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Festivals in Somerset

Festivals in Somerset

Festivals in Somerset come in all shapes and sizes.


At the top end of the scale is the world famous Glastonbury Music Festival. Here, up to 250,000 music lovers gather at Worthy Farm. In 2020, this incredible music festival will have been in existence for 50 years!

This festival doesn’t take place every year. The land and local residents are given a break every 5 years or so. (Festival founder Michael Eavis usually has a herd of dairy cows grazing on the land.)

Festivals in Somerset

Somerset is home to a huge array of music, food, art, literary and comedy festivals which take place throughout the year.


Shindig Weekender (Bruton) 23 – 26 May 2019

Shapwick Jam music festival (Shapwick) 8 June 2019. £5 for the day!

Home Farm Fest (Chilthorne Domer) 7 – 9 June 2019

Smoked and Uncut (Bath music & food festival) 15 June 2019

Pub in the Park (various locations) Bath takes place 21 – 23 June 2019 (Music & food)

The Newt Beer & Music Festival (Bridgwater) 5 July  – 6 July 2019. Beer, cider & music (not necessarily in that order…).

Nass Festival (Action sports & music festival near Bristol) 11 – 14 July 2019

Priddy Folk Festival takes place 12 -14 July 2019

Godney Gathering (Garslade Farm, Glastonbury) Saturday 20 July 2019

Farmfest (Gilcombe Farm nr Bruton) 25 – 27 July 2019

Valley Fest (by Chew Valley Lake) 2 – 4 August 2019. This is held on an organic farm and attracts some big names.

ArcTanGent (one for heavy metal lovers) 15 – 17 August 2019 on Fenhill Farm nr Bristol

Watchet Music Festival takes place 23 – 25 August 2019

The Downs (Bristol) 31 August – 1 September 2019

Priston Music Festival (near Bath) 13 – 15 September 2019


Wassail on or around 17 January at various farms across Somerset. (Give thanks for the harvest. Drink cider, sing songs and fire a shotgun!)

Festivals in Somerset

Eat festivals – various location across Somerset. Locally focused food and drinks festivals from a multi award-winning organisation

Shepton Mallet Snowdrop Festival 16 and 17 February 2019. Special stalls at the Sunday Market, talks, a snowdrop trail, a procession, arts and crafts and booksignings.

The Snowdrop Festival at The Bishop’s Palace in Wells 24 and 25 February 2019. 10am – 4pm.

Festivals in Somerset

Enjoy a snowdrop festival at The Bishop’s Palace

Mells Daffodil Festival on 22 April 2019. There’s much more to this festival than just daffodils.

Wells Festival of Film includes two outdoor screenings on Friday 26 April and Saturday 27 April 2019 in the beautiful grounds at the Bishop’s Palace

May 11 is Somerset Day. Lots of events around the county to celebrate this special day.

Festivals in Somerset

Wedmore Arts Festival Friday 10 May to Sunday 19 May 2019

Wells Comedy Festival 24 – 26 May 2019. Tickets are on sale. Acts already announced include; Nish Kumar, Josie Long, Lost Voice Guy, Mark Watson, Shappi Khorsandi and Phil Wang. Performances take place in various venues in Wells.

The Country Garden Festival takes place at the Bishop’s Palace in Wells. 14 – 16 June 2019. 10am to 5pm.

The National Trust’s Top of the Gorge festival takes place at Cheddar Gorge 14 – 16 June 2019

Festivals in Somerset

Enjoy the views from Cheddar Gorge

Somerfest (Taunton) 15 June 2019

The Frome Festival is on from Friday 5 July to Sunday 14 July 2019. Lots of events, exhibitions and workshops to enjoy.

Wells Theatre Festival runs from Thursday 11 July to Sunday 14 July 2019

Buddhafield (nr Taunton) 17 – 21 July 2019

Family Festival (Paddington Farm, Glastonbury) 2 – 4 August 2019

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 8 to 11 August 2019

Cheddar Food & Drink Festival is on Sunday 8 September 2019

Wedmore Real Ale Festival 20 – 22 September 2019

The Jane Austen Festival in Bath Friday 13 September to Sunday 22 September 2019

Somerset Art Weeks (at various venues across Somerset) 21 September – 6 October 2019

Festivals in Somerset

Wells Food Festival Sunday 13 October 2019

Wells Festival of Literature takes place 18 – 26 October 2019

Wells Art Contemporary will take place in Wells Cathedral from 19 July until 11 August 2019

After delving into a few great festivals in Somerset, perhaps it’s worth remembering that there is more to a festival than first meets the eye.

the origin of festivals

Throughout history, festivals have usually centred around communities to celebrate religion, traditions or seasons and are often marked by national holidays. (Interestingly, the UK is among the nations with the fewest public holidays in Europe. Finland has 15!)

The word, ‘festival’ comes from the word feast, first used in the 12th century, while the Spanish  word, ‘fiesta’ is usually associated with a religious feast to honour a patron saint. (Spanish residents enjoy 14 public holidays a year.)

Seasonal festivals are determined by the solar and lunar calendars and by the cycle of the seasons – especially the affect on crops. This has ensured that many festivals centre around and celebrate food.

Festivals in Somerset

Somerset is steeped in these traditions. We love festivals in Somerset. It’s an excuse to gather and have some fun.

the more unusual FESTIVALS

Beltane is a pagan festival held at the beginning of May. It  promotes abundance and is commonly associated with fertility. (Originally, couples used to frolic in the woods while the Beltaine fire raged.) Glastonbury is the place to be with colourful celebrations taking place in the market square. (Just a word of warning. Don’t frolic too much or you might get arrested…)

The Summer Solstice (celebrated just over the border at Stonehenge in Wiltshire) is world famous and attracts a real mix of people. In 2017, the longest day of the year was celebrated by around 13,000 people at Stonehenge.

Harvest Festival usually occurs around the Autumn equinox and the Harvest Moon. This is an especially important time in rural Somerset when we gather in the crops. This is also the time when the market traders of London don their wonderful Pearly King & Queen outfits and celebrate.

The Winter Solstice also attracts the crowds to Stonehenge. When the sun rises at around 8am on 21 December the shortest day in the northern hemisphere is underway. However, the burning of logs ‘ Yule’ has become better known for that lovely dessert we eat at Christmas.

Nowadays festivals come in many different guises, but the principle of gathering people, celebrating a product or skill, sharing experiences and having fun has not changed. We have many wonderful festivals in Somerset to enjoy.

Festivals in Somerset

The award-winning The Cross at Croscombe B&B lies in the heart of Somerset making it a great base from which to explore. Whatever you plan to celebrate – have fun!

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