5 of the best UK mini-festivals

As we all know, summer is the time to pitch up a tent, drink some alcohol and watch some incredible bands at a festival with your friends. But unfortunately we all might not have the luxury of being able to spend over £200 on a ticket to Reading & Leeds, Download, or Sonisphere. But, throughout the UK there are hundreds of different music festivals every year that host fantastic bands and can be just as fun as the big name festivals. Check out our favourites.

1. Slam Dunk Festival (May)
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Slam Dunk Festival began as a weekly alternative punk, emo and ska music night held at the Cockpit in Leeds. And today, Slam Dunk has expanded into a two day festival that has become known as Slam Dunk North (Leeds) and Slam Dunk South (Hertfordshire) featuring a mixture of up and coming and more established bands, based around punk, emo, metal and ska music genres, held on the May Bank holiday. The festival has featured the likes of Fall Out Boy, Paramore, You Me At Six, Fightstar, Twin Atlantic, Gallows and many more, and last year the festival was expanded to a three date festival featuring All Time Low, Pierce The Veil, Sleeping With Sirens, Deaf Havana, Kids In Glass Houses, Bury Tomorrow, Mallory Knox, The Skints and more. The festival being structured around a university provides a different feel to the usual field-based festival. The setting gives the festival a unique and intimate yet loud and bold atmosphere unmatched by another festival and with the audience ranging from 14+ to average university age the energy that comes from the crowd fuels the bands onstage to perform at their best and put on a great show. With tickets pricing starting at around £32 it really is great value for money.

2. Hit The Deck Festival (April)

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Hit The Deck Festival takes place across four venues in Nottingham, (Rock City, The Rescue Rooms, Stealth and the Forum) and three venues in Bristol, (The Thekla, The Fleece and The Exchange). The festival has featured bands such as The Blackout, Cancer Bats, Young Guns, Kvelertak, While She Sleeps, Feed The Rhino and this Hit The Deck 2014 will be bringing Brand New, Saves The Day, Gnarwolves, The World Alive and more. The festival is advertised as ‘the UK’s premier indoor alternative festival’ and with such great indoor music venues this festival really is a full day of brilliant music where the crowds are very hot and sweaty by the end of the day. And with tickets from just over £20 the amount of great bands you can see is unbelievable.

3. Takedown Festival (March)

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Takedown Festival is a one day festival that takes place in Southampton University and prides itself on championing up and coming music. The festival has a great mix of alternative music and has featured The Blackout, Skindred, Don Broco, We Are The Ocean, Canterbury, Bleed From Within and more. 2014 is Takedown’s third year and will be hosting Funeral For A Friend, Kids In Glass Houses, Heavens Basement, Jamie Lenman, Yashin and more. Tickets are just £30 and like every indoor festival show, the energy is always at a high and with the aftershow as an add on for over 18’s the atmosphere is a lot more party like with the crowd wanting to have a good time with great music, and with the amount of bands on show for one day it really is a long tiring day.

4. 2000 Trees Festival (July)

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2000 Trees Festival is a 5,000 capacity music festival set in the rolling Cotswold Hills. 2000 Trees involves 2 nights of camping and over 80 of the absolute best new and underground acts from the worlds of rock and indie, with more established acts to close out the night. Previous bands that have played include Frank Turner, Twin Atlantic, Lower Than Atlantis, And So I Watch From Afar and more. The festival began in 2007 and has four stages and takes place in July. With the crowd being real fans of music, the atmosphere for 2000 trees is friendly and intimate. The raw passion for music takes over for two days where everyone has a good time and watches some amazing acts. With the festival being quite small, the intimate nature outdoors may take away from some of the energy.

5. Vans UK Warped Tour (November)

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Vans UK Warped Tour takes place mid-November and 2012 was the return of the US Warped Tour back in the UK! Last year the line-up featured bands such as Enter Shikari, Rise Against, Parkway Drive, Billy Talent, Coheed & Cambria and many more. The atmosphere of Warped Tour is unlike any other… in the US it is known for being one of the hardest tours to play, and when you bring the tour to the UK for just two days, the atmosphere will always be undoubtedly incredible. With the addition of skateboarders and bmx shows and a fully packed two days of bands the UK Warped Tour is one of the best, and with conformation of Warped coming back to the UK for 2014, who knows how big it will be this year.

 

But, along with those, there are plenty of other brilliant festivals that put on a great line up of bands. But with current times, we need to support smaller festivals more than ever with the cancellation of festivals last year like Hevy and Merthyr Rock; it isn’t easy for smaller festivals to survive. But if they keep putting on brilliant line ups, and everyone keeps on going and making each year more and more special, the summer time for the UK will be a very fun time for all festival goers.

Will you be hitting up any of these fests this year? Let us know in the comments!