11 best small UK festivals you need to know about in 2018
The UK festival scene isn’t just about the likes of Glastonbury (well, certainly not in 2018 anyway...) - there are some amazing small festivals on offer too!
Why not save yourself some cash (and heartbreak) by branching out to some of the more boutique festivals on offer in the UK?
Here’s our pick for the 10 best small festivals in the UK you should consider in 2018.
1.We Are Fstvl 2018
Where: The Airfield Of Dreams, Upminster
When: May 25-27, 2018
Lineup highlights: Carl Cox, Andy C, Gorgon City, Eric Prydz, Pendulum (DJ set), Big Shaq, Lethal Bizzle, Armand Van Helden...
If you like your festivals like an open-air club night, We Are Fstvl 2018 might be the one for you. Started in 2013, this Essex event attracts big names from the world of dance, house, techno, and drum & bass.
This young festival has already won two awards: Best New Festival 2013 and Best Dance Festival 2015.
2. Eastern Electrics 2018
Where: Morden Park (London)
When: August 4 & 5
Lineup highlights: Jamie Jones, David Rodigan, Alan Fitzpatrick, Amine Edge & Dance... Previous lineup highlights include Carl Cox, Groove Armada, Richie Hawtin and Mike Skinner of The Streets.
House, techno and urban music fans will flock to Eastern Electrics in August for one of the most affordable festivals around (£35 general admission and only an extra tenner for VIP).
The London festival boasts a stellar lineup of stage partners including Ministry of Sound and Skreamizm. Tickets are available through StubHub, Eastern Electrics' official ticketing partner.
3. Camp Bestival 2018
Where: Lulworth Castle (Dorset)
When: July 26-29, 2018
Lineup highlights: Rick Astley, Simple Minds, Clean Bandit, Orbital, Basement Jaxx (DJ set), Shed Seven...
Not everyone is bonkers enough to attend Camp Bestival’s big brother Bestival, so organisers put together a smaller, family-friendly festival. There's plenty to do for the kids, as well as comedy (Sean Lock), theatre, rides - and the beach is a stone’s throw away.
This year's festival will have a sailing theme. Camp Bestival has won the Best Family Festival Award four times.
4. Victorious Festival 2018
— Victorious Festival (@VictoriousFest) 7 February 2018
Where: Southsea Common (Portsmouth)
When: August 24-26, 2018
Lineup highlights: Prodigy, Paul Weller, The Libertines, Kaiser Chiefs, Shed Seven, Lightning Seeds, Paloma Faith, Happy Mondays, Friendly Fires...
Victorious Festival is not as well-known as the likes of Glastonbury and V Festival, but considering the names it has attracted over the short time it’s been in operation it’s debatable whether it belongs on a best small festival list at all. The 2018 festival is set to run for a full three days due to the success of the 2017 festival and will also be adding camping facilities.
The festival was recently sold to Global Entertainment, suggesting the 2018 festival could see yet bigger name acts.
5. Lovebox 2018
Where: Gunnersbury Park (London, previously Victoria Park)
When: July 13-14, 2018
Lineup highlights: Childish Gambino, Skepta, N.E.R.D, SZA, Diplo, Annie Mac, Vince Staples, Action Bronson, Big Boi...
Lovebox emerged from a club night that started in 2002 by Groove Armada. It has since grown into a sprawling annual dance festival in the heart of London.
Being in the centre of the capital, this small festival doesn't support camping so expect to book an AirBNB if you fancy attending the full weekend. Those for whom a full-on weekender like Lovebox simply isn’t enough will be pleased to know festival organisers have launched a series of after parties (branded After Dark) that take place in London's east end.
6. Wild Life Festival 2018
Where: Brighton City Airport (Brighton)
When: No date confirmations yet. Probably mid-June 2018.
Lineup highlights: Previous headliners include Fatboy Slim, Jess Glynne, Dizzee Rascal and Stormzy.
The southern sibling of established festival Parklife in Manchester will celebrate its fourth year in 2018. Wild Life is the brainchild of Disclosure and Rudimental and is a mecca for dance, urban, hip-hop enthusiasts.
Plus, this weekender is right by the seaside!
7. Common People 2018
Where: South Park (Oxford) and Southampton Common (Southampton)
When: Unconfirmed. Expect dates towards the end of May 2018.
Lineup highlights: TBA. Expect the likes of Pete Tong, Sean Paul, Groove Armada and Faithless.
Bestival founder Rob Da Bank decided that organising the UK’s wackiest festival wasn’t stressful enough, so he launched another one. Like Bestival’s little sister festival Camp Bestival, Common People is a family-friendly affair featuring live music, DJs, arts and theatre.
The first festival was held in 2015 at Southampton Common and his since grown to a two-location event.
8. End of the Road 2018
Where: Larmer Tree Gardens (Dorset)
When: August 30-September 2
Lineup highlights: Vampire Weekend, St. Vincent, Feist, Yo La Tengo, Ezra Furman, Jeff Tweedy...
This is certainly one of the more unique small festivals on the list, with peacocks and macaws on the grounds and secret live performances at a clearing the woods. End of the Road is not only an independent rock and folk music extravaganza, it also boasts a packed programme of comedy, film and literature.
The first festival took place in 2006 and in 2016 won the award for Best Small Festival at the NME Awards.
9. Festival No 6 2018
Where: Portmeiron (Wales)
When: September 6-9, 2018
Lineup highlights: The The is the first headliner to be announced. 2017 acts included Rag 'n' Bone Man,The Bootleg Beatles, Jarvis Cocker and The Cinematic Orchestra.
This multi award-winning music, arts and culture festival takes place in a picturesque village on the coast of Wales. On top of a decent mix of rock, pop, hip-hop and dance acts, Festival No 6 also features comedy, literature (‘Trainspotting’ author Irvine Welsh was there in 2017) and arts.
The family-friendly event’s name is a reference to the protagonist of cult 60s TV show 'The Prisoner', which was filmed in the small festival’s coastal home.
10. Houghton Festival 2018
Where: Houghton Hall (Norfolk)
When: August 9-12
Lineup highlights: Nothing yet. Curated by festival organiser DJ Craig Richards, last year’s event featured Ricardo Villalobos, Nicholas Jaar and Floating Points.
Gottwood festival organisers teamed up with DJ Craig Richards to put on this three-day electronic music and arts festival. Houghton is set in a woodland wonderland complete with gorgeous lake, abandoned warehouse and sculpture park.
The grounds have seen a number of festivals take place in the past, most notably Glade.
11. The Big Feastival 2018
Where: Churchill Heath Farm (Kingham)
When: August 24-26, 2018
Lineup highlights: No announcements for 2018. Previous headliners include Olly Murs, Madness, The Cribs and De La Soul.
For those equally excited about getting their eat on as enjoying the top names in music, The Big Feastival might be the small festival for you in 2018.
Held at the farm home of former Blur bassist Alex James, this festival blends some of the best culinary offerings with the country’s top musical talent.
Stay tuned to LineUp for more news on 2018’s best small festivals.