Free festivals and events for summer 2013
You don't have to spend a penny to enjoy music, theatre and more in the outdoors over the coming months.
Tickets for big name music festivals like Glastonbury, V and T In The Park can set you back over £200 for a weekend but there’s lots of fun festivals and outdoor events you can enjoy for free. Here’s our round-up of twenty summer events across the country.
West End Live
What: Performances from all the West End musicals plus live bands and interactive exhibits from museums and galleries across the capital.
When: 22–23 June
Where: Trafalgar Square
More info: www.westendlive.co.uk
Notting Hill Carnival
What: One of the world’s most famous free carnivals takes over the streets of west London.
When: 25-26 August
Where: Notting Hill
More info: www.thenottinghillcarnival.com/
More London Free Film Festival
What: Free outdoor film screenings including ‘Skyfall’, Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ and ‘Back To The Future’.
When: 11-27 September
Where: The Scoop amphitheatre on the South Bank
City of London Festival
What: Music and arts against the backdrop of some of the capital’s most iconic landmarks and open spaces.
When: 23 June–26 July
Where: Venues across London
More info: www.colf.org/
Weston Beach Kite Festival
What: Stunt kite displays, free kids’ kite-making workshops and synchronised performances set to music.
When: 8-9 June
Where: Weston-Super-Mare seafront
More info: www.westonkitefestival.co.uk
Bristol International Balloon Fiesta
What: Over 150 hot air balloons of all shapes and sizes take to the skies along with evening firework displays.
When: 8-11 August
Where: Ashton Court, Bristol
More info: www.bristolballoonfiesta.co.uk/
What: The oldest carnival in the UK celebrates its 125th anniversary. Highlights include an illuminated carnival procession and regatta.
When: 16, 17 and 31 August
Where: Ryde, Isle of Wight
More info: www.rydecarnival.com
Leicester Caribbean Carnival
What: A celebration of the city’s Afro-Caribbean culture.
When: 3 August
Where: Victoria Park, Leicester
More info: www.leicestercaribbeancarnival.co.uk
Godiva Music Festival
What: Live music including Echo and the Bunnymen, local bands, comedy and a kids tent.
When: 5 – 7 July
Where: War Memorial Park, Coventry
More info: www.godivafestival.com
Nottingham Riverside Festival
What: Nottingham’s largest outdoor festival with live music, street theatre, dragon boat racing and fireworks on the banks of the River Trent.
When: 2 - 4 August
Where: Victoria Embankment, Nottingham
The Big Cheese Festival
What: Entertainment, fireworks and the ‘Great Cheese Race’ all in celebration of Caerphilly’s history.
When: 26-28 July
What: Series of events throughout the summer. Free events include the International Food and Drink Festival, Cardiff Carnival and carnival workshops.
When: 12 June – 31 August
Where: Cardiff Bay
More info: www.cardiff-festival.com
What: Music and entertainment in the shadow of the Black Mountains.
When: 24-25 August
More info: www.talgarthfestival.org.uk
Whaley Water Weekend
What: Free boat rides, mini zoo with meerkats and birds of prey, Punch and Judy, climbing wall and live music.
When: 7–9 June
Where: Whaley Bridge, near Buxton, Derbyshire
More info: www.whaleywaterweekend.co.uk
SIRF 13 (Stockton International Riverside Festival)
What: One of the largest free arts festivals. Four days of street theatre, circus, dance and music.
When: 1-4 August
More info: www.sirf.co.uk
Liverpool International Music Festival
What: Live music including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Beatles tribute bands.
When: 23-26 August
Where: Sefton Park, Liverpool
Dundee Blues Bonanza
What: Blues music festival with over 125 live performances, featuring artists and fans from across Europe.
When: 28–30 June
Where: Various pubs and clubs across Dundee
More info: www.dundeebluesbonanza.co.uk
Free Edinburgh Fringe Festival
What: A free companion to the main Edinburgh Festival including comedy, theatre and cabaret events. Events take place in nightclubs, caves, bars and buses.
When: 1-25 August
Red Sails Festival
What: Live music, theatre, magic, dance events, drum workshops and pavement art and cocktail making competitions.
When: 21-27 July
More info: www.redsails.co.uk
Maiden City Festival
What: A celebration of local history and heritage through music, dance and drama.
When: 3-10 August
More info: www.maidencityfestival.com
You'll find lots more free festivals and events at the Free Events website but it's worth checking details with individual locations before setting off.
This article has been updated
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