Entertain clients with our pick of June and July’s out-of-town festivals and their VIP packages
Olivia Palamountain Photos:
Ben Phillips, Jen O'Neil, Ross Silcocks, Download 2016, Tom Gates, Andrew Allcock
Isle of Wight Festival
, 8-11 June, Isle of Wight
Comprehensive and commercial, with something for (almost) everyone
As varied and radio friendly as ever, this year’s IoW fest sees Arcade Fire and Run DMC slotting in alongside David Guetta and Rod Stewart. The Double Decker Hot Tub Bus is new, and the VIP Lounge has enough bells and whistles to make you feel special. Cream of the accommodation crop is Camp Kerala Mademoiselle, where seeing is believing.
, 9-11 June, Derbyshire
Pack your black for the hardest-rocking VIP on the market
This long-established rock fest’s RIP experience won Best Hospitality at last year’s Festival Awards – say no more. Glamping amenities extend to an Eco Day Spa, but if tipis, cabins or Airstreams aren’t your bag, go for a local hotel package. Aerosmith, Biffy Clyro and System of a Down are top of the bill.
, 15-18 June, Oxfordshire
Mature music in impressive surrounds
Not keen on wellies? Head for Winston Churchill’s birthplace, where VIPs can check out the stunning portraits and tapestries of the State Rooms before tuning in to the likes of Kool & The Gang, the Max Richter Ensemble or Jamie Cullum. A fireworks finale has just been announced for 15 June, when the Royal Philharmonic performs The Best of John Williams.
, 21-25 June, Somerset
The best of the best
No festival beats Glasto. Its hospitality is so on point, some people never leave the VIP enclosure. Seriously. Interstage Area access is notoriously hard to come by (well, you do get to rub shoulders with celebs) but it is included in the ultra-exclusive glamping packages from Camp Kerala. Music? Yeah, there’s that too.
, 30 June - 2 July, Warwickshire
Small festival, big ideas – this one will get you thinking
Discover inspiring talks and workshops from a diverse bunch – from Nobel Peace prize nominees to alien hunters – as well as rum punch and Cuban swing sessions, even a midnight feast. Wine tasting with a philosophical chaser from French misanthrope Marcel Lucont is not to be missed; neither is immersive dining experience The Truth or Dare Banquet’s now legendary ‘pudding procession’.
, 30 June - 2 July, Sussex
Outdoor jazz in stately surrounds
Lose yourself in music from Laura Mvula, George Benson and The Jacksons, then use your ‘Supremium ticket to access the VIP bar on the way back to your bell tent. Pimp your glamping experience with a 32ft mega yurt for up to 20 people and remember to book ahead for yoga, massages and a swim in one of the south east’s oldest outdoor pools.
, 5-9 July, Oxfordshire
Riverside frolics for the red-trouser brigade
More giant wedding than festival. Spruce up in your black tie and tuck into packages that combine tickets to see the likes of Chaka Khan and Pet Shop Boys (plus a varied range of jazz, blues and world music) with dinner in a choice of restaurants. There’s an exclusive-use venue for groups of 200, plus a concierge service to handle boat and chopper transfers. Remember, the formal dress code is strictly enforced.
, 7-9 July, Cheshire
Head north for extraterrestrial geek chic
An intergalactic festival of music and space exploration, set against a backdrop of the iconic Lovell Telescope. Stellar headliners include Alt-J, Orbital, and some of the greatest minds in science. Spider Silk for the Future with Professor Fritz Vollrath, anyone? Boutique camping under the stars is solid, with bell tents, luxpads and safari suites among the options.
, 7-9 July, Oxfordshire
A rose-tinted snapshot of middle England
Watch the Chipping Norton set lose it to the Kaiser Chiefs for one last time – because this is Cornbury’s 14th and final year. As ever, expect farmers to rub shoulders with toffs, while morris dancers and gourmet chefs do their thing. Glamping comes courtesy of Lovely Campervans and the Pop-Up Hotel; and there’s an exclusive VIP zone, as well as chic Club Tents for entertaining.
, 13-16 July, Suffolk
About as leftfield as mainstream gets
You’re as likely to find yourself basket-weaving, ROFL-ing to obscure jokes, or enjoying a ballet as you are bopping to Mumford & Sons at this eclectic arts festival. Book in to Latitude Luxury for Bedouin tents and wooden cabins, or bolt on the Seat of Luxury package for access to premium WCs. Watch this space for details of who’ll run the official festival restaurant – last year it was Blixen.
Secret Garden Party
, 20-23 July, Cambridgeshire
In the words of the Head Gardener, ‘This is a serious party’
It’s not so secret anymore, but SGP is still in the business of surprises… Turns out this is its final year. The ‘celebrity’ theme only extends as far as fancy dress, but true VIPs can join the last hurrah with Metronomy and Crystal Fighters, then bed down in boutique camping and recharge with a Sunday roast to rival mum’s at The SpRitz restaurant.
, 27- 30 July, Hertfordshire
Because there’s no such thing as too much to do
Between swing and ballet workshops, sound-healing sessions, cocktail-making masterclasses and tunes from Clean Bandit and Grace Jones, this one'll keep you all busy. Smashing group experiences include the Le Bun Diner Bottomless Brunch, Jazz Lunch on the Lawn, and steamy hot-tub frolics. Elsewhere, Patty & Bun makes its Standon debut, while Club Mexicana returns with more of its epic vegan tacos.
Krug Festival – Into the Wild
, 29 July, Hampshire
Luxurious revelry complete with champers and a world-class chef
For one night only, renowned Argentinian chef Francis Mallman will smoke, roast and char his way round three open-fire cooking spots in the grounds of heritage site The Grange. Expect plenty of Krug champagne, slow-cooked meats, and a top performance list curated by the folks at online music platform Mahogany. A luxury festival if we ever saw one, this is your ticket to impressing high-end clients.
For 2017's best festivals outside London – part two, click here.
To discover the best festivals in London for entertaining your clients, click here.