The month of August has been packed full of all kinds of enjoyable and interesting festivals, for the older festival goer, the younger generation and families looking for a weekend of fun. Here at Azure we’ve picked seven of our favourite festivals, giving you the lowdown on what each festival was about.
Wickham Festival (1st – 4th)
Set in Hampshire, the festival had all the elements you’d expect from a traditional folk festival such as live music, around 15 food stalls and various craft workshops for all the family. Children were catered for with lots of different activities to engage in such as Morris Dancing, a puppet show, story-telling and were even able to watch different kid’s films in the early evening to calm them all down. Many folk bands were at the festival, including The Waterboys that headlined on the second day, a real treat for lovers of folk music, plus the current Radio 2 Folk Duo of the year; Brendan Powers and Tim Edey. The festival never became over-crowed, meaning it was ideal for young families and the atmosphere was still there for all to experience. The camping field was clean and tidy, all porta-loos were kept in good condition, and the staff were polite and friendly. At £80 for an advanced ticket (including camping), we found the Wickham Festival to be great value for money – a great weekend of folk fun and activities for the whole family.
Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (2nd – 24th)
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo was set against the magnificent backdrop of the breath-taking Edinburgh Castle. For those unfamiliar with military tattoos, they traditionally have military bands performing marches and music. However, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo took the event to a new level, featuring performers (mostly military) from all over the world entertaining in a spectacular fashion. The program changes annually and this year featured performers from New Zealand, Mongolia, Mexico, South Korea, Malta, Oman and the traditional Scottish brass bands, bagpipes and drums. There were highland dancers, a spectacular performance of skilled motorcycle drills by youngsters and the amazing scene of a 9000-strong audience holding hands and singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’. The event finished with the lone piper (the highest-ranking pipe major in the British Army) high upon the Edinburgh Castle, which was incredibly moving. The night finished with a jaw-dropping fireworks display. An outstanding evening, the tattoo was an excellent night out for all the family.
Ayr Flower Show (2nd – 4th)
Held at the well-known Rozelle Estate in Ayr, the Ayr Flower Show was an outstanding show that exhibited top quality vegetables and flowers from around the world. The show was the place to be if you’re fanatical about flowers as there was a large selection of experts on everything green-fingered. Visitors were treated to cookery demonstrations, floral art demonstrations, jazz bands, fiddle orchestras, ceilidh bands, children’s entertainment and even a gardener’s question panel. Refreshments were readily available, and the atmosphere was fantastic as gardeners of all ages were encouraged to learn new things – a great day out for all the family.
Ultimate Street Car (2nd – 4th)
Held at Santa Pod Raceway, Northamptonshire, Ultimate Street Car or USC, dubbed itself as ‘the fastest, hottest, largest and loudest modified car festival in Europe’. They weren’t wrong. This year’s festival proved to be to be the UK’s most extreme car show with music, club camping, traders, stunts, drifts and much more. Three days full to the brim of cars and car mad people, with visitors being entertained from the early morning until night and some right through to the next morning! Festival goers were encouraged to bring their modified cars and awards were given out, such as ‘Best Wheels’ and ‘Best Interior’. A brilliant festival for any car enthusiast that enjoys everything car related and cars that have been modified.
Boardmasters (7th – 11th)
Boardmasters is a unique festival, combining the surf and music culture of Newquay to celebrate music, surfing, skating and much more. There were three days of live music set in the cliffs above the stunning Watergate Bay scenery and world class surfers down at Fistral Beach, anyone that attended really was spoilt for choice. The music varied throughout the weekend with The Vaccines kicking things off on the Friday, Basement Jaxx performing on the Saturday and Ben Howard closing the weekend off on the Sunday. As well as live musical performances, a dance group called The Other Tribe performed an extremely popular and energetic performance which really drew the crowds in on the opening day. Combining sport and music culture from the coast really gave Boardmasters some memorable charm and an unforgettable festival for all those that attended. Overall a brilliant festival that had a calm atmosphere and was all about relaxing by the sea and enjoying yourself.
The 35th Bristol International Balloon Festival (8th – 11th)
The yearly meeting included balloonists from all over the world for what was the largest balloon event in Europe. It is believed that over half a million people attended the four day festival in Bristol and this year visitors were encouraged to set up camps and stay overnight at the venue. With such a wide variety of hot air balloons the festival was a fantastic spectacle for the whole family, something you won’t see every day that’s for sure!
Strawberry Fields Festival (9th – 12th)
Held at Cattow Farm in Heather, Leicestershire, the festival is got its name from being situated at a place renowned locally for its strawberry picking. The festival had a fancy dress theme on the Saturday which was ‘The Call of the Country’ so there was plenty of people dressed in tweed, dressed as hens and also lords and ladies. Music was the main experience at the festival with a massive line-up that featured The View, The Enemy and Jaguar Skills. Crowds were delighted with the performances given and were also treated to a clothes fair, a funfair, live graffiti demonstrations, a poetry brothel and even a ‘Healing Zone’. Glamping was also on offer, making the festival extremely popular with people wanting that comfortable festival weekend. The Strawberry Fields Festival proved to be popular with groups of friends and families alike.
One Love Festival (16th – 18th)
If you like reggae, dub-step and jungle music, this was the festival for you. One Love is the UK’s biggest reggae and dub festival and offered a lively, friendly atmosphere for people that love that Caribbean rhythm. The field the festival was held on was only a 20 minute train ride from central London giving it great accessibility. The field itself was kept clean and tidy at all times and offered activities for everyone – even children. Visitors got to jam to various live performances by different artists, with plenty of food and drink stalls available too. A superbly organised and enjoyable festival.