UK Major Events Guide

New Year’s Day Parade, London, January 1st

For some, I’m sure the idea of doing anything the day after New Year’s Eve may seem like an uphill struggle! But for the rest of us—this street parade spectacular is one of the biggest and wildest events of the year.

Starting at 12pm on New Year’s Day, this parade has grown to become one of the largest and most impressive street celebrations in the world. With over 10,000 performers from across the globe taking to the streets of London to showcase marching bands, cheerleaders, acrobatics, colourful kites, and much much more

The 2020 iteration of the event is sure to be the biggest yet—beginning at the famous Piccadilly thoroughfare its route will take it past Regent Street, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, and finally Parliament Street. A number of amazing performers have already been confirmed for the 2020 event, including a fantastic array of marching bands from across the world. Other highlights include:

  1. The London School Of Samba, a diverse and eclectic group committed to showcasing the passion and vitality of Brazillian Samba. Their entry this year will be ‘Sambafari’ a bright and colourful celebration of nature and wildlife.
  2. The Panash Steel Orchestra, a barrier-breaking and inclusive steel pan orchestra that brings a touch of flair and the spirit of London’s diverse Carribean community to the global stage.
  3. Megafatables, who for the 5th consecutive year will be bringing their jaw-dropping inflatable creations to the parade. This year’s theme for their work will be ‘London Loves Life’.

For more information on the 2020 event, you can find their website here at https://lnydp.com/parade/.

Also Happening In London

  1. Chinese New Year Parade, 10th February
  2. London Fashion Week, 16th-20th February
  3. London Marathon, 28th April

Jorvik Viking Festival, York, 20th-27th February

Jolablot—the traditional Viking celebration held each February to herald the coming of the spring and the survival of a harsh winter—now has a unique and enjoyable modern twist with the Jorvik Viking Festival. Now in its 35th year, the Jorvik Viking Festival attracts more than 40,000 visitors to the scenic historic city of York for what is the largest Viking Festival in Europe.

For this year’s programme of events, the theme will be ‘Voyage Of The Vikings’ a celebration of the epic travails of the Viking people. Chronicling everything from the frozen north to the exotic reaches of Spain and remote Vinland—the programme celebrates the adventurous spirit and passion of the Vikings. Here are some of the highlights of the programme:

  1. The Banquet Of The Voyagers—a grandiose feast that will put you alongside some of the truly great voyages of the Viking Age in the magnificent hall of their descendants. Guests can enjoy three courses of banquet dining all while a Norse skald regales the audience with thrilling tales of Viking adventure.
  2. The March To Coppergate—In the past, the sight of Vikings marching through a town would have been enough to send everyone running to their homes. This recreation offers a far less intimidating, yet equally impressive sight, as hundreds of Viking Warriors march and chant through the city of York.
  3. The Battle Of The Spectacular In The Land Of Darkness—for this showstopping finale, gather round at night to observe the tale of Ibn Fadlan and his first-hand account of the Viking’s adventures in the Arabic world. This spectacular display will feature fire displays, soundscapes, and more.

More information can be found on their website at https://jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk/

Also Happening In York

  1. Tour De Yorkshire,30th April-3rd May
  2. York Food Festival, TBA 2020
  3. York Christmas Festival, 14th November-22nd December

Grand National, Liverpool, 2nd-4th April

Watched by millions across the globe—the Grand National race is the biggest and most celebrated horse race in the world. But it’s the festival itself that draws in the crowds—a weekend long celebration of the power and the passion of horse racing, there’s truly nothing else like it. And, the 2020 iteration promises to be its most spectacular event yet.

Everything kicks of with Grand National Thursday—which this year will have a decidedly local flavour, celebrating some of the most memorable and decorated sporting champions from the North West of England. These celebrations will be the backdrop for four enticing Grade One races, as well as live music and entertainment.

On day two—the Grand National will once again host its world-famous Ladies Day. Featuring some of the best and most daring fashion you’ll find anywhere outside of a Paris runway. For the fifth consecutive year, there will be a prize awarded to the winner of the Style Award. On the racecourse, there will be another four exciting Grade One races.

And then finally—the big day itself will have arrived. This is it, the biggest and most important horse-racing event in the world. For 8 minutes people across the globe will hold their breath as 40 spirited contenders go head to head in a battle of passion and skill. There is nothing else like it in the sporting world when it comes to suspense and thrills. And definitely no substitute for being there in the crowd when it happens.

For more information, and to book your tickets for the big race, visit https://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/aintree/events-tickets/grand-national/

Also Happening In Liverpool

  1. Liverpool Sound City, 1st-3rd May
  2. River Festival, 1st-2nd June
  3. Southport Flower Show, 20th-23rd August

Isle Of Wight Festival, the Isle Of Wight, 11th-14th June

In 1970, the tranquil and scenic Isle Of Wight played host to one of the most spectacular and historic music events of all time, featuring the likes of Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Doors, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, and more! The festival saw attendance figures of over half a million, cementing its status alongside Woodstock and Glastonbury. Sadly discontinued in 1972—the festival rebooted itself in 2002 and has since been one of the most consistent and entertaining modern music festivals!

 

The allure of the Isle Of Wight Festival is undoubtedly in the music—attracting some of the biggest names in Indie and Pop music, with recent headliners including the likes of Kasabian, Rod Stewart, and Arcade Fire—the festival has an appealing mix of stalwart classics and contemporary newcomers. There are a number of different stages including the Main Stage, the Big Top, the 80s Electro Love tent, the Jack Rocks and Hard Rock Cafe Stages, and the Kashmir Lounge—which showcases some of the best local musical talent.

The Isle Of Wight Festival has also established its reputation as one of the most comfortable, enjoyable, and family-friendly festivals around. Catering as it does to a wide range of tastes and offering a firmly mainstream appeal—it’s a great counterpoint to some of the more eccentric and alternative festival offerings. Everywhere you go you will be surrounded by people basking in the sun, enjoying the music, and having a great time that can be enjoyed by all.

The latest lineup announcements and ticket news can be found at https://isleofwightfestival.com/

Also Happening On The Isle Of Wight

  1. Isle Of Wight Walking Festival, 2nd-17th May
  2. The Isle Of Wight Garlic Festival, 15th-16th August
  3. Isle Of Wight Literary Festival, October

Brighton Pride Festival, Brighton, 31st July-2nd August

Still the crown jewel of British Pride festivals—Brighton Pride is the ultimate celebration of not only diversity and identity—but also how to let your hair down and have a great time! The 2020 event is set to be the grandest and most important yet—celebrating 30 years of campaigning, protest, and inclusion. The event will also have a wonderful FABULOSO theme, curated by trans artist and activist Fox Fisher—celebrating LGBTQ+ representation in all its forms. Highlights include:

 

  1. The infamous and extravagant Pride Parade—which this year will feature a wonderful mix of city charities, community groups, local businesses, blue light services, and other official partners of the Brighton Pride events. This is a free event and a true carnivalesque celebration of diversity which will kickstart the weekend’s festivities in style.
  2. To open the weekend, Pride Pleasure Gardens at the Old Steine will be returning and offering free entertainment and excitement throughout the weekend! There will be camp pop, cabaret, DJ’s, clubbing, and plenty of the joyous and raucous excitement Brighton Pride is famous for.
  3. To celebrate the 30th Anniversary event there will be a two-day extravaganza of FABULOSO on the Park—this will host main stage artists and performers as well as crowd favourite attractions such as the Legends Cabaret Tent, Queer Town, the BAME stage, dance tents and much more! There will a mixture of pop and dance music, Queer theatre and art, spoken word, speeches, and a lot more. As well as a special community day on Sunday to celebrate artists, performers, and activists from throughout the 30-year history of the event.

For further details and all the latest announcements visit https://www.brighton-pride.org/

Also Happening In Brighton

  1. Brighton Fringe, 1st-31st May
  2. Brighton Half Marathon, 23rd February
  3. Burning The Clocks, 21st December

Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh, 2nd-26th August

When it comes to arts festivals—there is nothing on offer that matches the unique appeal and scope of the Edinburgh Fringe. Renowned for its comedy, and showcasing performers from across all backgrounds and genres, the Fringe manages to take over the historic city of Edinburgh every August. Featuring over 3000 shows, audiences are able to enjoy theatre, comedy, dance, circus, cabaret, musicals, opera, live music, spoken word, art exhibitions, and works that defy categorization entirely!

With such a dazzling array of performances on offer—it can be hard to know where to begin, thankfully there are a number of different ways you can plan and book your Fringe experience. Including :

 

  1. Early On Sale Tickets—these are released before the official programme launches in June, and sold via the Edinburgh Fringe website. Browse from a selection of shows as early as January and make sure you’re as prepared as you can be!
  2. Online Booking—the official Edinburgh Fringe website is a very useful tool for planning your Fringe experience. By creating an account there you can get access to your own personalised calendar and make the most of their show search options.
  3. Fringe App—nothing is more useful than being able to plan and make decisions using an app on your phone or tablet. Luckily for Fringe goers, there is now a handy free app available that offers a number of helpful features that will make your Fringe planning a breeze.

For more information and the latest performer announcements, visit https://www.edfringe.com/

Also Happening In Edinburgh

  1. Magic Fest, 27th December-5th January
  2. Edinburgh Art Festival, 30th July-30th August
  3. Edinburgh International Science Festival, 4th-19th April

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 30th-31st August

The largest, boldest, and brightest street party in Europe—Notting Hill is an exuberant celebration of Caribbean culture and music. With sights, sounds, and smells galore! There’s truly something for everyone. Take in the colourful costumes and floats, revel in the sounds of calypso and reggae, or tuck into Caribbean food that’s bursting with flavour and heat.

With over a million visitors expected—Notting Hill is the largest street carnival in the world, second only to the famous Rio event. Much of this is drawn from the music, with a wide array of genres covering classic sounds of the Caribbean to contemporary grime and hip-hop that reflects the uniquely London style of the event. As the only full-scale carnival to feature multiple static sound systems they’re ideally poised to keep the party going all day long.

For food lovers—the Carnival is an absolute delight. With the signature smells of the jerk pit emanating throughout—beyond that there are offerings that truly represent the best of the Caribbean, including the Trinidadian ‘Roti’ and the Guyanese ‘Pepper Pot’. With over 300 stalls to choose from, there’s a bounty of food on offer—including vegetarian options and dedicated vegan traders.

For the latest announcements and information, you can visit https://nhcarnival.org/.

Also Happening In London

  1. Last Night Of The Proms, September
  2. Pride In London, 27th June
  3. Wimbledon, 1st-14th July

British Science Festival, Essex, 8th-12th September

Science is all about the pursuit of knowledge, the shared joy of discovery, the drive to understand the very fabric of the universe—and nothing embodies this spirit more than the British Science Festival.

The British Science Festival is the longest-running science festival in Europe—and is held in a different location throughout the United Kingdom each year. With the 2020 version being held in Chelmsford, Essex, courtesy of the prestigious Anglia Ruskin University. The festival is rooted in connectivity—in the bringing together of scientists, engineers, technologists, and other academics, researchers, and professionals all in the shared pursuit of scientific knowledge and educating the general public. Each year the event puts together a fantastic programme of events—including talks, workshops, drop-in events and more—all of which are free to the general public. Highlights from last year’s event hosted by the city of Coventry and the University Of Warwick include:

  1. A Dark Tour Of The Universe—In which Nicolas Bonne of the University Of Portsmouth guided blindfolded guests through a tactile journey of the Universe in an immersive award-winning experience. The goal of the event was to demonstrate how visually impaired astronomers conduct their research with the ingenious use of 3D printed images of galaxies.
  2. Holotronica—Holotronica was a retro-futurism inspired synesthetic voyage, one that combined sound and colour frequencies and broadcast them in immersive 3-D. This aural and visual extravaganza delighted the audience, and give them a look at the very latest in holographic technology.

The British Science Festival is only possible because of the dedication, passion, and hard work of the British Science Association. Founded in 1831 and incorporated through Royal Charter—the British Science Association has made invaluable contributions to science in the U.K and across the world ever since. Their vision is of a society where science is at the very heart of everything, a world where the field of scientific study is diverse and inclusive. To achieve this they always strive to reach under-served and marginalised audiences wherever possible.

For more details and information, you can also visit https://www.britishscienceassociation.org/british-science-festival.

Also Happening In Essex

  1. New Year's Eve Gala Ball, 31st December
  2. Essex Big Weekend, April 2020
  3. Essex Sausage And Cider Festival, August 29th

Cheltenham Literature Festival, 2nd-11th October, Cheltenham

The U.K is home to a number of prestigious literature festivals—designed to bring together, authors, publishers, aficionados and more in a true celebration of the written word. The Cheltenham Literature Festival is one of the most prestigious of them all. Having been running for over 70 years, the Cheltenham Literature Festival is one of the oldest literary events in the world—complemented by the gorgeous and scenic surroundings of Cheltenham.

At the event, there will be multiple major book launches, as well as over 500 performances, talks, and workshops covering an array of subjects like history, politics, food, sport, and fashion. The event will run for 10 days and will bring together over 600 of the world’s most noteworthy and important writers, poets, actors, politicians, journalists, and more.

Last year’s event was one of the most successful yet, drawing praise and acclaim from across the globe, and most importantly—ensuring the audiences had the time of their lives! The program was developed by a fantastic set of guest curators:

  1. Author of Lanny and Grief Is A Thing With Feathers, Max Porter
  2. Co-Authors of Slay In Your Lane, Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene
  3. Broadcaster and historian Dominic Sandbrook
  4. Acclaimed and prolific author of literary fiction Tessa Hadley
  5. Poet, and the founder of the Out-Spoken organisation Anthony Anaxagorou
  6. Head of The U.S branch of Chatham House, Leslie Vinjamuri
  7. Children’s authour Robin Stevens

For more details and the latest announcements, you can visit https://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature/.

Also Happening Near Cheltenham

  1. Cheltenham Jazz Festival, 5th-10th May
  2. The Cheltenham Festival, 10th-13th March
  3. Cheltenham Music Festival, 3rd-12th July

Chelsea Flower Show, London 19th-23rd May

The Chelsea Flower Show is truly one of the most extravagant and awe-inspiring displays on the British Calendar—the world-renowned attraction draws vast crowds of visitors from around the globe to revel in its beauty and glamour.

What set’s the Chelsea Flower Show apart is undoubtedly its show gardens—these wonderous displays showcase some of the most acclaimed designers in the world alongside a carefully curated sampling of emerging talent. Beyond their show gardens, there are a number of other attractions to be found at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show. This includes features brought together by the world’s leading growers, florists, and nurserymen, as well as amazing shopping and dining opportunities.

Alongside these classic staples, the 2020 edition of the Royal Chelsea Flower Show will also be debuting a new Garden category. The Urban Garden display will seek to reflect urban landscapes from across the globe, demonstrating the potential for these small unconventional spaces to be transformed into resplendent gardens.

Also undergoing a redesign for the 2020 edition will be the Great Pavillion. The Pavillion is a vibrant hub of colour and scent, offering a magnificent spectacle for visitors. This year there will be two new features in the pavilion, the RHS Potting Bench and a brand new RHS run competition. The RHS Potting Bench will be an enclosed seated area that allows visitors to come by and watch a demonstration from experts in the world of floristry. The new floristry competition will be held in a specially designed space for 3-D installation and showcasing pieces designed to reflect on contemporary themes of plant health and environmental care.

More details and announcements can be found at https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-chelsea-flower-show/.

Also Happening In London

  1. FA Cup Final, 23rd May.
  2. London Fashion Week Mens, 13th-15th June
  3. Ride London, 15th-16th August

Hay Festival of Literature and Arts, Brecon Beacons,21 - 31 May

The Hay Festival is undoubtedly the biggest name on the U.K literary calendar—but that doesn’t come close to capturing the wonders and entertainment it delivers. The Hay Festival is a true literary experience—one that is ideal for all backgrounds and ages. You’ll be able to hang on every word from literary giants, with past speakers including the likes of
Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan, Stephen Fry, Martin Amis, Hillary Mantel, and Salman Rushdie. You don’t have to take our word for it though—none other than Bill Clinton once described the Hay Festival as “The Woodstock of the mind”.

Founded in 1988, to build on the already strong literary and bookshop scene that had been built in Hay-On-Wye, The Hay Festival has grown to become one of the most prominent U.K cultural events, drawing coverage from across all the major radio, television, and newspaper outlets, with live coverage of the event being available on the BBC since 2014. The festival programme for 2019 featured a dazzling array of over 600 performers, and 2020 is sure to be no different. It’s useful to keep in mind that the main stage draws will sell out fast—so early ticket purchases are advised, as well as leaving some gaps in your schedule for those last-minute additions and spur of the moment decisions. Especially when it comes to the often invigorating smaller talks with new and emerging writers, you never know when you’ll discover the next big thing! Beyond the books, The Hay Festival also offers a wonderful programme of late-night entertainment and food choices. A real highlight is the chance to sample some of the world-famous local Welsh cuisine, with some amazing off-site spots as well, like the famous River Cafe. 

For more information, and to book your tickets, visit http://www.hayfestival.com/wales/home

Also Happening In South Wales

  1. Green Man Festival, 20th-23rd August, Brecon Beacons
  2. Abergavenny Food Festival, 19th-20th September, Abergavenny
  3. How The Light Gets In, Hay-On-Wye, 22nd-25th May

Celtic Connections, Glasgow 16th January-2nd February

Celtic Connections is more than just Britain’s biggest celebration of Celtic music—with more than 2000 artists and 300 events across 20 amazing venues—it’s a vibrant global event. Celtic connections is one of the best examples of just how music and culture can bring disparate communities together, all under the banner of a shared passion and joy for life.

This celebration of folk and roots music draws together a wide range of styles, performers, and cultures. With events including concerts, ceilidhs, talks, art exhibitions, and workshops. Programmed by Capercaillie founder Donald Shaw—the event showcases not only an array of talented performers but also just how important the social and cultural bonds music can forge are. Nothing embodies this more than the spirit of collaboration and camaraderie that is fostered between the performers—with a highlight being the late-night jam sessions and spontaneous performers that carry on well into the twilight hours at the famous Festival Club.

It’s no wonder then that the festival has seen its work internationally recognized, with the highlight being the 2015 Art and Culture Award at the Inspiring City Awards. The festival has also expanded its reach beyond Glasgow, with performances and events being held in such disparate locales as the Isle Of Skye, Chicago, and the opening and closing ceremonies of the Ryder Cup.

Some of the star events for the 2020 Celtic Connections are :

  1. Performances by banjo maestros Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn—who bring together not only the talent and flair that saw their grammy-nominated work receive critical international acclaim but also a genuine love and appreciation for Celtic culture.
  2. A performance by classically trained violinist and bluegrass fiddler Tessa Lark—an alumnus of the New England Conservatory and the Julliard School —of acclaimed composers Michael Torke’s Sky Concerto.

For more details and announcements you van visit https://www.celticconnections.com/

Also happening in Glasgow

  1. Glasgow Film Festival, 26th February-8th March
  2. Glasgow Comedy Festival, 12th-29th March
  3. Merchant City Festival, August

London Coffee Festival, London 2nd-5th April

The coffee revolution has been well underway for some years now—and it shows no sign of slowing down. With artisan and independent stores and roasteries popping up across high streets, city centres, and other areas across the country. The industry now has a fully-fledged scene and with that comes a booming calendar of specialist events for aficionados and industry insiders alike. The biggest of which is undoubtedly the London Coffee Festival. Founded by Allegra Events, the London Coffee Festival has been delighting visitors for 7 years now, and with over 7,000 visitors and 100 exhibitors coming through each year, it’s the world’s biggest dedicated celebration of all things coffee.

The 2020 iteration of the event will feature more than 250 inviting coffee and food stalls, a variety of immersive tasting experiences, live demonstrations from professional baristas from across the globe, hands-on interactive workshops, showcase coffee cocktails, live musical performance and DJ sets, art exhibitions, and much more!

The festival is also host to its very own signature event—the Coffee Masters. This trying event pits some of the best baristas and pourers against each other in a true Iron Man like test of skills, concentration, and calm under pressure. Judged by a panel of industry experts, this is a fast-paced knockout battle featuring 16 of the best baristas all competing for a £5000 prize and the vaunted title of ‘Coffee Master’.

The event will also feature a wide range of immersive coffee experiences and tasting opportunities—ranging from those hosted by legacy titans of the industry to those from some of the hottest up and coming independent names.

To find out more details and browse the full programme you can visit https://www.londoncoffeefestival.com/WhatsOn

Also Happening In London

  1. Imagine Children's Festival, February
  2. The Oxford And Cambridge Boat Race, 29th March
  3. Open Squares Garden Weekend, 6th-7th June

Bristol Harbour Festival, Bristol, 17th-19th July

The Bristol Harbour Festival has an origin story that is equal parts inspiring and captivating. When the once vital Bristol docks ceased trading the issue of what to do with the now dormant area inspired the public. Not wanting to let such a key part of their city’s history fade away, the Harbour Festival was born. Growing to become one of the biggest events on the U.K calendar, and a leading light for this amazing city.

Celebrating its 48th year in existence in 2020! The Bristol Harbour Festival is the biggest event held in one of the U.K’s most vibrant and unique cities. A free festival open to all, the Bristol Harbour Festival draws together well over 250,000  people to celebrate the location’s unique history and enjoy good times, music, and entertainment. Truly, there is something for everyone at the Bristol Harbour Festival—with tall ships, live music stage, dance areas, food markets, water display teams, and circus acts.

Highlights of the upcoming 2020 festival include:

  1. The Circus Playground at Queen Square. Making their debut at the Bristol Harbour Festival—the talented and dazzling Cirque Bijou will be putting on a show for all ages with their mashup of circus, street theatre, comedy, walkabout and more. 
  2. Bristol Dances at Millenium Square. Here some of Bristol’s best dance companies will be showcasing their talents and getting the public involved! With an array of workshops including Kathak to Jive, Learn Bollywood and Indian Folk, and for younger participants— the Tiny Toes Ballet.
  3. Spoken Word at Cathedral Walk. Programmed by U.K based and acclaimed poet and performer Rebecca Tantony. The area will be hosting performances from Joelle Taylor, Toby Thompson, Deanna Rodger, Yoniverse, Tom Sastry, Dizraeli.

For more information, you can visit https://www.bristolharbourfestival.co.uk/.

Also Happening In Bristol

  1. Bristol Balloon Fiesta, 6th-9th August
  2. Crime Fest , 4th-7th June
  3. Bristol Open Doors, September

Camp Bestival, Lulworth Castle, Dorset, 30th July-2nd August

The U.K festival scene is undoubtedly the best in the world—thanks in no small part to the variety and strong personality of events on offer—with something for everyone. Nothing embodies this more than Camp Bestival. Beginning as a family-friendly spinoff of the dance music extravaganza Bestival—Camp Bestival has now grown into the U.K’s best all-ages friendly music festival. In the ten years since it was created Camp Bestival has been recognized as the Best Family Festival at the UK Festival Awards a staggering 5 times. It’s easy to understand why once you look at the diverse and exciting programme it offers—showcasing music, comedy, theatre, spoken word, arts and crafts, science shows, and circus workshops.

Set in the historic and scenic confines of Lulworth Castle in Dorset, Camp Bestival is also set apart by its ability to genuinely cater to all ages—providing an exciting and enjoyable environment that demonstrates an understanding of exactly what its audience wants. This includes The Den—an area specifically designed for 13-17-year-olds. There are also areas for younger children which focus on fairground rides, face painting, and the beguiling insect circus.

The music throughout the event is always of the finest quality—with lineups curated by radio DJ and genuine legend of the U.K electronic and dance scene Rob Da Bank. Reflecting his renowned eclectic tastes the festival has over the years seen both legends of the music scene and up and coming names who would go on to super-stardom play its stages. With the likes of Chuck Berry, Madness, Blondie, Ed Sheeran, London Grammar, and Ellie Goulding, all having performed there.

 

For more information, or to book your tickets today visit https://www.campbestival.net/.

Also Happening In Dorset

  1. Skate Bournemouth, Bournemouth, 14th November-5th January
  2. Light Up Poole, Poole, 20th February-22nd February
  3. Bournemouth Air Festival, Bournemouth, 20th August-23rd August

Blenheim Palace Food Festival, Oxford,23rd-25th May

Food, glorious food! We are truly living in one of the most exciting and innovative times when it comes to the culture of dining. With everything from the high design of molecular gastronomy to mouth-watering bites of street food making waves in recent years. The best way to keep up with the hottest food trends, and to sample some of those delights for yourself? Food festivals. Of which the finest is undoubtedly the Blenheim Palace Food Festival.

Hosted in the stunning grounds of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, this celebrated festival makes the most of its location to offer up a sumptuous feast. You can wander the grounds of this amazing palace—the home to the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, as well as the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill—and positively float away on the aromas of fresh food and drink.

The Blenheim Palace Food Festival serves up an array of over 150 food stalls showcasing the diversity and quality of modern British cuisine, as well as attracting vendors from further afield. There will be charcuterie, artisan bakers, stone-fired wood oven pizzas, gourmet burgers, craft breweries and much more. There will also be showcases from some of the U.K’s most acclaimed cookery schools, and demonstrations from world-famous chefs. This year’s lineup included the likes of Raymond Blanc and Jean-Cristophe Novelli, and next year’s will undoubtedly be even better! 

Also Happening In Oxford

  1. Oxford Literary Festival, 27th March-5th April
  2. Oxford Arts Festival, 21st June-7th July
  3. Alice's Day, July

Goodwood Festival Of Speed, Chichester, Sussex, 9th-12th July

The iconic Goodwood Festival Of Speed is an event unlike any other in the British calendar—a luxurious and elegant garden party on a grand scale that somehow has adrenaline coursing through its veins. This celebration of speed brings together the biggest names in the automotive and motor racing world and gives them an opulent setting to show off their best and latest innovations.

The showcase event of the Goodwood Festival Of Speed is the vaunted Hill Climb—a racing challenge steeped in history, one that has been won by some of the biggest names in racing and always draws huge crowds. The Hill Climb will come to the fore with the Sunday Shootout, a climactic event in which drivers and manufacturers compete to post the best time. In 2019 the event was one by an innovative and magnificent all-electric Volkswagen ID.R. Beyond this—there are a wide number of fantastic events and areas being hosted throughout the weekend, including:

  1. The Michelin Supercar Paddock. A true car aficionados haven, this stylish enclosure draws in some of the finest names in the supercar world. The 2019 event saw the debuts of new cars from Mclaren, Porsche, Aston Martin, Ferarri, and Lamborghini. 
  2. The Future Lab. The automotive industry is at the forefront of technological innovation, and the Future Lab gives visitors a chance to get a first glimpse at the technology of tomorrow. Last year saw the exploration of smart cities, space exploration, ai and robotics, even flying cars!
  3. The Forest Rally Stage. For those who like their racing with a little more force and adventure—the Rally Stage is one of the marquee events for rally drivers, manufacturers, and fans.

The Goodwood Festival Of Speed is also set apart by its stylish and high-end hospitality packages. The highlight of which includes the opportunity to attend a lavish garden party in the private garden of the Duke and Duchess. After which you can enjoy all the action with Roving Grandstand access.

For more information and to book hospitality packages you can visit https://www.goodwood.com/motorsport/festival-of-speed/

Also Happening In Sussex

 

  1. Qatar Goodwood Festival , Chichester, 28th July-1st August
  2. Goodwood Revival Chichester, 11th-13th September
  3. Love Supreme Festival , Glyndebourne, 5th-7th July

Creamfields, 27th-30th August , Liverpool

Creamfields is without equivocation—the mecca of dance festivals. Its tradition stretches back decades, and no raver or clubber can truly say they’ve lived without experiencing it. It’s about more than just the music though—it’s the atmosphere that really makes Creamfields special. It’s the coming together of people from all across the world in the shared pursuit of one of life’s most noble goals—to have a good time!

Creamfields is now a global event—with versions staged across the world in Malta, Rio De Janeiro, Australia, and more. But the orignial—held in the heart of Chesire, remains the biggest and the best. With it’s collection of DJ’s, live acts, and a penchant for the specactular. That means interactive FX towers, mesmeriszing light displays, explosive pyrotechnic elements, and a showstopping fireworks finale.

As for the music—the fact that Creamfields now needs two seperate main stages to accomodate all the big name acts they attract says it all. A glance down the list of past performers only serves to reinforce this point, a list that includes Run DMC, Daft Punk,  Basement Jaxx, Calvin Harris, Faithless, Fatboy Slim, Tiesto, and The Swedish House Mafia.

This list also demonstrates what makes Creamfields so unique—unlike other festivals that prize eclecticism—Creamfields know what its audience wants, and it gives it to them as loudly as possible. It’s the dance party to end all parties.

When it comes to camping you have two options—if you’re someone who loves authenticity you can take it the old-school route, bring your own tent and live out the weekend on your own terms. For those who prefer their camping to be more glamping in nature—there are bronze, silver, and gold packages that offer a variety of amenities and luxury.

For Lineup news and tickets visit https://www.creamfields.com/

Also Happening In Liverpool

  1. Liverpool Biennial Of Contemporary Art , 11th July-25th October
  2. Southport Airshow, TBC
  3. International Beatle Week, 26th August-1st September

Freedom Festival, Hull, 2nd September-6th September

Now coming up to its 13th year of existence—the Freedom Festival in Hull is one of the best and most rewarding events on the national and international cultural calendars. In 2019 the event’s success led to an extension of the event from the traditional weekend to a full 5 day celebration. With an expanded indoor program that allowed even more visitors the chance to take in a program that had compiled together award-winning acts and artists from across the globe. This came on the back of a 2018 edition that attracted an audience of over 132,000 visitors, bringing in £4.3 million to the local economy. 

The Freedom Festival is one that celebrates its unique origins—and balances a global feel and appeal with its distinct roots in local history. The city of Hull has long-held associations with freedom and liberty—stemming in particular from its associations with the abolitionist movement. The Freedom Festivals celebrates this with a spectacle of both community, insight, and entertainment which combines : street-theatre, circus, dance, physical theatre, music, talks and discussions, visual art, exhibition, and more.

We have no doubt the 2020 version of the event will be the biggest and brightest yet—with enlightening and entertaining acts throughout. But the appeal of the Freedom Festival goes beyond just the acts—it’s a true celebration of the spirit of community. A spirit that is so infectious it’s almost impossible for anyone who attends to not get caught up in the moment.

For more information, you can visit https://www.freedomfestival.co.uk/

Also Happening In Hull

  1. Tribfest Music Festival , 20th-23rd August
  2. Enchanted Wonderland, 20th November-22nd December
  3. Reflection-British Art In An Age Of Change18th October-January 9th

Reading Festival, Reading, 28th-30th August

Over the last two decades the Reading Festival—and its companion event in Leeds—has established itself as one of the biggest alternative music festivals in the world. With a raucous atmosphere and an increasingly diverse and thrilling lineup selection policy—the Reading Festival is a unique and riotous experience, one that has become something of a rite of passage for British Millenials and young people.

Last year in 2019 the event more than lived up to the hype—delivering standout performances and electric experiences across the lineup. Beginning on Friday, with a breakout performance on the famed BBC introducing stage by alt-pop act Swiming Girls. After that over on the Main Stage, Charli XCX was on hand to deliver her signature blend of showmanship and energetic pop. The day was closed by the world-renowned 1975—making their debut on the main stage. Saturday belonged to three of the hottest names in music right now—with amazing performances from both Billie Eilish, Twenty One Pilots, and Post Malone. To close things out—Sunday saw everything get a little bit heavier. With an amazing set from the Foo Fighters—as well as surprise sets from British metal icons,  Enter Shikari and Bullet For My Valentine.

The Reading Festival also offers a variety of camping options—for those a little less keen on the mud and back to basics experience! This includes Camping Plus, Pink Moon Luxury Camping, and PodPads Luxury accommodation. All of which come with a wide variety of extras and amenities.

For more information and to book your tickets you can visit https://www.readingfestival.com/

Also Happening In Reading

  1. Craft Theory Festival , June
  2. Reading Fringe Festival , 17th-26th July
  3. Reading Pride, TBC

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