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21 incredible Somerset festivals that aren't Glastonbury

PUBLISHED: 12:43 18 April 2019

Top of the Gorge Festival, Cheddar Gorge (c) Oliver Edwards

Top of the Gorge Festival, Cheddar Gorge (c) Oliver Edwards

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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. From food to music, skateboarding to meditation, we pick 21 of the best to attend in 2019

eat:Festivals, (various locations in Somerset)

When: Click here to see the full list of dates for each event. The first in the calendar is eat:feativals' first vegan fair – eat:Vegan will take place on Saturday, January 26 at the Winter Gardens in Weston-Super-Mare.

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 13, Wellington on Saturday September 7 and Burnham on Saturday October 26.

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.

Glastonbury Calling, number of venues in Glastonbury

When: Friday, February 22 and Saturday, February 23

Spread across six venues in the market town, Glastonbury Calling showcases the fantastic variety of music that we have in th west, run by the people of Glastonbury.

Now in its fourth year, acts confirmed for the two day festival include Brandon Block, Dakar Audio Club and King Tut's Revenge.

Click here to book tickets.

Foodies Festival, Bristol Durham Downs

When: Friday, May 10 – Sunday, May 12

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 winner 2016 Candice Brown, Michelin-starred chef of The Pony & Trap, and winner of 'Chef of the Year' at the Somerset Life Food & Drink Awards 2018, Josh Eggleton and chef and TV personality Simon Rimmer, there will live music with headliners still to be announced. Find out more here.

Click here to book tickets.

Shindig Festival, 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 sixth 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 Estelle, Benjamin Zephaniah & the Revolutionary Minds and Dub Pistols, as well as DJ sets, comedy, talks and cabaret including Aardman Model Making Workshops and the Bullzini Family Circus.

Click here to book tickets.

The Royal Bath & West Show, Shepton Mallet

When: Tuesday, May 29 – Saturday, June 1

One of the most anticipated agricultural events in Somerset returns to The Bath & West Showground 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.

Click here to book tickets.

Top of the Gorge Festival, Cheddar Gorge

When: Friday, June 14 – Sunday, June 16

Organised by the National Trust, and returning for its second year, Top of the Gorge Festival quite literally takes place atop on of Somerset's most iconic landmarks. Over three days, campers and day visitors alike can enjoy a host of entertainment, activities and local food and drink.

Following a jam-packed day of adventures, festival goers can enjoy live music from local artists and others from across the UK.

Click here to book tickets. Please note, some activities are additionally ticketed.

Somerfest, Taunton

When: Saturday, June 15

Somerfest is a wonderful celebration of the varied and diverse culture found in the county. The event is organised and creatively produced by Fuse Somerset Outdoor Arts Company.

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.

Pub in the Park, Bath

When: Friday, June 21 – Sunday, June 23

Tom Kerridge's Pub in the Park festival is a three day feast of delicious food, great live music, chef demonstrations, shopping and other festival fun. The vibe is relaxed and informal, with a mix of families, groups of friends and serious foodies making up the audience.

Tom will be joined by some of Britain's best loved chefs and pop-up pubs, including our very own Somerset Life 'Chef of the Year', Josh Eggleton and the Pony & Trap pop-up. Music acts already confirmed at Bath's Royal Victoria Park are Basement Jaxx (DJ set), Gabrielle, Texas, Will Young and Soul II Soul Soundsystem.

Click here to book tickets (available from February 1)

Weirfest, The Ship Inn, Porlock

When: Thursday, July 4 – Sunday, July 7

After their most successful event last year, Wierfest at the Ship Inn in Porlock returns in 2019. 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, Shepton Mallet

When: Thursday, July 11 – Sunday, July 14

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, held at the Bath & West Showground.

Listen to the likes of Cyprus Hill, Giggs, Rudimental and Loyle Carner, who will be performing on the main stage as well as a heap of other popular 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.

Click here to book tickets.

Priddy Folk Festival, Priddy

When: Friday, July 12 – Sunday, July 14

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. Confirmed acts so far are folk instrumentalist Tim Edey and BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award nominees Granny's Attic.

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

Click here to book tickets.

The Royal Navy International Air Day 2019, RNAS Yeovilton

When: Saturday, July 13, 9am-5pm

The Royal Navy has been at the forefront of technological innovation in Maritime Aviation for over 100 years. This is destined to continue with the first landing, this autumn, of an F-35B Lightning II on HMS Queen Elizabeth - the world's first aircraft carrier designed around operating a fifth-generation fighter jet. The subtle but significant name change reflects this but also the aspiration to build on the growing reputation of the airshow by attracting further participation by foreign naval air arms and maritime aircraft.

RNAS Yeovilton, the spiritual home of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm, will open their gates to up to 40,000 visitors to enjoy the magnificent five hour flying display, meet the Armed Forces personnel and see their equipment up close. There will also be a huge array of educational ground attractions from interactive Service displays to engineering fairs and state-of-the-art defence technology exhibitions. Families will also be able to enjoy trade stalls, arena displays, helicopter pleasure flights, simulators and fairground rides.

Click here to book tickets.

Buddhafield, near Taunton

When: Wednesday, July 17 – Sunday, July 21

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. This year theme is extinction.

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

Click here to book tickets.

The Godney Gathering, Glastonbury

When: Saturday, July 20

With popular music acts The Feeling, Dreadzone and Buster Shuffle recently announced, and many more to come, you can expect a fantastic festival atmosphere at The Godney Gathering 2019. Hosted on Garslade Farm, the popular one-day event has grown since its creation in 2011 with only 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.

Click here to book tickets.

Taunton Live Arts Festival, Taunton

When: Usually takes place throughout July

Taunton welcomes people to celebrate the diversity of culture in Somerset with the Taunton Live Arts Festival.

This year, visitors can walk along The Great Yarnbombing Trail, cash prizes can be won in the Taunton's Got Talent competition, with the public able to watch auditions for free, and plenty of exhibitions showcasing local artwork.

The event is free.

Farmfest, Bruton

When: Friday, July 26 – Sunday, July 28

Described as 'a mischievous melting pot of music, arts, party and people', we're sure there are plenty of people thrilled that Farmfest is returning to Gilcombe Farm this summer after a break in 2018.

A whole host of exciting acts have already been confirmed including Craig Charles, Morcheeba and She Makes War, with many more to be announced.

Click here to book tickets.

Taunton Flower Show

When: Friday, August 2 and Saturday, August 3

Taking place in Taunton's Vivary Park, the Taunton Flower Show has been a regular fixture on 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.

Click here to book tickets or become a member by filling out the application from here.

OutCider Festival, Fernhill Farm

When: Friday, August 2 – Sunday, August 4

Friendly, relaxed and free-thinking is the vibe at Outcider Festival. There's a focus on securing exciting and eclectic acts, and this year's line-up is no exception. Artists already confirmed are ALBAMA3, Beans on Toast and The Skimmity Hitchers, plus many more set to play across the two stages.

A fully stocked bar will sell a whole host of lagers, local ales and ciders – with plenty of Somerset and Dorset ciders available to try.

Click here to book tickets.

Valleyfest, Chew Valley

When: Friday, August 2 – Sunday, August 4

Boasting an idyllic lakeside setting, Valleyfest in Chew Magna promises not only delicious South West food and drink, world-class music and family-friendly entertainment but incredible views over the Somerset countryside as well.

Set up by Luke Hasell five years ago, a lot of time, effort and genuine passion goes into organising Valleyfest every year and it shows. Keen for festival revellers' recommendations, the line-up is carefully considered and this year you can expect a Basment Jaxx DJ set and Razorlight headlining.

Click here to book tickets.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Ashton Court Estate

When: Thursday, August 8 - Sunday, August 11

The city's largest outdoor event (and the largest event of its kind in Europe) sees hundreds of balloons 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.

Watchet Live Music Festival

When: Friday, August 23 – Sunday, August 25

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. The festival has a family-friendly feel, and comes complete with on-site camping.

Previous acts have included Dub Pistols, Melanie C and the Wurzels so we're looking forward to hearing what names the Watchet LIVE have confirmed for this year.

Click here to book tickets.

Priston Music Festival, near Bath

When: Friday, September 13 – Sunday, September 15

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 a variety of live music over two stages – acts to be confirmed.

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

The event is free.

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

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