The best day festivals of summer 2024

From Hyde Park to Margate and Cardiff Castle to Sherwood Forest: here are the most unmissable one-day festivals of the year

Festival season is a truly magical time – but it’s also a slightly romanticised one. Although the reality often includes sunshine, great food and drink, and unforgettable live performances, it can also include sunburn, hangovers and sleeping in a tent. We can’t help you with the first two (although we would recommend SPF and Dioralyte in your bum bag) but if you’d prefer to end a day of alfresco live music in a comfortable bed, then these summer concerts might be your perfect fit.

Set in some of the UK’s most beautiful parks and forests or held on historic grounds, the concert series on this list provide all the fun, food and excellent entertainment of a weekend festival without the week of recovery time. Here are the top day festivals to put on your list for summer 2024.

In The Park presents…

Photo credit: Anthony Mooney

If you’re feeling up to it, you could make a weekend of this one. Liverpool’s Sefton Park will host headliners Catfish and the Bottlemen, Jamie Webster and Cream Classical & the 50 Piece Kaleidoscope Orchestra across 11 – 13 July, with plenty of exciting support acts on the bill as well. If three days is feeling like a bit much, you’ll be able to join 40,000 other fans for the day-long show of your choice, and grab anything from crêpes to Chinese cuisine while you’re at it.  

BST Hyde Park

As ever, the line-up for the London concert series is stacked with huge names, with SZA, Stevie Nicks and Shania Twain all set to play headline shows on the Hyde Park stage across 29 June – 14 July 2024 – with the full line-up of supporting acts for each artist to be announced soon. There are too many great headline options here for there not to be something for everyone, so choose your fighter and get your tickets booked.

On The Waterfront presents…

Photo credit: Anthony Mooney

On the banks of the River Mersey, Liverpool’s Pier Head makes for a dynamic backdrop to this concert series. A relatively new festival, On The Waterfront gathers international artists and homegrown talent in one spot, hosting a string of huge outdoor gigs in the middle of June. Headlining this year are Ocean Colour Scene, Paul Smith, Ben Hemsley and Deacon Blue – if any of those sound appealing to you, then it’d be hard to find a setting more unforgettable than this one.

South Facing

The multi-day concert series returns to London’s Crystal Palace Bowl this summer, with Grace Jones, Róisín Murphy, Jess Glynne and Damian Marley among its headliners. Spanning the end of July and start of August, South Facing takes place in the height of summer, drawing crowds to a natural amphitheater beside a lake in the beautiful Crystal Palace Park. The festival also has a significant focus on sustainability, helping music fans to enjoy responsible outdoor concert-going.

Summer Sessions

Photo credit: Ryan Johnston

No matter where you are in the UK, you’ll be able to get to a Summer Sessions show – the popular concert series has events in Bedford, Chepstow, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Plymouth, Southampton and Stirling. The performers on offer are just as diverse, with Avril Lavigne, Tom Jones, Shania Twain, Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Hozier, Madness, Catfish and the Bottlemen and many more all set to headline on various outdoor stages across the UK.  

TK Maxx Presents Scarborough Open Air Theatre

There’s a ridiculously stacked roster of acts this summer at Scarborough Open Air Theatre, as the venue prepares to host a string of enormous pop and rock shows from some of the world’s biggest stars. Among the headliners on offer this year are Status Quo, Rick Astley, Anne-Marie, and Korn with Wargasm & Loathe. There are whopping 18 gigs being hosted by the venue this June, July and August, so it’s definitely worth checking out the list for yourself.

TK Maxx Presents Depot Live At Cardiff Castle

Right in the grounds of Cardiff Castle, this is definitely one of the UK’s most special outdoor concert series. Depot Live at Cardiff Castle will welcome headliners Avril Lavigne, Manic Street Preachers, Crowded House and plenty of others across June and July. Additionally, there are plenty of great hotel packages available for this one if you fancy treating yourself even further.

Forest Live

If you’re someone who always heads for the shade of the only tree on the festival site, allow us to welcome you into some of Britain’s most beautiful forests with Forest Live’s concert series. The summer series hosts events in Cannock Chase Forest, Sherwood Pines, Westonbirt Arboretum and more, with huge pop, rock and indie headliners on each line-up. There’s a ton of choice here so it’s definitely worth exploring your options – but you’re guaranteed stunning surroundings either way.

Margate Summer Series

The summer concert series at Margate Dreamland is one of the best for fitting that full festival experience into just one day. With a stunning beachfront location, plenty of vintage rides and food and drink options for everyone, this is the perfect way to get your festival hit in manageable doses. This year’s line-up includes Rudimental, Bryan Adams and JLS, with plenty of other acts also taking to the stage throughout June, July and August.

Brighton Valley Series

Just over an hour outside of London and an easy ten minutes from the centre of Brighton, Stanmer Park hosts some huge names this summer. Set in a green valley surrounded by woodland, this concert series manages to bring an intimate feel to its outdoor shows without sacrificing any of the festival freedom. The full line-up is yet to be announced but The Streets, Busted and Scouting For Girls are all already on the bill, and with past headliners including Tom Jones and Paulo Nutini, rest assured that the organisers will knock it out of the park (valley?) once again.

Explore more festivals here.