The top 5 alternative UK festivals

Spring is on its way, bringing with it the promise of summer and of course a year full of amazing festivals. That said, the mainstream festival scene seems to be growing stagnant of late, so we’ve knocked-up a list of alternative festivals that you might want to check out after an all-too-heavy Glasto session in 2011.

1. Sunrise Celebration, Somerset

Sunrise benefits from being an extremely non-commercial affair. It has been voted Britain’s most eco-friendly festival and you can attend guilt-free as over 50% of their profits go towards the community. At a recently reduced capacity of 3000 (it was 9000 at their old site), this festival is set to be an intimate experience. Line-up includes the Dub Pistols, the Egg, Utah Saints, The Freestylers, The Drop and many more.

2. Buddhafield, Somerset

For 15 years, Buddhafield has played host to a swathe of philosophers and Buddhists alike and shows no signs of abating. The fun-filled extravaganza that celebrates our lives on this lovely little planet is backed by a Buddhist ideology that is evident in the most visceral way from the moment you step in. As well as music, this festival offers meditation, yoga and capoeira classes absolutely free. One thing that puts people off of this festival is their strict no drinks policy – though I don’t suppose that matters when you’re enlightened.

3. Kaya, Wales

Sponsoring 2 charities this year, Kaya is a real hero of a festival. The weekend hosts a truly global world music festival that celebrates culture, food and music, incorporating influences from Jamaica, the wider Caribbean and Africa. Lasting from Friday to Sunday, this is a really different way to have a cheap weekend break in the UKaway from the usual bustle of the city. The site itself is something to shout about – The Vaynol estate is immense and was held in high enough regard to host the BBC’s 2010 ‘Big Weekend’. If you want an interesting mix of the contemporary and the classic, Kaya is for you.Keep an eye on the Visit Wales site for other festivals as well, as the country hosts some of the UK’s finest.

4. Beautiful Days, Devon

Beautiful Days is one of the more well-known festivals out of this lot. The brainchild of the Brighton-based band the Levellers, Beautiful days emerged from 20 years of touring experience and 20 years of note taking on how to run a festival. If you’re a fan of roots, punk or folk, you’ll feel right at home among your fellow festival-goers in this all you can manage, high-energy music marathon.

5. 2000 trees festival

Largely free from sponsorship, 2000 trees is a festival that is significantly cheaper than both its mainstream counterparts and the alternatives listed here. As you can imagine, it’s of a slightly smaller scale, but this does absolute wonders for the laid back atmosphere. Beingcheaper, 2000 trees struggles to pull in the really big bands. Having said that it certainly punches above its weight with acts like King Blues, Fightstar and Exit Ten, topping off the line-up.