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Festivals in Somerset 2024

Festivals in Somerset 2024

Festivals in Somerset come in all shapes and sizes.

SOMERSET’S LARGEST FESTIVAL

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. It’s hard to believe that this incredible music festival has been in existence for over 50 years!

Even prior to the pandemic, this festival didn’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.

A selection of Music FESTIVALS IN SOMERSET 2024

Below is a selection of Somerset music festivals scheduled to take place in 2024.

Shindig Weekender (Bruton) 23 – 26 May 2024

Home Farm Fest (Chilthorne Domer) 7 – 9 June 2024

App-Fest 8 – 9 June 2024. Family friendly

The Petherton Folk Festival is on 15 June 2024

Somerstock takes place 12 – 13 July 2024

Priddy Folk Festival takes place 12 -14 July 2024

Godney Gathering (Garslade Farm, Glastonbury) 19 & 20 July 2024

Valley Fest (by Chew Valley Lake) 1 – 4 August 2024. Held on an organic farm. Attracts some big names.

Chard Rock Festival 10 – 11 August 2024.

ArcTanGent (one for heavy metal lovers) 14 – 17 August 2024 on Fernhill Farm nr Bristol

MORE festivals in Somerset

JANUARY

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

Festivals in Somerset

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

FEBRUARY & MARCH

Shepton Mallet Snowdrop Festival 12 – 18 February 2024. Special stalls at the Sunday Market, talks, a snowdrop trail, a procession, arts and crafts and booksignings.

A Festival of Snowdrops also takes place at East Lambrook Manor Gardens during February.

February is also a great time to see snowdrops at The Bishop’s Palace in Wells.

Festivals in Somerset

Snowdrops in the gardens of the Bishop’s Palace

Bath & West Food and Drink Festival is on 22 – 24 March 2024. Features the British Cheese Awards!

APRIL & MAY

Cheddar Arts Fringe Festival is held 4-6 May 2024

Somerscience Festival on 6 May 2024 takes place across Bruton and Castle Cary.

Wedmore Arts Festival runs 11 – 19 May 2024 

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

Festivals in Somerset

Wells Comedy Festival is now a regular fixture. Performances take place in Cedars Hall and Wells Little Theatre. In 2024 the festival takes from 24-26 May. Catch a big name for a small price. Acts already confirmed for 2024 include; Harry Hill, Rich Hall, James Acaster, John Kearns and Jessica Fostekew. Other comedy events take place in Wells throughout the year.

Wells Comedy Festival

JUNE

The National Trust’s Top of the Gorge festival normally occurs in early to mid June at Cheddar Gorge.

9 June 2024 is Open Farm SundayLots of farms in the South West are taking part.

Wells Theatre Festival is 20 – 23 June 2024

Festivals in Somerset

Enjoy the views from Cheddar Gorge

JULY & AUGUST 2023 FESTIVALS

The Frome Festival takes place 5 – 14 July 2024. Lots of events, exhibitions and workshops to enjoy. Comedy, music, walks, art trails and much more.

The Somerset Food Trail Festival runs from mid to late July. 2024 dates TBC. Enjoy tours, open days, picnics and more!

Wells Art Contemporary exhibits pieces from early August to the beginning of September in Wells Cathedral

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta lifts off 8-11 August 2024.

Mid-Somerset Show in the Showfields, Shepton Mallet is on 18 August 2024. There is usually free admission for pedestrians!

Wells Moat Boat Races take place on Bank Holiday Monday in late August. The first race gets underway at 12.30!

The Wells Moat Boat Races

SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER & NOVEMBER

Wedmore Real Ale Festival takes place 13 – 15 September 2024.

Somerset Art Weeks runs for a couple of weeks. In 2024 it will run from 21 September until 6 October. 300+ artists host exhibitions and events in 100+ venues. 

Chew Valley Beer Festival is on 4 & 5 October 2024

Mendip Rocks! event usually run in early October. Celebrating the 450 million year geology of the Mendip Hills.

Wells Food Festival is on the second Sunday in October. Free entry. 200+ stalls! 10.30am-4.30pm.

Valley Arts Fringe Festival The festival usually takes place from mid October until mid November. Music, theatre, dance and comedy in venues across the Chew Valley.

Yeovil Literary Festival takes place over 4 days from Thursday 24  – Monday 28 October.

Wells Festival of Literature takes place 18 – 26 October 2024. Tickets usually go on sale in July.

Festivals in Somerset

Wells Festival of Literature at Cedars Hall

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.

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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