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UK’s Best Boutique Festivals

Clubbing isn’t what it used to be. Where once you could turn up, pay on the door, rave all night and then disturb the taxi man’s 6am doze, now you need to book your tickets months in advance, before you embark on a night out being bombarded with commercial messages and just not the same vibe as you used to get.

It’s starting to become the same way with festivals too. Where once it was all about the mud, meeting new people and losing your mind in a field, the commercial message and branding now seems intertwined with these things. You just can’t escape it.

But can you? Here we bring you our top boutique festivals for this summer. Will they take you back to the old school? Let’s hope so.

This boutique festival in the Lancashire countryside is the antithesis of commercial Britain. Here you’ll find a stripped-back-to-festival roots vibe that you just can’t help getting involved in. From DJs playing to a packed out forest, to the Smoky Tentacles Shisha Lounge, and the Bushrocker Hifi, what’s not to love? And there won’t be a corporate message in sight.

Previous acts – Orbital, Lee Scratch-Perry
2013 – 5th – 7th July

End of the Road
This North Dorset festival is one of the most magical offerings on the UK festival scene. Here you’ll find a woodland library, secret cinema, forest sculptures, Victorian follies, open air lounge, wild peacocks and illuminated forest dancefloor. We can’t wait to get involved.

Previous acts – Laura Marling, Badly Drawn Boy, Metronomy
2013 – 30th August – 1st September

The best boutique festivals always enjoy some kind of evolution to the grand events we know today, and Greenman is no different. Originally taking shape as a folk festival, this Welsh offering has grown up gracefully to still hold onto its original intimate vibe. You can enjoy your days relaxing by the lake, and your nights by the midnight bonfire. Throw in courtyard bars and the delicious food on offer and you’ve got yourself a festival (not to mention the music too).

Previous acts – Van Morrison, Ghostpoet, Alt-J
2013 – 15th – 18th August

Hop Farm
Located in the stunning Kent countryside, Hop Farm has really started to make waves in the last few years with headline acts including Prince, Bob Dylan and Patti Smith. You’d expect a festival attracting world-renowned music acts to seek bit sponsorship, but this is the exact opposite retaining a very twee feel and inclusive atmosphere (there’s no branding, sponsorship or designated VIP areas).

Previous acts – Prince, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith
2013 – 5th – 7th July