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Beyond the Mainstream: Discover 10 of the Best Independent Festivals of 2024

Beyond the Mainstream: Discover 10 of the Best Independent Festivals of 2024

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In all my years of immersing myself in the UK music party scene, one truth remains constant: Independent festivals reign supreme.

Unfortunately, more and more of the live event industry is becoming dominated by enourmous companies like Live Nation and Festival Republic and so, parties which were once havens of freedom have become more and more dominated by dodgy corporate practices.

Luckily, we’ve compiled a lineup of the top 10 independent festivals in the nation where you won’t encounter alcohol restrictions, excessive security measures, or exorbitantly priced drinks.

1. Cursus

Date: May 24th to May 26th

Venue: Mycen Farm in Dorset

Opening up our season of fun is Cursus, a tiny music and cider festival located deep in the wilds of wonderfully rural Dorset. Expect to find the best cider you’ve ever drunk, alongside a wonderfully friendly atmosphere and a diverse lineup of talented artists: In 2024 the festival will feature scene stalwarts, Mista Trick Collective, and 3 Daft Monkeys along with the up and coming Millie Manders and the Shuttup as headliners.

Caution: The event is tied to a badger cult. If you’re not a fan of these little white and black creatures, this festival might not be your cup of tea.

Tickets start from £99

2. Noisily

The noisily 2024 lineup poster, one of the best independent festivals

Date: July 11th-14th

Place: Leicestershire, United Kingdom

Nestled in a magical patch of English woodland, Noisily stands out from the crowd as arguably the best dance music festival in whole of the UK.

An ideal spot for enthusiasts of electronic music, whether you prefer house, drum and bass, or psytrance rhythms, this festival offers a diverse musical experience. Featuring a curated lineup of renowned DJs and producers such as Grouch, Eat Static, Dubfire, Bart Skills, and Hospitality, spread across three uniquely crafted stages, the event promises an intimate and memorable showcase.

Apart from music, the festival serves as a vibrant artistic realm that honors psychedelic art and culture. At its core is a remarkable community known for its warm and inclusive nature. This event is famed for fostering a welcoming ambiance where individuals connect over shared passions and happiness, transforming strangers into a bonded extended family. Noisily isn’t solely a festival; it stands out as one of the most amiable spots on the planet.

Tickets are available from £236.40

3. 2000 Trees

The 2000 trees lineup poster. 2000 trees is one of the best independent festivals in the UK. The 2024 edition will feature     THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM
 Kids In Glass Houses
 HOT MULLIGAN
 SPANISH LOVE SONGS
 BETTER LOVERS
 CASKETS
 STATIC DRESS
 Dead Pony
 Cassette
 ENOLA GAY
 THE PALE WHITE
 KID BRUNSWICK     MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA
 BOSTON MANOR
 los campesinos!
 Movements
 THE CHATS
 BOB VYLAN
 grandson
 HOT MILK
 NOVA TWINS
 Turnover
 Empire State Bastard
 CRAWLERS
 AS DECEMBER FALLS
 Thumpasaurus
 Bears In Trees
 Sløtface
 NOISY
 KING NUN
 CLT DRP
 The Rumjacks
 PALM READER
 Gold Years
 Wargasm     don broco
 Creeper
 cleopatrick
 Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls
 DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979
 Vukovi
 THE XCERTS
 LONELI
 '68
 BRAVE THE MYSTERIES
 SKINNY LISTER
 DUNE RATS
 ANGEL DU$T
 Press Club
 Panic Shack
 The Mysterines
 Into It. Over It.
 Lauran Hibberd
 THE MEFFS
 CASSYETTE      BOSTON MANOR
 Dream State
 THE XCERTS
 DEAD PONY
 Lauran Hibberd
 900 LUNGS
 CODY FROST
 THE COMPUTERS
 FROZENMODE
 ENOLA GAY
 CARSICK
 PET NEEDS
 KITE THIEF
 EXIT CHILD

Date: July 10th to July 13th

Address: Upcote Farm, Withington, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 4BL.

Nestled in the verdant, undulating hills of the Cotswolds, 2000 Trees emerges as a premier contender for the UK’s cherished rock music gatherings. Its picturesque setting provides an enchanting backdrop, featuring acts showcased on multiple stages nestled amidst lush forests and expansive meadows, delivering a captivating experience that transcends mere musical enjoyment.

This year’s roster showcases the renowned Gaslight Anthem, the emotive Manchester Orchestra, punk rock rebels The Chats, storytelling innovator Bob Vylan, energetic Don Broco, and the legendary Frank Turner, solidifying its prestigious reputation.

Tickets are available starting from £196.50

4. Tropical Pressure

Tropical Pressure is one of the best independent festivals in the UK
Tuto Tribe leading a conga line around Tropical Pressure 2023

Date: July 12th – 14th

Venue: Mount Pleasant Eco Park in Cornwall.

Clustered on the rugged cliffs of the North Cornwall, overlooking the wild Atlantic, Tropical Pressure Festival is a loveletter to the music from around that great ocean featuring sounds from the Carribean islands, Latin America and West Africa front and centre.

Each year, the festival showcases a remarkably skilled array of musicians, performing a diverse range of music from Jamaican reggae to Colombian cumbia, providing an opportunity for the curious to uncover exceptional new artists.

Although the journey to Cornwall may be lengthy and challenging for many, Tropical Pressure manages to pack an impressive array of talent and enjoyment into a three-day event, ensuring that even a thousand-mile trek is worthwhile!

Adult tickets start from £125

5. Nozstock: The Hidden Valley

Nozstock final editon lineup poster.. Nozstock is one of the best independent festivals in the UK

Dates: July 18th to July 21st

Location: “Most Rural Herefordshire”

Sadly, in its final year in 2024, Nozstock: The Hidden Valley is an absolute gem of the UK festival scene, and it is a crying shame that is coming to an end.

Set in the rural landscapes of Herefordshire, with a diverse artist lineup including Andy C and Groove Armada across ten stages, Nozstock offers a perfect alternative for those seeking a lively party experience with a variety of acts, without the scale of Boomtown or Glastonbury.

Tickets are available from £192.53

6. Landed

The Landed Lineup Poster
Landed festival is one of the best independent festivals in wales

Dates: July 26th – July 28th

Place: Llandrindod Wells, Powys

Hidden in the tranquil Wye Valley, in beautiful Powys, Wales, Landed is something of a throwback to the 1990s, offering a portal back to free party culture at its prime.

The festival presents bands and DJs who perform folk, punk, techno, trance, with a hint of reggae, jungle, and psychedelia, all within its compact grounds, catering to both adults and children with a wide array of offerings.

Having clinched the Welsh Hospitality Award multiple times, Landed has one last surprise in store to dazzle you: the most affordable bar in the industry!

Tickets start from £120

7. Bloodstock

Date: August 8th to August 12th

Venue: Catton Park in Derbyshire

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Bloodstock, a heavyweight in the UK independent festival circuit, has been operating since 2001, evolving into a cornerstone of the UK heavy metal calendar.

With over 120 of the most intense bands headlining, such as metal icons Opeth, Architects, and Amon Amarth, the 2024 edition promises a relentless onslaught of growls, screams, and blistering solos, along with some of the finest mosh pits globally.

Tickets are £192

8. Outcider

Date: August 1st – 4th

Address: Fernhill Farm, Compton Martin, Somerset, BS40 6LD

The 10th edition of Outcider festival, a vibrant mix of punk and cider, will be held in the heart of the West Country this August. Experience top-notch alternative music in a relaxed and inviting environment.

The 10th-anniversary lineup for this year showcases the resilient pirate polka performances by the Dreadnoughts, the thrilling ska fusion by Sonic Boom Six, and the loop pedal creativity of Funke and the Two Tone Baby.

Tickets are £99

9. Maui Waui

Date: August 22nd to 25th

Location: Norfolk’s Bullard’s Farm.

Maui Waui, a top-tier independent festival in the UK, is swiftly establishing itself as one of the most vibrant and energetically charged events in the country. Strolling through the festival grounds at night, visitors are treated to an atmosphere reminiscent of a bustling boomtown, where every turn reveals something fresh and thrilling, all within the cozy confines of an intimate gathering.

The festival offers a diverse musical lineup, spanning punk, folk, electroswing, and drum and bass genres. This year’s performers include dub legends Dreadzone, Spacerockers Henge, and the renowned Dutty Moonshine Big Band. Additionally, Maui showcases a wide array of acrobatics, theatre, and visual art.

Tickets are available from £160

10. Equinox

Date: August 23rd to 25th

Place: Chalk Farm in Lincolnshire

As the festive season comes to an end, Equinox is likened to the ultimate crew party of the season, where those who have been tirelessly managing events unwind and enjoy themselves.

Equinox exudes a profoundly anarchic essence, serving as a spiritual counterpart to Landed. Its breathtaking vistas of the Humber nearly rival Powys in beauty. The music selection is diverse, featuring punk, reggae, prog, and folk from live bands, along with trance, jungle, and DNB from the DJs, creating a lively free party atmosphere.

Tickets start from £133.75

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