Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Summer Festival Bucket List 2016

I still haven't quite got used to it being summer. I mean,I don't have to wear my coat all the time but there's something missing from my usual summertime happy feeling. It might be 'sunshine'.

Still, we are just at the beginning and there's loads of exciting things coming up in the next few months so I'm trying to use this quiet, low-key time to relax and try to get enough sleep before the three back-to-back weekends of festivals I have coming up!

I came across Eventbrite's festival bucket list idea, which of course, I definitely wanted to do!  We use Eventbrite all the time for buying tickets and searching for fun stuff in our area. The search feature is one of the best ways of booking spontaneous weekend activities - we've found some real gems on there, Canvas Of Crumbs Biscuit Experience, anyone? If you host events, the site looks pretty simple to use too - check out their Event Management information by clicking here.

I've been thinking all week about which direction to go in with my bucket list. I came to the conclusion that I wanted to make it achievable & affordable. That's why these festivals are all upcoming and in the UK - I'm hoping next year to travel a little more but for now I'm stuck here, so let's make the most of it :)

1. Curious Yellow, 1st - 3rd July *click here for tickets and info*

I've been banging on about this one for almost exactly a year now, to the point where most of my friends, acquaintances and people who work in the shops local to me have heard about how much of an amazing time we had.  I'm choosing it first because there's now only one weekend left before we drive over the hills and far away to the magical gardens that Curious has commandeered for the weekend. Highlights include grounds full of beautiful sculpture, music from a huge variety of genres - I'm looking forward to dancing to The Turner Brothers, meditating to the Conscience Collective and experience Happy Daggers (website here) for the first time! - not to mention an atmosphere of such love and calm that I know I won't want to leave come Sunday afternoon.

2. Bluedot Festival, 22nd - 24th July *click here for tickets and info*

Underworld, Floating Points, Caribou, Everything Everything, Professor Brian Cox, Aiden Byrne cooking the most incredible food, a midnight feast in the shadow of the Lovell telescope and far enough away from home to feel like another planet - I literally cannot WAIT for Bluedot. I already posted my top three picks at this festival and I have more posts coming up, including all the science talks and comedy shows I want to see. The Invisible Monkey cage is a big priority - a radio show featuring Professor Brian Cox who I absolutely love for his wonderful way of describing superbly complex scientific terms in a way even my little gin-addled brain can understand. I also have a not-so-secret plan to wear entirely cosmic-themed clothes for the weekend. I have a few pairs of galaxy leggings, a super cosmic bag, a Spaced Out jumper and a wonderful space print shirt AND a plan to make my own custom sweatshirt with my favourite hashtag, #bringbackcosmic. Read my top 3 picks for this one by clicking here.

As well as the music, the Cosmic Piano, a million talks on the cosmos and the incredible food, I can't wait to see the site as a whole. It's a pretty big festival and I bet it's going to be wonderfully themed as it's set in some truly beautiful grounds around the Jodrell Bank mission control buildings and giant radio telescope.

3. Secret Garden Party 21st - 24th July *click here for tickets and info*

For some reason, I think SGP was one of the first festivals that ever came to my attention as something I would like to experience. I've never been, but the theme this year is The Gardeners Guide To The Galaxy which is kind of the perfect fit for me! I love looking at pictures from this amazing festival - set around a lake, they usually have a large installation to party on floating on it, check these out -

Their website is pretty cryptic, but if you do a search for Secret Garden Party images you'll be swept up in the colour and excitement just like I was. Izzy Bizu, Temper Trap and Primal Scream (!) are all on the line-up as well as countless smaller bands to discover. The fancy dress looks mega too - I'm kind of aching to go to this, especially as the theme fits basically all the festival clothes I have this year - I love how space has become super cool to love right now and festivals are embracing that!

4. Boomtown, 11th-14th August *click here for tickets and info*

One of the most outrageously themed UK festivals - Boomtown has 24 stages set in it's very own City, with 9 districts to choose to spend time in and hundreds and hundreds of acts and activities. Some of the artists form some of my very favourite at-home listening, I've so far missed every opportunity presented to see Parov Stellar live, The Correspondents are so catchy I was singing some of their tunes for days after first hearing them and there's Madness, Channel One and So Solid crew, plus pretty much all the artists on the Psychedelic Forest stage look seriously incredible.

This is one of those festivals where there is a hell of a lot more than music going on in wild, lose-yourself setting. We aren't going to this (yet) but it's right up there on my bucket list, I have a secret hope that a ticket might come up from somewhere - it's basically our only free weekend left this summer so I've entered about 9 competitions!

5. Victorious, 27th & 28th July *click here for tickets and info*

We loved Victorious so much last year! I'm thrilled that the Turner Brothers are playing there again this year. It's a beautiful setting, all along the seafront down in Portsmouth. Last year there was a fabulous street full of vintage, craft  and clothing sellers and the food choices were among some of the best we came across all summer. I had the most amazing burrito from a shiny airstream trailer and some spicy chipotle mac & cheese from a rustic shed that basically won mac & cheese for me, forever.

Here's some of the line-up:

I'll be making Mark Ronson, Echo and The Bunnymen and The Manic Street Preachers my priorities at this one, as well as the The Turner Brothers, who if you haven't heard have an awesome England anthem out just in time for the Euros, check it out:

6. Festival Number 6, 1st - 4th September *click here for tickets and info*

My hopes are pinned on Festival Number 6 for a last summer weekend with a carnival atmosphere and dancing until dawn. Have you seen the setting? Portmeirion in North Wales was designed to look like a Mediterranean village and it kind of works, with cobbled squares and brightly-coloured architecture set round a central plaza, it looks incredible, especially as you don't need to fly on a hateful plane to get there!

The festival has only been running a few years, but it makes my bucket list because of the wonderful setting. Festivals always make me feel like I'm miles from home and reality and I bet being in this beautiful environment just adds to that wonderful feeling of escapism. By this point in the summer I'll have seen at least one of the bands on the line-up - Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds are playing Victorious but I'd be most excited for Bastille. I love a good sing-along anthem and they provide them by the bucketful (that was a bucket list pun. Just in case you thought I had written bucket quite a lot in this last paragraph.)

Other highlights are paddle boarding on the Estuary, swimming in the pool whilst listening to music at sunset, an illuminated procession and a spa. A spa! On top of that you only have to take a look down the list of street food vendors to start your tummy rumbling - and there's lots more food to be eaten in more formal settings aswell. I can't do it justice so hop over to their food page for a real feast for the eyes :)

So, three booked, three that are still pipe dreams! I'm excited to hear what you think of my bucket list, whether you have booked any of the festivals here or have any others you think should not be missing for a UK festival bucket list! Comment below with your alternatives :)

Katy x

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