Summer of love! 2024 festivals guide

Liz Nicholls

Ready to rumble? Liz Nicholls looks at the fabulous festivals on offer this summer, for happy campers & fairweather fans, with tickets up for grabs, too!

Miss out on Glasto tickets!? Never mind: there are so many festivals to choose from, large and small, with something for everyone. And Astonbury might well give Glastonbury a run for its money! Read on…

Cookham Festival, 2nd to 19th May, has a line-up of literary and musical stars, including Lorraine Kelly, Theresa May, Ross Kemp, Will Gompertz, Terry Waite, Stars of the West End with Toby Cruse, Rogue Opera, Formosa Fest, Cantorum Choir, local comedians, The Cookham Ceilidh team and more. Enjoy art, at this community fave;

Immerse yourself in the magic of live classical music with the Investec International Music Festival, with world-class concerts, walks and talks across the Surrey Hills, including RHS Wisley, West Horsley Place & The Menuhin Hall in Stoke d’Abernon 7th-18th May;

The 45th Newbury Spring Festival offers a fortnight of world-class classical music, including the Sheepdrove Piano Competition, 11th-25th May;

Wholesome family favourite WOOD is back at Braziers Park in Oxfordshire, 17th, 18th & 19th May with children’s fun including the marvellous Nick Cope, music and more workshops than you can shake a stick at;

Live music and horse racing is odds-on for a good time, and Newbury Racecourse has both! Firstly, Lovely Laura & Ben Santiago will star at the Lockinge race day on Saturday, 18th May. Then the mighty Sigala will star on 20th July & Dizzee Rascal on 17th August for Party In The Paddock sizzlers!  

An amazing team of volunteers have been working flat out to make the 51st Chippenham Folk Festival, 24th-27th May the best yet. Melrose Quartet, Breabach, Tim Edey, Bruce Hamilton, John Tams, patron John Kirkpatrick & more will star; visit

Chesham Fringe Festival, 25th-27th May, will offer you a vibrant array of local, national and international talent, music, comedy, theatre, cabaret, spoken word, book and poetry readings, food & drink; visit

Sorted for Cheese and Fizz..? That’s not me making yet another (wholesome) reference to Jarvis Cocker’s lyrics. It’s the name of a fantastic local four-piece band who’ll bring their ’90s bops to Shynefest. This fun, family-friendly festival returns to Merrist Wood College in Worplesdon, on 31st May & 1st June. Other stars set to keep all the generations entertained include (the actual) Dodgy, Counterfeit Kylie and The Faux Fighters, with kids’ fun including a climbing wall, Bubble Fairy, football and circus skills, with camping & glamping options. Please visit

Returning to Cheltenham Racecourse for its 18th year wondrous Wychwood will dazzle you with music, comedy, kids’ fun, literature & workshops, 31st May to 2nd June. Sister Sledge, The Coral, Seth Lakeman, Seasick Steve, Dexy’s, Stereo MCs and CBBC’s Hacker T Dog and Katie Thistleton will star;

Witney Music Festival on 7th & 8th June will dazzle The Leys with Lucille & The Lightning Soul Train & more;

The Lightyears will star at Astonbury, 3-11pm on Saturday, 15th June at Aston Rec near Didcot, with a perfect blend of music, family fun, food & drink. Limited £15pp tickets at

Madness, Tom Jones, Nile & CHIC, Placebo, Air, Paloma Faith, Loyle Carner & more will star at Southampton Summer Sessions, in Guildhall Square, 16th-30th June;

Hampton Court Palace Festival is the jaw-dropping backdrop for Tom Jones, Nile & CHIC, Jack Savoretti, Sam Ryder, Björn Again, Sheryl Crow & Paloma Faith, as well as a Tudors live edition of The Rest is History Podcast, 11th-17th June. Visit

Raise vital money for Hampshire Medical Fund by enjoying action-packed, family-friendly highlight Good Festival at Dummer Down Farm near Basingstoke on Sunday, 16th June. Activities include bushcraft, bubble football, alpaca walking, crocodile encounters, yoga and delicious food & drink Visit

Hold tight! The Prodigy and The Streets will help get The Isle of Wight Festival, 20th-23rd June off to a flying start on the Friday. Pet Shop Boys, Green Day, Suede, The Pretenders and Johnny Marr will also star. Visit

Award-winning Beacon Festival, Oxfordshire’s best family-friendly festival, is back at Watlington Hill Farm, 21st & 22nd June with local bands & loads more;

Hold tight! The Prodigy and The Streets will get The Isle of Wight Festival, 20th-23rd June, off to a flying start. Green Day, Suede, and Johnny Marr also star;

Nathan Moore will host another marvellous Marlow Rock Bottom with Coldplace, beer aplenty, family fun, live music, street food on 29th June; visit

Legends The Stranglers will star at Guilfest which returns to Stoke Park, on 29th & 30th June. Other stars on the impressive line-up include Sam Ryder, Peter Hook & The Light, Black Grape and The Blockheads. Please see our competition & visit

I’m still buzzing after my chat with Chaka Khan (see our Q&A). She’ll star at Love Supreme Jazz Festival in Glynde Place, 5th-7th July; You can also catch her and Sister Sledge on 13th June at Blenheim Palace thanks to Nocturne Live. And Soft Cell & Heather Small star here on 14th, Sugababes & Melanie C on 15th with Crowded House & Sheryl Crow on 16th; visit

Run entirely by volunteers on a not-for-profit basis in a stonking Cotswold location, Nibley, 5th-7th July, prides itself on being the friendliest festival of the bunch! General Levy, local legends EMF, The Hoosiers & Dodgy will star, with fun such as retro gaming & The Flying Seagull Project;

Small & mighty Childreyfest will bring you a winning blend of family-friendly music and fun to Childrey in Oxfordshire on Saturday, 6th July:

Celebrating disability lifestyle & inclusivity, the award-winning Parallel Windsor on 7th July, in Windsor Great Park’s Long Walk, will offer live music, storytelling, arts & craft, sport, wellbeing, dance, family fun and more, all accessible, with a quiet space & sensory zone. Tickets just £7.50pp;

Ash, Echobelly, a Goldie Lookin’ Chain DJ set, Republica, Fabio & Grooverider, Dub Pistols and Reading Community Gospel Choir are among the delights at Readipop in Caversham, 12th-14th July, with Purple Turtle bars and an indie market, all for a great cause helping local people;

Gladys Knight, Rylan, Nicole Scherzinger, Nigel Kennedy and Sam Ryder will make for another sparkling riverside black-tie Henley Festival 10th-14th July;

Barrioke (EastEnders’ Shaun Williamson) will star at Fi.Fest in Maidenhead on 13th July, with Cast, Heather Small & Rick Parfit Jnr; And Monty Don, Ronan Keating, Beverley Knight & more will star at Kew the Music, 8th-14th July;

Sadly the organisers of PennFest have made the tough decision (after our May editions of Round & About went to press) not to hold a festival this year, but the Bucks favourite should hopefully return next year!

Fleur Fest is back at The Fleur De Lys in East Hagbourne, 19th-21st July, with Miss Disco, The Style Councillors & more. Plus Ronnie Scott’s All Stars & Fleur Stevenson on 16th June, and AJ Clarke & Richard Digance on 17th August & more!

Raising funds & awareness for mental health in memory of the much-missed Caroline Flack, Flackstock will offer music, dance & comedy galore, including Olly Murs, Joe Wicks, Shaznay Lewis, The Neptunes Choir & a Gok Wan DJ set at Englefield House near Pangbourne on Monday, 22nd July; visit Also at Englefield, enjoy Madness with the Lightning Seeds on Friday, 19th July, Pete Tong’s Ibiza Classics, a Groove Armada DJ set & more on 20th and Elbow on 21st;

WOMAD brings cultural delights from the whole wide world to Wiltshire (Malmesbury’s Charlton Park to be exact) 25th -28th July. Expect a huge array of genres from R&B, rap, rock, blues, punk and jazz all the way to New Orleans brass bands, Qawwali, mambo and flamenco. The line-up includes Young Fathers,  Sampa The Great & Alison Goldfrapp with food galore on the Taste The World stage. You can chill out in style in the World of Wellbeing and WOMAD Spa, plus you can enjoy spoken word in the World of Words, science exploration at World of Physics and fun in the World of Children; visit

Bestival’s little sister Camp Bestival, organised by BBC Radio 1 DJ Rob Da Bank will star Pete Tong with his Ibiza Classics, one of my fave star Q&A interviewees the mighty Paloma Faith, Orbital and manny more at Lulworth Castle in Dorset, 25th-28th July;

Jamie T, Wet Leg, The Streets, Idles, Holly Humberstone, The Snuts and Sub Focus will star at tremendous Truck Festival, 26th-28th July at Hill Farm, Steventon;

Multi Grammy-winning songwriter, composer, producer and guitarist Nile Rodgers & Chic will star at Cheltenham Racecourse on Friday, 26th July, as part of the sizzling Summertime Live highlights; visit

Wilderness will thrill the wild crowd at Oxfordshire’s Cornbury Park, 1st to 4th August, starring Michael Kiwanuka, Faithless, BICEP, Alison Goldfrapp, as well as banquets, wellbeing including lakeside hot tubs and theatre, workshops and more;

Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be! Rewind to a simpler, better time, 16th-18th August in Henley on Thames. Stars set to dazzle include Billy Ocean, The Jacksons, Gabrielle, Jason Donovan, Kim Wilde & more, plus funfairs, a silent disco, inflatable church, kids’ zone and much more. Check out the fabulous Jenny Powell trailer & book at

Inspired by late beloved music-lover Jody Dickinson, J Fest will dazzle in Carswell near Faringdon on 2nd & 3rd August. The highlight, powered by bass, features accessible elements including DJ workshops, glamping & more to prove dance and festivals are for everybody;

Strap in for a Revolution of Imagination with chapter three of Boomtown, 7th-11th August, near Winchester. This fabulous parallel world promises sensory overload, with 12 main stages, 50+ hidden venues, and one red-hot secret line-up. I went for the first time last year and had a blast. (I recommend you book the following week off work). Visit

Dreadzone, Kosheen, Dub Pistols & more will star at wondrous Weyfest at Tilford’s Rural Life Museum 15th-18th August;

Jools Holland & his rhythm & blues orchestra will star at Windsor Racecourse on Friday, 16th August, as part of the sizzling Summertime Live highlights; visit

Groove Armada, Leftfield, Dillinja and more will star at Stowaway, 16th-18th August at Stowe which also offers immersive theatre, comedy, paddleboarding, feasting and a roller disco. See our competition to win tickets & also visit

Fred Again.. Lana Del Rey, Liam Gallagher, Raye, Pendulum and Skrillex are sure to thrill at this year’s Reading (& Leeds), 21st-25th August. Visit

Or head on up to Creamfields in Cheshire 22nd-25th August to rave to Robbie Williams’ dance project Lufthaus, Calvin Harris, Chase & Status live, Tiësto & more;

Shambala in Northamptonshire, 22nd-25th August. This summer’s line-up includes Sampa The Great, The Congos, The Beatbox Collective and a brand new stage show from HENGE; visit

Towersey Festival, which is the UK’s oldest independent music festival, will deliver a new programme of delights for its 60th anniversary celebration, 23rd to 26th August on the Claydon Estate near Buckingham. Comment & Comedy, curated by Gavin Osborn, will offer comedy straight from Edinburgh Fringe, award-winning short films, authors as well as Billy Bragg, The Staves and Seth Lakeman. See our separate article & visit

CarFest lands at Laverstoke Park, 23rd-25th August; You’ll also love Billing, June 29th & 30th, the UK’s largest 4×4 show, with two off-road courses, 100+ trade and autojumble stands and family fun family;

Big Feastival on Alex James’ Kingham farm will serve up family fun, food and frolics, 23rd-25th August. Becky Hill, Ministry Of Sound Classical & Snow Patrol will headline with Raymond Blanc & George Egg on the menu, too. See our competition &

Idles, Slowdive, Bonnie Prince Billie, Ty Seagull, Yo La Tengo & more will dazzle at the award-winning End Of The Road, 29th August to 1st September in Blandford Forum; visit

Beloved Bunkfest is back with bounce in Wallingford, 30th August to 1st September;

Hop down the rabbithole with Congo Natty, General Levy, LTJ Buken, Beans On Toast & more at the Wonderland-themed Mucky Weekender, 5th -7th September near Winchester. Visit

Leftfield, Orbital & more will star at The Last Dance Dreamland in Margate, 14th September, as well as other bangers!

Great Barn Festival returns to Great Coxwell, SN7 7LZ with music, family theatre, art and nature for all; visit

Take care of each other & enjoy! LN

Liam Gallagher photo credit: Gavin Bond