The Best Summer Festivals You’ve Never Heard Of

festivals
Because there's more to festival life than Glastonbury (Photo: Shutterstock)

Glastonbury might be the undisputed king of the festival circuit but tickets are like gold dust and every year thousands of people miss out.

The good news is that there are a tons of other fantastic festivals to get yourself and your best mates down to this summer, from boutique beauties in the heart of Wales to sunshine-filled extravaganzas across Europe.

So without further ado, here are some of the best that you (probably) have never even heard of. Get in while the secret’s still a secret, because one of these may well be the next Glastonbury waiting in the wings…

Tauron Nowa Muzyka Katowice

How about a festival set in disused coal mines and abandoned warehouses? Claustrophobic festival-goers may want to pass, but those looking for something truly memorable should book a flight to Poland for this hip four-day bash in Katowice. Expect electronic music to dominate, with plenty of jazz, rock and hiphop too. The Cinematic Orchestra, Roisin Murphy and SOHN are among those soundtracking proceedings this year. Four-day tickets have sold out but there are still three-day ones available for just 70 euros. 6-9 July, festiwalnowamuzyka.pl/en

Mandrea

Into your dub and reggae? You might fancy trekking across to the valley of Lake Garda in Italy for five days of sleeping in tree hammocks, relaxing in a ‘zen station’ and watching films in a mountainside secret cinema. 16-20 August, mandreafestival.com/en

Camp Wildfire

One for the adventurers. Electronics of all kinds are banned from this half-adventure camp, half-music festival, which is quite some move in the Instagram age. Just 500 people can attend, with more than 80 activities included in the ticket price, from paddle boarding to ice-cream making. The music starts after dark in a forest site just forty minutes from London but kept secret until the last minute. Tickets cost £160 and vintage lovers are in for a treat as there appears to be a 1950s theme this year. 16-18 June, campwildfire.co.uk

Shambala

Held on a secret country estate in Northamptonshire, this 10,000-strong festival is as chill as they come, featuring Healing Meadows for a wellbeing detox, art installations, a craft area, spoken word poetry and a fancy dress carnival. Tickets cost £179. 24-27 August, shambalafestival.org

Paradise City

(Photo: Jonathan Vahsen)

Those dedicated to the green cause will enjoy the ethical efforts of this Belgium festival, which aims to leave the lowest environmental footprint it can. Found lurking just 15 minutes from Brussels in the beautiful grounds of the Castle of Ribaucourt, Paradise City will appeal to fans of underground electronic beats looking to party all night long. Tickets cost €89. 23-25 June, paradisecity.be

Into The Valley

You’ll be hard pushed to find a more stunningly unique setting than the Rummu Quarry of Estonia, nestled among glass-like water, forests and a dilapidated prison. Expect house, techno and disco music and plenty more attractions for your €150 ticket. 29-1 July, musicgoesfurther.com/festival/into-the-valley

Meadows In The Mountains

This three-day pastoral festival is another environmental big-hitter, set in the Rhodope mountains of Bulgaria among fields full of wildflowers. Conservation is the name of the game, with attendees expected to leave the small village that hosts them in a better state than they found it. If you’re eager to embrace the ‘leave no trace’ philosophy then this is the one for you. Tickets cost £120. 9-11 June, meadowsinthemountains.com 

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