Fantastic Devon Festivals 2019
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. 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.
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. 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 with major concerts, lively roots parties, small intimate sessions, ceilidhs and folk dancing. You will also discover storytelling, fun family entertainment and youth-centred sessions. Combined with hands-on workshops and spectacular dance displays, the best in South West crafts and the tastiest of local food and drink.
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.
This is a festival with a difference. In between the music and the famous River Cottage Food, conservation, sustainability and well-being will be the themes of the weekend.
Joining Hugh on stage is the TV presenter Anita Rani, Hugh’s co-presenter in their new BBC1 series War On Plastic. Another TV favourite, Steph McGovern will also be appearing, talking with Hugh about health and well-being. Joining them to address the issue of how we can all look after ourselves better will be Giles Yeo, geneticist, author and BBC presenter, also seen recently on Hugh’s Fat Fight.
So enjoy this 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
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). Featuring 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.
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.
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!
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.
In May we are off to Pigstock in North Devon for a second time as we enjoyed it so much last year. A great one day, family friendly festival held. Saturday entry to the Big Sheep is included in the ticket price, ideal if you are taking younger children. Then on the Sunday the music continues in and around the Big Sheep which is a lovely family attraction, entry is discounted for festival goers. This festival has steadily grown over the last 10 years to include some great headline acts on one main stage. Camping can be booked at the next door Ultimate Adventure Centre.
Pigstock: 18th -19th May
Fantastic Devon Festivals – Food, Drink and More Food
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.
Exeter Festival of Food and Drink
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.
River Cottage Food Fair
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.
Powderham Castle Food Festival
In the autunm 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.
Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary Family Food Fair
12 October 2019 – 10:00am to 4:00pm
This event champions some of the best food, drink and talent our region has to offer – with a focus on inspiring kids to get cooking. For the grown-ups, there’s a line-up of fantastic local chefs to provide cooking demonstrations throughout the day, giving you the chance to sample some mouth-watering delights as well as ideas for you to try at home.
As the name suggests, this is a family event. Children are never too young to learn to cook and getting hands-on and stuck-in is a great way to do this – and there is no mess for you to clean up afterwards! Just head to the KidsZone where Food is Fun will be helping youngsters make their own fish finger bap or mini pizza and side salad for lunch, followed by a fresh fruit salad for dessert. Throughout the day, they will also have the opportunity to take part in one of the following workshops or demonstrations run by The Kings School. In the KidsZone they can also decorate a donkey biscuit for an afternoon treat, get crafty at the colouring-in station and have their face painted.
£2.50 per adult including prize draw entry, under 12s are free. £5 per child for entry into the KidsZone (includes lunch).
What a great selection of opportunities for super days out. Do let me know if you have enjoyed any of these events or think there are more I should add.
Thank you for reading.