The best family festivals

Off to a music festival? Don't forget the kids! Here are the UK's best family-friendly festivals this summer

Children and music festivals don't always mix, but some UK music festivals are perfect for a family weekend away. Many events these days offer special family camping zones and reduced entry for little ’uns. Here's our pick of the best family-friendly events this season, with a laid-back atmosphere, and activities for kids of all ages taking place alongside the music.

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The best family festivals

Camp Bestival

Camp Bestival

Child-friendly fun, that's also palatable for grown-ups

Sure, there are plenty of festivals these days that provide designated kid-friendly areas. But, with Glastonbury out for a year, there are few that actively encourage you to bring the young ’uns. Praise be, then, to Camp Bestival: the little sibling to Rob da Bank’s main summer event that attempts to serve up a weekend of guilt-free festival parenting. Rather than simply whacking a pair of those oversized headphones on your tot and dragging them reluctantly to see Sleaford Mods, here you can both enjoy your time, with equal emphasis placed on activities and music for big and little ones alike.

Line up includes Clean Bandit, Basement Jaxx, Rick Astley, Simple Minds, Shed Seven, Dick and Dom, Mr Tumble.

Lulworth Cove, Dorset. Jul 26-29. £187.50 (weekend)

Standon Calling


Charming villagey event in the depths of Hertfordshire

Continuing the trend for festivals that started in someone’s back garden and then got huge, Standon Calling returns for its thirteenth year of boutique fun. As well as solid, genre-straddling line-ups, there’ll be all kinds of kooky fun to engage in too: from a swimming pool and a celebrated dog show (bring your pooch) to after-hours clubbing and a comedy programme.

Line-up includes Bryan Ferry, Paloma Faith, George Ezra, Goldfrapp, Django Django, The Horrors.

Standon Lordship, Hertfordshire. Jul 26-29. £169.

Until Sun Jul 30


The UK branch of the international world music extravaganza

Since Womad’s first event back in 1982, it’s expanded from a celebration of world music to a celebration of music literally across the world, with events now hosted in New Zealand, Chile, the Canary Islands and more. The ethos remains the same though: a chilled out and celebratory party of sonic exploration, good vibes and inclusivity.

Line up includes Amadou & Mariam, Django Django, Camille, Ken Boothe, Sharon Shannon, Ezra Collective, Aeham Ahmed.

Charlton Park, Wiltshire. Jul 26-29. £225, £185 (three-day).


Escapist hedonism for grown­-ups – kids also welcome

It would be easy to write off Wilderness as a posh playground, but the reality is much more magical. The thoughtfully programmed roster of acts from around the world has grown in calibre and breadth year-on-year, with Björk headlining in 2015. But it’s the awe-­inspiring performance art, debates and mouth­watering feasts that have firmly positioned Wilderness as a carnival for the senses, and much more than just a music festival. Just be aware that few of the luxurious activities are included in the basic ticket price, and add­-ons can quickly add up.

Line-­up includes Nile Rodgers & Chic, Bastille, Jon Hopkins, Kamasi Washington, Baxter Dury.

Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire. Aug 2-5. From £179.50.

End of the Road Festival

End of the Road Festival

Uber-credible picks from indie’s weirder corners

Landing in the sacred crossover point between namedrop-friendly muso faves and bands that are actually, y’know, fun, Dorset season-closer End of the Road has been excelling itself on the line-up front in recent years. From high-shine leftfield pop to grizzled post-punk, they’ve got all the bases covered. Add to that a solid programme of arts and literature, plus an increasing nod to late-night larks, and you’ve got a veritable playground for the more discerning 20-something.

Line­-up includes Vampire Weekend, St Vincent, Feist, Ezra Furman, Fat White Family, John Cale, Yo La Tengo, Oh Sees, Ariel Pink, Idles.

Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset. Aug 30-Sep 2. £195.

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