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Top free festivals in the UK this summer

Published Wednesday, 10 June, 2015 by Beth Bradshaw

Not got any plans for Not got any plans for the summer yet, as a result of your cleared out bank account? Think as a student you can’t enjoy your summer break with a festival? Think again! Summer is the season of festivals, yet despite the UK weather being slightly hit and miss, we have […]

Not got any plans for

Not got any plans for the summer yet, as a result of your cleared out bank account? Think as a student you can’t enjoy your summer break with a festival? Think again!

Summer is the season of festivals, yet despite the UK weather being slightly hit and miss, we have some of the best and most famous festivals around the world. However, the most popular festivals can often cost an arm and a leg when you combine the ticket price (often plus £200) with travel costs, equipment, spending money and festival outfits.

But all is not lost students! Believe it or not, there are some festivals situated in the UK that are free – yes, free! Great music, plenty of drink, partying and fun – festivals and students are a match made in heaven, so what better way to spend a couple of days in the sunshine (not guaranteed) with your friends over the summer?

I’ve been searching high and low for the best free weekend and day festivals for students over the next couple of months that might interest you and your friends! Take a look…

  • Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF): located in the luscious green grass of Sefton Park, Liverpool, LIMF offers one of the best free music festivals going in Europe. Year after year the line-up never disappoints, and always leaves people questioning – is this really free?! This year’s line-up boasts the likes of Basement Jaxx, Labrinth, Katy B, Artful Dodger, Naughty Boy, Echo and the Bunnymen and many, many more. With four big stages, there’s music for just about every taste. As Liverpool is home to three universities, it has a major student influence throughout the city, and the festival is sure to attract many of its students to the festival – I should know, I am one of them!

27th-31st August 2015, Sefton Park, Liverpool, Merseyside, L17 1AF

  • Africa Oyé Festival: Yet again situated in Liverpool and again in Sefton Park, this is a great free festival that celebrates African culture with various music genres from tribal to jungle to reggae, along with a great range of Caribbean and African food, clothes and arts and crafts stalls that give the festival a fantastic buzz and atmosphere. This festival really is unique, and if you want to try something new then this should definitely be top of the list.

20th-21st June 2015, Sefton Park, Liverpool, Merseyside, L17 1AF

  • Brazilica Street Carnival: Okay, the last one from Liverpool I promise – the city simply offers such a wide range of free activities every summer for everyone to enjoy! A three day street carnival inspired by Rio – think belly dancers, samba and amazing costumes and carnival music. The festival is spread across the city in various venues (including my favourite venue in Liverpool – the Kazimier), therefore you’ll get to explore the city whilst you are partying! Perfect! Yet again another diverse and unique festival that promises a fantastic few days across the weekend.

17th-19th July 2015, various venues, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 1EL

  • The London Notting Hill Carnival: Get ready for the biggest street festival in Europe! Annually it attracts up to one million visitors, with such a wide variety of activities and entertainment across the capital. The carnival celebrates global music, with a particular focus on steel bands and culture from the Caribbean and international bands, acts and DJs. Get booking hotels and transport as soon as possible, the earlier the cheaper!

29th-31st August 2015, Powis Square, London, W11 2AY

  • Godiva Festival: Not only does this free festival boast a fantastic line up, year in year out, but it also provides such a wide range of stalls, activities and tents including the vintage and craft stalls and urban youth tents. This year The Wombats, Don Broco, Pulled Apart by Horses and Embrace are just some of the live acts performing over the weekend. Godiva is always trying to keep up with the latest music trends, and this year they are introducing the Rhythm Tent with many reggae and urban acts performing.

3rd-5th July 2015, Coventry, West Midlands, CV3 6PT

None of these free festivals take your fancy? There is another way to attend some of the best UK festivals AND keep your money in your pocket…

Volunteering at paid festivals

Attend the likes of Glastonbury, Leeds, Reading or V-Festival this year by applying to volunteer at the festival itself! Yes, you won’t be able to treat it like a holiday, however it’s a great way to meet people, gain experience and see some brilliant live acts whilst you’re on the job. It’s very rare that you have to work for the entire festival, just shifts over the four day weekend helping out in some of the duties below;

  • Tent stewarding
  • Campsite wardens
  • Directing visitors
  • Litter picking
  • Helping and assisting those in need
  • Recycling
  • Bar work

Duties will vary between festivals, and you might be given a different role every shift or within a close team! One great way to get involved in volunteering at festivals is through Oxfam Stewards. You can apply through Oxfam and you could get a place volunteering at one of the biggest UK festivals! What’s more, the money that’s generated from your time will go towards a good cause. Student volunteering at festivals is a fantastic way to enjoy summer, experience some of the best festivals at no cost whilst gaining skills such as team-working and training as a steward, not to mention looking impressive on your C.V.

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