17 incredible Somerset festivals that aren’t Glastonbury
PUBLISHED: 09:49 02 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:41 09 March 2018
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 17 of the best to attend this summer
eat:Festivals (various locations in Somerset)
When: Click here to see the full list of dates for each event.
Calling all foodies! The eat:festivals will return again in 2018 to a number of towns throughout the county, including Weston-Super Mare on Saturday April 7, Wellington on Saturday September 1 and Burnham on Saturday October 27.
Drawing thousands of visitors each year, the multi-award winning festivals (organisers Sarah and Beverley Milner-Simonds also took home the 'Somerset Life Food & Drink Heroes of the Year’ in 2017) give local food and drink businesses the opportunity to showcase their products and help spread the word on who they are. Expect to find plenty of stalls with all the best food and drink the county has to offer.
All the events are free.
Foodies Festival, Bristol Durham Downs
When: Friday May 11 – Sunday May 13
Back by popular demand, Foodies Festival, the UK’s biggest celebration of food and drink, returns to the Downs, Bristol and at a number of other venues across the country too.
Alongside the fantastic foodie line-up the festival is known for, including Great British Bake Off finalist 2017 Steven Carter Bailey and Michelin-starred chefs of The Pony & Trap Josh Eggleton and Robert Potter of The Manor House, there will be a newly launched music stage. Acts include well-known Toploader and The Hoosiers, as well as talented emerging bands and solo artists. Find out more here.
Shindig Weekender, Gilcombe Farm in Bruton
When: Friday May 25 – Sunday May 27
Gilcombe Farm in Bruton will be bursting with excitable festival-goers over the May Bank Holiday weekend for the Shindig Weekender. Now in its fifth year, the festival offers a jam-packed schedule of events perfect for the whole family or the option to just kick back and enjoy the music.
Confirmed music acts include Soul II Soul, Jungle Brothers and a Mr Scruff DJ set well as comedy, talks and cabaret from Phill Jupitus, Mark Thomas and the Bullzini Family Circus.
The Royal Bath & West Show, The Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet
When: Wednesday May 30 to Saturday June 2
One of the most anticipated agricultural events in Somerset returns in 2018 with an array of demonstrations, shows, stalls and entertainment.
A haven for all enthusiasts of rural life, over the four days families can enjoy an action-packed programme of events, competitions and live music.
When: Saturday June 17
Somerfest is a wonderful celebration of the varied and diverse culture found in the county. The event is organised and creatively produced by Fuseperformance.
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.
The event is free.
Weirfest, The Ship Inn, Porlock
When: Thursday June 28 – Sunday July 1
After such a successful event last year, Wierfest at the Ship Inn in Porlock returns in 2018. For those who fancy a few jars of real ale and/or cider, there’s plenty to choose from with their selection of 50.
Alongside plenty of pints, there will be live bands and a BBQ to enjoy throughout the three days.
The event is free.
NASS Festival, Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet
When: Thursday July 5 – Sunday July 8
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 Dizzee Rascal, Run DMC and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley 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.
Priddy Folk Festival, Priddy
When: Friday July 6 – Sunday July 8
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 18 – Sunday July 22
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.
The Godney Gathering, Glastonbury
When: Saturday July 21
With popular music acts Feeder, The Correspondents and Tankus The Henge 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: Throughout July; Taunton Live’s Big Saturday is on July 21
Throughout July, Taunton will welcome people to celebrate the diversity of culture in Somerset with the Taunton Live Arts Festival. Taunton Live’s Big Saturday will take place in Goodlands Gardens.
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!
The event is free.
When: Friday August 3 and Saturday August 4
Taking place in Taunton’s Vivary Park, the Taunton Flower Show has been a regular mark in the town’s calendar since 1831. With horticulture at its heart, visitors can participate in 250 different competitive classes whether they are amateur gardeners, professional florists, crafters or children.
From marching bands, dog displays and a wine show, plus much more, alongside the competitions, there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained.
Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Ashton Court Estate
When: Thursday August 9 to Sunday August 12
The city’s largest outdoor event (and the largest event of its kind in Europe) will celebrate its 40th year this August. Hundreds of balloons will ascend to the sky, and as previous visitors can attest, it’s a truly stunning spectacle to see.
Over the long weekend, there will also be trade stands to peruse, fairground rides and family friendly entertainment to enjoy.
The event is free.
When: Friday August 24 – Sunday August 26
Run by the Watchet LIVE Community Interest Company (C.I.C), the Watchet LIVE Music Festival is one the of many events which helps to make the town more a more culturally diverse place to residents and visitors alike.
Music acts including Dub Pistols, Ferocious Dogs and Hazel O’Connor have been confirmed to perform over the two stages and ‘The Something Else Tea Tent’, with many more to announced. The family friendly music festival comes complete with on-site camping.
Where: Saturday September 1
After welcoming over 40,000 revellers to their venue at Bradford-on-Tone last year, SheppyFest is back this year and promises to be ‘bigger and better than ever’.
Follow the Facebook page for the band line-up, tickets and information.
Early Bird tickets will be available to purchase from April 1.
Priston Music Festival, near to the Village Farm in Priston
When: Friday September 14 – Sunday September 16
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 Reg Meuross, Rivers of England and Doreen Doreen.
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!
There are plenty of free events so tickets will only be required for a number of events in the Village Hall and Church.
When: Dates to be confirmed
Between Saturday September 23 and Sunday October 8 2017, celebrating its fifth birthday, Bath’s social calendar was jam-packed with events and promotions celebrating the very best food and drink in the city. From independent restaurants, pubs and cafes to local food producers, Bath’s businesses came together to create 15 days of gastronomic delights.
You can also sign up to the Great Bath Feast’s newsletter here.