9 of the best boutique festivals

15th Jun 2012 | 14:08

9 of the best boutique festivals
Farmfestival
27 - 28 July, Bruton, Somerset

Farmfestival

Dates: 27 - 28 July

Location: Bruton, Somerset

Tickets: £40 for the weekend (buy tickets)

Headliners: Submotion Orchestra, The Boy Least Likely To

Other line-up highlights: Man Like Me, Trophy Wife, The Blood Arm, My Tiger My Timing (full line-up)

Embracing the true spirit of festival hosting, Farmfestival started as a party for friends, before it grew to encompass friends of friends, friends of friends of friends and so on. It supports local producers and suppliers, gives a chunk of the proceeds to charity and is known for its all-embracing friendliness.

Don’t miss: The Best Hat competition. The simplest ideas are usually the best.

MusicRadar festival guide 2012

9 of the best boutique festivals
Summer Sundae Weekender
17 - 19 August, De Montfort Hall and Gardens, Leicester

Summer Sundae Weekender

Dates: 17 - 19 August

Location: De Montfort Hall and Gardens, Leicester

Tickets: £105 for the weekend (plus £10 camping fee) (buy tickets)

Headliners: Public Image Limited, Billy Bragg, Katy B, Patrick Wolf

Other line-up highlights: Y Niwl, Jake Bugg, Friends, Akala, Tune-Yards, Dog Is Dead, Ghostpoet, Adam Ant (full line-up)

Now in its 12th year, Summer Sundae brings a discerning mish mash of musical genres to the midlands, all presented within the picturesque and family-friendly setting of De Montfort Hall and Gardens.

Don’t miss: Twisting to Y Niwl, the Welsh surf quartet beloved by Huw Stephens and Gruff Rhys

MusicRadar festival guide 2012

9 of the best boutique festivals
Hevy Music Festival
3 - 6 August, Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, Kent

Hevy Music Festival

Dates: 3 - 6 August

Location: Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, Kent

Tickets: £96 for the weekend (including Animal Park entry!) (buy tickets)

Headliners: Descendents, Andrew WK, Glassjaw, Converge, Hundred Reasons

Other line-up highlights: 7 Seconds, Hundred Reasons, Meshuggah, Lower Than Atlantis, Hawk Eyes (full line-up)

A bona fide punk-fest bringing together the best of US and UK talent, not to mention some rare festival exclusives (Descendents!), without getting all ‘Warped Tour’ on everything.

Don’t miss: Hundred Reasons playing Ideas Above Our Station in full. And also the elephants…

MusicRadar festival guide 2012

9 of the best boutique festivals
Secret Garden Party
19 - 22 July, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

Secret Garden Party

Dates: 19 - 22 July

Location: Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

Tickets: Sold Out

Headliners: Orbital, Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeroes, Tim Minchin

Other line-up highlights: Alabama Shakes, The Jim Jones Revue, Summer Camp, Little Roy, Krafty Kuts, James Lavelle, Daughter, Adam F (full line-up)

This year’s theme is ‘Standing On Ceremony’ and we expect it to be as wholeheartedly embraced as ever in a variety of weird costumes, set-pieces and spectacle. If you like your festivals colourful, exhibitionist and full of invention, this could be for you.

Don’t miss: Much like Burning Man in the US, the centre-piece of SGP is the spectacular burning of a gigantic sacrificial sculpture on the Saturday night. Bow at the feet of your fiery god.

MusicRadar festival guide 2012

9 of the best boutique festivals
Beacons Festival
17 - 19 August, Funkirk Estate, Yorkshire

Beacons Festival

Dates: 17 - 19 August

Location: Funkirk Estate, Yorkshire

Tickets: £84.50 for the weekend (buy tickets)

Headliners: Toots And The Maytals, Wild Beasts, Roots Manuva

Other line-up highlights: Mount Kimbie, The Felice Brothers, Factory Floor, Willy Mason, Cloud Nothings, Japandroids, Willis Earl Beal (full line-up)

A high brow selection of indie, dance and hip hop hosted within the scenic confines of the Funkirk Estate in Yorkshire. Beacons appeals to the serious muso without being po-faced – conveying a relaxed air and a very definite sense of fun.

Don’t miss: Into The Woods – a series of workshops, theatre stages, zine workshops and other cabaret all within the woods of the estate.

MusicRadar festival guide 2012

9 of the best boutique festivals
Boardmasters
8 - 12 August, Watergate Bay, Cornwall

Boardmasters

Dates: 8 - 12 August

Location: Watergate Bay, Cornwall

Tickets: £89 for the weekend (buy tickets)

Headliners: Ed Sheeran, Dizzee Rascal, DJ Fresh, The Ting Tings, Maverick Sabre

Other line-up highlights: Maximo Park, Spector, Pulled Apart By Horses, Zinc, Young Guns (full line-up)

There’s (a really quite valid) argument that, with sponsorship from Vans and Relentless and a capacity of 14,500, Boardmasters is not a boutique festival at all. We’ve included it here because it offers big festival names in a top location for under £90 and its popularity with extreme sports types gives it a flavour of its own. A definite alternative.

Don’t miss: Extreme sports - namely surfing, skating and BMX - are very much a part of Boardmasters’ offering. The 6 Star Men’s Surfing Series brings some of the world’s best surfers to nearby Fistral Beach and special buses run between the events.

MusicRadar festival guide 2012

9 of the best boutique festivals
Standon Calling
3 - 5 August, Standon, Hertfordshire

Standon Calling

Dates: 3 - 5 August

Location: Standon, Hertfordshire

Tickets: £99 for the weekend (buy tickets)

Headliners: Beardyman, Death In Vegas, Fat Freddys Drop

Other line-up highlights: Shy FX, Toddla T, Willy Mason, !!!, Crazy P, Field Music, Casiokids, King Charles, The Nextmen (full line-up)

Hosted in the grounds of founder Alex Trenchard’s manor house, Standon is one of the flagship ‘boutiques’. Its ‘DIY ‘til I die’ attitude, Standon-only quirkiness (swimming pool with sound system, disco in the cowshed) and late-running schedule, create an experience that events charging twice the price can’t match.

Don’t miss: This year's theme is Journey To The Ends Of The Earth, so naturally there'll be the opportunity to bag a ride in a hot air balloon.

MusicRadar festival guide 2012

9 of the best boutique festivals
Leopallooza
27 - 29 July, Week St Mary, Cornwall

Leopallooza

Dates: 27 - 29 July

Location: Week St Mary, Cornwall

Tickets: £50 for the weekend (buy tickets)

Headliners: Chew Lips, Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip, Fenech Soler

Other line-up highlights: Lucy Rose, The Computers, Dog Is Dead, Imperial Leisure, Turbowolf, Flash Fiktion, Steve Smyth (full line-up)

Morphing from a house party (in a field) that sort of spun out of control into a fully-fledged festival, Leopallooza now aims to showcase local bands and entice acts to play an area full of music lovers, but somehow always missed by touring bands.

Don’t miss: The burning car. Usually a sign of something going vastly wrong, the inaugural Leopallooza ended in a spontaneous vehicle sacrifice and said automobile is now religiously rolled out every year.

MusicRadar festival guide 2012

9 of the best boutique festivals
Truck
20 - 21 July, Steventon, Oxford

Truck

Dates: 20 - 21 July

Location: Steventon, Oxford

Tickets: £69 for the weekend (buy tickets)

Headliners: The Temper Trap, Mystery Jets, Tim Minchin, British Sea Power

Other line-up highlights: The Low Anthem, Villagers, 65 Days Of Static, Guillemots, Future Of The Left (full line-up)

One of the first of the current wave of boutique festivals, Truck celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. It has a capacity of just 5,000 and it’s famed for its community spirit, great bands and friendly vibe.

Don’t miss: Future Of The Left destroying The Barn Stage, which is, you guessed it, contained within a barn.

MusicRadar festival guide 2012

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