Before you ask, no it’s not too early to start planning your summer. Here we’ve provided a roundup of our favourite local festivals to get excited for this year, from food to opera and everything in between.
“The Godfather of the small festival scene” coming straight out of the idyllic Oxfordshire countryside, Truck have treated us to some of the biggest and best emerging artists since 1998. Lineup tbc at time of writing, but Truck has good form in securing an eclectic mix of known and undiscovered acts.
Hill Farm, Steventon
Photography by Caitlin Mogridge and Gaelle Beri
Kite 2023 line-up revealed and limited early bird tickets on sale now.
KITE reveals its line-up for the second ever edition of the festival - a curated journey of cutting-edge debate and a rich programme of ideas with spectacular musical performances for audiences seeking an alternative festival experience.
Household names from the world of literature, music, politics, art, culture, and comedy are lining up across seven unique stages in the grounds of a breath-taking Grade I listed Palladian house in Kirtlington Park. So far confirmed for the Music stages are Candi Staton, Suede, and Hot Chip plus Simon Sinek, Marina Hyde and Tomiwa Owolade in the Ideas zones.
Kirtlington Park, Oxfordshire
Fi.Fest '23 is just around the corner, and this year it's even bigger. The Main Stage provides a full day of high-quality entertainment including chart-toppers The Feeling and the one and only Barrioke with Shaun Williamson (see xxx) plus the KidsZone has been designed to keep little minds active and creative. The food village has a wide selection of local street food caterers providing a huge variety of food and soft drinks for all the family to enjoy.
Nocturne Live returns to Blenheim Palace this year, and the 125 million-selling international pop superstar, Lionel Richie, is their first confirmed artist and will be playing at the concert series. Joining Lionel Richie in this year’s lineup, pioneering dance music DJ and Pete Tong will bring his globally acclaimed Ibiza Classics show to Blenheim Palace next summer.
Longborough Festival Opera
29 May-3 August
Taking place in a 500-seat home-grown theatre overlooking stunning views just outside Stow-on-the Wold, The 2023 installation of Longborough Festival Opera includes Wagner's epic Götterdämmerung; Donizetti’s hilarious comedy The Elixir of Love; Monteverdi’s poignant take on the Orpheus legend L’Orfeo; and Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, based on Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Each production includes a 90-minute dining interval: bring a picnic and find a spot in the grounds to enjoy the view, or book into the delicious on-site restaurant.
Public booking opens on 27 February.
Wilderness is a four-day boutique festival spanning Music, The Arts, Food and Wellbeing, all set amidst the idyllic surroundings of Cornbury Park. Christine & The Queens, Fatboy Slim, The Chemical Brothers and Sugababes plus Sara Pascoe (click for interview), Elizabeth Day and Ben Quinn’s Long Table Banquet in the Woods all confirmed.
Rewind Festival rolls back time beside the Thames at Temple Island Meadows, laying on a weekend filled with musical legends, themed venues, and pop-up entertainment for all ages. Early bird tickets are on sale now and acts are tbc but last year included the mighty Holly Johnson and The Human League so dig out your legwarmers and get ready to party like its 1983.
The Big Feastival
Hosted at Alex James’ Farm, this festival is renowned for delivering incredible live music, critically acclaimed chefs, award-winning street food and an unrivalled programme of family entertainment. No hints yet on confirmed acts, but we know Alex James has an unrivalled book of contacts so hopes are high for another vintage year.
“We will be back in 2023 and cannot wait to welcome you all back on the farm for August Bank Holiday weekend.” – The Big Feastival HQ
Alex James’ Farm
Towersey spoiled us last December with a month-long advent calendar of reveals for the 2023 lineup: The Divine Comedy and the Proclaimers have been announced already, along with Thea Gilmore and the Urban Folk Quartet. Expect the usual family-friendly folk vibes, complete with the first ever 12-hour continuous Ceilidh. Keep an eye on Towersey’s website and social media for updates on what else you can expect from the 59th year of the festival.