Long ago, Samuel Johnson said, “if you are tired of London you are tired of life.” However, I think what he actually meant was, “if you are tired of the UK in the summertime, when there are a million fun things going on at any given time, you are tired of life.”
Although summertime can be more fleeting than in North America, that doesn’t stop the Brits from throwing some amazing parties and festivals. A wonderful way to integrate your ex-pat self is to dive head first into these cultural event, like hearing some great music, seeing fabulous comedy or taking a road-trip to a festival in the middle of nowhere. Some of these events take place in August, which means it’s not too late to attend, otherwise, be sure to check out what is on for Summer 2018!
To kick-start some festival season planning, here are my top picks for UK Festivals not to miss:
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
There are few other places in the world where you can find quality entertainment for days on end, armed with only £20 or less. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival spans the month of August and attracts an incredible 50,000+ performances at almost 300 venues scattered throughout the city. There are heaps of free (or £5 shows) on offer every day, and be sure not to miss the pop-up food and drink stalls to keep your festival stamina going. The Fringe issues a whole magazine detailing each act and when and where they’re performing, and now there’s even a mobile app so you can select the performances you want to see most and create a personalized festival schedule!
A Music Festival
It’s the country that produced the Beatles, so of course the UK plays host to some of the best music festivals every summer. Glastonbury, 2000 Trees, Download, Reading, Leeds… names you may have heard of before, and for good reason! There are endless options of stellar music festivals all over the country featuring genres to suit even the pickiest of music aficionados. For a small island, the music festival game here is strong – be sure not to miss out!
Golowan Festival Cornwall
For incredible scenery and great culture, I highly recommend trekking out to the Golowan Festival in Cornwall – the beautiful peninsula that makes up the southwestern chunk of England. This midsummer parade now includes a three-day itinerary full of live music, events, and great food, all with the stunning backdrop of the Cornish coast. Be sure to try a pasty and bring your dancing shoes!
Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Not the type of tattoo you’re thinking of. On top of the Fringe Festival, which also takes place in August, Edinburgh Castle’s esplanade is transformed into an incredible stadium, which showcases some of the world’s top military bands, and the very best of Scotland’s. If kilts, bagpipes and a firework show all against the backdrop of Edinburgh’s iconic castle is your idea of a good time, be sure to book a ticket ASAP!
London knows how to throw a great party, and Pride is a perfect example. Wear some clothes you don’t mind being coated with glitter, round up some pals and celebrate love in one of the greatest cities in the world.
Eisteddfod International Music Festival
Culture vultures around the world flock to Wales every year for the Eisteddfod (no, I didn’t sneeze while typing, that’s really how it’s spelled) – an international music festival and competition that now boasts over 4,00 performers annually. Not only will you get to see what Welsh music and dance is all about, but you also are able to explore music traditions from dozens of other countries who showcase their traditions and compete here.
There’s so much to discover while in the UK, and Across the Pond can help you get there. If you would like to find out more about studying in the UK, please contact us using the form opposite.