The Top Free Festivals to visit in the UK

music festival

The UK holds some of the best festivals around the world. You’ve probably heard some of the biggest events including the Glastonbury and Reading music festival. Although they are a great festival, you may find that it can be expensive to go to these festivals especially when adding up everything you need to get there including the tickets, travelling expenses, camping gears and foods. So if you are on a budget and still want to see a decent festival, it’s worth trying out some of the free festivals that the UK has to offer. We’ve listed some of them below.

London’s West End Live

The Westminster Council partnered with the Society of London Theatre to create this great festival that allows the group of London’s West End to show off their talents in front of large crowds. The London theatre group are diversely talented and is known to provide some of the best shows around the city.

Stockton International Riverside Festival

Stockton welcomes international world class singers to perform live at the festival. You will find a variety of shows and activities to do including circus acts, dance, street performances, food stalls and so much more. The festival is on for four days straight with free entrance!

Peterborough’s Willow Festivals

The willow festival showcases up to 100+ groups and singers that perform different genres from R&B, Indie, Jazz, Rock and Blues. The acts are mainly groups and artists who are UN-signed. It’s a great way to discover new artist and bands that you’ve not heard of before. The festivals last up to three days.

Liverpool’s International Music Festivals

The Liverpool music festival was created to replace the legendary Matthew Street Festival that has hosted some great live music for the past years. The new festival is said to be hosting a variety of live music from local bands, orchestra and the Beatles acts.

What to bring in a music festival

music festival

Deciding what to pack for a festival will depend on how long you’ll be staying in the event. If you’re only staying for 2-3 days, you will only have to pack lightly. However, if you’re staying longer than three days, then you might need to pack more essentials. Packing your food is extremely important as you want to avoid spending your money on the food stalls that are overpriced.

Food

Food should be the first thing on your list to pack, so you won’t get hungry or end up buying some random foods in the festival. Ideally, you should bring food that you can quickly throw in a BBQ. The best meat to bring are hotdogs or burgers as they don’t go off too quickly compared to a chicken or a steak. We also recommend bringing a disposable BBQ as they are lightweight, portable and of course disposable. Bringing a portable cooker or kettle is ideal if you are staying longer. In this case, you can also bring some food that will last longer like a  tinned food, packed noodles and some snacks too.

Camping Bed

Don’t forget to bring your tent and your sleeping bags. If you want to pack lightly, we advise on buying a packable tent or an inflatable mattress. However, if you have your car and are looking to stay longer, then there is no harm bringing a bigger tent and a comfortable sleeping bag.

Drink

Most camping sites would have a tap water available on site, so you won’t have to worry about bringing your own bottled water unless you don’t like drinking from a tap. When it comes to alcoholic beverages, you can bring your drinks but make sure that they are stored in a plastic bottle as most campsites do not allow any glass bottled drinks on site.

Clothes and hygiene needs

Most festivals are held in summer, so bringing some clothes that are suited for hot weather is ideal. Clothing pieces including a sandal, hat. Trainers and a lightweight poncho are the basics that you should have in your bag. Lastly, don’t forget to pack your hygiene essentials as most camping sites will have a shower facility.

How Is Technology Changing Music Festivals?

Music festivals have been around and growing in popularity for decades now, but over the years we have seen a number of changes in the ways technology impacts these events. Modern communications have probably made the most noticeable difference, although subtle changes in standards for performers across the music industry have also had an impact over the years.

Of course, technology is often a major element of the experience you get as a music fan watching an artist perform. Technological advancements, hand in hand with innovative and creative ideas, have allowed artists to push the envelope like never before and put in stunning shows, even within the limited space and time offered by music festivals.

This doesn’t apply to all performers, of course, and for many artists the technology they use when playing sets hasn’t changed for generations. Where the major difference has come in across the board is more to do with social media use and the way we communicate with other people online about our experiences.

Attending a music festival is the perfect time to share media on social channels, so it’s no surprise that people (particularly the younger generation of millennials) take every opportunity to do this. Tagging friends along with their musical heroes in their photo and video posts gives them huge potential to reach hundreds or thousands of people.

So how has this phenomenon directly or indirectly affected what actually happens at music festivals? Apart from the artists themselves encouraging guests to post on social media for their own self-promotion, this is also a huge opportunity for major corporate brands to take advantage and get their name promoted to a wider market.

This goes some way to explaining the huge presence of international brand names at modern music festivals, aside from the obvious requirement for sponsorship money which heavily subsidises ticket costs. Ultimately, the fact that technology has opened up this huge potential revenue stream for brands across social channels is the most evident change in the music festival scene around the world.

It is worth mentioning that advanced technology is most likely to keep affecting music events in the near future. Video streaming is set to continue growing, fuelled in part by social media, so we anticipate seeing this become more of a feature at festivals. The tricky part for promoters is organising a way of managing this without compromising on the fact that guests are supposed to be paying for tickets rather than watching the action online. As online advertising revenue through live streaming events becomes more viable, we are likely to see festivals heading in this direction, which could have very interesting effects.