Tiree Music Festival
Location: Tiree Island, Scotland
Date: 17-19 July
For most of the year, the tiny island of Tiree is home to 650 people, and at least as many cows. But for three days each July, the population triples as hundreds of music fans arrive for the award-winning Tiree Music Festival.
This year’s headliners include Scottish rock band The Fratellis, Celtic rockers Manran, and local legends Skerryvore, who just so happen to be the festivals founders.
Tiree is known as the ‘Hawaii of the North’ due to its white sandy beaches and unusual abundance of sunshine all year round. Stay a few days and enjoy the local surfing, and local hospitality, then do a spot of island hopping around the Inner Hebrides and take in some of Scotland’s most stunning remote vistas.
How do you get there…? There is a daily ferry service from Oban to Tiree which takes approximately four hours. Alternatively, FlyBe operates an infrequent Glasgow-Tiree service, which offer some incredible aerial views of the Scottish coastline and Inner Hebrides. Between 15-21 July, festival representatives will be waiting to meet you at the harbour with information on the stage locations and how to get around. You can hire a bike from around £10 per day, and explore the island at your leisure in between gigs.
Location: Monmouth, Wales
Date: 24 July – 1 August
Set on the edges of the Forest of Dean, in the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the rural town of Monmouth is full of countryside charm. It’s not easy to get to, but that’s part of the appeal for festival visitors! The locals still speak Welsh (despite being just two miles west of border with England), and the Monmouth Festival is a proud celebration of Wales’ culture and music.
Check out some local talent at the Busking Festival on the 25 July, and dance to Valley rockers The Pollen Count and A Fool and His Money. Or simply use the week-long festivities as your chance to get to know a hidden yet culturally rich corner of the UK, in all its glory.
How do you get there…? The nearest train stations are in Abergavenny (15 miles to the west) and Chepstow (16 miles to the south), although there is a limited bus service which runs through the Wye Valley, stopping off at Monmouth. If you are driving to the festival, take the scenic route via the M48, which will take you across the original Severn Bridge.
Location: Jersey, Channel Islands
Date: 5-6 September
The Channel Islands are a haven for anyone who craves peace, quiet, and nature. The island of Jersey is famous for its white sandy beaches and hidden seaside coves, as well as its rolling hills and large swathes of countryside. More than half of the island is agricultural, and you could walk for hours without meeting another soul.
It is a truly beautiful place, so it’s no wonder that Jersey Live manages to attract such a stellar lineup of artists every year. George Ezra, Palma Violets, Clean Bandit and Slaves are just a few of the bands who will be taking the stage in Trinity, approximately 6km north of the island’s capital St Helier.
How do you get there…? There are regular flights into Jersey from across the UK. Alternatively, why not hire a boat and sail into one of the island’s many ports to kick off your island stay in true Jersey style.
Location: Ullapool, Scotland
Date: 25-26 September
Loopallu prides itself on being the most remote festival on the calendar and it may have a point… The tiny music festival is situated in the coastal village of Ullapool, 60 miles from the nearest town.
But this tiny village comes alive at the end of September, when it becomes a temporary home for some of the UK’s most acclaimed bands. The organisers don’t tend to reveal the year’s line-up until the very last minute in order to avoid oversubscription (the town can only handle so many music fans), but previous years have seen headliners such as The Stranglers, Ash, Shed Seven, Mumford and Sons, Paolo Nutini, and Franz Ferdinand, performing alongside local folk heroes such as the Ullapool Pipe Band. For music fans, it is an unparalleled opportunity to hear world-class music in an intimate, rural setting.
How do you get there…? The nearest transport hub is Inverness, 57 miles to the south. You can arrive here by air, sea or train, and start making your way north to Ullapool – it is one of the few settlements on the North West coast, so it will be well signposted.
Isle of Wight Festival
Location: Isle of Wight
Date: 9-12 June
It may be a small island, but don’t underestimate the Isle of Wight’s pulling power. Between 1968 (the first year of the festival) and 1970, it played host to Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Doors, and other 60s legends. This year’s festival claimed one of the biggest headline acts in the world – Fleetwood Mac. Blur, Pharrell Williams, The Black Keys and The Prodigy also performed to a delirious crowd of more than 50,000 people.
Festival fever takes over the entire island, so this is your chance to live out your dreams of dancing in the streets, singing on the hilltops, and frolicking on the beaches without anybody raising an eyebrow.
How do you get there…? Around the time of the festival, ferries leave regularly from Southampton, Portsmouth, Lymington and Southsea. When you arrive on the island, festival reps will be at hand to guide you to the site and give you directions to your accommodation.
Location: The Hebrides, Scotland
Date: 15-18 July
HebCelt is unlike most other festivals in many ways. For a start, it is situated in the remote Outer Hebrides of Scotland, and the music venues are scattered across a wild stretch of islands including Stornoway, Lewis and Harris.
Lews Castle in Stornoway is where you’ll find the main stage, which this year will welcome the likes of Idlewild and Afro Celt Sound System. But diehard HebCelt fans come here for the traditional Celtic folk music and the unique island hospitality. Get your bearings in Stornoway, before hitching a ride on a fishing boat to one of the neighbouring islands and discovering your new favourite trad band.
How do you get there…? FlyBe operates 92 flights per week into Stornoway from cities across the UK. But to really get a sense of your location, take the ferry from Ullapool (which is itself a remote festival town) or Skye. There are also inter-island ferry services between Ardmhor in Barra and Eriskay in South Uist and from Berneray in North Uist to Leverburgh and Harris.