As the end of exams finally come into sight and we start getting excited about summer, it’s time to look at Warwickshire’s July festivals, the latest instalment of local festivals. If you’re looking to hang around the area during July, then why not take the opportunity to delve into some of these smaller and more niche events, to really soak up the local atmosphere and escape the Warwick bubble.
Stratford River Festival – 1-2 July, Stratford-Upon-Avon
The Stratford River Festival is a two day free event held along the picturesque River Avon. This small, family-friendly event would make the perfect day out in the sun: it has plenty of music to enjoy from two stages, the Bandstand and Acoustic, as well as great food and drink, arts and crafts and other activities. There will even be a firework display on the Saturday evening, so make sure not to miss out on that!
Be Festival – 3-7 July, Birmingham
A festival rich in ideas, creativity and diversity, this is a must-visit for the arts and theatre lovers out there. Be Festival compiles an innovative and exciting display of theatre, dance, comedy, circus, music, visual and performing arts. There will be performances, workshops, talks and more, as well as bookable interval meals and post-show DJ events. The festival’s ethos is rooted in community, diversity and cultural exchange. To this end, performances are truly international, with performers and companies from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Spain, France, Belgium, Italy, Germany and Switzerland to name a few. For instance, one event is a hybrid digital-live performance with actors from Turkey, Syria and the UK, that tackles issues of Europe’s border crisis. Be Festival is an eclectic mix of the serious and the frivolous, a real showcase of modern theatre. Tickets can be bought either for the full week (£100 including dinners, £60 without), or just specific days and events if certain ones take your fancy.
Napton Music Festival – 6-7 July, Warwickshire
This is a cheap and cheerful one for anyone looking for a weekend full of laughs – the main act is an Oasis tribute band, which gives a good indication of what the rest of the weekend will be like. The price would have to be the main appeal for this one – just £20 for a weekend ticket, and an additional £8 per person for camping. A total steal, this festival would make for a great time with the right group of people.
The Mostly Jazz, Funk, and Soul Festival – 6-8 July, Birmingham
Linked to the Moseley Folk Festival and Lunar Festival also taking place in the area this summer, Mostly Jazz promises to be a polished and authentic experience. With a packed, varied and international lineup (including an eleven-year-old flautist), headliner Jimmy Cliff from Jamaica, after parties and more, the full weekend costs £120. Alternatively, you can volunteer two shifts’ worth of work to have your ticket price refunded and attend for free. Mostly Jazz is set to be a classier affair than Napton; there is no camping on offer but a variety of hostels have been recommended as accommodation.
Warwick Folk Festival – 26-29 July, Warwick
“The heart of folk”, the Warwick Folk Festival is the one of the landmarks of the summer in the area. This will be the 39th festival and is set to combine the best of both traditional and contemporary folk arts and culture. Music and dance will be the main attractions and the Festival Fringe takes the festivities further out into the local areas with a procession and celebrations in pubs, cafes and restaurants throughout Warwick. A plethora of workshops will get you in the musical spirit, particularly the one entitled ‘Sing Like a Bloke’. Camping tickets for Thursday to Sunday are £149, but otherwise there are plenty of opportunities for both pre-festival and stewarding work. They are looking for social media staff, ambassadors and ‘crafty folk’ so if you’re arty and interested, take this opportunity to be at the heart of this true community festival.
Lunar Festival – 27-29 July, Tandworth-in-Arden
This is another festival that celebrates the wacky and eccentric, a treat for those looking for relaxation and stimulation all at once. Its slogan sums it up: “Illumination – Recreation – Merriment”. Activities and live performances are listed under the categories of Listen, Laugh, Learn, Move, Create, Taste, Relax. Amongst the most niche activities include a Stonehenge-inspired ancient festival experience and a Fungi Growing workshop. There are hot tubs for hire, ‘laughing yoga’, dance classes of every kind including ‘Appalachian Flatfooting’ and a skate-ramp to name a few. Student discounted tickets are just £95 for the full weekend, including camping, and there are great volunteering deals available as well.
Made Festival – 28 July, Birmingham
Made Festival is now in its fifth year and is everything you could hope for in a day festival. Dizzee Rascal is headlining, with other major names including Yxng Banes, Not3s and Chris Lorenzo. There is set to be a DJ competition, a choice of two after parties and tickets for bus transport at the end of the night – what more could you want? There are no excuses not to get your £45 tickets straight away.