For most of us, it's been a long, long time since we've been able to go to a festival. With everything cancelled in 2020, and most 2021 events following Glastonbury's lead and postponing for a further year, the decade's seen an unprecedented festival drought.
In 2022, though, almost every event seems set to return. And we couldn't be more excited.
We're not too bothered, though, in the big corporate bashes like Reading and Download. We're far more interested in the smaller, boutique events, where you can enjoy as much in the way of art and culture as you can bands and food.
So here are our top recommendations for boutique festivals in 2022 that you can book now, along with all the information you need to attend. Don't wait around too long, though: tickets for all of them are selling super-fast!
1. Green Man Festival, Wales
Despite all the odds stacked against them, Green Man went ahead this year and boy, was it a marvellous one. We were there and enjoyed all the smiling faces, the local berry cider and the wonderfully eclectic array of musicians and artists performing there. From Self Esteem and Snapped Ankles to Caribou and Nubian Twist, it was a riotous weekend of fun for the whole family. Tickets for next year's event, which takes place from 18-21 August 2022, go on sale on Tuesday 28 September.
2. Boardmasters, England
Boardmasters is Cornwall's own surf and music festival, bringing world-class music and the biggest names in surfing to Newquay every August. It's been running since 1981 and is currently on a three-year mission to become carbon neutral. The 50,000 capacity festival is located across two sites, Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay, and this year's headliners were Foals, Gorillaz and Jorja Smith. Next year's festival takes place 11-15 August.
3. Jupiter Rising, Scotland
Juniper Rising is Scotland's newest small art and music festival and offers "truly memorable nights spent revelling in art, music and nature". Everything happens within the iconic landscape of Jupiter Artland, the home of world-class sculpture just outside Edinburgh. This year's event took place over this Bank Holiday weekend, and we're expecting tickets for 2022 to go on sale soon.
4. Bluedot, Cheshire, England
Named Best Medium Festival at the UK Festival Awards, Bluedot is something quite unique. An award-winning four-day celebration of music, science and cosmic culture, it takes place in July at Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire. Past headliners have included Kraftwerk, The Chemical Brothers, New Order, Hot Chip and The Flaming Lips, while speakers have included Brian Cox, Helen Sharman, the first British astronaut, presenter James Burke and Libby Jackson of the UK Space Agency. Tickets for the next event, which takes place 21-24 July 2022, will be available this Friday, with Björk now confirmed as the Sunday headliner.
5. Secret Garden Party, England
The multi-award-winning Secret Garden Party was an event that set the creative benchmark for festivals everywhere. Known for its dreamlike aspect, fun-loving outlook and much-loved eccentricity, the independent arts and music festival took place in Abbots Ripton near Huntingdon in England until 2017 when it announced it was winding up. However, the organisers recently announced that after a five-year hiatus, the festival would return on 21-24 July 2022 to celebrate its 20th anniversary year. Ticket pre-registration is now open; once accepted, you can purchase tickets from 6am on Monday 27 September.
6. Nozstock, The Hidden Valley
Tucked away in the lush rural countryside of Herefordshire is Nozstock, a friendly festival founded by a "fun-loving" family which has now grown into quite the established event. Still intimate, homely and family-friendly, it takes place every July to bring you a "delightful amalgamation of performance, art, electronic super-sounds and good old-fashioned guitar-strumming and drum-bashing," as the organisers describe. Sadly, the festival has been on hold due to the pandemic but is planning a big party in 2022 with the lineup featuring Sister Sledge, Bill Bailey and Flava D. Tickets are now available, so get it booked and mark your calendars for 21-24 July 2022.