Now that summer is here, Suffolk is the perfect place to be for family fun and entertainment. It’s not just a sunny county with a gorgeous coastline, it’s also a hub of exciting events and days out for all the family. Today I’m sharing four fantastic festivals (to suit all budgets) that you really shouldn’t miss…
1. LATITUDE FESTIVAL
This famous festival returns to Henham Park near the Suffolk coast this summer. In fact, the festival is only a couple of weekends away! I try to go to Latitude most years because they always have a top comedy line-up and where else can you see over 70 comedians in one place?? The Cortle Student Comics competition is always a highlight and you get to see newbie performers who you just know will be on the main stage in the future. I’ve noticed that one of the student comedians from last year’s competition, Jack Gleadow, is performing comedy in the cabaret theatre at this year’s festival, hurrah!I also really enjoy the unexpected performances that you stumble upon when wandering through the forest or by the lake. The Sadler’s Wells ‘Get Down’ dance performance last year was one of my favourite parts of the event, and I’m still amazed at the beatboxing when I watch back my iPhone videos from the 2016 festival. Weekend camping tickets are still available to buy if you want to stay over but, if you’re local, you can cut costs by attending the event for just one day. Saturday is already sold out but I’ve checked today and there’s a few Friday and Sunday tickets still available. And, if you’re taking youngsters with you, tickets for 5-12 year olds are just £10 and under 5s go free. There’s lots for families to do there, including a family arena with live entertainment for kids and plenty of places to play – just head for the iconic helter-skelter!
2. JIMMY’S FESTIVAL
Another family-friendly event is Jimmy’s Festival. It’s more than just a music festival – although the line-up is full of famous names – there’s family fun, food and drink workshops and all the usual attractions of Jimmy’s Farm. Plus, if your kids are into CBeebies, they’ll be in for a treat with the famous faces who are performing on the main stage during the day. I went a couple of years ago and met my Makaton hero Justin Fletcher yay!
3. FOLK EAST
Based at Glemham Hall, this epic folk event has a friendly, laid-back atmosphere and, with such a chilled-out line up of drummers, singers, instrumentalists and folk bands, how could it be anything else? The festival is held in August and I really enjoyed the day I spent there last year. After the festival weekend, why not extend your break at an equally chilled-out campsite nearby? Alde Garden is just 10 minutes away from the festival and it’s a magical place for a midweek stay. You can choose to sleep in a yurt, tipi, gypsy caravan or pitch up your own tent to keep that relaxed festival feeling going for a few days longer.
4. HIGHTIDE FESTIVAL
In September the Hightide Festival is coming to town. More precisely, it’s coming to Aldeburgh. It’s a festival of live performance, including theatre, music, family shows and comedy. If you like poetry, one of my recommendations is Luke Wright, who I’ve seen performing in the literature tent at Latitude in the past. Hightide is also held in Walthamstow and Edinburgh so you know you’ll be in for some quality performances. Tickets for shows start at just £5 so it’s easy to find something to see within your budget.
Image by Hightide Festival
So there you have it – four fantastic festivals in sunny Suffolk this summer! Let me know if you’re planning to go to any of these events in the comments below. And if you’d like to tell me about any other East Anglian events please leave a message too, I’d love to fill up my diary with more fun days out!