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12 incredible Somerset festivals that aren’t Glastonbury

PUBLISHED: 10:49 04 July 2017

Samphire Festival boasts a mix of emerging musical talent

Samphire Festival boasts a mix of emerging musical talent


Our county may be known worldwide for Michael Eavis’ three day music and culture extravaganza at his Pilton Farm, however, there are plenty of other vibrant festivals to enjoy in Somerset We pick 12 of the best to attend this summer

Somerfest, Taunton

When: Saturday June 17

Somerfest is a wonderful celebration of the varied and diverse culture found in the county – and this year it also marks the 40th birthday of Taunton’s Brewhouse Theatre.

Taking place at different venues around Taunton, this is a free festival of theatre, music, circus, sport and other performing arts. As well as performances from local, national and international artists, there will be stalls offering a huge range of food and drink, arts and crafts and lots of activities for all the family.

Wierfest, The Ship Inn, Porlock

When: Thursday June 29 – Sunday July 2

Calling all real ale lovers! For those who fancy a few jars of a selection of 50 real ales and ciders, get yourself down to The Ship Inn in Porlock for Wierfest.

Alongside a varied selection of pints, there will be live bands and a BBQ to enjoy throughout the three days.

NASS Festival, Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet

When: Thursday July 6 – Sunday July 9

If a long weekend of partying is what you’re after, book yourself tickets for the adrenaline-pumping action sports and vibrant music scene of NAAS Festival.

Listen to the likes of headliners Methodman Redman, Pendulum and Kano who will be performing on the main stage as well as a heap of rock, ska, reggae and grime artists over three days. You can also enjoy the thrilling antics of some of the world’s best skateboarders and BMXers.

Samphire Festival, Exmoor National Park

When: Friday July 7 – Sunday July 9

A diverse mix of emerging musical talent will play throughout the day and until the early hours of the morning in one of the most breathtaking spots of Somerset. There aren’t many festivals where you can admire stunning seaside views just behind the main stage but Samphire Festival is one of them!

Throughout the day there are a host of activities to enjoy, including a giant game of snakes and ladders which will hopefully break a Guinness World Record, and lots of delicious fare to refuel after all the dancing! For more on the festival, read our interview with co-founder Flora Blathwayt here.

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Priddy Folk Festival, Priddy

When: Friday July 7 – Sunday July 9

After a humble beginning in the early nineties in the village town hall, Priddy Folk Festival has grown and attracts visitors and locals alike, all hosted throughout the pretty village. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly; and festival-goers can expect three days of wonderful folk performances.

There’s also a Children’s Festival ran alongside the Folk Festival on Saturday and Sunday with plenty to keep little ones entertained.

Buddhafield, near Taunton

When: Wednesday July 12 – Sunday July 16

A festival like no other, nestled in the stunning countryside of the Blackdown Hills, you’ll find Buddhafield. The festival celebrates community through a programme-packed list of events including the teaching of Buddhism and meditation, workshops to enjoy and plenty of music and cabaret to appreciate.

Embrace the truly unique atmosphere, and enjoy five days to complete peace and relaxation with like-minded people.

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The Godney Gathering, Glastonbury

When: Saturday July 15

With popular music acts The Darkness, Nathan Grisdale and Dub Pistols, and many more artists spread over seven stages, there is bound to be a lively, atmospheric crowd in attendance at The Godney Gathering. Hosted on Garslade Farm, the popular one-day event has grown since its creation in 2011 with one outdoor stage.

Bringing along the family is actively encouraged; children under 15 can go for free as long as they are accompanied by an adult! The designated children’s area will host plenty of performances, circus skills and crafts workshops, and a children-only disco and party tent.

Taunton Live Arts Festival, Taunton

When: Monday July 24 – Sunday July 30

At the end of July, Taunton will welcome people to celebrate the diversity of culture in Somerset with the Taunton Live Arts Festival.

Expect traditional Indian weaving alongside Somerset withy basket work; line dancers to come face to face with Palestinian stick dancers; and clog dancers will mingle with belly dancers. Taunton’s Farmer’s Market will organise tasters of food from all over the world too – yum! Find more unmissable events in Taunton here.

Farm Fest, Gilcombe Farm

When: Friday July 28 – Saturday July 29

Genre meets no boundaries at Farm Fest held in the stunning scenery of Gilcombe Farm; festival-goers can truly experience an eclectic line-up of talented music from artists including Roots Manuva, DJ Yoda and Broken Brass Ensemble.

Set up your tent Friday and get prepared for the festivities. Alongside plenty of music, there are lots of workshops, comedy shows and foodie treats to savour and refuel before more dancing!

One World Summer Festival, Cannington

When: Sunday July 30 – Sunday August 6

Packing in over 400 lectures and workshops into one week, One World Festival hosted in Cannington is a truly unique event that warmly welcomes visitors to enjoy therapies, natural movements, exercise, holistic health, arts, crafts and natural cookery.

The schedule is completely up to; you can participate in as many or few activities as you choose to. You can dance the night away to live music from 7pm and there’s a choice of indoor and outdoor accommodation.

Priston Festival, near to the Village Farm in Priston

When: Friday September 15 – Sunday September 17

Nestled in the heart of the beautiful Somerset countryside, Priston Festival is a delightful way to spend a few days away with the family. Visitors can enjoy over 30 bands on two stages including Delphi, the Old Somerset Russet Band and Ant Noel & the Peabody Drakes.

As well as a varied line-up of fantastic music, expect plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy, music workshops, yoga sessions and much more!

The Fantasy Orchestra on the Village Green Stage at Priston FestivalThe Fantasy Orchestra on the Village Green Stage at Priston Festival

Porlock Oyster Festival, Porlock Weir

When: Friday September 29 - Saturday September 30

Celebrating the area’s local delicacy, the picturesque Porlock Weir will play host to the Porlock Oyster Festival at the end of September.

During this free event expect tastings, demonstrations, music, local crafts and much more, including the exciting international Crabbing Competition.

There’s plenty going on in the county this summer. Start making plans here...


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