Summer’s here! The sun is shining, you’ve booked time off, packed your bags and got the beers in. The festival season is well and truly upon us, but let’s face it, they are not cheap. The tickets alone can cost upwards of £200, then with travel expenses, food and all the other little things it can really start to add up. Before long you’ve found yourself forking out the cost of an all-inclusive, week-long getaway for a weekend festival, and that’s before you’ve sorted your spending money!
If five pounds for a pint isn’t your idea of a bargain, we’ve handpicked a savvy selection of fabulous free and affordable UK-based festivals. Whether you’re a full-blown theatre buff, looking to entertain the family for the summer or just want to dance the night away, we’ve got something to tickle everybody’s fancy without having to cough up the cash.
When? 9th – 12th July
Where? London, England
What can I expect? More free activities than you could shake a stick at. Live music, bingo, film screenings and theatre! Watch family friendly films like Matilda, or cult classics such as Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Join in with free yoga sessions with lululemon, or try your hand at juggling with circus workshops. Just make sure you make the most of the long summer evenings in the heart of London’s Hyde Park.
Learn More About British Summer Time Open House
When? 21st – 22nd July
Where? Dundee, Scotland
What can I expect? Street performers, live music, dance performances and so much more on the streets of bustling Dundee. Free aerial performance shows, crazy golf and a fantastic children’s play area are just a fraction of the fun you’ll find. Don’t forget to dine on delicious food and drink from local traders and stock up on free samples at the farmers’ market too!
More About Dundee Summer Streets Festival
When? 27th – 29th July
Where? Caerphilly Castle, Wales
What can I expect? Over 80,000 people are expected to go to this year’s Big Cheese, set in the stunning grounds of one of the UK’s most impressive castles. Now in its 21st year, The Big Cheese portrays the history and heritage of Caerphilly and is an extravaganza of folk dancing, fire eating and falconry displays. Expect musical entertainment, fireworks and educational activities. Truly an event for the whole family to enjoy.
More About The Big Cheese
When? 25th-27th August
Where? London, England
What can I expect? Join in the fun of the nation’s biggest street party! The carnival has been held in London since 1966 and is attended by around one million people every single year. Sample the music, delicious street food and celebrate London’s Caribbean communities, culture and traditions. Expect eye-catching costumes, steel bands and an electric atmosphere.
More About Notting Hill Carnival
When? 31st August – 2nd September
Where? Coventry, England
What can I expect? Named after Coventry’s legendary Lady Godiva, it started as a one-day event in 1997 and has been a three-day event since 1998. Offering two separate fields – Main and Family – it is advertised as the biggest free family music festival in the UK. This year expect music from Ronan Keating, Professor Green, Little Comets with more to be announced!
More About Godiva Festival
When? 1st-3rd September
Where? Hull, England
What can I expect? Established in 2007, Freedom Festival is an annual music and performance arts event held over three days. The award-winning international arts festival has the theme of freedom, exploring democracy and equality and what that means in the 21st century. Expect poetry, music, comedy and more, and find out why Hull was awarded City of Culture in 2017.
More About Freedom Festival
We all want to make the most of those long summer days but making great memories doesn’t have to cost you the earth. Enjoy the authentic festival experience and enjoy the beautiful landscape around you without having to re-mortgage the house! People come from all corners of the globe to experience the UK’s iconic festival season, and even on a budget, you can too.