BRECON JAZZ FESTIVAL
Various venues, Brecon, Thurs 8-Sun 11 Aug
An annual operation since the mid-1980s, Brecon Jazz returns with an impressive lineup of both established and upcoming musicians, playing in cafes and venues across the scenic town. On Saturday, the streets of Brecon close down to become a whirlwind of color and sound, making way for the Saturday Carnival and other outdoor festivities. This year, attendees will also get to view the Junior Jazz Festival, for free. Here, instrumentalists and vocalists between the ages of eight and 18 perform, led and directed by the Royal Welsh College Of Music & Drama.
Tickets: £175 full weekend pass; £65-£85 day pass; £6-£38 individual concerts.
Chepstow Castle, Thurs 8-Sun 25 Aug
The high walls of Chepstow’s historic castle will again be filled with classic rock tributes across 12 evenings. The Police’s back catalogue is tackled by tribute band The Police Synchronicity, ds:UK serve up Dire Straits, and U2UK perform all of U2’s hit songs and more. You can expect a fun, family friendly experience within the castle itself, whether you’re reminiscing to ABBA Mania or enjoying esteemed Elvis tribute act Ben Portsmouth. In the ‘playing their own songs’ category, there’s also The Shires (Fri 9), Los Pacaminos (Thurs 15) and Reef (Sat 24).
Tickets: from £20.
Penmaenau Farm, Fri 9-Sun 11 Aug
This family-friendly camping weekend held in the Welsh countryside aims to teach people of all ages about our solar system. Independent and non-profit, Solarsphere mixes education and fun using musical performances, academic talks and educational workshops for both adults and children. The musical line-up includes bands named things like Alien Stash Tin and Tyrannosaurus Nebulous, as well as Nirvana tribute band called In Vitro. The camp also calls in professional astronomers to hold lectures, such as science writer Professor Nigel Henbest and space geologist Dr Tim Gregory. The workshops aspire to be as entertaining as possible and activities include night sky observation, making your own moon and hunting for space dust.
Tickets: £50 weekend; £25 13-16-year-olds; free under-12s
Tredegar Park, Newport, Sat 10 Aug
Only three years since the first BBQ Jam festival took place, and it’s back in Newport this August. This year’s festival will bring with it some of the funkiest house, bassline and grime along with it, plus tasty street food. The lineup includes scene heavyweights Ms Banks and Marcus Nasty, with intense underground sounds guaranteed on the menu, while DJ Young Lion is set to serve some uniquely mixed reggae tunes in the headline slot.
SEA 2 SHORE FOOD FESTIVAL
Aberystwyth Promenade, Sun 11 Aug
Taking over Aberystwyth’s Victorian promenade, this annual event will once again feature entertainment, crafts, and of course plenty of food. The festival was established in order to raise awareness of the fishing industry in Cardigan Bay, promoting locally-sourced food and drink. With Sea2Shore’s sustainability message in mind, the festival celebrates everything local: Welsh cheeses and wines, locally-caught fish, fresh-grown vegetables, and reared meat.
Baskerville Hall, Powys, Fri 16-Mon 19 Aug
Wild and wonderful boutique festival, known for its love of fancy dress, adopts the theme of Animal Magic for 2019. Often dubbed a three-day house party, Truefest is on the more intimate side with just 1000 tickets up for grabs. Set in a mansion with a swimming pool, hotel rooms and glamping, this isn’t your average festival. As well as the stellar line-up of acts including DJ Yoda, guests will also be treated to tightrope and aerial performances, mind trickery and burlesque shows.
SWANSEA BEER & CIDER FESTIVAL
Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, Thurs 22-Sat 24 Aug
For their 33rd annual festival, the Swansea branch of the Campaign For Real Ale are sourcing more than 100 real ales, ciders, and perries. With dozens of new microbreweries having recently launched in south Wales, the brewing scene has been transformed over the past few years. A range of hot food and live bands will also feature, setting the mood while you quench your thirst for new and original beers.
Tickets: £3 members/£5 non-members
THE BIG CWTCH
Crugybar, Carmarthenshire, Fri 30 + Sat 31 Aug
Feelgood fest that gives centre stage to breakthrough Welsh artists and performers, including Carmarthen’s own postpunkers Adwaith and Ogmore-By-Sea’s Dan Bettridge. Located in the heart of the Cothi Valley in Carmarthenshire, The Big Cwtch will also put up an impressive offering of street food traders such as The Bearded Taco, Duttys Cheesecake Van and Sloppy Joe’s Street Food. Adults can head straight for the niche house bars – try the Wonky Table for local ales and the Box Of Frogs for gin and cocktails – while the kids are busy doing creative activities and workshops.
BETWEEN THE TREES
Candleston Campsite, Merthyr Mawr, Fri 30 Aug-Sun 1 Sept
This unique annual festival combines music with natural science, bringing with it some of the best alternative folk music in south Wales and beyond. Taking place in the middle of a wood near sanddunes, Between The Trees supports local independent businesses and encourages respect for wildlife. Notable names this year include Bristol-based Norwegian/Welsh duo Firewoodisland, the indie folk band Ofelia from South Wales, and Cardiff-based folkster Aled Rheon.
Tickets: £70 weekend (£30 under-18s); £20 Fri (£5 under-18s); £30 Sat (£10 under-18s); £20 Sun (£5 under-18s); £5 weekend/£1 per day under-5s.
THE GOOD LIFE EXPERIENCE
Hawarden Estate, Flintshire, Thurs 12-Sun 14 Sept
If you thought that a meeting place filled with books, music, food, ideas, workshops and the great outdoors was mythical, The Good Life Experience invites you to Hawarden. Co-founder Cerys Matthews delights in offering four days featuring everything from dough kneading to lake diving to midnight dancing. Perhaps as a thank-you for their contribution to the Good Life, the festival throws open its doors to dogs as well, whether it’s to simply walk around and take in the atmosphere, or to participate in Britain’s first dog diving competition.
Tickets: £74-£209 per weekend; free under-12s.
NARBERTH FOOD FESTIVAL
Narberth Town Moor, Sat 28 + Sun 29 Sept
Celebrating its 21st year, the long-established food lovers’ event is returning this September with entertainment, guest chefs, masterclasses, and children’s activities. Featuring over 50 stalls of local offerings from Pembrokeshire and Welsh food producers and ranked as one of the friendliest festivals in Wales, the two-day event attracts thousands of hungry visitors. A full-boarded marquee with catering stalls, music stage, and licensed bar sees old favourite producers mix with exciting newcomers, some of whom have been given bursaries by the festival committee to make their debut at the festival.