Festival season is officially around the corner and whether you’re
looking for some family-friendly fun in the sun/mud, a place to see
upcoming bands before their stratospheric rise to fame or simply a
weekend getaway, the UK festival-scene has it all.
But with an unprecedented amount of new and boutique festivals
popping up all over the UK, the choices can be overwhelming.
Ever the little helper that he is, Gef has scoured the country for the
best ‘lesser known’ festivals, so you don’t have to. With this in mind,
let Gef take you on a guided tour of some of the must-see festivals
taking place this year, complete with a handy drive time total from the ferry terminal.
#1 BLUEDOT FESTIVAL, 7th -9th July
JODRELL BANK OBSERVATORY
1 hour 10 minutes’ drive from Liverpool Ferry Terminal.
This is one of my favourite up and coming festivals, having launched
in 2016. Billing itself as an intergalactic festival of music, science,
arts, culture and the exploration of space, Bluedot Festival is set
against the backdrop of Jodrell Bank, the epicentre of deep-space
It’s a family-friendly festival of science superheroes and wonderful
workshops that indulges every child’s fascination with outer space.
Furthermore, there’s also a live reimagining of Blue Planet, the David
Attenborough favourite with music from the Hallé Orchestra, set
against Jodrell Bank’s world-famous Lovell telescope.
Music comes courtesy of big-beat headliners, Kraftwerk and 80’s royalty New Order; supported by acts such as Hot Chip and Jon Hopkins, who
cater for all your alfresco raving needs in what promises to be the
intergalactic event of the year.
#2 Y NOT FESTIVAL, 26th -29th July
ASTON HILL FARM, PIKEHILL
2 hours 5 minutes’ drive from Liverpool Ferry Terminal.
Boasting an accolade of awards since its inception in 2005, Y Not
Festival has grown year-on-year in its idyllic home in the middle of
the Peak District. Acts gracing the main stage this year include
The Foals, Two Door Cinema Club and Miles Kane, but the
beauty of Y Not lies in the plethora of unknown bands waiting to be
discovered and the emphasis on music education for children, with
kids under the age of twelve entering for free!
For little ones, there’s the Strawberry Fields in Sergeant Pepper’s
Meadows, which offers everything from music, games and magic
shows. Y Not Festival also prides itself on its food and drink selection,
serving everything from local ales to great food. They even won an
award for Best Festival Toilets, which if that doesn’t inspire you to book
a ticket then I don’t know what will.
#3 TRIBFEST, 16th -19th August
DRIFFIELD, EAST YORKSHIRE
2 hours’ 50 minute drive from Liverpool Ferry Terminal.
This is an absolute wildcard and will either be everything you’ve been
looking for in life, or everything that you want to avoid. Tribfest is a
festival dedicated entirely to tribute acts, covering every genre
imaginable, and is a festival entirely about the music rather than the
big names. Held in the beautiful surroundings of Sledmere House in
East Yorkshire, Tribfest has the ultimate fantasy festival line-up and
with a capacity of 5,000, it doesn’t become overcrowded or
This year sees acts such as Antarctic Monkeys, Badness and Pearl Jamm
take to the stage. It sounds like a recipe for disaster, but it isn’t, which is evident in the growing popularity of The World’s Biggest Tribute Band Moosic Festival™ (their words, not Gef’s).
There’s also comedy aplenty to be found in the Laughing Bull
Comedy Marquee as well as entertainment for little ones in the
dedicated Kidzone, which holds its own version of Britain’s Got
Talent called… you guessed it, Tribfest’s Got Talent.
Either way it promises to be a weekend of belly laughs and guilty,
Any of these festivals tickle your fancy? Or do you have another in mind? Let us know!