Back by popular demand our festival post is here again – covering some new-to-Braintree gems for you to discover, including one from one of our customers. Here goes…

5 lesser known festivals

Our pick of lesser-known festivals…

1 / Chagstock, Devon, 22nd–23rd July

What was once a party for 100 friends in a back garden has transformed into a locally loved, non-profit gig in this gorgeous town in the heart of Dartmoor.

Supporting the Devon Air Ambulance and Water Aid, this festival’s still a pretty small one. It has a great line-up that promises to have something for everyone, which includes The Stranglers, The Blockheads, and a multitude of family fun. And for kids of all ages there are activities like a climbing wall, water-zorbing (those hamster-like balls on water), dance workshops, and gyro-riding.

Visit chagstock.info

5 lesser known festivals

2 / Cloudspotting, Lancashire, 29th–31st July

A group of friends and festival enthusiasts organise Cloudspotting Music and Arts Festival. It’s a long, summer weekend retreat for a few hundred people in the heart of Gisburn Forest, Lancashire, and is in its 6th year.

As well as two stages of emerging and established alternative music, there’s a touring family theatre; interactive arts; music workshops; themed arts and crafts; and fine food for all. For 2016 they also have the all-new ‘Cabin in the Woods’ hosting late night DJ sessions.

Visit cloudspotting-festival.co.uk

5 lesser known festivals

3 / Wickham Festival, Hampshire, 4-7th August

Set in the heart of Wickham Village in Hampshire, this family friendly festival boasts great music including The Stranglers and Tony Hadley (showing my age here), and lots of other fun for the whole family including a solar powered cinema; storytelling; puppet shows; and a make-and-take crafts tent. Voted one of the best small festivals in the UK, this one’s definitely on my list for my family.

Visit wickhamfestival.co.uk

5 lesser known festivals

4 / Festival of Jim, East Sussex, 3rd-4th September

A recommendation from one of customers Sally Miller, Festival of Jim takes place in a secluded ancient woodland in East Sussex with the main stage set up among the trees.

This festival celebrates the life of musician, writer and performer Jim Marcovitch; thanks to a small group of his family and friends that organise it. Expect a varied line-up of up-and-coming musicians and comedians, puppeteers and storytellers. It’s the perfect choice for lovers of good music and friendly company, who want to avoid the crowds and commercial nature of larger festivals. In fact, they make no money at all – any money made after paying all the performers and expenses is put back into the following year.

Visit festivalofjim.com

5 lesser known festivals

5 / Curious Arts Festival, Hampshire, 22nd–24th July

Bringing together writers, artists and musicians, this unique festival takes place in beautiful and inspiring surroundings where the brilliant line up combines with delicious and unusual food and drink. From the fearless Billy Bragg to the very talented young artist Jake Issac – who’s supported Paloma Faith and Ella Eyre – it promises to be unforgettable experience.

Visit curiousartsfestival.com

Think you’ll try one of these out? Let me know if you do. Or if like our customer Sally, you have a recommendation too – please share it with us!

5 lesser known festivals by Emma