A Brief History Of The UK’s Affordable Festivals

HQ /
Mar 22, 2017 / Music

What are your festival plans this summer? Reading and Leeds Festival or Glastonbury? If you’ve got a couple of hundred to spare, sure. But, if you are looking for great music at an affordable price, there’s still plenty to choose from.

Across the UK there will be thousands of small festivals looking for a massive boost to keep the UK’s thriving music scene alive. The organisers put so much of their time and effort into putting on festivals for us budding music lovers to enjoy, but when hardly anyone shows up to your festival it can be a bit deflating.

When the tickets only cost £60 at most and the line-up is practically the same as the festival giants, don’t be fooled into picking bigger festival just because you might have a ‘better time’ there. In reality, you’ll have just as much fun watching the same acts at the smaller festival  – with the added benefit that you’ve saved yourself a tonne of money, too.

Inner city festivals have made a huge impact on the festival circuit. They don’t just bring people to watch some music, city festivals bring the whole community together bringing the cities culture to life. Local independent venues are at the heart of it all, because without them city festivals probably wouldn’t have ever existed. Did I forget to mention they have the better bands at a reasonable price?

For the past couple of years Live At Leeds, Sound City and Tramlines have constantly been providing some truly mind-blowing line-ups. If you’re going to a festival, you want to be struggling to decide “who shall we watch next” – otherwise is there any point in going to the festival at all?

There are hundreds of great small festivals that people can go out for the day as more of a ‘social festival’; go have lunch and a few drinks whilst enjoying the music you love or something completely new. Underground Festival in Gloucester and CloseUp Festival in London are perfect examples of this. When your line-up includes Fatherson, Kassassin Street, Anteros, The Hunna, Marsicans, The Bulletproof Bomb for less than £20 it’s a complete bargain. You’re more likely to pay more to see all of them artists at separate shows, so why not save a bit and enjoy them all at once.

From previous experiences, why would you sit around in your deck chair for hours getting high and drinking beer before finally dragging yourself over to see the four acts you’ve just spent over £200 for when there’s so many better ways of spending your hard-earned money.

Here’s a few festivals where you can still have a great time with you mates and still see the same artists that you might and Reading or Glastonbury.

Live At Leeds – A cracking festival that produces an remarkable line up each year. With less than six weeks to go there are still a few tickets left at £32.50!

Community Festival – On July 1st at Finsbury Park watch “A one day celebration of the best in new music” with Catfish and the Bottlemen Featuring Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Wombats, Slaves, Nothing But Thieves, The Hunna, Darlia, Fickle Friends RedFaces. Tickets available at £35.

The Great Escape Festival – One of the biggest inner city festivals in the UK for only £60 for a 3-day weekend ticket?! With hundreds of amazing acts from across the world to see. You can’t get any better than that!

110 Above – The independent festival in Leicester’s features rising stars Sundara Karma, Black Honey and indie legends Little Comets as well as dozens of other emerging artists for £65 is a win win!

Dot to Dot Festival – Dot to Dot was voted Best Festival at the Live UK Awards last year, and tonnes of well-known indie names. Day tickets are an incredible £13.20 you would be mad not to go.

Liverpool Sound City – Celebrating their 10th anniversary they are going to have an amazing birthday bash with The Kooks, Metronomy, White Lies and much more for £65.

Electric Fields – At Drumlanrig Castle in Scotland in a cold September you can have your weekend brightened up by Frightened Rabbit, Dizzee Rascal, Glass Animals for £95.

Tramlines – Sheffield’s inner city festival – ‘#WhereTheWildPartiesAre’ and it’s no exaggeration when The Libertines, Primal Scream and Twin Atlantic are playing. You can grab your tickets for £42.

Leefest – One of our favourite festivals may hit three figures (just, with an adult ticket coming in at £104), but we think it’s totally worth it. Head to The Neverland this year for a lineup featuring Jake Bugg, Annie Mac, Wild Beasts and loads, loads more over three nights of bonkers escapism. Long live the rebellion!

Words by HQ

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