Friday 27 November 2015

Gloucestershire festivals guide

Gloucestershire plays host to a festival dedicated to just about everything you could ever hope for. Grab your diary and check out SoGlos's annual Gloucestershire festival guide for the definitive low down.

The SoGlos team has dug deep into the online magazine’s archives and trawled hundreds of official sources to select some of the very finest Gloucestershire festivals to grace the county on an annual basis.

From world-renowned jump racing, cricket and literature festivals and independent music celebrations spanning big names and local talent, to colourful carnivals, beer bonanzas and foodie feasts, you’re sure to find your perfect festival for 2015 with SoGlos.

Festivals are organised by area, with subsections dedicated to Cheltenham, the Cotswolds, the Forest of Dean, Gloucester, Stroud and Tewkesbury respectively, and then ordered by calendar month. Enjoy!

Cheltenham festivals guide

Cheltenham Folk Festival

Festival: Folk Three Festival
When: Annually in February
Expect to find: Cheltenham Folk Festival has undergone an exciting overhaul for 2015 with its rebranded Folk Three Festival. The new format will focus on evening entertainment with three headline acts and three support acts performing alongside DJ entertainment during the three-day event. The organisers are hoping the new diversity of music – combining traditional folk elements with more modern music – will attract a broader audience. The exciting line up includes headline performances from Shooglenifty, Eliza and Martin Carthy and Seth Lakeman alongside well-known festival stalwart DJ Dolphin Boy.
SoGlos loves: Hardened festival-goers travelling to Cheltenham for the entire weekend can forget facing the freezing February frost and enjoy indoor camping, just a five-minute stroll from Cheltenham Town Hall, at St Luke’s Church Hall.
For more info: See Cheltenham Folk Festival or call 0844 576 2210.

Cheltenham Festival and Gold Cup

Festival: Cheltenham Festival and Gold Cup
When: Annually in March
Expect to find: Huge hats and hundreds of hooves pounding Cheltenham’s historic racecourse over four days. This annual highlight of the horseracing calendar sees thousands of visitors place millions of pounds in bets and witness high-calibre racing stock battle it out for first place across the line.
SoGlos loves: The final day and sure highlight of the festival – the race for the coveted Cheltenham Gold Cup. A fantastic atmosphere, brimming with anticipation, live music, entertainment and food, ensuring racing fans return time and time again.
For more info: See Cheltenham Festival and Gold Cup or call 0844 579 3003.

Prescott Bike Festival

Festival: Prescott Bike Festival
When: Annually in April
Expect to find: A host of bike manufacturers; a large display of historic, modern and race bikes in the paddock; more bike clubs than ever; celebrity appearances and entertainment for all the family. Plus the chance to support the Severn Freewheelers, a volunteer-run local charity which provides emergency motorcycle delivery services to the local NHS and is responsible for moving vital medical supplies, and even frozen milk for premature babies, throughout Gloucestershire.
SoGlos loves: Nab one of the limited availability Run the Hill tickets and you’ll be able to follow in the footsteps of racing legends and ride the hill – while taking along a passenger for the ride.
For more info: See Prescott Bike Festival or call (01242) 673136.

Cheltenham Jazz Festival

Festival: Cheltenham Jazz Festival
When: Annually in May
Expect to find: One of the most famous Cheltenham festivals, the Jazz Festival can be relied upon to showcase the cream of the jazz crop, as well as an eclectic array of performances from rising stars, music veterans and the region’s favourite DJs. The festival boasts a legion of loyal fans, who return time and time again for this exuberant event, which has certainly earned its reputation in recent years.
SoGlos loves: Creative and innovative in style, and keen to embrace the contemporary, Cheltenham Jazz Festival is never afraid to be a little adventurous and shows a continued commitment to broadening the jazz fan base. The 2014 line-up included the likes of jazz maestro Jamie Cullum, Grammy Award-winning Robert Cray, the awe-inspiring Laura Mvula and music legend Jools Holland.
For more info: See Cheltenham Jazz Festival or call 0844 880 8094.

Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts

Festival: Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts
When: Annually in May
Expect to find: A medley of dance, music, speech and drama as part of one of the town’s longest-running festivals, complete with dramatic presentations, recitals and musical performances. The festival encourages competitors of all ages to get involved and spectators can enjoy a warm and energetic atmosphere throughout.
SoGlos loves: The festival has been running for more than 80 years and is still going strong – certainly helping to put Cheltenham on the map as a place of notable cultural heritage.
For more info: See Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts or call 0844 576 2210.

Wychwood Music Festival

Festival: Wychwood Music Festival
When: Annually in late May/June
Expect to find: A family-friendly festival encompassing a multitude of performances, from up-and-coming new acts to festival favourites – with the likes of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, UB40’s Ali Campbell and Scottish duo The Proclaimers set to take the stage in 2015. Children are well catered for, thanks to the dedicated children’s literature festival and Roald Dahl Museum, whilst families can sit down to quirky cinematic screenings or have a chuckle at the comedians in attendance, as well as take part in a host of workshops to boot.
SoGlos loves: Wychwood Music Festival’s healing gardens, which offer a range of massage and holistic treatments to chill you right out and get you into the festival mood.
For more info: See Wychwood Festival or call (01993) 772580.

Festival: The Times Cheltenham Science Festival
When: Annually in June
Expect to find: More than 300 of the world’s most revered scientists, thinkers, performers, comedians and writers coming together for six-days of cutting edge discoveries, provocative debates, comedy, cabaret, family fun, hands-on experiments and workshops, exploring everything from DNA and medicine to comets and the humble cup of tea.
SoGlos loves: SoGlos loves: For a fun event for all the family head to The BBC Science Zone where you can meet the production teams and presenters behind some of the most popular science television programmes. Past shows to have featured include CBBC's Operation Ouch!, Incredible Edibles and The Sky at Night.
For more info: See Cheltenham Science Festival or call 0844 880 8094.

Festival: Cheltenham Music Festival
When: Annually in July
Expect to find: A cacophony of sound for classical connoisseurs encompassing scores of events and hundreds of performers, served up in a range of orchestral ensembles, solo acts and group efforts, and boasting a mix of world premieres and one-off collaborations, all hosted in some of the county’s most beautiful venues.
SoGlos loves: Class acts from all over the world, infusing contemporary ideas into classical styles and appealing to veteran classical fans and new ears alike. The festival demonstrates that this is a genre of music that is far from dead – with a continually growing audience. Highlights from the 2014 event included Brit award-winning Nicola Benedetti, Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory and his Moog Ensemble, Genesis’ Tony Banks and the world premiere of The Great Animal Orchestra.
For more info: See Cheltenham Music Festival or call 0844 880 8094.

Brewin Dolphin Cheltenham Cricket Festival

Festival: Brewin Dolphin Cheltenham Cricket Festival
When: Annually in July
Expect to find: One of the most successful cricket festivals in the world, and the most anticipated event on the Gloucestershire cricketing calendar, thousands of avid cricket fans flock to Cheltenham to watch the county’s finest bat against teams from across the UK. The 2014 festival spanned an LV= County Championship, Friends Life Twenty20 matches and more, all in the idyllic setting of Cheltenham College.
SoGlos loves: The opportunity for young people to get involved, with those fancying themselves as the next Freddie Flintoff able to take advantage of sessions with top coaches in the designated game zone area.
For more info: See Cheltenham Cricket Festival or call (0117) 910 8010.

Cheltenham Open-Air Theatre Festival

Festival: Cheltenham Open-Air Theatre Festival
When: Annually in July
Expect to find: A sea of music lovers, drama fans, film buffs and local families laden with deck chairs and picnics, spilling outside of Bacon Theatre, all ready to take in some alfresco entertainment spanning mellow music, sophisticated Shakespeare, classic cinema, quirky theatre productions and colourful family fun under the stars.
SoGlos loves: Each year the Open-Air Theatre Festival closes with the ever-popular Jazz on a Summer’s Evening, which usually sees Cheltenham’s answer to Jools Holland, Peter Gill, provide a fantastic helping of cool jazz, blues and boogie woogie, that’s perfect for a balmy summer’s evening – and finishing with a bang thanks to a spectacular fireworks finale.
For more info: See Cheltenham Open Air Theatre Festival or call (01242) 258002.

Cheltenham Ballroom & Latin Dance Festival

Festival: Cheltenham Dance Festival
When: Annually in August
Expect to find: Frills and sparkles galore, along with some highly impressive displays of skill, agility and movement during this five-day feast of dance, held in the grand setting of Cheltenham Town Hall. Boasting something to suit everyone, from beginners to experts and even fans of Strictly, the annual celebration of dance features salsa, rumba, jive, tango, waltz, cha cha cha and Ceroc – with the chance to learn some moves from the professionals always a popular pull with festival-goers. Main events will span Freestyle Ceroc, The Big Salsa Bash, Friday Night is Dance Night, a 1940s Tea Dance and Saturday Night Gala Ball, which will give ladies in particular the perfect excuse to don their most fabulous frocks and show off their new moves to big band music, with dinner and ballroom demos also on the cards.
SoGlos loves: Last year Cheltenham Dance Festival went all out for the 23rd annual dance extravaganza and attempted, and succeed to break the Guinness World Record for the Largest Street Jive. More than 1,000 enthusiastic jivers to turned out at The Promenade and bopped for five minutes, in aid of local charity, Winston’s Wish.
For more info: See Cheltenham Dance Festival or call 0844 576 2210.

Cheltenham Literature Festival

Festival: Cheltenham Literature Festival
When: Annually in October
Expect to find: A ten-day literary feast for book lovers across the land, including hard-hitting debates between some of the biggest names in publishing, comedy from the country’s top stand-ups, interactive media sessions, unique food and drink evenings, writing workshops and masses of family fun talks and activities. The prestigious festival has hosted a string of big literary names over the years, including JK Rowling, Ian Rankin, Terry Pratchett and Ruth Rendell, as well as entertainment veterans such as Sir Michael Parkinson, Michael Palin and Sir Roger Moore.
SoGlos loves: Formed in 1949, the Cheltenham Literature Festival is the oldest of its kind worldwide and has earned itself a global renown.
For more info: See Cheltenham Literature Festival or call 0844 880 8094.

Hobgoblin Cheltenham Comedy Festival

Festival: Hobgoblin Cheltenham Comedy Festival
When: Annually in November
Expect to find: An enviable line-up of stand-up, cabaret and fringe shows spanning the cream of the crop and up-and-coming comics, performing across various venues in Cheltenham, and promising plenty of laughs for fans of funny nationwide. Previous years have seen the likes of Reginald D. Hunter, Alexei Sayle, Frankie Boyle, Julian Clary, Stephen K. Amos and Robin Ince make the bill.
SoGlos loves: Not just aimed at adults, the comedy festival also keeps mini comedy fans entertained with a family fun day, free workshops , face painting, craft activities and walkabout performances too.
For more info: See Hobgoblin Cheltenham Comedy Festival or call 0844 576 2210.

Cotswolds festivals guide

Festival: Chipping Campden Literature Festival
When: Annually in May
Expect to find: Evidence that the literature bug is spreading – Chipping Campden enthusiastically jumped on the bookish bandwagon in 2010, aiming to provide the people of Gloucestershire with a further source of literary goodness. Visitors can expect a celebration of the written word with talks, readings, film screenings and workshops on everything from the joy of reading and creative writing to paper making and poetry.
SoGlos loves: Set in an official Area of Outstanding Beauty, visitors will be able to take in the stunning architecture of this historic market town while nurturing their intellectual sides.
For more info: See Chipping Campden Literature Festival or call (01386) 849018.

Festival: Lechlade Festival
When: Annually in May
Expect to find: Live music from scores of bands to satisfy a dizzy array of tastes – from ska and swing to rock and reggae – spread over two stages and three days, not to mention kids entertainment, glamping, a real ale bar, waffle wagon, mashed tea tent and much more.
SoGlos loves: The chance to soak up the sounds and sunshine on the banks of the river Thames, in stunning Cotswold countryside.
For more info: See Lechlade Festival or call (01367) 700350.

Bledington Music Festival

Festival: Bledington Music Festival
When: Annually in June
Expect to find: Oodles of acts across three summer evenings at St Leonard’s Church, in the pretty village of Bledington – spanning a variety of musicians from harpists and flautists, to string quartets and bagpipe players. Already confirmed for the 2015 event will be performances from acclaimed pianist Clare Hammond, soloist Simon Crawford-Phillips and a piano duet recital by the Cann Twins.
SoGlos loves: To get local children interested in music and performance, the festival runs a very successful educational programme, during which a selection of artists get involved in a mini concert with the pupils of local primary schools.
For more info: See Bledington Music Festival or call (01608) 658669.

Cotswold Beer Festival

Festival: Cotswold Beer Festival
When: Annually in July
Expect to find: This annual sell-out event allows visitors to test out hundreds of local ales while relaxing in a friendly and jovial atmosphere. Here the equally anticipated new Champion Beer of Gloucestershire is announced, decided by a formidable panel of expert ale judges from the Campaign for Real Ale in Gloucestershire.
SoGlos loves: The chance for all county-dwellers to try the Champion Beer when this year’s winning beverage is installed in pubs and bars across Gloucestershire for all to enjoy.
For more info: See Cotswold Beer Festival or call (01242) 239785.

Festival: Tetbury Food and Drink Festival
When: Annually in September
Expect to find: The picturesque Cotswold town of Tetbury taken over by scores of producers, retailers and professionals, all celebrating the finest food and drink the region has to offer over five days, beginning with the traditional Gloucester Old Spot Sausage Appreciation Dinner and ending with a fabulous food and drink market. There’s even a dedicated children’s area making this a family as well as a foodie affair.
SoGlos loves: The chance to go behind the scenes and enjoy tours of the nearby Shipton Mill, where the renowned, organic flour is produced, as well as Bow in the Cloud vineyard, just over the county border in Malmesbury.
For more info: See Tetbury Food and Drink Festival.

 North Cotswold CAMRA Beer Festival

Festival: North Cotswold CAMRA Beer Festival
When: Annually in September
Expect to find: A selection of 40 real ales and ciders laid out at Moreton-in-Marsh Cricket Club, with plenty of food to soak up the suds – plus live entertainment and music to keep ale enthusiasts going well into the night. Wye Valley and North Cotswold Brewery tipples are often found on the menu at this two-day drinker’s dream.
SoGlos loves: At just £3 per day, plus an additional £2 deposit for a souvenir mug to drink from and keep, it’s one of the most wallet-friendly drinks festivals in the county.
For more info: See North Cotswold CAMRA Beer Festival or call 07760 134866.

Forest of Dean festivals guide

Festival: Coleford Carnival of Transport
When: Annually in April
Expect to find: An event organised by motoring fans, for motoring fans, taking place on the streets of Coleford in the Forest of Dean. More than 600 classic vehicles of all types and periods are displayed in the town centre, which is closed for the event. These include vintage and classic cars, custom and street rods, military and commercial vehicles and motorcycles – so you may well end up taking a trip down memory lane and discovering your very first car or bike.
SoGlos loves: Art exhibitions and craft shows, as well as a model railway exhibition also form part of this spring event, to cater for those with more creative interests.
For more info: See Coleford Carnival of Transport.

Festival: Dean Fire and Wood Festival
When: Annually in June
Expect to find: A three-day event encompassing a range of displays and demonstrations to celebrate all things natural, complete with local artisans and including chainsaw carving, a traditional charcoal burn, lumberjacks, fire juggling, pyrography and bushcrafts. The Dean Fire and Wood Festival also and provides ample opportunity to get involved in traditional activities such as Romano British cooking, pottery making and natural fabric dying.
SoGlos loves: The five acres of Forest land in which to turn a pole lathe or get involved in charcoal burning – the festival’s gorgeous surroundings make for a great family day out.
For more info: See Dean Fire and Wood Festival or call (01594) 822170.

Festival: Coleford Festival of Words
When: Annually in July
Expect to find: A sharing of laughter, creativity and knowledge with guest speakers, local authors, interactive workshops, live performances, poetry and storytelling. Budding writers also have the chance to pick up some useful tips from experts from across the field.
SoGlos loves: The fun-filled family events encouraging the young from across the Forest of Dean to dip into a book.
For more info: See Coleford Festival of Words or call (01594) 833334.

Gloucester festivals guide

Festival: Strike a Light Festival
When: Annually in March
Expect to find: Strike a Light Festival gives festive-goers the chance to see exciting stage shows and world-class dance at affordable prices. The five-day event champions local artists, performers and even residents at venues in Gloucester, including The Guildhall and King’s Walk Shopping Centre. Expect an eclectic line-up for 2015 including street dance entertainment from Boy Blue Entertainment, writing workshops and family-friendly events aplenty.
SoGlos loves: Channel your sleuthing skills to solve clues and crack codes to find out who abducted the scientist in The Adventure a family-friendly mystery hunt taking place in a secret location in Gloucester.
For more info: See Strike a Light Festival launch.

Festival: Carducci Festival
When: Annually in May
Expect to find: A series of high quality family concerts and performances that focus on the critically acclaimed Carducci Quartet – a contemporary quartet committed to bringing classical music to the younger generation. Each year the quartet is joined by a variety of classical virtuosos, all doing their bit to add to the festival’s superb reputation. The 2015 event will see cellist Guy Johnston kick off the festival with his dramatic rendition of Beethoven’s Quartet Op. 18 No. 4 with a host of other performers including guitarist Craig Ogden and pianist Julius Drake.
SoGlos loves: In accordance with the festival’s main aim of bringing classical music to young people, the fact tickets are free of charge to anyone aged 25 and under, is commendable.
For more info: See Carducci Festival or call (01452) 396572.

Gloucester Tall Ships Festival

Festival: Gloucester Tall Ships Festival
When: Biennially in May
Expect to find: A four-day festival held in celebration of Gloucester’s historic docks, one of the city’s most popular attractions, to honour its trading era. The festival features replica ships that accurately and impressively represent the original structures, live music, street entertainment, comedy, boat trips and a whole host of family-friendly entertainment.
SoGlos loves: The atmosphere of a bygone century, recreated with all the hustle and bustle of crews readying themselves to set sail, and the promise of exotic voyages to unchartered territories. Organisers really push the boat out (ahem) to ensure maximum entertainment for visitors.
For more info: See Gloucester Tall Ships Festival or call (01452) 396572.

Gloucester Quays Food Festival

Festival: Gloucester Quays Food Festival
When: Annually in July
Expect to find: A mix of food stalls, music, entertainment, demonstrations and book signings throughout the three-day event, and best of all, entry is free of charge. There’s also a huge range of samples on offer from local and regional producers, so arrive armed with an empty belly and a hunger for fine food and drink.
SoGlos loves: Some of the country’s finest chefs host masterclasses and cookery demonstrations for a small fee, with the likes of Mary Berry, Gino D’Acampo and James Martin appearing in previous years.
For more info: See Gloucester Quays Food Festival 2015 or call (01452) 338933.

Festival: Sportbeat Festival
When: Annually in July
Expect to find: Gloucestershire’s newest addition to the festival calendar, Sportbeat offers an action-packed weekend brimming with live music, sports and fun for the whole family. Aside from an enviable line-up of chart-topping bands and local talent, festival-goers can expect to see some high-intensity rugby, netball and wheelchair rugby matches, as well as some of the fittest athletes in the UK tested in the Summer Clash, in events such as weightlifting, gymnastics, endurance and balance.
SoGlos loves: Not only is Sportbeat one of the best value festivals in the county, but it also boasts eco-friendly overtones and a family-friendly atmosphere, with an interactive family zone, Bouncy World, a local food market and the chance to try your hand at an array of sports all expected to go down a treat with festival-goers young and old.
For more info: See Sportbeat Festival in Gloucester or call (01452) 234644.

Festival: Barn on the Farm
When: Annually in July
Expect to find: Aiming to bridge the gap between your typical village hall shenanigans and its mainstream counterpart, Gloucester’s Over Farm Market is the setting for three days of folk music from dozens of live music performers – some up-and-coming and others who are well on the way to stardom – as well as plenty of decent food and local ales and ciders to keep you going well into the early hours. There’s also camping available too.
SoGlos loves: For the lucky festival-goers who manage to nab early bird tickets, a special Friday night event includes the chance to see some amazing acts up close and personal in the intimate setting of a rustic barn, unplugged and acoustic.
For more info: See Barn on the Farm or call 07917 672565.

Festival: Hartpury Festival of Dressage
When: Annually in July
Expect to find: This highly-regarded international event is comprised of five days of exhilarating equestrian sports, showcasing the talents of top names from the world of dressage.
SoGlos loves: Visitors also have the opportunity to watch the Para Dressage Sport – with the British team having built up a fantastic reputation as the best in the business, taking gold at every Paralympics, World and European Championship since the sport began.
For more info: See Hartpury Festival of Dressage or call (01452) 702355.

Festival: Gloucester Carnival Procession
When: Annually in July
Expect to find: A riot of colour and fun in the form of flamboyant floats and multicoloured merrymakers travelling through the centre of Gloucester. The day-long event also incorporates a mix of comedy performances, live music and street theatre, allowing visitors the opportunity to see the city at its cultural best, with a plethora of food and drink stalls, fairground stalls and more also adding to the atmosphere.
SoGlos loves: Still going after over 70 years, the annual carnival has become a real tradition for Gloucester, and has been integral in adding to the city’s cultural identity.
For more info: See Gloucester Carnival Procession or call (01452) 396572.

Café Rene Gloucester Rhythm and Blues Festival

Festival: Café Rene Gloucester Rhythm and Blues Festival
When: Annually in July
Expect to find: Local, national and international acts assembling at popular Gloucester pub Café Rene for the annual Rhythm and Blues Festival, in an effort to bring the melodies of the Mississippi Delta and beyond, right to your doorstep. The 2013 line-up features the likes of the mighty blues guitarist John Fairhurst, award-winning songstress Connie Lush, the one-man band that is Funke and the Two Tone Baby, and many more.
SoGlos loves: With both indoor and outdoor performances lined up, as well as plenty of real ales, ciders and sizzling barbecue eats, this event is a great way to spend a summer’s day – and if the likes of acoustic band BabaJack and ‘the big daddy of British blues’ Perry Foster tend to float your boat, this event is for you.
For more info: See Café Rene Gloucester Rhythm and Blues Festival or call (01452) 309340.

Three Choirs Festival

Festival: Three Choirs Festival
When: Every year in July/August, rotating annually between the three cathedral cities of Gloucester, Worcester and Hereford.
Expect to find: The Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester choirs unite for this annual choral and orchestral event, which is held at Hereford Cathedral and surrounding Gloucestershire venues every three years. Around 70 individual events make up the spectacular, including chamber music, recitals, theatre performances, lectures, masterclasses and exhibitions, with an appearance from the Philharmonia Orchestra proving a particularly popular pull year on year.
SoGlos loves: This event is thought to be one of the oldest classical choral music festivals in the world, dating back to at least 1715.
For more info: See Three Choirs Festival or call 0845 652 1823.

Witcombe Cider Festival

Festival: Witcombe Cider Festival
When: Annually in August
Expect to find: A drinks menu brimming with samples of sweet – and dry – amber nectar from a plethora of Gloucestershire-based breweries, as well as a host of real local ales. Festival-goers also enjoy live music throughout the two-day festival, spanning genres including folk, blues, indie, hip hop, rock and pop.
SoGlos loves: The fact that you can camp onsite, so no need to worry about getting home, especially if you’ve had one too many!
For more info: See Witcombe Cider Festival or call (01452) 864689.

Festival: Paint Jam Festival
When: Annually in August
Expect to Find: Artwork splashed all over the city of Gloucester when worldwide artists will showcase street art in all of its forms. More than 40 artists will showcase their work in various hotspots in Gloucester, including Kings Square and The Prince of Wales.
SoGlos loves: DJ Fade and MC Danger will join in with the creativity by performing on the streets, and the dance workshops at Gloucester Guildhall is a great chance for the locals to get involved.
For more info: See Gloucester Paint Jam Festival

Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Festival

Festival: Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Festival
When: Annually in late August/September
Expect to find: An array of restored boats, military vessels, tugs and yachts proudly on display along Over Basin during the two-day festival, plus guided canal trips, craft stalls and an impressive flotilla of heritage boats sailing from Over Basin to Vineyard Hill. A particular highlight of the boating extravaganza is the beautiful horse Gypsy Queen pulling a boat by rope from the towpath.
SoGlos loves: The Beer, Cider and Perry festival that takes place on the Saturday, complete with live music from local bands, rope demonstrations, Morris dancing and more – and offering something for non-boat lovers to enjoy.
For more info: See Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Festival or call (01452) 332900.

Festival: Underground Festival
When: Annually in September
Expect to Find: Two stages of emerging and unsigned talent in the UK, with a line-up packed full of quality rising stars. This intimate festival offers music lovers the chance to see 28 R&B, indie, pop acoustic, folk and rock bands, with something for everyone to enjoy.
SoGlos loves: This festival is renowned for uncovering ‘the next big things’, with acts such as Bastille, Pulled Apart by Horses and Mallory Knox entertaining Gloucester before making serious waves in the industry.
For more info: See Underground Festival

Stroud festivals guide

Festival: SVA Site Festival
When: Annually in May
Expect to find: Stroud Valleys Artspace holds its annual festival of contemporary arts across Stroud every summer, with a view to providing an exciting programme of visual arts, performance, music, screenings, open studios, artist talks and workshops for all that attend. The festival provides a fantastic vehicle for new works, projects and exhibitions, and visitors can expect to take in the work of hundreds of artists across scores of local sites over the month-long celebration.
SoGlos loves: As part of the festival, the hugely popular Open Studios weekends allow art enthusiasts to peek into the working habitats of up to 100 local artists and craft workers.
For more info: See Stroud Site Festival or call (01453) 751440.

Slimbridge Beer Festival

Festival: Slimbridge Beer Festival
When: Annually in June
Expect to find: A fine selection of local and nationwide ales to sink, with hot and cold snacks, and toe-tapping music completing the festival atmosphere across the road from Slimbridge Wetland Centre. There’s also parking and accommodation available just a stone’s throw from the site, and examples from Gloucester Brewery, Severn Vale Brewing, Stroud Brewery and Uley Brewery usually making the menu hit list each year.
SoGlos loves: All proceeds from the beer festival are donated to the Cotswold Vale Scouting Movement, giving festival-goers that warm feeling of knowing they are supporting not only local producers, but the community and charity too.
For more info: See Slimbridge Beer Festival.

Festival: Art Couture Painswick
When: Annually in July
Expect to find: Held annually in the ‘Queen of the Cotswolds’, the day-long festival attracts artists, designers and fashionistas alike, who compete in its wearable art competition to win cash prizes and work experience, in addition to celebrity judges, arts and crafts exhibitors, street performers, musicians and more – not to mention the opportunity to explore this beautiful village in the sunshine.
SoGlos loves: The festival was inspired by a visit to the Wearable Art Festival in New Zealand, and since its inception in 2010 has seen visitor numbers more than quadruple – proving just how popular it has become amongst the arty community.
For more info: See Art Couture Painswick Festival call 07443 432045.

Festival: Nibley Music Festival
When: Annually in July
Expect to find: A diverse selection of live acts, from rock to bhangra, and funk to folk performing at one of the friendliest music festival around – with stalls galore for afternoon browsing and lots of fun family activities, including inflatables for the kids. Drinkers can enjoy a plethora of local ales, while there’s more than enough opportunity for foodies to munch on world food from as far apart as Thailand and Mexico.
SoGlos loves: Crazy crafts, circus skills and can-can dancing for those with a creative flair and a taste for performance.
For more info: See Nibley Music Festival.

Frocester Beer Festival

Festival: Frocester Beer Festival
When: Annually in August
Expect to find: A tremendously popular event which sells out every year within hours, the two-day festival is held in the Frocester Cricket Club ground and takes place every August bank holiday weekend. Boasting more than 100 cask-conditioned real ales, wines, ciders, hot food and a lively programme of music, the event is a highlight of the festival calendar for locals. Parking and camping are also available free of charge for those planning to stay for the duration.
SoGlos loves: Despite being located in a small hamlet near Stroud, the festival has proved a real success over the years and now attracts thousands of visitors from as far afield as Europe.
For more info: See Frocester Beer Festival or call (01453) 548035.

Festival: Festival of British Eventing
When: Annually in August
Expect to Find: A weekend of quintessentially British entertainment, with world-class equestrian competitions, the Shetland Pony Grand National, falconry displays and much more. There’s fun for the whole family to enjoy, with a shopping village, a food court brimming with tasty treats and even dog agility competitions in which families can bring along their masterful mutts to compete.
SoGlos loves: The adventurous can opt to park up for the weekend with camping spots on offer for caravans and luxury yurts and tipis available to hire.
For more info: See Festival of British Eventing

Festival: Stroud Fringe Festival
When: Annually in August/September
Expect to find: Stroud Fringe Festival has earned itself hordes of fans due to an eclectic mix of performers from multiple musical genres such as rock, indie, metal, hip hop, folk and country. A focus for the area’s cultural and artistic talent, street entertainers swarm around festival markets and buskers do their very best outside bars. There are plenty of visual arts to keep you entertained too, and a play area for those soon-to-be cultured kiddiewinks at this family-friendly event.
SoGlos loves: The festival’s environmental conscience – organisers try to ensure the lowest possible carbon footprint and, located amid an efficient public transport system, hope to encourage visitors to leave their cars at home.
For more info: See Stroud Fringe Festival.

Festival: Stroud Folk Festival
When: Annually in September
Expect to Find: Stroud coming alive with the sound of folk music when fans flood the town for a weekend of talent. Kicking off on Friday night will be the Stroud Ceilidhs, followed by a day of music and dancing, with award-winning folk star, Jim Moray as headliner.
SoGlos loves: Last year saw the 2013 Five Valleys Folk Award Winners get everyone on their feet dancing and ringing Morris bells all day long, with this year’s line-up sure to be the best yet.
For more info: See Stroud Folk Festival

Tewkesbury festivals guide

Festival: Tewkesbury Medieval Festival
When: Annually in July
Expect to find: A spectacular event that sends history enthusiasts wild each summer and sees nail-biting battles recreated with skill and dexterity; jesters wowing audiences with magical tricks; and a beer tent ensuring festival folk receive their fill of mead. Visitors can expect the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of medieval life, so prepare for trials and beheadings as well as sweet maidens and breathtaking battles. Youngsters have the opportunity to learn about medieval life, surrounded by townspeople and soldiers going about their daily business – cooking over open fires and snoozing in their tents, just as they would have done before commencing battle.
SoGlos loves: The sight of 2000 brave warriors, archers and cannon-bearers re-enacting the 1471 Battle of Tewkesbury as part of a series of magnificent combat displays.
For more info: See Tewkesbury Medieval Festival.

Lakefest music festival in Tewkesbury

Festival: Lakefest
When: Annually in August
Expect to find: In 2015 Croft Farm Waterpark will be taken over with a feast of live music, camping, glamping, family fun, local beers and ciders – with past artists to grace the stage at Lakefest including the likes of Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Ade Edmondson and the Bad Shepherds, Snap! And Neville Staple.
SoGlos loves: While there’s plenty of space to pitch a tent over the weekend and enjoy the festival to its fullest, music fans can enjoy a little more luxury and go all out with a range of glamping, tipi, chalet and pod options that are also available.
For more info: See Lakefest music festival or call 07585 180723.

Tewkesbury Classic Vehicle Festival

Festival: Tewkesbury Classic Vehicle Festival
When: Annually in August
Expect to find: Lots of vintage vehicles, from buses to motorcycles, plus a great selection of cars going back to the pre-war era. There’s always something to keep the whole family entertained throughout the day, with fairground rides; more than 150 stalls selling everything from gaskets to gingerbread; and a barbeque with a licensed bar.
SoGlos loves: Over the years, the festival has seen world-famous cars such as Le Mans Bentley and the Rolls Royce Phantom among the 400 on display.
For more info: See Tewkesbury Classic Vehicle Festival or call (01684) 850940.

If you know of an annual Gloucestershire festival which deserves a place in SoGlos’s guide, request an event listing for possible inclusion.

© SoGlos
Sunday 24 May 2015

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