The sun’s in the sky and the clouds have subsided (mostly) which can only mean one thing: festival season. With the summer sun just poking its head over the horizon, a head-spinning medley of festivals are springing up all over Wales’ fresh dewy fields. To help you decide which ones you’ll be visiting this festival season, we’re providing this handy guide to help you navigate through a melange of musical madness and festivity.
COASTLINE BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL
Royal International Pavilion, Llangollen
Fri 3-Sun 5 Jun
What: Bringing you the best of British and European Bluegrass bands, instrumental workshops, open mic sessions and Appalachian dancing, it’s this year’s Coastline Bluegrass Festival. The weekend event will feature performances from local and regional bands, and is to be held at the Royal International Pavilion in the stunning cultural town of Llangollen with the aim is to inspire and encourage acoustic music across a broad range of ages and abilities.
Who: Cup O’ Joe, Sunnyside, Flats and Shaprs, Rip Roaring Success
How much: £15-55
FESTIVAL NO. 6
Thurs 1-Sun 4 Sept
What: Portmeirion is a setting that certainly stands out from the rest. This tourist village was built in just 50 years, with distinctive Mediterranean inspired buildings and vibrant coloured dotted around the side streets. Not only is this town special, but so is the annual Festival No. 6 that takes over the town. This festival attracts global icons, creating a line up Glastonbury would envy. Festival No. 6 also prides itself on their bespoke arts and culture line up that feeds through various venues in the town. In the space of just three years, Festival no.6 has claimed its title as ‘The UK’s Most Unique Music and Arts Festival’. The magical, fantasy settings of this festival is what makes it truly one of a kind, providing a banquet art and music for all ages to enjoy. This year will have the biggest line-up to date, including an arts and culture programme, comedy, theatre, visual spectaculars and more.
Who: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Hot Chip, Bastille, Super Fury Animals, Blossoms
How much: £170 – £195
GLASS BUTTER BEACH
Fri 19–Sun 21 Aug
What: Glass Butter Beach is a bit of a secret in North Wales. Initially just an underground wakeboard event, things have stepped up a gear with high profile acts and DJs setting the scene for surfing into the sunset. In addition, the festival will hold the ‘Quadra Crown’, an international competition for wakeboarders to compete for the global title.
Who: Kodaline, Wolf Alice, Jamie Lawson, Andy C, Katy B
How much: TBC
THE GOOD LIFE EXPERIENCE
Hawarden Estate, Flintshire
Thurs 16-Mon 19 Sept
What: Founded by the likes of Cerys Matthews and Steve ‘Abbo’ Abbot, The Good Life Experience is a weekend of cultural fun, new books, good food, music and the welsh outdoors. Cerys and co. aim to create a weekend that does exactly what it says on the tin, to experience the simple yet great things in life.
Who: Michael Morpurgo, Gordie Mackeeman + Rhythm Boys, Ben Fogle
How much: £65 – £90
Thurs 9–Sun 12 Jun
What: When you think of Anglesey, the last thing you think of is an electronic rave festival, right? Well now you do! Gottwood is Wales’ answer to Tomorrowland, with psychedelic themes and dancing all night long.
Who: Joy Orbison, Sam Russo, Ben UFO, Chimpo
How much: £140
LLANGOLLEN INTERNATIONAL EISTEDDFOD
Tue 5–Sun 10 July
What: Everyone has heard of the National Eisteddfod, but this is the International Eisteddfod, celebrating all arts around the world. Rather than a national celebration, the aim of Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod is to celebrate international peace and friendship through the arts.
Who: Jools Holland, Katherine Jenkins, Choir of the World
How much: Varies from event to event
WALES FESTIVAL OF INNOVATION
Various events across Wales
Mon 20 Jun-Fri 1 Jul
What: This festival was created to give people a rare insight into the world-leading work of discovery and invention that’s taking place right on our doorstep. It will showcase products and services to potential customers, provide innovators with the opportunity to network with industry experts, and give members of the public a chance to meet the scientists and entrepreneurs who are shaping our future. This festival will intrigue and inspire, uncovering Wales’ amazing contribution to a rapidly advancing world.
Who: Sue Bevan, Bill Jones, Wendy Davis, Michael Clark
How much: Information on how to take part is on their site