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The best UK music festivals for families 2023

Explore kid-friendly cultural spaces that make sure all ages can get involved

Bluedot proves it's one of the best festivals for families with Jedi training. Photo: George Harrison / Bluedot

Bluedot proves it's one of the best festivals for families with Jedi training. Photo: George Harrison / Bluedot

Music festivals don’t have to be for teenage revellers escaping their parents for the first time; they can be for parents and children of all ages too. This is the best of the UK’s music festivals for families – kid-friendly spaces that make sure all ages can get involved.

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Families enjoy Between the Trees Festival
Families enjoy Between the Trees. Photo: supplied

Bluedot

July 20-23
Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire
£209

The home of the University of Manchester’s radio telescopes is the suitably cosmic setting for this festival of music, arts and science. The UNESCO World Heritage Site plays host to talks, demonstrations and workshops for adults and kids alike, as well as a David Bowie special edition of Adam Buxton’s Bug. The biggest musical coup is the only UK show this year from indie rock legends Pavement, with everyone from Max Richter to Róisín Murphy playing over the weekend.
discoverthebluedot.com

Camp Bestival

July 27-30 and August 17-20
Dorset and Shropshire
From £180

The ultimate family festival celebrates its 15th birthday this year, with two distinct festivals at two different sites. Kids are guaranteed to be kept entertained with circus shows, Horrible Histories live, dressing up tents, a roller disco and the world’s biggest bouncy castle. The line-up is a party playlist come to life, with Grace Jones, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Groove Armada and loads more.
campbestival.net

Deer Shed

July 28-31
Baldersby Park, North Yorkshire
From £190

Unlike a lot of kid-friendly festivals, Deer Shed has a pretty cool line-up in its own right. Festival goers of all ages can take part in science workshops in synth-building and forensics, see solar-powered installations and dance performances, or even join a pop-up choir. Our music picks include dancehall-punk trailblazer Grove, buzzy Leeds quarter English Teacher, and a new project from songwriter James Yorkston and Cardigans singer Nina Persson.
deershedfestival.com

Just So

August 18-20
Rode Hall, Cheshire
£175

Arguably the most family-focused festival we’ve seen, Just So models itself on dreamlike childhood adventures – think Where the Wild Things Are relocated to Cheshire. It’s as much about getting stuck in as it is about being entertained – families are invited to dress up for an animal carnival, take part in a campfire singalong, and even bring a cake to compete in a festival bake-off.
justsofestival.org.uk

Gone Wild

August 24-27
Powderham Castle, Devon
£200

Put the kids through their paces at this activity-packed adventure festival, hosted by – who else? – Bear Grylls. All members of the family are encouraged to channel their inner Yellowjacket and try out a multitude of survival skills, from foraging and trap setting to wild swimming and climbing. More civilised activities include interactive science talks, DJ workshops and live music – there’s even a premium babysitter service, if you want to take a break to watch the Sugababes with a cocktail.
gonewildfestival.com

Shrewsbury Folk Festival

August 25-28
West Midlands Showground, Shrewsbury
From £176

This family-friendly festival prioritises comfort, inclusion and fun, welcoming both newbies and experienced folkies to watch legends like Billy Bragg and N’Faly Kouyaté alongside up-and-coming acts, ceilidh bands and morris dancing troupes. Visitors can choose to camp or stay in more robust accommodation in the town, and there’s dedicated areas for both young kids and older teenagers, making it ideal for all kinds of families.
shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk

Between the Trees

August 25-27
Merthyr Mawr Nature Reserve, South Wales
£135

Founded in 2014 with a focus on nature and science, Between the Trees is a family-friendly festival that aims to reconnect people with the natural world via art, spoken word, music and an idyllic woodland environment. Indie folksters including Seth Lakeman and Firewoodisland provide the tunes, alongside performance from Ballet Cymru, a packed programme of talks, and loads of opportunities to get involved – from open mic sessions to permaculture workshops.
betweenthetrees.co.uk

Read our full 2023 festivals guide here.

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