The best UK family festivals for 2024

Whether it's your first festival season as a family or you're seasoned pros, these should be top of your to-do list

You’ve got to start young. Little minds are impressionable and absorb everything, so if you don’t bombard them with your own music taste in their formative years, you’ll regret it forever. All those Joni Mitchell albums you’ve nurtured for decades and little Barnaby comes home from nursery with a penchant for happy hardcore. My dad instigated a rigorous regime of Dire Straits and Bruce Springsteen throughout my childhood and here I am with an unhealthy obsession with The War On Drugs. It works, people. Get them to a festival. Get them into music. Your music. Here’s where to start.

Bit of hazy loveliness at Camp Bestival

Camp Bestival

If you looked up “family festivals” in a dictionary, you probably wouldn’t find anything because that’s not what a dictionary is for. But if you want the epitome of a family festival, you can’t go wrong with either of the Camp Bestivals. The balance between family activities and music acts is finely struck, with everything from wild swimming to a “farmyard circus” sharing space with Pete Tong, McFly, The Darkness, Paloma Faith, Faithless and Rick Astley. Dorset, 25 – 28 July | Shropshire, 15 – 18 August

Liquid Death presents Download

Here’s the thing, if you’re really into metal, your kids being into anything else is going to be fairly intolerable. You could approach it like that film The Village (spoiler alert) and protect them from the outside world by pretending that no other genre of music exists. Yes my darling, they have all kinds of music here: metal and punk. And let’s face it, most kids have no noise filter and waaay too much energy. This is meant to be. Derbyshire, 14 – 16 June

Hanging out at Gone Wild

Gone Wild

Bear Grylls knows a thing or two about maximising your outdoor experience but thankfully his Gone Wild festivals don’t involve drinking your own wee or crying about your childhood on the top of a mountain (I mean… they could… you do you). There’s music from James, Ocean Colour Scene and Ash in Devon; and Example, McFly and Reef in Norfolk; with Sam Ryder at both sites. There are also inspiring talks from Bear himself, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Liv Bolton and Jonny Huntingdon, and enough activities to turn you into an intrepid explorer in the space of three days. Norfolk, 8 – 11 August | Devon, 22 – 25 August

Isle Of Wight Festival

The long-running island festival has more zones than The Hunger Games (and none of the dystopia), ticking off pretty much everything imaginable. Of particular interest to families will be the Kidzone which immerses the little ones in nature-based festival adventures with a well-concocted itinerary over the course of the weekend. Musically speaking, it’s equally diverse, with highlights including The Prodigy, Pet Shop Boys, Green Day, Crowded House, The Pretenders and Suede. There’s a strong Irish influence too in the shape of Kingfsher, The Mary Wallopers, Cian Ducrot and Picture This. Isle of Wight, 20 – 23 June

Isle Of Wight gets quirky


One of the most idyllic festivals out there, Latitude covers every base possible from music to comedy to theatre to anything you could possibly want to do in a field in Suffolk (except win the 2,000 Guineas). The music line-up is like a choose-your-own-adventure for your ears and the options for mini festivalgoers are endless – including a sling library, bottle-warming and soft play for the littlest ones, engaging science and wildlife activities, a kids’ theatre tent and crafting activities. What’s more, Latitude has also created a specific area with teens in mind too. Kids aged 0–4 go free and don’t need a ticket, while those aged 5–12 can enter with a child’s ticket. Suffolk, 25 – 28 July

Wilderness taking its name very literally

Audi presents Wilderness

Nothing at Wilderness could qualify as average. Not when the music is from Bicep, Michael Kiwanuka, Faithless and De La Soul, the comedy includes Bill Bailey and Rosie Jones, the food is from Andi Oliver and Richard Corrigan and Mark Kermode’s going to talk about films. By the end of it all, your kids will be quipping musos eating braised rabbit tagliatelle while watching Blithe Spirit. Oxfordshire, 1 – 4 August


Alongside an extensive bill headlined by Sister Sledge, Texas and Ocean Colour Scene, Wychwood has a well-planned out itinerary for families, ranging from crafting and dance to magic shows and circus workshops. Saturday morning starts with Mr Motivator, which is a damn sight more motivating than my Saturday mornings. Kids under 10 can go for free, but still need a ticket to enter. Cheltenham, 4 – 6 June