Guide to summer festivals 2013

Published On June 25, 2013 | By Tim Smillie | Archive

Upcoming Music Festival

MeadowlandsMeadowlands (£95 weekend pass)

Lounging in the splendour of Glynde Place, only a short train journey/drive from Brighton, is Meadowlands. Featuring a plethora of bands from near and afar, a gypsy disco, a charity casino, spoken word/comedy, an actual pub complete with disillusioned landlord and embittered wife, there really is a slice of pie for all tastes. Add to that an amazing array of kid’s activities (circus skills anyone?) and the chance to be the DJ with Stick It On and you have it all on Brighton’s doorstep. Music features – British Sea Power, AK DK, Running Dogs.

Glynde Place, Sussex, BN8 6SX
24-26 May 2013


Elderflower FieldsElderflower Fields (£95 weekend pass)

Billed as the family festival, Elderflower is only in its second year but offers an amazing range of cool stuff for humans of all sizes! For bigger people, a great range of multi-genre music, yoga; for the smaller ones, sports camp, urban wood activities and a good dose of general running around. And anywhere with a woodland spa is going to be a great place to kick right back and let the natural vibes wash right over that tired body of yours. Music features – Kalkuta Millionaires, Ben Ottlewell (Gomez), Miles Hunt (The Wonder Stuff).

Bentley Country Park, Lewes
24-27 May 2013


PlaygroupPlaygroup (Price TBC)

A very Brighton festival, despite it being a big yellow bus ride away in a lovely deer park (minus deer) near Tunbridge Wells. Dressing up is very much the order of the day, 2011 saw woodland creatures roaming the Kent countryside, 2012’s theme was lost toys, 2013 is TBC. The playgroup people (they of The Blind Tiger) will no doubt round up their favourite people and their favourite bands and any onlooking deer will be suitably flummoxed. Music features-TBC.

Eridge Park, Tunbridge Wells, TN3 9JT
16-18 August 2013


Blues On The FarmBlues On The Farm (£110 weekend pass)

A self explanatory festival name that seems to be delivering on the contract to supply blues…on a farm. In June, somewhere in the depths of the countryside surrounding Chichester you can get a bucketful of blues. Including Muddy Water’s eldest son doing his thang. Lauded as a friendly festival, it also has a reputation for an amazing (by that I mean massive!) beer list, the envy of many a beer festival. Which might explain the friendliness to some extent. Music features-Mud Morganfield, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings, Larry Miller Band.

Appledram Farm, West Sussex, PO20 7EH
20-23 June 2013


Love SupremeLove Supreme (£120 weekend pass)

We’re back at Glynde Place for Love Supreme, the first jazz festival in the UK for 25 years. Along with the jazz, there is a great mix of soul, funk and blues to cater for myriad palates. Four stages will host jazz legends, soul rebels and the decks of many a DJ. This might be the first Love Supreme but I doubt it will be the last. Music features-Bryan Ferry, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Courtney Pine.

Glynde Place, Sussex, BN8 6SX
5-7 July 2013


The Secret Garden PartyThe Secret Garden Party (£185 weekend pass)

‘This year the Secret Garden will be asking all Gardeners to explore their affinity to the supernatural, the inexplicable and the irrational’ says the festival website. SGP is a gently loopy mix of hippy madness, great live music and some of the best DJ sets you’ll see this summer (probably). Buses from Brighton too! Music features-Django Django, Regina Spektor, Lissie.

Mill Hill Field, Abbots Ripton, Cambridgeshire
25-28 July 2013


Hop Farm FestivalHop Farm Festival (£135 weekend pass)

Hop Farm managed a massive coup last year by signing up Bob Dylan to play his only UK gig of the year. that’s going to be difficult to top but this year’s line-up is already coming together nicely. This festival is VIP section, sponsorship and branding free-a deliberate step to distance themselves from the ever more corporate gatherings that dot the UK countryside. (There’s more line up news here in their great announcement video). Music features – My Bloody Valentine, Rodriguez, Jimmy Cliff.

The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, Kent, TN12 6PY
5-6 July 2013


Bearded TheoryBearded Theory (£79 weekend pass)

The name of this festival derives from the annual attempt to beat the record for the most fake beards in any one place at the same time-a worthy challenge I think you’ll agree. The festival has distinct camping areas for families (and those that like to sleep) and more raucous parts of the National Trust managed estate near Derby are given over to the noisier. Also featuring a great comedy and spoken word line up, this is a great all round performing arts place to be (and also one of the cheapest paying festivals of the summer). Music features – Levellers, Reverend & the Makers, Asian Dub Foundation.

Kedleston Hall, Near Derby, DE22 5JQ
17-19 May 2013

WORDS by Tim Smillie

About The Writer

I'm a writer, a runner, a poet and all round above average entity. A self-exiled Londoner, I've lived in Brighton for 20 years and am still revelling in living by the sea.