Who knew you could leave a festival feeling better than when you arrived?
Did you leave your last festival feeling physically and spiritually refreshed? Did you return home with the glow of someone who just ‘found themselves’ at an Southeast Asian spa hotel? No! You crawled out of your tent, bleary-eyed and sun-burnt, and you fell asleep in your meal deal on the train home. “It’s all part of the experience,” you say. But what if we told you there was a better way?
We’ve searched far and wide for all the festivals ready to offer you something more this summer. The same great music, the same vibrant atmosphere, but this time with a little extra luxury. Whether that’s better food to chow down on, clearer views of your favourite acts, or a comfier bed to curl up in, these are the upgrades your body will thank you for.
We know you aren’t going to Creamfields for a relaxing, restorative weekend. But we think you deserve the best of both worlds. Enter the excellently named Dreamfields: a luxury camping experience that allows you access to proper toilets and showers, a pamper tent with mirrors, hairdryers and straighteners, and a phone charging hub. No more begging your phone to hold onto its last two percent of battery life as you search for your friends, and no more trying to braid your hair in the reflection of someone’s sunglasses.
Chelmsford, 26 – 28 May / Cheshire, 24 – 27 August
If you’ve ever been stood at the crowd in a festival and found yourself thinking, “This is great and all, but I wish this was more of an immersive wellness experience,” then Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place is right up your street. With a range of talks, activities, crafts and classes – and VIP packages to help take it all to the next level – this is truly an experience that you will walk out of a better version of yourself. Or at least with a very nice set of hand creams in your bag.
London, 15 – 16 July | Cheshire, 2 – 3 September
The likes of Pulp, Paolo Nutini and George Ezra await you on Latitude’s mammoth line-up. It’s going to be a big one – so why not make sure you have somewhere nice to refuel? Latitude Luxury, the festival’s exclusive campsite, has plenty of boutique accommodation options, as well as a chill-out area complete with live acoustic music to help you wind down. There’s a good chance these will sell out, so act now if you’ve always dreamed of spending Latitude in an Airstream or a luxury yurt.
Suffolk, 20 – 23 July
Whether you and your loved ones are headed to Dorset or Shropshire this summer, an explosion of family fun awaits you. Which is fantastic – until you’re slinging your sleeping kids over your shoulders and trekking it back to your tent to stuff them into sleeping bags. Big family days out require a big night’s sleep on either side, and that’s where Camp Bestival’s boutique camping options. You’ll have access to comfy beds, warm showers and flushing toilets – and, if you opt for Dorset’s Backstage or Hospitality Campsites, you’ll be fast-tracked to the Main Stage come morning.
Dorset, 27 – 30 July | Shropshire, 17 – 20 August
Wilderness Festival is a luxury experience in and of itself. Experience world-class entertainment in an idyllic lakeside woodland setting, from music by The Chemical Brothers and Christine and the Queens to talks from Sara Pascoe and Elizabeth Day. There’s multiple feasting and dining experiences to enjoy, and endless opportunity for lake swimming (give it 30 minutes after the feasting and dining, obviously). If all that isn’t enough, you can explore luxury camping options, book spa treatments, participate in yoga classes, and even learn to hunt, gather and cook your own dinner. Honestly, at that point you might as well live in Cornbury Park until next year’s festival rolls around.
Oxfordshire, 3 – 6 August
Not only does Connect have a fantastic range of luxury camping options and hotel packages – they also have Chef Barry. After you’ve finished singing along to the likes of Primal Scream, RAYE and boygenius, you’ll be able to seat yourself down at the Chef’s Table and enjoy Chef Barry’s celebrated concept menu, Barry Fish & Barry Fields. Worth it purely to be able to turn to your friends in middle of Fred Again.. and ask, “How about a little fine dining?”
Edinburgh, 25 – 27 August
Photo credit: Andrew Hughes