These are our writers’ favourite festivals in the Midlands. For more festivals please see our special family friendly festival map.
We know there are other amazing festivals that we are missing out – and we’re attempting to get our reviewers around as many festivals as we can. The festivals below are our tried and tested choices, ones our writers go back to year after year.
Derbyshire, DE12 8LN
24th – 27th May 2018
Excellent music, a wonderful kids’ area and a proper creative space for teenagers means all our writers love Bearded Theory.
Bearded Theory is perfect for those of us who loved going to festivals in the 90s and now want to share that fun with our children. The entertainment for the younger ones is truly brilliant but does not detract from the enjoyment for adults.
WHAT MAKES BEARDED THEORY UNIQUE?
Bearded Theory is the only festival in the UK with a fully OFSTED-approved onsite school!
The atmosphere of this festival is something special – these people are bearded, they are friendly, and they are fun.
Accessibility: Accessible camping area, electric charging, accessible parking, accessible toilets, accessible showers, main stage viewing platform, medical storage, free carer ticket, BSL interpreter
Tickets: Adult Weekend from £120.75, 12-15 £57.75, 6-11 £29.40, 0-5 FREE! See the website for further ticket information.
Oxfordshire, OX7 4BT
13th – 15th July 2018
Cornbury is a fab, safe and clean festival which draws musical legends. It has loads of activities for kids, with tweens and teens also well catered for. Posh, friendly and fun!
WHAT MAKES CORNBURY UNIQUE?
This year Cornbury has an all-female bill on the Saturday! The music is always top notch and as there are such brilliant facilities it’s a great festival to choose as your first festival – although you might find yourself returning over and over.
Accessibility: Personal assistant free ticket, accessible camping, accessible toilets and showers, charging point, accessible parking, medication refrigeration, viewing platform, assistance dogs tickets
Tickets: Adult weekend £180, 13-16 £95, 3-12 £30, Adult weekend with camping £215, 13-16 with camping £125, 3-12 £35. See website for further details.
Herefordshire, HR8 1RN
9th – 12th August 2018
Lakefest is a great knees-up in the Cotswolds. Originating from a cider festival, it has now grown into a fun family gathering that has won more Festival Kidz Awards than any other festival.
WHAT MAKES LAKEFEST UNIQUE?
A loyal following loves the lake-side setting to give a family festival that’s more like a large village fair. This makes it a great festival to those who want the joys of a festival without the hippy side of things. Eastnor castle is an incredible venue.
Accessibility: Free carer ticket, accessible camping, accessible showers, guide dogs welcome.
Tickets: Adult weekend £85-£105, 13-17 £60, 6-12 £35, 0-5 FREE. See here for further information.
Warwickshire, B94 5AE
27th – 29th July 2018
Lunar is psychedelic, family friendly, pays tribute to its Brummie roots (home of Nick Drake and the Lunar society of thinkers and scientists from which the festival takes its name), small, safe and joyful.
WHAT MAKES LUNAR UNIQUE?
Lunar is very special as it has managed to keep that small festival vibe. It has great music and communal campfires.
Accessibility: Free personal assistant ticket, accessible parking, accessible camping, accessible toilets, viewing area, first aid tent
Tickets: Adult weekend £110, family weekend £250 (2 adults, 2 children), 12-15 £53, 3-11 £27, 0-3 FREE. See website for full ticket details.
Herefordshire, HR7 4LS
20th – 22th July 2018
Nozstock is a family-run event that has grown from a group of friends organising a gathering into a festival with a sense of inclusivity and belonging. It is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and we have written a full preview of what you can expect in 2018.
WHAT MAKES NOZSTOCK UNIQUE?
The line-up is always fantastic and it is properly family friendly – with lots to do in the kids area and a safe environment at night. All events in the kids area are free.
Accessibility: Bronze award from Attitude is Everything, Accessible camping, parking, toilets, viewing platform, medical storage, charging point, assistance passes, assistance dog passes.
Tickets: Adult weekend £105-£130, Teen £95-£105, 0-12 FREE. See website for further information.
Northamptonshire, secret location near Northampton
20th – 22th July 2018
For those looking for the green field Glastonbury spirit without the crowds – Shambala is for you. For those who want a party Shambala is also for you. Plenty of community, art and performance with a great mix of music makes Shambala the favourite festival-goers festival. With a programme the size of a telephone directory there really is something for everyone here.
They continue to lead the way in sustainability and their passion to put our planet and their guests welfare above profits shines through.
WHAT MAKES SHAMBALA UNIQUE?
They have everything – a community ethos, wood-fired baby baths, a lovely creche, an incredibly creative kids’ field, discussions and workshops, a huge costume parade, hidden venues, top music from all over the world, interactive art, woodland tribe playground building, games across the site… I don’t want to try to persuade you to go as I don’t want it to get any bigger – if you like this sort of thing you will already have your ticket. If you don’t yet have your ticket – get it now as they’re selling out fast.
Accessibility: Accessible Camping Area, accessible toilets and showers, free personal assistant ticket, viewing platforms, medical storage, charging point
Tickets: Adult weekend £155.50-£195.50. 15-17 £92.50, 4-14 £14.50, 0-4 FREE. See website for further information.
Oxfordshire, OX7 3EJ
2nd – 5th August 2018
Wilderness is such a gorgeous festival we have run out of superlatives. With V&A craft workshops, National Theatre screenings and Flying Seagulls you know the entertainment is always going to be top class.
WHAT MAKES WILDERNESS UNIQUE?
Wilderness is as much about nature, food and the arts as it is about music – but it does all these well. It’s not the cheapest festival but as everything in life quality counts here – with incredible theatre, food, debate, circus and dance. Wild swimming and village sports gives it a community feel.
Accessibility: Free carer pass, accessible camping, accessible toilets, accessible parking, viewing platform, charging point, guide dog resting area.
Tickets: Adult Weekend from £176.50, 13-17 £115, 6-12 £35, 0-5 £5. More information can be found here.
Oxfordshire, OX10 6AN
18th – 20th May 2018
Tiny in size, big in spirit.
We’ve loved our last two years at Wood Festival. Its tiny size and lovely crowd mean it feels totally safe for young children. We love the wealth of workshops that are available to both adults and children. Whether it’s a drama improvisation, a creative writing class or making a dream catcher, there is a wealth of opportunity to spend time together as a family, learning new skills and being creative. Their green credentials are fantastic and the compost loos simply charming.
WHAT MAKES WOOD UNIQUE?
Wood is small and has a wonderful community atmosphere.Is especially good as an introduction to families who haven’t been to a festival with children before, but also has a lovely following who love its atmosphere and value for money. It is very environmentally conscious with a fantastic array of workshops.
Accessibility: Accessibly parking, camping and toilets. Free/discounted carer passes.
Tickets: Adult weekend £89, 13-18 £20, 0-12 Free. See website for further details.
Oxfordshire, GL50 4SH
1st – 3rd June 2018
Wychwood must be one of the friendliest and easiest festivals for families. Taking place on the race course in Cheltenham, with a backdrop of the Cotswold hills, you can drive right up to the camping area to get set up and even if the weather is dreadful the flat, immaculately cared for course will drain it all away. Getting around with buggy’s and wagons is no problem, especially with an army of enthusiastic and seemingly always happy stewards there to help out.
WHAT MAKES WYCHWOOD UNIQUE?
It includes a great music line up with comedy and a children’s literature festival. It has a small site and allows you to drive up to the camping area to set up. With great music, clean loos and toilets, and a wide range of activities, Wychwood has built up a loyal following.
Accessibility: Accessible toilets, accessible parking.
Tickets: Adult weekend £137.50, 10-15 £72.50, 5-9 £27.50, 0-5 Free. See the website for further information.