10 of the perfect free festivals within the UK | Festivals

Leisure: We Invented the Weekend, Salford, Larger Manchester

In 1843, Robert Lowes (Ian McKellen’s great-great-grandfather) persuaded Larger Manchester businessmen to offer their employees a half-day vacation on Saturdays – paving the best way for the fashionable weekend. This new competition of free time at MediaCity and Salford Quays is a celebration of every part individuals love about weekends, with 200-plus actions overlaying reside music, sport, gardening, exercising, consuming and extra. There’s a “charity grocery store” within the piazza with curated style from 10 charity retailers; a family-friendly rave; and talks and debates hosted by the College of Salford.
3-4 June, weinventedtheweekend.com

Tradition: EA competition, Hedingham Fort, Essex

Hedingham Fort. {Photograph}: Broadhouse Media

This 12 months, the East Anglian competition of literature, media, artwork, surroundings and music is going down at Hedingham Fort, one in all England’s best-preserved Norman retains. Whereas the talks on the primary stage value £15 every, the live shows, workshops and talks on the preserve are principally free (though a £5 donation for the day is welcome). Music genres embody Gypsy swing, classic jazz, neo-soul, opera and musical theatre. Talks vary from “The right way to store charity retailers: a newbie’s information” to “What they by no means taught you at school (however you could know)”. There’s additionally an insect stroll and discuss across the fortress grounds.
10-11 June, eafestival.com

Seaside: First Mild competition, Lowestoft, Suffolk

There’s two-day social gathering on South seaside, Lowestoft, to rejoice the primary dawn of midsummer within the UK’s most easterly city. Day one runs from “midday until moon” (12-9.30pm) on the seaside, with some “sunset occasions” round city late into the night time. The competition restarts with music and dance at daybreak (3.30-5.30am), earlier than day two will get in full swing at 10am (till 4pm). The packed lineup contains comedy from Josie Lengthy, folks music by Eliza Carthy, poetry from Linton Kwesi Johnson, a Bollywood brass band, reside sculpture periods, sundown yoga and far more. All the pieces is free and unticketed besides the sunset occasions on the town (principally £10 every). A kind of is free, too: Moonlit Soundscapes in St Peter & St John church options classical and acoustic musicians, together with Mercury-nominated Tom McRae (10pm-2.30am).
17-18 June, firstlightlowestoft.com

Avenue theatre: So competition, Skegness and Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire

Performers at the 2022 So festival in Lincolnshire; this year’s bill is still to be finalised
Performers on the 2022 So competition in Lincolnshire; this 12 months’s invoice remains to be to be finalised

This twin-venue avenue theatre competition takes place within the Tower Gardens, Skegness, and Sherwood Fields, Mablethorpe. This 12 months’s lineup remains to be to be finalised, however final 12 months’s featured a spray-painting robotic who created an enormous mural of individuals’s faces; dance reveals in fountains and on soccer fields; and a one-man present involving cooking, drumming and taking part in the organ on the similar time. In addition to skilled performers, there’s a neighborhood stage for native expertise, an exercise zone with free workshops and a pop-up city sq. for discussions.
Skegness, 16-17 June, and Mablethorpe, 18 June, sofestival.org

Meals: Pembrokeshire Avenue Meals competition

Avenue Meals Warehouse runs festivals throughout Wales and southern England from April to September. The subsequent occasion is by South seaside in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, and has 25 street-food merchants. Cuisines vary from Italian to Jamaican, with dishes from poutine to churros; most dietary necessities are catered for, together with vegan and gluten-free. The occasion is sponsored by Fourpure Brewing Co and there’s a reside music stage. Entry is free however ticketed. After Tenby, the following cease is Poole in Dorset (30 June-2 July).
16-18 June, streetfoodwarehouse.co.uk

Music: Summer time Solstice Asian Music competition, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Close-up image of santoor player Kaviraj Singh playing santoor.
On this 12 months’s invoice is santoor participant Kaviraj Singh. {Photograph}: Dilrani Kaur

Leeds 2023 is a year-long programme of cultural occasions. It contains this music competition: a triple celebration within the Corn Change to mark the longest day of summer time, World Music Day and Worldwide Day of Yoga. The invoice options the Shah-e-Mardan qawwali ensemble (taking part in Sufi devotional music); the American-Afghan musician Qais Essar, who performs the rabab; the Scotland-based sarangi participant Sardar Satwinder Pal Singh; the santoor participant Kaviraj Singh; and the singer Anamika Chowdhury.
21-22 June, pay what you’ll be able to, saa-uk.org

Spectacle: The Tall Ships Races, County Durham

Two tall ships in harbour at the Hartlepool festival, UK.
{Photograph}: Chris Armstrong

The annual Tall Ships Races are coming to Hartlepool for the primary time since 2010, and the town is holding a four-day competition on the waterfront to rejoice. Maxïmo Park are headlining on Friday night time and the Wailers high the invoice on Saturday, whereas different acts embody the Magic Numbers and John Bramwell. In addition to music, there’s a big pop-up ceilidh, an out of doors theatre and light-weight present centred on the lighthouse, plus dance performances, artwork installations and fireworks. Then, in fact, there are the ships: practically 40 signed up up to now, some fashionable, some courting again so far as 1900.
6-9 July, tallshipshartlepool2023.co.uk

Children’s art and nature workshop at the In a Field bBy a Bridge, London.

Potters Fields Park by Tower Bridge is the location of a brand new competition aiming to rejoice the area people dwelling in a tourist-heavy a part of London. The programme features a mass-participatory clay workshop nodding to the historical past of pottery-making within the space; a Feast in a Discipline; guided walks by structure specialists and park rangers; a suitcase sale (like a mini automobile boot sale) and makers’ market; music on a pedal-powered stage; movie screenings; and avenue meals. Some occasions happen in St John’s Churchyard, a couple of minutes’ stroll away.
22-23 July, inafieldbyabridge.com

Household: Charlbury Riverside competition, Oxfordshire

This family-friendly competition has been held on Mill Discipline, a meadow by the River Evenlode on the outskirts of Charlbury within the Cotswolds, for 25 years. This 12 months there shall be greater than 30 bands throughout three phases, taking part in rock, indie, folks and blues; a lot of youngsters’s actions; a inexperienced area with craft demonstrations (bronze axe-casting, willow weaving, stone masonry); and a wellness tent with taster periods of pilates, sound remedy, meditation and extra. Ale and cider is from the Cotswolds brewer Hook Norton; there’s additionally a gin bar, in addition to meals merchants and craft stalls.
29-30 July, riversidefestival.charlbury.com

Circus: Out There competition, Nice Yarmouth, Norfolk

Performance by Les Commandos Percu street theatre company, with fireworks display.
Avenue theatre and circus performances function closely on the Out There competition. {Photograph}: Veronique-Balege

Circus performers and avenue artists take over Nice Yarmouth for a weekend of “breathtaking spectacle, quirky comedy and seaside silliness”. Final 12 months greater than 40 reveals have been watched by greater than 60,000 individuals in St George’s Park, alongside the seafront and in venues together with theatres, museums, the city corridor and the library. The programme is to be confirmed, however highlights in 2022 included Argentinian acrobats, bicycle-powered puppets and a farmyard circus (juggling with hay bales, wheelbarrows, tractor tyres and scarecrows), plus the Saturday Night time Spectacular involving a metal drum orchestra and pyrotechnics.
15-17 September, outtherearts.org.uk