(Updated with changes following the February 2021 announcement – although these are now also dependent on lockdown rules rather than the festival decisions.)
Are you looking to take your family to a music festival, but unsure where to start? I’ve put together a list of festival weekenders that I know will blow your kids’ minds, while making sure you have the best of weekends too.
Following Covid, the festivals were all postponed until 2021. It is such a difficult time for the events industry and most of these festivals have allowed visitors to move tickets from 2020 until 2021.
If you still have that option for any festival in the future, please transfer your tickets if you can, as it really supports the industry and the future of the festival.
My own festival weekenders started back in the late 90s, and despite them being some of the most epic memories, before I took Lily to her first festival weekend, I did have massive flashbacks of Reading Festival campsites, with portaloos burning into the night.
I needn’t have worried – taking my 4-year-old to a festival weekender was just incredible and I wish we could bottle up that amazing festival buzz that we both came home with.
Yes, it had its own challenges (read my tips for taking your kids to a camping festival here), but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world – so many memories made, so many different experiences, so many new adventures… and she loved every minute!
I’d taken her to several day festivals before, such as the Leicester Riverside Festival which we’d been to every year since she was a baby, but in 2019 I took her to her first weekend festival, Gloworm Festival, and now I’m going to make sure we head to a festival every year.
So, here are some of my top family weekend festivals on my radar for 2021…
Please note, I’ve updated festival dates for 2021, but some information or the lineup may change.
Gloworm Festival – 2021 confirmed!
Any followers will know we are no stranger to shouting out our love of Gloworm Festival, set in Thoresby Park, Nottinghamshire from the 14th-15th August 2021.
Aimed at children aged 0-13 years, there is truly something for all the family, with music, activities and arts all guided towards different age-groups.
From well-known children’s artists and headline acts, through to some top toy brands, a funfair, farmyard, facilities for families, meet-and-greets with their heroes, and places to play, every corner of Gloworm Festival is an incredible adventure for all ages.
What’s more, the campsite is family-friendly too, so you don’t need to worry about those festival campsite flashbacks from the 90s, and can just enjoy a fun and safe weekend together! I knew it would be awesome, but Lily’s stoke level was x10000, she was in total awe at everything, and I can’t wait to take her back.
Everything you need for all the family in one incredible weekend – what else could you ask for?!
Ticket prices are currently frozen in band 2 for 2021, including payment plans, so don’t miss out!
Camp Bestival – confirmed 2021
Another festival aimed purely at families is the family-festival-slash-family-holiday that is Camp Bestival, in the stunning grounds of Lulworth Castle, Dorset.
With a music lineup fit for every king, queen, prince or princess, this festival takes place from 29th July til 1st August 2021, giving you a summer holiday to remember.
With kids’ shows, music, entertainment, soft-play and more, along with a full arts programme for the whole festival, it truly promises to be a fantastic weekend for all the family.
What’s more, this year they’re rolling out the red carpet with the theme of “Camp Bestival Goes to the Movies”, with an open-air cinema, sing-a-long movie nights, acting workshops and more.
Black Deer Festival – sadly postponed until 2022
I know a whole weekend entirely of family-specific entertainment isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so if you’re looking for something a bit more relaxing for all the family, but still has plenty for the kids to do, the Black Deer Festival in Kent will be a very special place to head.
An Americana and country-music festival that will run from 25th-27th June 2021, the Black Deer Festival is a welcoming, relaxed and inspirational festival filled with music, food, arts and more.
They have a dedicated area for children of all areas called Young Folks, where younger visitors can enjoy arts, crafts, exploring the outdoors and more.
With activities in 2019 such as den-building, creative workshops, and music lessons through to forest school and cowboy classes, there promises to be so much for children to immerse themselves in again this year, while learning about arts, culture and history.
What’s more, there is a full festival programme with some incredible artists, food and activities to make sure every generation experiences a weekend to remember.
Find out more about Young Folks at Black Deer Festival here.
Elderflower Fields – new dates for 2021
Elderflower Fields 2021 is definitely a family-friendly festival not to be missed – unfortunately the Midlands event for this year has now been moved til 2022, however the fantastic news is that the South festival can now go ahead with new dates confirmed as 23rd-27th July!
It promises to be an action-packed weekend of festival fun with the family, with a true focus on sports, the arts, music and nature.
With music, crafts, workshops, art sessions, kids yoga, sports camps and even nannies on site, this truly looks a magical weekend for all the family this year – and we can’t wait to see what the festival brings to the Midlands in 2022 too.
Find out more about Elderflower Fields here.
The Big Feastival – confirmed for 2021
Another festival aimed at all the family and boasting plenty of fun for the kids is the Big Feastival in the Cotswolds from 27th-29th August 2021.
Alongside all the fantastic food and music lined up for the weekend, there are areas designed specifically to keep the kids happy too!
There’s a Big Top to enjoy plenty of family-friendly music and dancing, a Little Top for some chill-out time, a craft tent, circus and more.
There’s even a family feeding area and an Up All Hours area with a team to ensure everything from nappy-changes to feeding (bottle-warmers included!) are as easy as possible at a festival.
For more information, visit their website here.
Timber festival – confirmed for 2021
In the heart of the National Forest you’ll find the incredible Timber Festival from 2nd – 4th July 2021.
Timber is an International Forest Festival, celebrating everything to do with forests, with music, arts, lectures and more across the weekend.
The festival is eco-friendly, even providing free biodegradable nappies for babies, while educating, enjoying and sharing the incredible forests around you.
Immerse yourself in a truly magical weekend in the forest with the family and you can even enjoy discounted tickets if you travel there by bike from Birmingham with their guide.
Find out more about Timber Festival here
NEW ADDITION: 5 on the Farm Festival!
Peppa Pig and her Milkshake! show friends are heading to Yorkshire this summer for the first ever ‘5 on the Farm Festival’ taking place over August Bank Holiday – 28-30 August.
Children and big kids alike can enjoy a weekend full of fun at the activity-packed festival, taking place at Cannon Hall Farm in Barnsley, South Yorkshire where hit Channel 5 show, This Week on the Farm is filmed.
For younger visitors, Milkshake! favourites Chase and Marshall from PAW Patrol, Milkshake! Monkey, Blue’s Clues will be with Peppa Pig in the Milkshake! Meadow at the festival.
Over 10,000 visitors are expected to attend the three-day outdoor event which is billed as the perfect British day out and dog-friendly weekend staycation for all ages. Full covid compliant regulations for outdoor events will be followed dependent on Government advice.
Visitors can step into the world of Channel 5’s best loved shows andenjoy a fantastic variety of activities including presenter panels and Q&As, floristry, pottery, woodwork, arts and crafts, cooking, yoga, bee keeping, baking and countryside skills workshops and demonstrations, and see their favourite stars perform throughout the weekend – all included in the ticket price.
Find out more about the 5 on the Farm festival here