Muddy’s 2021 Festival Guide: Warks, West Mids & beyond
Are you ready to make some noise?! From opera weekends to 80s throwbacks to thumping chart-toppers, these are the festivals you need to know about this summer.
Bigfoot Festival, Ragley Hall, Alcester, nr Stratford June 18-20
Big on music, drinks and food? Welcome to the world’s first craft beer music festival! Primal Scream, Fat White Family, Hot Chip and Trojan Sound System are headlining, plus lots of local Warwickshire/West Midlands indy, artisan food and drink producers as well as top chefs and breweries will be serving up a varied and affordable menu including The Farm, Snitterfield, Birmingham’s Original Patty Men and Church Farm Brewery, Warwick.
Funny Festival Live! RSC’s The Bear Pit Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, Wed June 23-Sun June 27
A brand-new four-day live comedy festival where you’ll be able to check out some of the best up and coming talent in-person alongside some big names from 2020’s Funny Women Stage Award runner-up Eryn Tett, to Toussaint Douglass who recently featured on BBC2’s stand-up show, and TV favourites such as Mock The Week’s Mark Simmons, 2018 Funny Women winner Thanyia Moore, Marcel Lucont, Jarred Christmas (Comedy Central at The Comedy Store) and Hal Cruttenden. Rounding off the week is Andrew Lawrence (Live at the Apollo) with his sell-out Pale, Male & Stale show. Tickets here.
ALSO Festival, Park Farm, Compton Verney, July 2-4
The UK’s leading ideas festival, set in the beautiful Warwickshire countryside is back in 2021 for its eighth year. The fantastic line-up features 70 carefully-curated events including talks from world-renowned thinkers, topical debates, creative masterclasses, sunset swims, exercise, brilliant DJs, a Balearic Brunch and comedy – all in ALSO’s famous lakeside setting. Tickets are now on sale.
Mostly Jazz Festival, Moseley Park, Birmingham, July 9-11
This summer’s line-up includes Neneh Cherry, The Fatback Band, Maribou State DJ set, The Wailers, Nightmares on Wax, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Norman Jay and Craig Charles. There’s also a club class backstage lounge and Mostly Sounds, DJ sets. Under 12s free with paying adult. Tickets here.
Warwick Folk Festival, July 15-18
Organisers have confirmed plans to go-ahead with this summer’s rescheduled folk shin-dig on its new Castle Park site with headline acts from last year’s postponed event including Seth Lakeman, The Young Uns and award-winning Nancy Kerr – the 2015 Folk Singer of the Year, BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
Big Foodie Weekend line up, Coventry city centre, July 23-25
Not only are Michelin Star chef Theo Randall and Dorset-based celebrity chef Lesley Waters headlining the kitchen stage, but Melanie C and M People’s Heather Small will be providing the music. On the evening of Fri July 23 there’ll be a DJ set by the former Spice Girl who will be joined by R&B singer/songwriter Karen Harding (‘Say Something’) 90’s pop sensation Rozalla (’Everyody’s Free’ ); legendary disco and house vocalist, Shena, and Coventry DJ, Paul Morrell. Heather Small will be the headline act on Sat July 24. Noughties acts Big Brovaz and Booty Luv are also set to perform, along with Katherine Ellis (Freemasons vocalist), rounded off by another set from Paul Morell. Tickets available from May 31 here
Solihull Summer Fest, Tudor Grange Park, Solihull, July 24-25
Solihull’s fifth music festival has been rescheduled and confirmed with disco legends Kool & The Gang headlining the main stage on Sat and Trinidadian-English singer-songwriter Billy Ocean on Sun. Artists performing over the weekend Marti Pellow, Shalamar, The Brand New Heavies, Snap!, The Blow Monkeys, Billy Ocean, Tony Hadley, Belinda Carlisle, Nik Kershaw and Bad Manners. Tickets, including VIP and premium options, are currently for sale. Book tickets online here: solihullsummerfest.co.uk
CVX Festival, Coventry, Aug 12-15
Tickets will be on sale soon for this four-day City of Culture music and arts activism festival to coincide with International Youth Day on Aug 12, organised with young people and co-produced by Coventry rapper JAY1.
Moseley Folk & Arts Festival, Sept 3-5, Moseley Park, Birmingham
After receiving a lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, this vibrant Midlands festival is able to ahead. Headliners include The Waterboys, Richard Hawley, The Wonderstuff, Gruff Rhys and 23-year-old Jajde Bird, who’s been described by Rolling Stone as ‘a young Londoner’s spin on modern Americana’.
IN NEIGHBOURING COUNTIES:
Great British Food Festival, Sudeley Castle, June 19-20
The Great British Food Festival comes to Sudely Castle in Glos, harking an array of tempting treats for gobbling, chef wizardry for goggling, live music for boogie-ing, and a mini zoo because — well, why not? If you fancy yourself a bit of a kitchen whizz yourself, enter the Cake Off for a chance at baking glory — and automatic free entry to the festival, of course. Tickets are otherwise £10.
Truck Festival, Oxfordshire 23-25 July
Tickets are sold out (sob) for Oxfordshire’s most banging indie festival and as there was a 70% rollover from last year’s cancelled event. The line up includes Bombay Bicycle Club, The Kooks, Royal Blood, Blossoms, Fontaines DC, Little Simz and Idles. You can sign up to the waiting list, or have a crack at making it big by applying as a band to play
Wilderness Festival, Oxfordshire, Aug 5-8
Tickets have now sold out for the four-day event in Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire. Line up includes Foals, Britpop favourites Supergrass and RnB superstar Kelis. You can still book camping arrangements if you’re lucky.
Waterperry Opera Festival, near Wheatley, Aug 12-21
Missed out on a bit of high culture over the past year of Netflix and tracky bums? You’ll want to get yourself tickets to an opera festival, darling. The 2021 line-up promises seven productions to enjoy over the ten days: The Elixir of Love (Donizetti), Hansel & Gretel (Humperdinck), Peter and the Wolf (Prokofiev), Ariel (Jonathan Dove), Clairières dans le ciel (Boulanger), On Wenlock Edge (Vaughan Williams), and The Quartet for the End of Time (Messiaen). There are also a series of young artist events and festival talks. Tickets for The Elixir of Love are £40 (or £25 for under-30s — think we could pass?), or from £8 for all other productions.
Blenheim Palace Food Festival, Aug 20-22
A sizzling feast for all the senses: great food, great music, stunning location. Blenheim Palace Food Festival showcases the very best of produce from local and national stallholders, with something tempting for everyone. Festival entry is included with a Palace, Park and Gardens ticket.
The Big Feastival, Cotswolds – Aug 27-29
Blur’s Alex James is opening his farm to the hungry (and greedy) in late August and all the headlines from 2020’s cancelled events are to return, so Sigala, Nile Rodgers & Chic and Rag n Bone man will take to the stage on respective nights. The Friday Night Supper Club and various dining experiences will also make a comeback. Grab day tickets (only) here.
Foodies Festival Oxford, Aug 28-30
The UK’s biggest food festival returns to Oxford South Parks over the Bank Holiday weekend, featuring MasterChef Champion Tom Rhodes. Get ready to eat, enjoy good music, learn new skills, and then eat some more. Adult tickets from £17.
HAVE WELLIES, WILL TRAVEL
Chilfest, Tring, July 10
In Herts, Chilfest is aiming to come back big after 2020’s fallow year. It’s all set to be quite a glossy affair: posh loos, sushi, and good wine to knock back as you boogie to tribute acts and 80s hits. Friday will be the tribute night: The Bootleg Beatles, Queen One Vision, Noasis and Tania Alboni’s Tribute to Amy Winehouse, among others. Then Saturday is a funky throwback to the 80s: Tony Hadley, Roland Gift of the Fine Young Cannibals, Lee John of Imagination, and Boney M’s Maizie Williams are just some of the familiar faces ready to light up the stage. Fluff those shoulder pads and get grooving. Tickets from £26.50.
Wireless Festival, London Finsbury Park, July 2-4. (Line-up: Future, Skepta, Migos)
BST Hyde Park, London, July 9-11. (Line-up: Pearl Jam, Pixies, Duran Duran, Nile Rodgers & Chic plus Grace Jones)
Latitude Festival, Suffolk, July 22-25. (Line-up: Lewis Capaldi, Bastille, First Aid Kit and Snow Patrol)
Kaleidoscope Festival, London Alexandra Palace, July 24. (Line-up: Groove Armada, The Coral, Norman Jay MBE, Greg Wilson)
Camp Bestival, Dorset, 29 July – 1 Aug. (Line-up: Fatboy Slim, Groove Armada, Becky Hill, Kelis)
All Points East, London Victoria Park, Aug 27-30. (Line-up: Jamie XX, Kano, Tom Misch, Slowthai, Arlo Parks)
Edinburgh Summer Sessions, Aug 6-15. (Line-up: DMA’s, Tom Jones, Michael Kiwanuka, Lionel Richie, Travis and Simple Minds)
Boardmasters, Cornwall, Aug 11-15. (Line-up: Gorillaz, Foals, Lianne La Havas, The Kooks, Becky Hill)
Isle of Wight Festival, Sept 16-19. (Line-up: Lionel Richie, Lewis Capaldi, Jess Glynn, Becky Hill, You Me At Six, Primal Scream, Snow Patrol)