The best festivals across the region

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

After a raft of cancellations thanks to COVID, festivals are back in the diaries, and there are loads that you can enjoy across our network each year.

People sat at festival



Set in the beautiful surroundings of Wollaton Hall & Deer Park, Splendour Festival has grown hugely since its inception in 2008. Past headliners include Manic Street Preachers, Paloma Faith and the Human League, and its family friendly vibe means that it’s a great festival for the whole family.

Alongside the music, you can also enjoy a dedicated comedy stage, a funfair, a silent disco and an array of stalls selling independent goods and gourmet food and drink. Overall, it’s a great day out for anyone visiting Nottingham!

Usual dates: End of July

Nearest station: Nottingham

All Points East

Now one of East London’s largest festivals, All Points East takes over Victoria Park for six days each August. The line-up is a great mix of music, from the likes of Disclosure, The Chemical Brothers and Kraftwerk.

In the NBHD is the weekday aspect of the festival and is created in partnership with Tower Hamlets Council, and offers people the opportunity to experience free activities in Victoria Park throughout the week. Previous years have seen the likes of outdoor cinemas, live music and food and drink events take place in the park, with free entry to all.

Usual dates: End of August

Nearest underground train station: Bethnal Green


First founded in 2009, Tramlines has been a popular festival in Sheffield since the off. The first festival attracted 35,000 and by 2010, it had doubled that figure.

Now set in Hillsborough Park, festival-goers can enjoy locally made craft ales, handpicked food and a comedy stage, as well as top headline music acts. Kids are also able to attend, and the festival hosts a dedicated family area called ‘Into the Trees’ where young’uns are able to enjoy a whole host of activities, and outdoor cinema and circus entertainment.end.

Usual dates: End of July

Nearest station: Sheffield

Y Not

For one weekend a year, Y Not Festival arrives in the beautiful Peak District. What started out as a quarry party for 120 people in 2005, is now a well-loved festival in one of the most stunning places.

With an eclectic line-up rarely seen in the Peak District, from Elbow to the Courteeners – it’s an event not to be missed. It’s not just music either, with comedy and an in-house cinema, there’s plenty to do! It’s super family-friendly too, with dedicated camping facilities and its own family arena Strawberry Fields.

Usual dates: End of July

Nearest station: Matlock

Derby Folk Festival

A popular fixture in Derby’s cultural calendar, Derby Folk Festival has been entertaining crowds for the last 16 years. Hosted in the Market Place under a custom-build marquee, the Mick Peat Stage is the base for the festival.

Music can also be found in the stunning Derby Cathedral, and The Old Bell Hotel in the city’s historic Cathedral Quarter.

Usual dates: September/October

Nearest station: Derby

Great British Beer Festival

Image © Great British Beer Festival

Food & Drink

Manchester Food & Drink Festival

A well established fixture in Greater Manchester’s calendar, the Manchester Food and Drink Festival began as a means of showing the rest of the nation that there was more to Manchester than meat, pies and gravy. Since 1998, the festival has grown astronomically, and has assisted in creating the incredibly varied and influential food scene that the city now has.

Festival events take place across the city over a ten-day period, and a bespoke food and drink centre is custom built every year in one of the city’s main squares. The festival showcases the ‘most innovative and exciting food talent’ in the region, with a series of pop-ups, masterclasses and events taking place at restaurants, bars and venues across the city-region. Past events have seen the likes of Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey and Tom Kerridge attend.

Usual dates: September

Nearest station: Manchester Picadilly

Great British Beer Festival

One of the biggest and most exciting events in the beer and cider world, CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival takes place in London each year. Here you can try quite literally hundreds of UK beers, international beers and real ciders and perries under the iconic Olympia London roof.

As well as the huge range of drinks on offer, you can enjoy a varied selection of street food and snacks. Entertainment is also included as part of the ticket price with live music in the afternoons and evenings. You can even test your skill on a variety of traditional pub games, and browse the festival shops for pub books and CAMRA merchandise.

Usual dates: August

Nearest overground station: Kensington


Now one of the best known London food festivals, Meatopia was originally founded in the US and brought to the UK by a group of passionate food enthusiasts. Hosted each year at London’s Tobacco Dock, more than 60 of the world’s best live-fire chefs from all four corners of the globe arrive to each cook an exclusive dish over sustainably-sourced wood and charcoal.

Food aside, there’s usually a huge array of beverages on offer, including an abundance of craft beers in the TAPtopia hall, and cocktails and spirits on the dock. Musically, roaming brass bands circle the area, DJs offer up some enjoyable beats, and live musicians are on hand to add to the electric atmosphere!

Usual dates: September

Nearest station: London St Pancras

Greenwich+Docklands International Festival

Image © Greenwich+Docklands International Festival

Arts & Culture


Greenwich+Docklands International Festival , or ‘GDIF’ as it’s more commonly known, is London’s leading festival of free outdoor theatre and performing arts. The festival takes place across the borough of Greenwich, including in public spaces such as Canary Wharf, the City of London, the Royal Docks and Tower Hamlets.

It’s a free festival for everyone to enjoy, and consists of 18 extraordinary days of free theatre, art, dance and circus in London from both national and international performers.

Usual dates: August/September

Nearest station: London St Pancras

SO Festival

This international street art festival offers a variety of outdoor entertainment and takes place in both Mablethorpe and Skegness - the latter of which is easily accessible by train on the EMR network.

The aim of the SO Festival is to increase engagement and interest in the arts with those least engaged. It consists of three days of innovative, inspiring, international street theatre, as we bring high quality entertainment from the local and international scene together on the Lincolnshire coast. And best of all, it’s free!

Usual dates: August

Nearest station: Skegness

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