10 free & affordable festivals in the South West this summer…

May 4, 2017 | MAIN FEED

Welcome back to Broke in Bristol – the blog that helps you save money and live life to the full on a shoestring! Dig out those wellies ‘cause festival season is nearly upon us! To celebrate, here’s our affordable family-friendly festival guide…

1. £3. May 13 & 14. It might be a bit far for some, but in less than 10 days time St Ives Food & Drink Festival promises to tickle your tastebuds as it takes over Porthminster Beach with fun for all the family. Tickets on the gate are £3 for a single day pass or £5 for the weekend, free for under 12s. Tickets for Saturday include entry to the Saturday Evening Music Session featuring Sandy Acre 7. On the same weekend, there’s the Dart Music Festival, which is free, but of course will incur travel costs from Bristol.

2. £6 adults, under 16s free. May 20 to May 21. I’m quite excited about VegFest 2017 because Robin S (Show me Love) is headlining. If house music isn’t your thing, check out the Sunday line up which has more of a traditional reggae/hip hop/dub focus.

3. Free. May 20. Rave on Avon. Mr Spendthrift and I went to this one day rave in Stokes Croft last year and not only was it free, it was great fun too (although we did feel a little old!). Showcasing the best in underground electronic music, it’s open to all ages up ‘til 6pm, but you’ll need a wristband (starting from £12.50 to get into the venues after, 18+ after this time). Check out the Facebook page for more details.

4. Free. May 27. Eat: Burnham-on-Sea is an award-winning food and drink festival that takes place by the seaside. Celebrating local produce, you can also keep the kids entertained with rides, Punch & Judy and face painting.

5. Free. July 1. As is becoming the norm, the “is it, isn’t it” mantra surrounding the 2017 St Paul’s Carnival is even confusing me this year! The latest is that this famous celebration of our city’s African and Caribbean culture will not be back officially but a smaller event will still be taking place at the Malcolm X Centre during the day. See the Facebook page for more (hazy!) details.

6. Free. July 21 to 23. There will be loads to keep the family entertained at the Bristol Harbour Festival including arts, music, great food and drink and of course – boats. Explore The Matthew and check out our stunning city from the water. The site will have full details of what to expect nearer the time.

7. Free. Aug 10 to 13. As the website puts it, at Bristol’s renowned balloon fiesta you can expect “four fabulous days of free fun”. It does get busy though, so sometimes it’s a better option to admire from afar! Some good parts of Bristol to get a good vantage point are: Perretts Park, Clifton Down, Bedminster Down, Victoria Park, Brandon Hill, Clifton Observatory, Leigh Woods and Stoke Park Estate. Always check the website before heading on out by clicking here.

8. £3. July 8 is Bristol Pride Day this year and for just a couple of quid you can see performers including Busted, Sonia, Saara Alto play at the stages in and around Millennium Square.

9. Free. July 29 to 30. UpFest is a relaxed family-friendly festival in Bedminster that celebrates our city’s street art scene. As well as the place to appreciate street art, there will also be music, food and drink and activities for all the family, just click here to find out more.

10. Free. If you can’t get Glasto and other big festivals like Love Saves the Day out of your head, have you ever thought about volunteering? My Cause UK is looking for people to work at the bigger festivals in return for free entry, but don’t leave it too late! Click here to see if you can volunteer your services.

That’s it for this week folks. Please don’t forget to check all event details before heading on out and if you found this post useful please share it with your friends. Don’t forget to like the Broke in Bristol Facebook page to never miss an update.

About me

Jackie Annett

Welcome to my website. My name is Jackie Annett and I've lived in this wonderful city for many years. I'm a single mum to fourteen-year-old Little Miss Diva and for the last 20 years, I've been working as a journalist, magazine editor and blogger.

Work With Me


Latest post