Somerset festivals to look forward to in 2023

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from putting this blog together, it’s that Somerset LOVES a festival. And I am fully down with that! Yes, we’ve all heard of one particular star-studded Somerset festival, whose tickets fly off the cyber shelves like hot cakes to lucky, tech-savvy, well-prepared folk with fifteen laptops and groups of friends…BUT there are so many other festivals taking place in the county, that there are plenty of places to get your hanging-out-in-a-field fun fix! 

From belting your lungs out to banging tunes and rocking out until the early hours, to discovering local artists, participating in theatre, tasting the county’s finest produce, learning age-old Somerset traditions, ogling hot air balloons or simply entertaining the kids, there are all kinds of Somerset festivals to suit all tastes.

I’ve rounded up all the festivals in Somerset that I know of – I’m sure there’s some I’ve missed, so do let me know if a special event is missing and I’ll keep updating this guide. Keen to join in the fun? Pop these Somerset festivals in your 2023 diary now!

Music festivals in Somerset

Shindig Festival 2023, Dillington House, Ilminster

  • When? 25-28 May

Boutique festival, Shindig combines old-school legends with rising stars -at the last count, there were 120 acts signed up for your dancing pleasure! There’s also a ‘Kids Kingdom’ with tons of free kid’s activities, a Cushy Holistic Sanctuary, Crafty Corner, Cabaret and more. Relaxation and revelry takes place around a 16th century manor house in the beautiful grounds of Dillington Estate in Somerset.

*Top Tip* If you live near Dillington Estate you can get a discounted price on tickets (limited number available).

Shindig Festival
© Sarah Koury www.kouryvindaloo.com
Dillington Estate Somerset
Dillington Estate

Flashback Family Festival 2023, Yeovil Showground

  • When? 27 May 2023

Flashback Festival is back for 2023 but this time it’s a family event for all ages. Expect the same great entertainment, plus fairground rides and a kids zone, hot food, a bar, a silent disco, free parking and camping.

Home Farm Fest 2023, Chilthorne Domer

  • When? 9-11 June 2023
  • Where? Home Farm, Main Street, Chilthorne Domer, Somerset BA22 8RD

This family-friendly festival has grown enormously since the last time I went, back in 2008. Held in aid of School in a Bag, all the bands/artists/performers/volunteers play and work for free to support the cause.

As well as 8 stages of different music, the weekend programme is filled with talks and workshops, plus a large Children’s Area, Market Area, a Wild Play and Wellness Area, talks and workshops, silent discos, children’s discos, a children’s cinema, world food and lots more! Perfect for first timers and festival pros alike, just be sure to dig out something fancy for Friday night’s ‘Posh Wears & Wellies’. 

South Petherton FolkFest 2023, South Petherton

  • When? 17 June

This free folk one-day festival in the picturesque village of South Petherton takes place in venues across the village. Kicking off with the Procession Dance and the Ceremony of the Glove – an ancient folklore tradition which dictates that as long as the glove remains airborne, no one can be arrested for drunkenness (please drink responsibly though people I’m not sure this rule stands today!)

As well as musical acts, there is food and drink, stalls, Morris dancers and shows to entertain the kids.

South Petherton FolkFest Somerset
South Petherton FolkFest

Glastonbury Festival 2023, Pilton

  • When? 22-26 June
  • Where? Worthy Farm, Pilton

I, I know, I know, this famous festival doesn’t really need any introduction (and to be honest I’m still feeling miffed I missed out on tickets this year), but I can’t not mention the world’s largest greenfield music and performing arts festival.

Glastonbury is not only a music lovers’ paradise (last year saw Paul McCartney and Billie Eilish take to one of many star-studded stages), it’s also a 24-hour city of entertainment, with everything from cinema to circus, art and performance on offer for five days straight. 

Glastonbury Festival Somerset
The pyramid stage at Glastonbury Festival with a hot air balloon floating in the background and Glastonbury Tor in the distance.

Weirfest 2023, The Ship Inn, Porlock

  • When? 29 June – 2 July, 6pm-10pm

From humble beginnings, this little beer festival in the pretty coastal town of Porlock has grown and grown and is now in its 11th year! With live bands everyday, over 50 real ales and ciders, plus a hog roast, it’s no wonder this weekend is popular with locals and visitors.

Weston-super-Mare Pride 2023

  • When? 1-2 July

Join the celebrations at the biggest Pride event in the UK on the Beach Lawns in Weston-super-Mare!

More information to be announced shortly.

Nass Festival 2023, The Royal Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet

  • When? 6-9 July 

Drum n’ bass, dance, hip hop and grime make up the soundtrack to this adrenaline-fuelled, high octane action sports and music festival. Heavyweight music legends rock the sound stages (Chase & Status Live, Wu-Tang Clan and Little Simz are confirmed headliners for 2023), while BMX riders and skaters battle it out against a backdrop of Upfest-curated street art.

Priddy Folk Festival 2023, Priddy Village Green

  • When? 7-9 July

Set high up in the Mendip Hills, this village folk festival is said to be the friendliest in Britain. What started as a fundraiser for the local primary school has grown to a seven stage extravaganza, showcasing both the traditional and emerging folk scene.

2023 marks the 30th year of the community festival, so it’s set to be a good’un! Alongside an exciting programme of ticketed events there is also a free fringe, children’s festival and dance line-up.

Somerton Music and Arts Festival 2023, Somerton

  • Fortnight in July TBC

Events for this fortnight-long music and arts festival include music, crafts workshops, art and photography exhibitions, wine tasting, chocolate making, talks and walks. The festival concludes  with Somerton’s Somerstock Festival (see below for more details).

Somerstock 2023, Somerton

  • When? 7 & 8 July 2023
  • Where? The Rec, Somerton

Somerton’s Music and Arts Festival (see above) culminates in Somerstock, kicking off with a an extra evening of music from 7pm on Friday night, before the main event on Super Saturday. Festi-goers are under orders to bring your sunscreen and your dancing feet! 

As well as a full rosta of bands on two sound stages, street food and attractions, there’s also a Kids’ Zone (under 12s’ tickets are free).

This not-for-profit event is run by a team of unpaid volunteers and the festival donates money to local charities and organisations.

Godney Gathering 2023, Garslade Farm, Glastonbury

  • When? 14-15 July
  • Where? Garslade Farm, Godney, Somerset, BA5 1RU

Didn’t get tickets to a certain other festival in Glastonbury? Party on in the same postcode (well, almost) at microfestival, Godney Gathering on Garslade Farm. Now in its 11th year, the two-day extravaganza features big bands and local musical talent, comedy and cabaret on its seven stages.

Big-name headliners have included The Lightning Seeds, The Coral, British Seapower and Judge Jules Live.

Rock n Ribs Festival 2023, Wincanton Racecourse

  • When? 21-23 July

Howdy pardners! Rock n Ribs Festival celebrates the best of the USA with tribute rock bands, barbecue, cars, big rigs, Red Dragon monster trucks, Megaslam Wrestling, fairground rides, and more. Rock out this summer to main stage headliners, Elvana (Elvis-fronted Nirvana), Hybrid Theory (Linkin Park Tribute) and Foo Fakers. 

Leading UK country music acts will also be dazzling the crowds while line dancing and eating competitions (including donut, watermelon, burgers and chilli) take over the Food Trial stage.

Curry Rivel Live 2023, Westfield Playing Fields, Langport

  • When?  22 July 2023, 12pm-11pm

Save the date and get ready to be entertained! The kids’ area is open until 6pm. More details to follow soon…

Taunton Pride 2023, Vivary Park

When? July TBC

A celebration of arts, culture, diversity and inclusivity in Taunton. New website coming soon with all the deets! Watch this space.

Rimpfest 2023, Rimpton

  • When? July TBC

Rimpfest is a small charity festival with live music, a hog roast and camping. Details of whether a 2023 festival will be going ahead coming soon…

A Somerset Village Alive 2023, North Newton

When? July TBC

This date for this family-friendly music festival near Bridgwater will soon be ready to pop in your diary. Tuck into local food and drink sourced from South West providers to make the party go with a swing, take a gander at a marketplace of artisan makers and traders, let kids loose in the playground and bring along your pooch to take part in the dog show! Details for 2023 coming soon…

Valley Fest 2023, near Bristol (3-6 August)

This impossibly scenic family-friendly festival takes place on Luke Hasell’s organic farm, 9 miles outside Bristol. As well as the cracking music, food is very much on the festival agenda, so make sure you arrive hungry to make the most of the street food and scrumptious sit-down feasts from fine local producers. All to be washed down with your favourite West Country tipple and some festy-neon Somerset vibes of course.  

Valley Fest is also a wonderland of fun for children with veg picking, mini raves, crafting, circus games, face painting and ride-on tractors for young’uns.

Don’t miss the new Alchemist’s Playground – a new Valley Fest Arcadia and Woodland Tribe collaboration! By day, kids can construct the playground of their dreams from reclaimed materials, by night, the Afterburner stage fires up and adults get a look-in!

So far, organisers have announced Bananarama and The Kooks on the 2023 line-up, but there’s lots more exciting stuff to come – watch this space.

Valley Fest Chew Valley Somerset
Valley Fest
Valley Fest Somerset
Valley Fest

Farmfest 2023, Bruton

  • When? 3-5 August

This small festival in a Somerset field couldn’t go ahead last year due to poor ticket sales, so let’s try and turn their luck around this year ey? Farmfest favours electronic, indie, folk and world music and previous artists on the 70 act-strong line-up include Elder Island, Gentleman’s Dub Club and DJ Joy Orbison. The festival is popular with families, thanks to its Kids’ Kingdom which offers arts and crafts activities for toddlers to tweens.

>>18 Things to do in Bruton<<

Weston Shanty and Folk Festival 2023, Weston-super-Mare

  • When? 4-6 August
  • Where? Multiple venues across WSM

The Weston super Mare Sea Shanty Festival is organised by Weston’s own shanty band, The Steepholmers. It’s all about folk music and pirates – fancy dress encouraged!

Over 40 bands are expected to play across a variety of bars and venues in the town centre, with a centre stage at the Italian Gardens – check the website for a full list of performers.

Entry to all venues is free (except for The Grand Pier) although donations to the charity buckets (raising for RNLI and The Lions Club) are appreciated.

Chard Rock Music Festival 2023, Crewkerne Road, Chard Town

  • When? 12 & 13 August 

2023 will be Chard Rock Music Festival’s biggest ever year, with three headliners planned for each day. Scorpyons, Billion Dollar Alice, ZZToppd, LTBDC, Wizards of Oz (Ozzy Osbourne Tribute band) will be serving festival goers a rockin’ auditory feast. 

ArcTanGent 2023, Compton Martin

  • When? 16-19 August 2023

Attention heavy metal and experimental rock lovers, this one’s for you! ArcTanGent is a critically-acclaimed festival that takes place on the idyllic Fernhill Farm in the Chew Valley.

During the exhilarating three-day event, over 100 acts play across five alternating stages, with each night ending in a silent disco (from 11pm to 3am). Food and drink comes from a range of independent and local breweries.

Live in Somerset 2023, Taunton

  • When? 26 & 28 August
  • Where? Vivary Park, Taunton, TA1 3SX

Sing and dance under the Somerset stars at this multiple-night music festival held in Vivary Park. McFly (28 August) – with special guests Megan McKenn and Callum Beattie – and The Proclaimers (26 August) – with support from The Feeling, B*Witched, Dodgy and Sandi Thom- have all been announced, with other acts still to be confirmed by organisers.

Somerset Tribute Festival 2023, Yeovil Showground

  • When? August TBC

South Somerset’s biggest tribute festival line-up is to be announced on 1 February 2023! Look forward to three days of back-to-back tribute artists, posh camping, food and drink vendors and summer party vibes. 

Americana Fest 2023, American Museum and Gardens, near Bath

  • TBC

The American Museum and Gardens are closed until 11 March, but will be sharing their exciting programme for 2023 shortly, so come back soon for news about their summer festival.

American Museum and Gardens near Bath
American Museum and Gardens

The Sand Cider Festival, Ashgrove Farm, Sand, Wedmore

  • When? September TBC

Shimmy the night away to an amazing line-up in a beautiful candle-lit orchard overlooking Tealham Moor and Glastonbury Tor. In addition to great music, there will be cooking demos, wellness activities, family fun, food vendors and a bar serving a wide range of spirits and locally-produced beers and ciders, including Ashgrove Farm’s very own artisan cider, ‘Old Jollop’.

THELKI Queer Festival, Avalon Priory, Bridgwater

  • When? August TBC

THELKI is a sober, queer festival focusing on bringing members of the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies together near the misty isles of Avalon, Glastonbury.

The gathering focuses on wellbeing and creativity, with a variety of holistic workshops such as yoga, breathwork, meditation, art and performances, DJ’s, ethical food and trader stalls. 2023 information still to be announced…

Watchet Music Festival

*Watchet Music Festival is having a fallow year in 2023*

Wedmore Real Ale Festival

  • When? 15-17 September 2023

This festival has been running for 22 years, raising money for worthy causes, spreading the word about great real ales and entertaining festival-goers. It’s not all about the ale though, there are ciders, craft beers, a wine and gin bar, plus food stalls to help fuel the merriment.

Priston Music Festival, Priston Village Green, near Bath

  • When? September TBC

Priston Festival celebrates local music and artistic talent as well as nationally-renowned acts. All types of music feature on the festival programme as well as film, literary events, singing and dancing workshops and children’s art activities.

When it comes to venues, no public village amenity is left unturned – you’ll find events taking place in the parish church, pub, village hall, car park, as well as the village green.

Somerset food festivals

Somerset Food Trail 2023

  • When? 14-30 July

The Somerset Food Trail Festival celebrates the farms, landscapes, people and variety of places behind the Somerset’s most flavourful and nature-friendly food. Farmers, growers and food producers open their doors to the public at set times in July – think cheese tasting, vineyard tours, cider festivals and foraging workshops.

The 17-day-long programme of events and experiences is designed to raise awareness of the importance of farming regeneratively, and eating seasonally whenever possible.

To help trail-goers discover the wealth of incredible food and drink producers on their doorstep, this year’s trail is focused on a series of ‘Somerset Feasts’. Participating venues are challenged to host a memorable meal or tasting event that puts the spotlight on ingredients grown, or made, within a 30-mile radius.

YUM!

Pigpen Feast Somerset
Pigpen Feast Somerset

eat:Festivals

eat:Festivals bring the best West Country food and drink producers and artisans to markets in town centres across Somerset, Devon, Dorset, South Gloucestershire and Bristol. All are free, non-ticketed events where you can buy local food and drink directly from the producers. Put these 2023 Somerset eat: Festivals dates in your diary:

  • eat:Minehead – 16 April and 20 August
  • eat:Yeovil – 22 April, 16 September, 9 December
  • eat:Weston – 29 April, 23 September, 2 December (+ lights switch on)
  • eat:Polden Hills – 30 April 
  • eat:Taunton – 13 May and 16 December
  • eat:Clevedon – 20 May and 28 October
  • eat:Burnham-on-Sea – 27 May and 21 October
  • ​eat:Portishead – 12 August
  • eat:Wellington – 2 Sept 

Somerset arts festivals

The Bath Festival 2023, Bath

  • When? 12-21 May

The Bath Festival is England’s longest-running arts festival and a 10-day celebration of music, books, science, politics, live music and poetry. The full 2023 line-up is yet to be revealed, but previous programmes have included award-winning spoken word artists, a Literature Lounge, pop-up performances, Shakespeare-themed lunchtime lectures and performances by household names and rising stars.

Wedmore Arts Festival 2023, Wedmore

  • When? 7 – 14 May

The village of Wedmore (nestled between the Mendips and the Somerset levels) plays host to the Wedmore Arts Festival in May. The festival is back for 2023, with a brilliant new programme and some exciting innovations. 

Featured performers include a mixture of high profile household names as well as up-and-coming local talent.

Wells Comedy Festival 2023, Wells

  • When? May TBC

From England’s smallest city comes a jam-packed weekend of comedy, bringing the finest comedians in the country to the heart of Somerset. Previous line-ups have included Stewart Lee, Sara Pascoe, Harry Hill, James Acaster, Nish Kumar, Joe Lycett, Omid Djalili and Milton Jones. Hilarity takes place in various venues around Wells. Three days of hilarity, four Wells venues, over 40 comedy shows.

Frome Festival 2023, Frome

  • When? 7-16 July

This 10-day community arts festival is run as a hybrid fringe, with an eclectic range of events and performances showcasing up-and-coming local and national talent in music, art, wellbeing, food and drink. Expect exhibitions, workshops, comedy, walks, art trails taking places across over 40 venues in the town.

Bath Carnival 2023 (8 July)

If you’re looking for free family festivals in the area, head over to Bath to celebrate carnival culture with this vibrant street procession of fabulous costumes, dynamic dance moves and live music.

Starting at The Bath Recreation Ground, the carnival will make its way through the city, ending in Sydney Gardens with live bands, DJs, food and drink stalls, drumming and dance workshops, a super pirates kids’ zone and lots more! The theme is Mother Earth – Natural Habitats.

Wells Theatre Festival 2023, Wells

  • When? 6-9 July

Complementing the current Wells Literary, Arts, Comedy and Food festivals, the Wells Theatre Festival aims to attract a theatre-going public of all ages, whilst also encouraging young people to participate in theatre. Oscar winning actress, Dame Judi Dench and renowned director, Sir Richard Eyre are patrons for the festival.

Somerset literary festivals

Calling all word wizards, book worms and masters of spit and wit, as well as all those who like to sit back and have their eardrums electrified, senses stimulated and minds motivated…

Yeovil Literary Festival 2023

  • When? 26 – 30 October

Yeovil Literary Festival has been bringing inspirational writers, speakers, comedians and thinkers to entertain, inspire and enlighten audiences for 11 years. Last year’s line-up included Delia Smith, Melanie C, Hugh Bonneville, Anton du Beke andTom Kerridge. This year’s is yet to be announced, so watch this space!

Events take place at The Octagon Theatre, Westlands Entertainment Venue and Yeovil Library.

Jane Austen Festival 2023, Bath

  • When? 8-17 September

Every September, Bath’s splendid Georgian cityscape provides the perfect backdrop for a celebration of the life and work of one of its most famous former residents, Jane Austen. 

During the ten-day festival, over 80 Austen-themed events take place including guided walks, readings, concerts, dance classes, theatrical performances and workshops, with one of the highlights being the Grand Regency Costumed Promenade, when hundreds of fans fill the city’s streets clad head-to-toe in splendid Regency dress. 

Bath Children’s Literature Festival 2023

  • When? 29 September-8 October

Europe’s largest children’s literary event features a fantastic array of world-class authors, illustrators, literary megastars, storytellers and poets.

The festival gives young book lovers a chance to meet the minds behind their literary heroes, watch fun-filled poetry performances, take part or attend a poetry slam, discover the power of poetry alongside published authors, plus lots more.

Wells Festival of Literature 2023

  • When? 27 October – 4 November

Wells Festival began 31 years ago, and aims to promote the love and enjoyment of books, reading, and the written word. The 9-day festival takes place in Cedars Hall, a state-of-the-art performance venue situated in the beautiful grounds of Wells Cathedral School. 

You can typically hear from a wide range of novelists, speakers on politics, ecology, travel, history, biography and philosophy. Events include literary lunches, poetry, short story and kid’s book competitions.

Wells Cathedral Somerset
Wells Cathedral

Other Somerset festivals

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Ashton Court

  • When? 10-13 August

One of the most famous Bristol festivals on the calendar, this free four-day family-friendly event is the largest of its kind in Europe. Mass ascents of over 100 hot air balloons are scheduled for early morning and late afternoon, wind permitting.  

Festival daytime visitors can look forward to fairground rides, entertainment, live music, kid-friendly activities (including a family foam party!) and awe-inspiring aerial displays, all set in the beautiful grounds of North Somerset’s Ashton Court Estate. 

Evenings bring spectacular nightglow shows (9pm on 10 and 11 August) – when 20 balloons illuminate their burners to a soundtrack provided by BBC Radio Bristol – with a firework finale.

Bristol international balloon fiesta
Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Somerset Festival of Transport 2023, Frome Showground

When? 23-24 September 

Showcasing tractors, steam engines, military vehicles, classic cars and motorbikes, the Somerset Festival of Transport is going straight into my two-year old’s diary!

Alongside the machines there’s a whole host of entertainment, including the Tiger’s Children’s Motorcycle Display Team, dog shows, birds of prey and trade stalls selling crafts, car parts, tools, food and drink. 

Festivals in Somerset to be confirmed for 2023

Orchard Popfest, North Down Orchard, Crewkerne

Waiting to hear if this Somerset festival will go ahead in 2023…

Frome Beer and Cider Festival, Lilley’s Cider Farm

Browse an outdoor craft market, before chilling out with craft beers and ciders while watching live entertainment.

WiseFest, Wayside Farm, Evercreech, near Shepton Mallet

Wise Fest, run by alcohol-free drinks distributor Wise Bartender, is the celebration of alcohol free drinks, music, street food and general merriment.

Read more:

Best places to take part in a Somerset Wassail 2023

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