The Northants festival guide 2019
Northants is the place to be this summer with loads of festival shenanigans from music events to ones for the foodies.
There’s no need to travel far this summer as Northants is playing host to plenty of festivals over the summer months. From food festivals to taste the best local produce to fun fests keeping the kids entertained, there’s still of course a few classic music festivals for your dancing shoes. The idyllic countryside is coming to life this summer and welcomes festival goers of all types *digs out Boho look, circa 2004
Towcester Food Festival, 8-9 June
Food festivals are always a fave and with over 100 artisan food and drink stalls, this festival is perfect for foodies (and drinkies) alike! Chef demos, street food market, wine and gin tasting sessions, cocktail masterclasses, live music lawns and family entertainment, including a family circus; and this is all included in the ticket price! That means free booze. Just to repeat, there’s some free booze. New for 2019 are cheese pairing sessions, and we’re talking wine, cider and beer here! Cheers! Tickets from £5-£22.
Towcester Racecourse, London Rd, Towcester NN12 6LB
Northampton Music Festival, 16 June
Now in its 12th year and it still has the same objective to celebrate Northampton’s rich music culture. It’s got six stages and is held right in the heart of the town centre which means it is easily accessible to all who want to go,. Also, due to the central location you can pop in and out without an issue. The festival is really keen to promote the artists and groups that are based within the community and tries to raise the profile of the artists and the town as well, from rock to opera – The Blockheads are headlining on the Main Stage. You can save your pennies for a summer holiday as this festival is free. Hear, hear, Muddy approves.
Northampton Music Festival, Northampton Town Centre
Music Barn Festival, 22 June
The Muddy Stilettos have trodden the grass verges of this great local festival a fair few times and it’s never failed to lift our spirits. Kicking off at 2pm and continuing throughout the evening till late (2am to be exact) there’ll be no time for an afternoon nap (not that you’ll want one). All funds raised will be generously donated to local charities, including Cransley Hospice and Niamh’s Next Step, adding to the already raised £60,000 over the past five years. The organisers are incredibly supportive of local businesses so you’ll get to see the best of Northamptonshire’s food and drink producers as well as some brilliant live acts! There are a variety of genres which means you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to what to watch as they have a mixed line-up of up and coming bands as well as established artists (check it all out here). Oh and did I mention they’re friends of Muddy and this is super fun adults only. Repeat, adults only!
Music Barn, Cranford, NN14 4AA
Oundle International Festival, 4-13 July
For over 30 years, the Oundle International Festival has been providing Northants with entertaining and enriching music concerts, theatrical performances and community events which includes folk, jazz, classical and choral music, complemented by family theatre, an outdoor cinema screening, an encore screening of an opera and the annual Bach Walk (phew)…and let’s not forget about the Party at the Wharf.
Oundle Music Trust, 4 New Street, Oundle Northamptonshire PE8 4ED
Northampton Town Festival, 6-7 July
Think giant funfairs, impressive hot air balloon displays, live music & entertainment, fireworks and a huge dollop of community spirit – and you have the recipe for the HUGE Northampton town festival. This festival is a throwback to the iconic Northampton Town Show with local traders, chill out tents, live music, funfair rides, kids zone, fireworks, stunts and shows, and, of course, the balloons. It’s FREE to attend and even the dog can come along.
Northampton Town Festival, The Racecourse, Kettering Rd, Northampton NN1 4LG
KettFest, 13-14 July
KettFest 2019 is Kettering’s art, culture, music and community festival. Bringing Kettering together with colour, randomness and fun. Free event with things going on across the town – info can be found just here.
Kettering, NN15 6J
Thurning Feast, 25th July
This is a spectacular festival, which takes place on…whichever day the 25th of July falls on (the Muddy Stilettos trod there a couple of years ago and loved the whole feel)! This vibrant village feast brings the local community together in aid of raising funds for the upkeep of Thurning Village Hall and the Church of St James. Thurning receives help from residents of surrounding villages and in turn raises funds to support their villages and chosen charities. Alongside great live music, a funfair and children’s entertainment, Thurning Feast also offers a variety of multi-national foods and a fabulous selection of locally made cakes and teas for a quintessentially English experience. TICKETS: Advance: Adult £5, Accompanied Under 16 – FREE. £6 on the door on the night. Advance tickets available online and through Oundle box Office.
Thurning Feast, Hall Close, Clopton Road, Thurning, Peterborough, PE8 5RE
Green Meadows Festival, 9-11 August
Green Meadows Festival is a gathering of friends and family in the beautiful countryside at the Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire border. The festival is an intimate, relaxed community of friends, developing year on year. Enjoy a wide variety of performances, live music and DJs over multiple stages and areas, throughout the day and into the night. With a relaxed family friendly atmosphere everyone is welcome and there are plenty of free child focused activities to keep the kids happy – kids play during the day and adults at night!
Green Meadows Festival, Elton, Peterborough, PE8 6SJ
Northampton Balloon Festival, 16-18 August
The Northampton Balloon Festival has always created a spectacular event over our skies. Whilst ballooning is a weather dependant activity, the balloonists want to fly, so if the conditions allow, the balloons will be flying at both 6am and 6pm on each of the three days of the event. At 9.00pm on Saturday evening, they will also be having a “Balloon Glow”. Come and watch the balloons turn into giant lanterns tethered to the ground, pulsating to the music – its magical! The event is FREE to all holiday makers at Billing Aquadrome (minimum 3 night stay applies) and owners. Public day pass subject to admission fees as follows: Car: £5, Adult: £5, Child under 16: Free
Northampton Balloon Festival, Billing Aquadrome, Crow Lane, NN3 9DA
Shambala, 22-25 August
This is a mahoosive festival based in a stunning secret location in the Northants countryside that spans over four days in August and displays over 200 diverse musical acts on 12 different stages and also boasts world class cabaret, as well as nationally acclaimed poetry. The line up is a celebration of where the global music scene is at this moment in time, as well as paying homage to where it all began. Each year Shambala brings you a unique soundtrack that you won’t find elsewhere, handpicked to perfectly compliments the vibe, atmosphere and rhythm of your weekend. The festival also plays host to a multitude of other events including stand-up comedy shows, a wide array of motivational speeches as well as a series of acrobatic performances.
Shambala, Secret Country Estate, Northamptonshire
Illusive Festival, 6-8 September
This festival is a 3 day music event set in a wondrous world of distorted reality and was born and bred 5 years ago in the underground clubs and fields of the UK so is a very raw and thrilling experience (ooooooooh). There are 6 stages that you can go to over the weekend with the line up including The Skints and Artful Dodger!
Illusive Festival, Deene Park, Corby, Northants
Cornbury Music Festival, The Great Tew Park, Oxon; 5 – 7 July
The Beach Boys and The Specials head the bill at this civilised festival that prides itself on being quintessentially English. Think country fair with a rock’n’roll twist. Jovial Geordies, The Hairy Bikers provide the food.
Camp Bestival, Lulworth Castle, Dorset; 25 -28 July
The kiddy-friendly alternative to Bestival, this one has loads to keep little people happy while you tuck into that box of wine. Human League, Chic, Jess Glynne are playing, with Sara Cox, Annie Mac and Spice Girl Mel C on DJ duties.
Truck Festival, Steventon, Oxon; 26-28 July
Full marks for nabbing indie favourites and local lads Foals for their first Oxon show in five years. They’ll be joined by Wolf Alice and Kate Nash (side note: have you seen her acting chops, brilliant in Netflix series Glow?). This veteran South Oxon festival in a farmer’s field hits all the right notes too with its family-friendly feel and decent food.