Summer is nearly upon us and for the average British resident it is often considered their favourite day of the year, consisting of holidays in Faliraki, beer gardens and hosepipe bans. For the arts and music fans amongst us it means something completely different, It’s time to dig out the old tent and dust down the camping chairs because festival season is fast approaching.
Here at SLAP HQ, we have curated a list of the best local festivals in 2023 to cater for all tastes. Whether it’s the Drum’n’Bass of Nozstocks hidden valley or Upton’s Drunken Monkey local band vibe, our comprehensive list covers it all.
If you run a festival and would like it added to the guide, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Breaking Bands, Stoke Prior nr Bromsgrove
24 – 29 May
Breaking Bands Festival has a proud tradition of selling out each year and brings the very best of the bands of the future into one place, to open up the festival season and show what they can do.
Its usual offering is four days packed with live music from a variety of genres, including punk, rock and metal. Taking notes from the past 20 years of attending festivals and events, the organisers put a year of planning into coming up with a festival they would pay to go to themselves!
The Hay Festival
25 May – 4 June
Grammy winner Dua Lipa has been announced as part of the Hay Festival line-up at the 2023 event. The chart-topping 27-year-old singer, who gave the keynote speech at this year’s Booker Prize ceremony, will record her podcast Dua Lipa: At Your Service, at the 36th edition of the festival.
Lipa has already talked to Olympian Mo Farah, and The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah as part of her interview series. The BBC are official partners, and, in the past, we’ve featured some of the best local artists at Hay Festival in our very own tent!
Dubs In The Middle, Evesham
25 – 29 May
The four day Dubs In The Middle festival, which blends a love of VW vehicles with live music and usually hosts 25 bands across three stages returns in 2023. Many of those who attend the event make a weekend of it and stay over in their iconic camper vans. In 2018, the organisers got married at the Festival!
Mello Festival nr Upton
26 – 28 May
Mello Festival are back with a three day special across the May Bank Holiday.
The event moved to the Quay & Pattern Meadow in Upton after being based at Hanley Castle in 2018 and Throckmorton Airfield before that.
Blue, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Fleur East, Reef, Rebecca Ferguson, Dodgy, Sandi Thom, The Hoosiers and Goldie Lookin Chain are a few of the names to have been announced so far!
Lechlade Music Festival
26 May – 28 May
Lechlade 2023 festival promises to be bigger and better than ever, whilst sticking to its family-oriented roots. The multi-award-winning event in the beautiful Cotswolds will provide three days of music, camping, boutique glamping, cabaret, burlesque, fabulous food and more… Tickets to Lechlade Festival are on sale now, with extra discounts for locals. What’s more, children aged 16-and-under go free!
26 – 29 May
HowTheLightGetsIn proclaims itself as the world’s largest music festival to combine philosophy and music.
It promises performances from ‘award-winning singer-songwriters, jazz, world music and up-and-coming DJs’, plus 80+ events. The line-up so far includes Belle & Sebastian and Zero 7.
BBC Music Introducing will be back this year bringing a selection of the best musicians from Herefordshire & Worcestershire.
John Bonham A Celebration II, Redditch
This year’s John Bonham celebration in Redditch has been moved to May – to mark what would have been his 75th birthday.
The event raises money for Teenage Cancer Trust West Midlands and honours the life of this much-loved local legend.
The live music event which is usually held in September, will be on May 27th under The Canopies, which is just yards from the memorial..
The Cookley Music Festival nr Kidderminster
27 – 29 May
It began as Cookley’s Party In The Park and growth over the years means it has evolved into a music festival.
The line-up includes local artists including driving forces in the cover music scene The Starving Rascals, The Follicles and James Baker.
Set in picturesque north Worcestershire, the event will see a total of 8 artists perform at this years event.
Wychwood Festival, Cheltenham Racecourse
2–4 JUNE 2023
The Wychwood Music Festival was launched in 2005 by a group of festival enthusiasts wanting to create an intimate and thrilling weekend festival experience, delivering the best acts of the day, up and coming music, and some other specialties you might not ordinarily come across!
The Wychwood Music Festival quickly gained a national audience and reputation thanks to its eclectic mix of music and creative programming.
Gloucester Tall Ships
3 – 5 June
An event that originally inspired Hollywood producers to choose Gloucester Docks as a location to film the 2016 blockbuster, Alice Through the Looking Glass, come aboard and see these impressive Tall Ships first hand, experience live battle re-enactments and more over this three day event on the water.
Forest Live at Westonbirt Arboretum
8 June – 10 June
Held in beautiful forest locations across the country, Forest Live is a major live music series managed by Forestry England.
With everything required for a great night out, the concerts are renowned for their relaxed atmosphere and spectacular forest backdrops.
Income generated from ticket sales helps look after the nation’s forests sustainably, for people to enjoy and wildlife to thrive.
Sonic Rock Solstice, Stoke Prior nr Bromsgrove
15 – 19 June
This event’s been going for more than 20 years at Stoke Prior Sports & Country Club near Bromsgrove.
Organisers mentioned whatever the weather, don’t be put off coming to the Sonic Rock Solistice.
The full line up includes incredible psychedelic, blues and rock acts across the weekend.The organisers have said there will be posters displayed around the venue with each stage’s timetable.
The Upton Jazz Festival
25 – 26 June
Aiming to provide and encourage jazz music, Upton Jazz invite the highest quality of award-winning and international talent to town for their festival.
The festival also encourage local and talented young musicians to explore the music and to develop their skills and confidence.
The event takes place over the last weekend in June and sees bands performing in pubs, clubs, halls and churches across the town!
Barn on the Farm, Over Farm, Gloucester
29 June-July 2 2023
Barn on the Farm is one of the UK’s leading independent music festivals that is home to both the indie big-hitters and next year’s breakout stars.
Offering attendees a weekend utopia of new music set in the idyllic setting of Over Farm, Barn – as it’s known by the regulars – is a festival that encourages collaboration and kinship by bringing together a community of artists and festival-goers.
GlastonBeoley nr Redditch
30 June – 1 July
GlastonBeoley are wasting no time in planning for this year’s event. In 2018 GlastonBeoley raised £10,000 for local charities, and in 2019 they raised £14,000. In 2020 – despite the pandemic, they held an online festival and a COVID-safe event outdoors, which meant they were still able to donate much needed funds to their nominated organisations.
The festival has gained support this year from Bromsgrove District Council’s Commercial Waste Service.
The Linton Festival nr Ross-on-Wye
30 June – 2 July
The Linton Festival have raised over £120,000 for local charities during their 22 year history.
The rock and blues event began in 2001 when some of the regulars of The Alma Inn realised it would be cheaper to get The Producers to come to Linton, rather than hire a mini bus and drive all the way to Poole in Dorset. Then they decided rather than having one band – they’d have loads!
30 June – 2 July
Nibley is the friendly festival in a stunning Cotswold location. The best music, free entertainment for the kids, stalls, local beer, food from around the world – it’s the recipe for a perfect day. Camp on Friday and Saturday to make a weekend of it.
Run entirely by volunteers on a not-for-profit basis, Nibley is a rare festival gem.
2000TREES, Upcote Farm, Withington
5 July – 8 July
2000trees was created in 2007 by music festival veterans after attending all the main industry events over a decade. Starting with a simple passion for music and the desire to create a dynamic, energetic and accessible event that put the festival-goer at the top of their priorities.
El Dorado, Eastnor Castle nr Ledbury
6 – 9 July
El Dorado Festival will be back in 2023 with the line up still to be confirmed. Tickets are on sale for the event now with further details for the festival coming soon.
Previous line ups have included Groove Armada, Earth Wind & Fire, Sister Sledge, Joy Crookes, Wilkinson, Basement Jaxx, Kool & the Gang, and Craig Charles.
Woo Fest, Worcester
7 – 8 July
The WooFest team have announced their return for the beginning of July, with plans currently underway. Tickets for the event are on sale now with every single penny of each ticket going straight to St Richards Hospice – a charity close to the festival’s heart. It’s organised by Luke Simons and his sister Ria in memory of their father John Simons, a local engineer, who was cared for by the hospice before he died in 2013, aged 66.
Coleford Music Festival
8 July – 9 July
A fantastic free festival in Coleford town centre. The festival consists of a main stage featuring the best of local bands with national headliners to finish, roots stage featuring the best of jazz, blues, country ..St Johns Street stage featuring new bands from the area, acoustic area, lots of children’s entertainment & workshops, street food, stalls & local produce.
Cheltenham Music Festival
8-15 July 2023
Various venues in and around Cheltenham
Celebrated since its inception in 1945 for championing new music, Cheltenham Music Festival is all about high-calibre performances, magnificent venues and a huge variety of music – from symphonic grandeur to the intimacy of chamber music, and from sublime choral experiences to brand new musical
Upton Blues Festival
21 – 23 July
This event has grown each year and is one of the largest free-admission festivals in the region.
The festival has developed from a small gathering in a couple of pubs into a festival that swamps the town with many thousands of music fans, two main stages, an acoustic stage and ten pub venues creating more than 130 performances in three days.
Festival At The Edge, Hopton Court nr Kidderminster
21 – 23 July
Festival at the Edge is the oldest storytelling festival in England, and has something for everyone.
A weekend of fantastic storytelling, tall tales, terrific tellers, music and more… surrounded by breathtaking views of Hopton Court, and the Cleobury Mortimer countryside. A packed programme of events tailored for all age groups, over a weekend that is unique in the festival calendar.
July 27 – July 30
Get the whole family together for APP-FEST, a four-day music festival taking place at Hillworth Farm near Tewkesbury from Thursday 27 to Sunday 30 July 2023.
Packed with performances from famous artists, the line-up includes ‘The One and Only’ Chesney Hawkes, ‘Amarillo’ singer Tony Christie and 90s legends Republica and Gabrielle; with the chance to belt out ‘Teenage Kicks’ when The Undertones take to the stage, too.
28 July – 30 July
Various venues in and around Tewkesbury
Every pub in Tewkesbury Town will host live music for the whole weekend and it’s all FREE ENTRY. The programme is packed with music to suit every taste – Rock, Pop, Folk, Blues, Punk and more! As well as quality live music, there are also FREE activities for families including crafts, music workshops & dance/fitness taster sessions. and spunge are playing. sorry.
Rock The Barn, Madley nr Hereford
28 – 29 July
This festival, organised by Hereford Round Table, takes place at a farm at Madley near Hereford.
They said, “This year, we’ve got a full two days and nights of music and entertainment – with the main stage rocking from 2pm on both Friday and Saturday.” The line up is still to be announced, but previous years feature some of the best local artists from Herefordshire and further afield.
Drunken Monkey Festival, Upton
4 – 6 August
The small rock festival in the heart of Worcestershire returns this summer. This is a memorial event in memory of Ian Downton and raises funds for the Midlands Air Ambulance charity. The festival takes place at a 10 acre location and consists of live-music, food, bars and stalls to sink your teeth into.
The Drunken Monkey Festival isn’t all about musicians on stage, they also have a motorbike at the side of the stage for added effect!
Lakefest nr Ledbury
10 – 13 August 2022
After last year’s success, Lakefest is back for their 11th anniversary celebrations.
The team behind Lakefest say: “With amazing performances, activities and food on offer throughout the weekend, what more could you want?” The line up includes Clean Bandit, Johnny Marr and McFly so far. BBC Music Introducing have a stage at Lakefest every year.
Puddle Party Presents OrchardFest, Bromsgrove
Each year Orchard Fest is held in Bromsgrove by the family and friends of Trish Morgan in her memory. Dave Morgan launched the events in memory of his wife, who passed away in 2011 from a brain tumour. Before Trish died, she was eager to raise funds for a local hospice for the help it gave her.
Orchard Fest takes place at Puddle Wharf Farm on the Redditch Road in Bromsgrove and raises money for the Primrose Hospice.
Old Bush Blues Festival nr Worcester
18 – 20 August
Old Bush Blues Festival returns for three days of non stop music, food, drink and fun! As the name suggests, this festival is all about blues music and is held at The Old Bush in Callow End between Worcester and Malvern. Tickets for the event are now on sale.
Upton Sunshine Festival
24 – 27 August
The team behind the Upton Festival reveal nostalgic line-up for this year’s event.
The confirmed artists so far include Ronan Keating, The Proclaimers, Marc Almond, Cutting Crew, Gilbert O Sullivan, Bad Manners, The Beat and Barrioke. The festival is held on the riverside at Fish Meadow and offers camping facilities.
Beermageddon, Stoke Prior nr Bromsgrove
25 – 27 August
Metal’s best kept secret reveal their return to Bromsgrove after a decade of successively sold out years.
Having cemented the annual event as Britain’s best 100% independent, 100% grass roots festival, Beermageddon takes over Stoke Prior Sports andCountry Club with three days of hard and heavy metal each August bank holiday weekend. As it says on their website: “Please note Beermageddon is loud and small children should have ear defenders”. Each year, they promise to be bigger and louder than ever before – so if you’re planning on camping there, don’t expect to get much sleep!
Hereford Indie Food Festival
26 – 28 August
This independent festival centres around food and music and takes over two streets in the centre of Hereford.
The organisers have promised each day is going to be jam packed with fantastic music, great food and wonderful people. Tickets are still on sale for the August Bank Holiday festival and are selling quickly.
Y Fest, Ross-on-Wye
25 – 27 August
A Ross on Wye festival have rebranded and renamed their annual event. The festival is held at Ross Rugby club in memory of popular player Ollie Floyd who died in an accident in 2015. Formerly known as Olliefest, the festival made a statement saying: “It first began in memory of Ollie Floyd, a much loved talented young man who’s tragic accident affected many in the local area.
Over the years, the festival has grown so much and we are truly grateful for the continued support of OIlie’s friends and family.”
Worcester Fake Festival
Fake Festival first came to Worcester in 2019, offering some of the UK’s top tribute bands performing songs that everybody loves, and it is set to come back this year on 26 August. nOn the line-up for 2023’s festival are Fore Fighters, Really Hot Chili Peppers, Guns2Roses, Vicky Jackson is P!NK, Nirvana UK, and Enjoy The Silence UK. n Organisers say: “We’re bringing 6 of our ‘fake bands’ to Worcester – professional ‘touring-grade’ tribute bands that put on a superb performance.n They look, sound and move like the real rock-stars – you have to see them to believe it!”
August 25 – August 27
Held every August Bank Holiday in Gloucester, Witcombe Festival is one of the fastest growing music festivals in the UK. Over the years British and international music icons have played the festival, including Sean Paul, Craig David, Rudimental, Sigala, Bru-C, Tinie Tempah, Dizzee Rascal, Annie Mac, John Newman, Plan B, Faithless, Joel Corry, Andy C, Sigma, Ella Eyre, Example, Raye and Basement Jaxx to name a few.
Hungry Hill Festival
1 – 3 September
Hungry Hill Festival is a family-owned venture, hosted on an expansive patch of land and run by friendly and welcoming faces. Set at Hungry Hill Farm in Cleobury Mortimer nr Kidderminster, the brand new festival hosts both high profile talent, as well as local up and coming bands and musicians. Their line up this year includes Deno, UK Bjorn, Stacy Green as Pink, Strictly UB40 and Ultimate Coldplay.
Bromyard Folk Festival
7 – 10 September
The festival returns with over 170 hours of entertainment in just one weekend of traditional music, song and dance.
On their website, they describe the gathering as: “Some of the most outstanding local, national and international traditional folk festival musicians performing in concert, ceilidhs and displays.” The festival started in 1968 and sold 150 tickets, now the weekend attracts thousands every year.
V2A Fest, Worcester
8 – 10 September
Worcester is home to Europe’s largest post-apocalyptic festival.
This new event, V2A Fest, is the brainchild of local act V2A who’ve previously performed at some of the world’s biggest events for the genre. It’s a three day outdoor event starting on September 8 and is being held at a 40 acre venue.
Worcester Music Festival
15 – 17 September 2023
Worcester Music Festival – a metropolitan festival supporting emerging artists and raising money for charity – returns from 15th to 17th September, 2023.
The festival takes place in more than 20 venues in Worcester City Centre, hosting around 250 bands over 3 days as well as a number of workshops.
Cheltenham Literature Festival
October 6 – October 15
Various venues in and around Cheltenham
Cheltenham Literature Festival is the world’s first literature Festival, leading the way in celebrating the written and spoken word, presenting the best new voices in fiction and poetry alongside literary greats and high-profile speakers.