When it comes to festivals, every year I base where I visit on the music. In my mind it’s always been the most important thing. Jumping from stage to stage to see my favourite bands, but as the years go on, I’m fed up of the rushing around and eating cold chips from a plastic tray, because they’re the only gluten free offerings on site.
This year I’m thinking broader. Yes, I love my music, so I want to find somewhere I’ll enjoy the live acts, but equally, food plays a huge part.
Likewise, since the start of the year, I’ve been really blown away by yoga and how it good it makes me feel. Since, I’ve been spotting more and more summer music festivals offering yoga classes in huge tents, starting the day in the best way.
I got my thinking cap on and read a lot. I’ve thus pulled together my three favourite festivals this summer – offering great music, chilled out yoga classes and great gluten free food. I hope you find this helpful; you may even bump into me there if you decide to go!
When: 14-16th July
Where: Bygrave Woods, Hertfordshire
What: Probably one of the best value festivals of the summer, FARR boasts the best mix of food, yoga and electronic dance music. Set in a beautiful forest in Hertfordshire, and only a short train ride from London, it’s been one that’s been on my list to visit for a while.
Food: FARR has a huge variety of great vendors, some of which I’ve already tucked into at other London based food festivals. Veggie and vegan options a plenty too.
Gluten free highlights –
I first tried these guys at Street Feast, Hawker House, and was thrilled when they said most of their menu was gluten free. Fully vegan too, grab the tacos or nachos – they do not disappoint!
Packed with veggie and vegan offerings, it’s great to see their menu fully labelled. Gluten free wise, opt for the the Mexican Burger with a side of hummus.
Music: John Talabot, Giles Peterson, Jungle, Ben Ufo. Full line up here.
Yoga: FARR have introduced The Shala, a huge yoga tent with free classes throughout Friday and Saturday. Teachers include Madeleine Shaw, Mind Body and Bowl and my very own yoga teacher Kate of Make It Flow Yoga. A big stand out is these classes, which run throughout the day, are all included in the ticket price, so no hefty add ons.
When: 4-7th August
Where: Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire
What: This place looks like a postcard. Wilderness does just what it says it does. Put technology away, step into the wilderness and get lost. Hosted right next to a huge lake, where swimming is encouraged, this is a festival that combines the best of food, with an array of music types, arts, comedy, talks & debates, yoga and other activities.
Food: Sit at long banquet tables, decorated with wild flowers, and eat food cooked from top chefs, who have given their time to a one-off multi-course meal.
Gluten free highlights –
Firstly it’s great to see a note on all food sections of the website when it comes to food allergies – “There will be allergy menus available in all restaurants. For all other dietary requirements we will do our best to accommodate you (and substitute ingredients where possible) but please be aware because we are in the middle of the festival we cannot operate usual dietary procedures.” I’ve got my eye on a big table banquet, but have a feeling it may be better to speak to chefs on site to see what they can offer, but having separate allergy menus is a great step.
The Mae Deli
I was thrilled to hear that not only Deliciously Ella superstar, Ella Mills, had a delicious supper club at Wilderness, but also a food truck selling her wonderful naturally gluten free food. This is the place to go if you’re craving an epic salad.
Music: The Flaming Lips, Crystal Fighters, Parov Stelar. Full line up here.
Yoga: Book in for a variety of yoga classes; including different styles, outdoor, indoor, and even in big groups. You can even chill out with meditation, reiki or a massage, or book yourself into the lake spa.
When: 8-11th September
Where: Robin Hill, Isle of Wight
What: Bestival has always been a festival that offers more than just music. Set up by Rob Da Bank, as well as multiple music stages, there’s great food, activities and the traditional fancy dress Saturday, where a theme is chosen in advance, and prizes awarded to the best outfits. This year it’s all about ‘the future’.
Food: Food has always been something that Bestival does well, with this year introducing The Feast Collection, offering amazing seafood, gluten free choices and flavours from around the world.
Gluten free highlights –
The Chocolate Bear Kitchen
These guys believe that food should be made accessible to all- finally! They offer a 100% gluten-free and unrefined sugar menu, with thoughtful vegan, dairy-free and raw options.
The Rattling Pan
Ticking the boxes of being both gluten free and vegan, The Rattling Pan serves up piping hot soups to festival goers.
The menu, which changes frequently sounds extensive, with flavours such as the Roast Dinner (which is a firm favourite that I’m very keen to try!), the ‘Gaz-Macho’, a Mexican inspired spicy tomato with black beans and sweetcorn, the Smoked Lentil and Kale, the Thai Green Soup. Ah Thai Green Soup. That sounds right up my street.
Music: The Cure, Major Lazer, Hot Chip, Fatboy Slim. See the full line up here.
Yoga: Bestival do ‘alternative festival’ well with lots of hidden wonders throughout the park of other activities you can do. I was thrilled to see they had their own alternate festival, within the festival itself! For Slow Motion, think yoga, zen dens, hot tubs, hideaway healers and an art space. If you lose me, I’ll definitely be here.
Look forward to seeing you this summer! I cannot wait for festival season to begin.
*All images were provided by press teams.