Fantastic Devon Festivals

I’m pretty sure that Devon is blessed with more than it’s fair share of amazing festivals.  They come in all in all shapes and sizes from music and food to gardening and arts.  Personally as a music lover, I  really enjoy the smaller family friendly music festivals.  Researching for this post I’ve found there to be lots more of these in the last few years. As a parent I can feel more relaxed if my girls want to wander around by themselves.  There are also some great venues for larger concerts (where I’d rather leave the girls at home) as well a more specialist events for folk and jazz.

This post is going to focus on some of the fantastic Devon festivals for music and also point you towards some lovely foodie days out.  We’re lucky enough to have already been to a few but I’m hoping to visit some more festivals to review this year. The smaller festivals especially are perfect with kids entertainment, great live music and the chance to relax in the sun (fingers crossed) with a pint of cider!

Links to the organisers website are in the dates.


East Devon


Altitude

Set in the East Devon countryside near Cullompton,  I’ve heard good things about this festival. With over 30 bands on offer it might be a good idea to swot up on who’s playing. Download the children’s entertainment programme, as for 2019 there is a brand new family experience, ‘The Borough’. Jam-packed with comedy, skills, street theatre, workshops and eccentricity all which starts on Friday evening.

Also new for Altitude 2019 is the Horizon Stage. In collaboration with Exeter Academy of Music and Sound, presenting a rich blend of local and emerging talent.  Top tip this is a cash only festival and there is not cash machine for miles! 

Altitude:  14-15th June 2019

Goren Festival Family Friendly Music Festival Devon

Goren Festival

Set in idyllic Devon countryside near Stockland amongst wild flower meadows,  this small family friendly festival really is a place to relax. Perfect for anyone tempted by a festival with children but not sure about large crowded events.  This year sees the introduction of a second stage for more even music.

Children can enjoy circus skills, science experiments, leaf flag making and forest school; pottery, archery, Bumblebee safaris, bat walks and butterfly spotting. We went two years ago so you can read my review here, as a festival it is slowly growing.

Goren Festival: Friday 28th  – 29th June


Beautiful Days

This has grown into one of the best medium sized festivals in the UK. Founded by The Levellers, the folk rock band who play every year. Set in the grounds of the beautiful Escot House near Honiton, this festival has a great reputation for being family friendly as well as a massive music line up across 3 stages, a theatre tent, a dedicated family area and much more. This year headliners include Ziggy Marley, The Stranglers and Seth Lakeman.
 
Beautiful Days 16-18th August 2019

Yarty Party

Only in it’s third year,  this small festival in Axminster has proved such a success it has extended it’s programme to cover two days. Focusing on the very best music, entertainment and DJ’s, organisers also have a selection of the best food and drinks the South West has to offer. There will be something for everyone,  raising money for local charities.

Yarty Party: Friday 19th – 20th July 


Langaland

With it’s aim showcase, support and inspire local, emerging talent in music, art and other creative fields.  2019 sees the Langa-magic lasting for two nights at a brand new site near Cullompton (previously it was on Dartmoor).  With over 50 performances across two main stages, an ambient area, acoustic music, theatre and kids’ activities tucked away in Mid-Devon this sounds like a a lovely event. 

Langaland raises funds for the Langaford Farm Charitable Trust, a small educational charity established 14 years ago on Dartmoor.

Langland: Friday 30th August to Sunday 1st September 2019


South Devon

Glas-Denbury

I was lucky enough to go along for the day to this beautiful festival. Tucked away in South Devon near Newton Abbot, Glas-Denbury won festival of the year in the Devon Tourist Awards.

Authentic, friendly, safe, accessible and sustainable, Glas-Denbury showcases the best of the South West from its creativity to its food, its music and entertainment to its people. This year be entertained and enthralled by a line-up of music from all genres, magical entertainment, workshops to learn and create in. Glas-Denbury has a BBC introducing stage where I saw some great acts perform last year.

Glas-Denbury: 5th-6th July 2019

Glas-Denbury Festival

Chagstock

An international Music Festival on the edge of Devon’s beautiful Dartmoor with 5,000 capacity. With a great line up over 3 stages, camping and a beer tent. For kids entertainment there is Chagstock Village Green, the family and children’s area at Chagstock Festival.  The Fun Lovin’ Criminals have been announced as headliners for 2019. Another one on my wish list! 

Chargstock: 19-20th July 2019


Tunes in the Castle

A brand new music festival, set in the beautiful grounds of Powderham Castle in Exeter. Tunes in the Castle will feature top UK music artists over two days. This looks to be a great new addition to the festival scene and will certainly be much bigger than many of the other events listed. With an enchanted silent disco in the forest, medieval jousting in castle grounds, a gin terrace, as well as intimate gigs inside the Castle, yoga, saunas and hot tubs by the river,  plus much more to make this weekend one to remember.

Tunes in the Castle: 3rd -4th August 2019


Sidmouth Folk Festival

There has been a folk festival in Sidmouth in the first week of August every year since 1955, now attracting tens of thousands of visitors to over 700 diverse events with a broad ‘something for everyone’ appeal.

The festival features established stars and emerging talent; major concerts, lively roots parties; small intimate sessions; ceilidhs and folk dancing; storytelling; fun family entertainment and youth-centred sessions; hands-on workshops and spectacular dance displays; the best in South West crafts and the tastiest of local food and drink.

Sidmouth Folk Festival: 2nd – 9th August 2019


River Cottage Festival

Pull on your dancing wellies and immerse yourself in all of the delights River Cottage has to offer. The River Cottage Festival is a two-day event at River Cottage HQ.

Enjoy a jam-packed programme of music, talks, masterclasses and a host of children’s activities and festival fun! All under 16s free. Click here for more details and tickets

24th and 25th August 2019

River Cottage Festival 2019

North Devon

There are a few other festivals in North Devon and plenty more in Cornwall. However for this post I am just going to mention Pigstock.


Pigstock

In May we are off to Pigstock in North Devon for a second time as we enjoyed it so much last year.  This is a great friendly festival held on the Saturday 18th May 2019. Then on the Sunday the music continues in and around the Big Sheep which is a lovely family attraction where entry is included in the ticket price. This festival has steadily grown over the last 10 years.

Pigstock: 18th -19th May

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Food Festivals

Finally there are fantastic food festivals across the county where you can enjoy sampling everything from sausages and  marshmallows to gin and coffee.  These foodie lovers heaven make a lovely day out and some also have music entertainment as well.

We’ve enjoyed Exeter Festival of Food and Drink which is on over the bank holiday weekend of 4-6th May 2019.

Set in the grounds of Northernhay Gardens in Exeter – easy to access by train and public transport there is also a music festival called Exeter Beats on the Friday and Saturday nights with top radio DJs. 

South West festival of food and Drink

Next up is River Cottage Food Fair held on the second May bank holiday. With demonstrations and talks by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstal and other TV chefs and presenters, this is a real treat for any lover of River Cottage. Set in a beautiful secluded valley in East Devon, children can explore the woods, and take part in activities and entertainment. You can read more in review from last year. 

Later on in the year it’s the Powderham Food Festival – 5th and 6th October 2019. A stunning location with stalls set up in and around the castle.  At all of these events you can watch cookery demonstrations, try hands on workshops (book in advance or as soon as you arrive). 

While you wander buy a delicious lunch and relax with some local cider or a Devon gin and tonic.

Powderham Food festival