If you’re not fortunate enough to attend one of the numerous festivals being held across the UK & Ireland this summer, never fear. You can easily create your own festival themed summer by hosting a party in your back garden complete with music, food & camping.
Here are our top tips and ideas on how to make the most out of your DIY garden party;
These signs are a big trend now, featuring at weddings, parties, special occasions or as an eclectic feature for your home décor. They are a brilliant way of adding a quirky vibe to night-time festivities and they are certainly suitable for any DIY festival party. If you’ve got the budget, go all out and spell out your festival theme like ‘boho’, ‘fiesta’ or ‘carnival’. Pretty expensive, but also pretty impressive.
DIY mason jars
Another heavily used party trend, mason jars are great for serving any kind of alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage. Serve a concoction of spirits or offer a refreshing water based drink with infusions of berries, lemon, mint and lime. Simply save up plenty of old jam jars, drill a hole in the lids, place a rubber grommet on each to hide the rough edge and place a straw inside.
A garden party must-have, bunting provides a little creative decoration and brings the whole look together. A favourite with alternative, boho style festivals, bunting is cheap but effective at adding colour, fun prints and patterns. Check out Etsy, Ebay and Amazon for short and long length bunting that comes in a variety of different prints.
If you want to add more colour as well as having somewhere to cook for your guests, then a BBQ bucket provides a very affordable way of doing so. Cook the BBQ staples; sausages, burgers, chicken and onions and set up a table with all the condiments, baps, bread rolls, cutlery and crockery they will need.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can make your own salsa dips, create a centerpiece and of course don’t forget to add a few home-prepared salads.
Pitch a tent or build a teepee
Pitching a tent can be hard enough without the challenge of building a teepee! However, teepees are the new tents with beautiful décor inspiration to be found all over Pinterest.
If you want to take the time and build your own then check out Julie Blanner’s blog post on how to create a teepee using poles, rope and a canvas sheet. If you’re feeling a little nervous about taking that on, then search for teepee kits to find an easy DIY method of creating the same North Americana look for your back garden.
Along with the bunting, lanterns can brighten up your back garden, adding an ethereal magical touch as the sun starts to set. Again, it’s a cheap way of making your garden look every bit the festival setting. Notonthehighstreet.com have lots of different options from Moorish to French antique lanterns and from paper fairy lights to rechargeable bottle lights or if you're feeling adventurous you can recycle some old vintage lampshades.
Of course, no festival is complete without a little bit of musical entertainment! Even if it’s just a friend who’s great with the acoustic guitar, a local DJ or your phone, spotify playlist and Bluetooth speakers, you can create a great atmosphere with some musical accompaniment. Ask your guests for their requests beforehand, so you can cater for each individual taste without spending the night searching for a track on your phone.
When most people think of festivals, they tend to think of Glastonbury, V festival, T in the park, etc. The kind of festival that attracts huge musical acts, mainly aimed at teens, students and graduates.
Whilst they offer an amazing musical experience, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. If you’re looking for an alternative option for you and your mates or somewhere that you can bring your kids to, then check out our top UK & Ireland festivals.
These festivals are family friendly as well as offering much more outside the main music acts. They have a huge variety of food on offer, as well as arts and crafts, play areas and popular entertainment acts.
The only festival featured in our list that’s held outside of the UK, Electric Picnic is situated in Co.Laois, Ireland. Known for it’s quirky and eclectic vibe, Electric Picnic offers a family campsite with full facilities allowing you and the kids to pitch up a tent and mingle with the other families there.
Soul Kids is a specific area dedicated to encouraging kids to be creative, celebrating nature and adding a touch of magic. There will be acts, workshops and performances to keep the kiddies entertained and occupied.
Based in Hillsborough, NI, Sunflower Fest is young but growing strength by strength. Very reminiscent of the hippy, chilled out vibe of Woodstock, Sunflower Fest brings together modern and folk music with a distinctive relaxed, flower power atmosphere.
Set on a farm, there are plenty of activities to avail of, including storytelling, arts, crafts and interactive workshops for the kids. There’s also yoga, poetry, comedy and the invisible forest. What’s more, it’s not for profit with all proceeds going to a local charity.
Known as a boutique festival with a mixture of pop and alternative musical acts, Camp Bestival is much more than just a music festival. It’s a buzzing spiritual haven that has something for everyone. Set in the beautiful Lulworth Castle in Dorset, it has a whole host of activities for kids and adults, probably the largest range compared to other similar style festivals.
Your little ones can enjoy playing in the kids garden and the magic meadow. There will be face painting, fairground rides, bouncy castles and plenty of magical workshops including building a home for the fairies and carving out a wand. Kids entertainment is plentiful with acts like Dick and Dom, The Cat in the Hat and a music club.
An award winning family festival, Beautiful Days has a different theme every year with this year’s being ‘The Garden’. Flowers, hedgehogs, bumblebees, birds and gnomes will characterize this year’s festival with plenty to see and do.
For the adults, there will be several stages for quirky, alternative musical acts. For the kids there will be dress up, circus, fairground rides, storytelling and face painting.
Organised by Jamie Oliver and located on Alex James’ farm, Big Feastival is exactly what it sounds like; a celebration of music, food and fun for you and the family. There will be local produce, cookery classes as well as intimate Q&A sessions with top chefs.
You can camp in style at the glamping village with a variety of activities for the kids including the little dudes den, arts and crafts workshop, big top games and a vintage funfair.
If you’re thinking of heading to a festival this year, then make sure you have your festival fashion essentials sorted! Ensure your little ones are kitted out with their floral headbands, wellies and kids waterproof coats.
After the pics from Coachella (LA music festival) appeared across the internet, it was clear that it had single-handedly upped the festival style stakes for the coming summer season. This year will see a return to the hippy dippy boho vibe of woodstock. There will be plenty of fringing, lace crochet, floaty chiffon and temporary tattoos as festival style gets competitive.
Of course, trends come and go, but there are some festival wear staples that will never go out of fashion.
We’ve put together a few essential pieces that will help you pack for the festival season and make sure you can change up your look without needing to bring your entire wardrobe.
It wouldn’t be a festival without the appearance of frayed edge denim shorts! A staple item that can be worn with virtually anything, it’s definitely one for the backpack. Customise them by adding a few rips.
Graphic slogan tee
An easy item to style with anything, a good festival tee will either have your fave band or artist printed on the front or your favourite slogan. There are plenty of graphic tees on the high street, but if you want to go that bit further, you can customise your own tee.
Wellies & knee length socks
The one essential that everyone has to pack. Wellies will see you through the festival season, especially if you will be frequenting UK festivals which are notorious for wet and mucky conditions. Wear with long socks to protect your feet and avoid nasty blisters.
There’s nothing like a heavy downpour to leave you feeling wet and miserable. Packaway macs are great for easy access when the heavens open. Waterproof jackets and/or ponchos are an absolute must if you want to avoid getting hypothermia.
Versatile, practical and fashionable, the headscarf is great for covering up bad hair days. Bring a couple of patterned scarves to style up your outfit and create a quirky look.
Stacks of jewellery
If all else fails, pile on the jewellery. A simple outfit can easily be brought to life with a few well chosen pieces. The high street has plenty of jewellery items that are sold in bunches, taking the stress out of sourcing individual pieces.
What will you be packing for the festival season?