The best UK family festivals for 2023

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 while you can, you’ll end up regretting it later. All those Simon & Garfunkel albums you’ve nurtured for decades and little Sophie comes home from nursery with a penchant for hard house. My dad inflicted a steady diet of Dire Straits and Bruce Springsteen when I was young and here I am with an unhealthy obsession with The War On Drugs. It works, people. Get them to a festival. Sell them on the excellent family activities when the main objective is to immerse them in music. Your music. Here’s where to start.

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 cosmic yoga sharing space with Primal Scream, Napalm Death and CMAT. Dorset, 27 – 30 July | Shropshire, 17 – 20 August | Get tickets here

Isle of Wight Festival 2022

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 Blondie, Gang Of Youths, Echo & The Bunnymen and more. If your kids are anything like mine, the opportunity to hear both ‘Shotgun’ and ‘Space Man’ in one night will be too much to resist. Isle of Wight, 15 – 18 June | Get tickets here


One of the most idyllic festivals out there, Latitude covers every base possible from music (hello, Pulp!) to comedy to theatre to anything you could possibly want to do in a field in Suffolk (except win the 2000 Guineas… that’s not being added until 2024*). The music line-up is like a choose-your-own-adventure for your ears. The Guest Chef restaurant is next level (plus you can then listen to James Acaster in conversation and pretend you’re on Off Menu). 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, 20 – 23 July | Get tickets here

*Not being added for 2024

Bubbling over at Latitude
Bubbling over at Latitude

Raver Tots

While most of the events at South Facing and Margate Summer Series are 16+, Raver Tots caters to those whose knees are past raving until 4am (and their offspring). Taking the action into the al fresco sunshine with big names from house, garage and drum and bass, there’s also a plethora of fun sideshows including rides, inflatables and face-painting. Margate, 9 July | Crystal Palace, 30 July | Get tickets here


First of all, Nottingham’s yearly shindig takes place in Batman’s garden. Not many festivals can claim that. Splendour is situated just on the outskirts of the city in the extensive parklands of Wollaton Hall and Deer Park (Wayne Manor in The Dark Knight Rises). The line-up for the festival’s 15th birthday is wide-reaching, from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Madness and The Coral to Sugababes, Rudimental and Sam Ryder. Kids under 10 go free. Nottingham, 22 – 23 July | Get tickets here

Standon Calling (Image by Fernando Bonenfant for Here & Now)

Standon Calling

Not many festivals have swimming pools (in many instances, this is a wise decision) or dog shows (ditto) but Standon Calling has both and they’re glorious. There are also circus workshops, wild west showdowns, private nannies, kids’ raves and yoga (not at the same time), a costume parade and Dick and Dom battling it out on the decks. Not sure where there’s time for music in all that but we’d recommend finding time for Dylan, Sprints, Caity Baser, Bob Vylan, Bloc Party and The Big Moon. Hertfordshire, 20 – 23 July | Get tickets here


Nothing at Wilderness could qualify as average. Not even the family entertainment, which ranges from providing the soundtrack to esoteric animated films to the offbeat silliness of Tootles & Nibs. Transmission Roundhouse will be on hand to host workshops on DJing, podcasting and music producing, while The Flying Seagull Project presents workshops, clowning and circus classes. That’s just the tip of the iceberg to go along with all the incredible chefs, wild swimming and terrific music on offer. Oxfordshire, 3 – 6 August | Get tickets here

Round the twist at Wilderness


Alongside an extensive bill headlined by Sam Ryder, Travis and Happy Mondays, 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 are free but still need a ticket to enter. Cheltenham, 4 – 6 June | Get tickets here