circus, comedy night, a wellbeing retreat and kids’ party all rolled into one. There are no main stages, just lots of lovely marquees – each offering something a little bit different. Keep your eyes peeled for lineup announcements soon. Tickets are on sale.
21-24 May 2020. Full weekend tickets (four nights) with camping included cost £125 per adult. Children aged 12 or under go free. Discover more: shindigfestival.co.uk
Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul. Photography by Jolyon Holroyd
Sea Change Festival, Devon
Founded by The Drift Record Shop, the Sea Change Festival takes place in a series of iconic buildings on the historic Dartington Hall Estate in Devon. Every year, it promises to be “always intimate, always different, always special, always rare” with art, conversation and music for all. For 2020, it will return for its fifth edition with the lineup to be unveiled this winter. Previous guests include Metronomy, Shirley Collins, The Comet is Coming, Jane Weaver, Gruff Rhys, Aldous Harding and James Holden.
22-24 May 2020. Early-bird weekend tickets are available from £84, until the end of October. Discover more: seachangefestival.co.uk
Black Deer, Kent
Americana and country music is becoming ever more popular in the UK and there’s a summer festival catered precisely for the genre. Taking place at Eridge Park, Black Deer is a festival that goes beyond the musicians and bands to bring you wholesome food and drink, artisan wares and custom-built motorcycles – amongst many other things – to pay homage to the cultural heritage of America.
19-21 June 2020. Early bird tickets for an adult weekend ticket cost £120 each, including camping. Discover more: blackdeerfestival.com
Nozstock The Hidden Valley. Photography by Charlie Rimmer
Not just a music festival, Also is also about ideas, academics and authors plus food and drink in a three-day “nature fix”. Taking place at Park Farm in Compton Verney, Warwickshire next July, this is a place to be inspired by some brilliant minds, get back to nature and enjoy some unique experiences from kite making to foraging.
3-5 July 2020. Super early-bird weekend tickets cost £85, including camping. Discover more: also-festival.com
Kelburn Garden Party, North Ayrshire
In a fairytale setting, just 50 minutes from Glasgow, lies Kelburn Castle – the 13th-century venue for Kelburn Garden Party, a unique music and arts festival that’s an annual explosion of colour, creativity and culture. For 2020, the lineup won’t be revealed until the new year but past artists include Leftfield, Gentleman’s Dub Club, LTJ Bukem and Nathan Fake. Tickets are available.
3-6 July 2020. Adult weekend tickets cost £114.95. Discover more: kelburngardenparty.com
Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul, Birmingham
Don’t like camping? Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul is an annual festival in Moseley Park, Birmingham where you can’t camp at all – it’s purely about showing up and enjoying the music, festivities and atmosphere. Set in 11 acres of a woodland glade, it’s just two miles from Birmingham city centre and always promises a stellar lineup. We’re still waiting to hear about next year’s programme but past performers include The Jacksons, The Brand New Heavies and Jurassic 5 (on the microphone).
10-12 July 2020. Tickets to released soon. Discover more: mostlyjazz.co.uk
Nozstock The Hidden Valley, Herefordshire
Started on a working farm in Herefordshire by a fun-loving family and their friends, Nozstock feels warm and welcoming, as though you’re part of a special private gathering. It’s been going for quite a few years now and although it’s grown and improved, it still retains its original charm as one of the best independent festivals out there. For 2020, acts include Rudimental, Soul II Soul, Sleaford Mods and Hollie Cook.
23-26 July 2020. Full weekend tickets cost £120, not including booking fee. Children aged 12 and under are free. Discover more: nozstock.com
Standon Calling, Hertfordshire
Rag’N’Bone Man, Wolf Alice, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Friendly Fires and Kate Nash were amongst the names for Standon Calling in 2019. Tickets are already on sale for next year, for the little annual festival that takes place just outside the village of Standon in Hertfordshire. This is another great alternative to Glastonbury, as it has its own Wild Wellbeing area with a spa, plenty of healthy activities (yoga, hula hoop and tai chi) plus workshops to help you get creative – wood carving, fire lighting and den building anyone?
23-26 July 2020. Early bird tickets sold out in record time. Tier One tickets now on sale. Adult weekend ticket costs £129. Discover more: standon-calling.com
Kendal Calling. Photography by George Harrison
Kendal Calling, Lake District
We can’t quite believe Kendal Calling celebrates fifteen years in 2020. Promising its biggest weekend yet, with more music, arts, culture and comedy than ever before, we’re expecting great things at the Lake District festival next year. A gorgeously charming and independent event, it now welcomes 25,000 people to enjoy headline acts like Doves and Manic Street Preachers. Second-tier tickets are now on sale – details to be announced.
30 July – 2 August 2020. Adult weekend tickets, including camping, cost £148.25. Discover more: kendalcalling.co.uk
This recommended festival had to be cancelled in August, bowing to unfortunate bad weather. For 2020, the organisers (headed up by DJ Craig Richards and the team behind Gottwood Festival) are keeping their fingers and toes crossed that nothing will stop them again. Houghton takes place in early August, dishing up electro, techno and beats on a country estate in Norfolk. The lineup hasn’t yet been announced but – watch this space, as it’s promising to be a good one!
6-9 August 2020. Tickets to be released soon. Discover more: houghtonfestival.co.uk
Lost Village. Photography credit: Lost Village / FANATIC
Lost Village, Lincolnshire
If dancing to electronica, disco and beats in an abandoned forest is your thing, then Lost Village is the music festival for you. There’s also theatre, creative workshops for artists, makers, sculptors and “free-thinkers” and for those of you who’d prefer more luxury than your bog-standard tent, then the ‘Boutique Sanctuary offers glamping bell tents along with luxury showers and toilets, porter service and cocktail bar.
27-30 August 2020. Details to be revealed. Registration now open to receive priority access to early bird tickets and info for 2020: lostvillagefestival.com