Muddy’s 2022 Festival Guide: Suffolk, Cambs & beyond
Are you ready to make some noise?! From classical music concerts and 80s throwbacks to thumping chart-toppers and literary affairs, these are the festivals you need to know about this summer.
ON OUR DOORSTEP
The EA Festival, Hedingham Castle, 11 – 12 June
If you’re quick you can still get involved in this high brow cultural event. Coming back for a second year, The EA art and culture festival is a showcase for leading performers and exponents of their respective fields (music, visual arts, moving image, poetry, media and books), featuring both local luminaries and internationally recognised stars. You can view this year’s impressive line-up here.
The Cambridge Club Festival, Childerley Orchard, 10 – 12 June
Who needs Glastonbury when you live in Cambs? This music festival is huge and the line-up this year is particularly incredible. We’re talking Diana Ross (coming to us straight from her performance at the Jubilee Concert no less), Nile Rogers & Chic, Corinne Bailey Rae, Gabrielle, The Jacksons, TLC, and Level 42, as well as amazing DJs such as Sara Cox, Craig Charles, and Trevor Nelson. There’s also an Auditorium of Intrigue featuring comedy acts and talks, and an Imagination Station (remember Dick & Dom?!) and activities for the kids.
The Nearly Festival, Bury St Edmunds 11 – 12 June, Oulton Broad 25 – 26 June, Great Yarmouth 16 – 17 July
As the name suggests, this music festival features the UK’s best touring tribute acts with tributes to Queen, Bob Marley, ABBA, Beyoncé, Black Eyed Peas and more. There’s also a Kidzone, street food market, and pub in the park to enjoy while you listen.
The WildWood Disco, Horseheath Racecourse, 17 – 19 June
This is a weekend of pure joy, fun, dancing and revelry under a magical canopy of trees in Cambs. There are 4 stages with an excellent line up of artists and musical genres (hip hop, soul, disco, techno, etc.), and a Sundown Stage for energising yoga and disco yoga plus fortune telling, campfires, glamping and lots of glitter!
Strawberries & Creem Festival, Childerley Orchard, 17 – 19 June
This festival features the best in UK urban and dance music and is headlined by rap legend Lil Wayne this year, with more than 100 artists taking to the various stages too.
Cambridge Rock Festival, Peterborough, 16 – 19 June
This much-loved festival is heading to a new site this year in Peterborough, at the East Of England Arena and will have an amazing line-up of 68 bands to headbang along to.
Southwold Arts Festival, Southwold 25 June – 2 July
Now in its 7th year, the Southwold Art Festival is a mix of music, talks, theatre, poetry and visual arts. The festival launches with a mini Rio Carnival style street event with choirs, bands & street entertainers taking over the pretty high street plus a vintage market and food stalls.
Mad Hatters Music Festival, near Ely, 1 -3 July
This family-friendly music festival takes place in 12 acres of glorious countryside just outside Ely and has two stages with live music, a whole host of magical children’s activities from The Fairyland Trust, craft stalls, food trucks, local drinks stands, and even a storyteller and wellness area.
The Big Weekend, Cambridge, 1 – 3 July
Every year the city of Cambs comes together on the first weekend of July for a live music extravaganza and fireworks display extraordinaire. The fun starts on Friday night with music from Heather Small and S Club party, while Saturday and Sunday see French markets, a Sports Zone, The Big Read, an art tent, the Uni’s fun science lab and the Cambridge Mela (a celebration of Asian culture) descend on Parker’s Piece.
Cambridge Summer Music Festival, across Cambs, 6-31 July
Love a bit of high culture? You’ll want to get yourself tickets to Cambridge Summer Music, darling. The 2022 line-up promises 20 classical productions to enjoy over the month of July including Sounds Green in the Botanical Gardens, Mendelssohn’s Elijah at Ely Cathedral, and The Mithras Trio.
Ely Folk Festival, Ely, 8 – 10 July
Sneaking into our summer of festival fun before the bigger Cambridge Folk Festival is Ely’s version – a bijou folk and roots festival. You can camp on-site to make the most of the weekend’s acts, as well as the real ale bar, kids activities, morris dancing, ceilidhs and workshops.
Shakespeare Festival, Cambridge, 11 July – 22 August
Big fan of the bard? Then this cultural festival will be right up your street. Shakespeare’s most well-loved plays will be shown across Cambridge over 8 weeks of the summer. Many of the performances take place in the idyllic settings of the college gardens so you can sit back and enjoy a picnic while you watch. Tickets cost £18 per person.
Todd in the Hole, Stevenage, 15-17 July
This festival just over the border in Herts is a mixture of live musical talent, family fun and country shows with The Killerz, Who Are You, Fleetwood Mac UK, Wrong Jovi and Bob Marley Revival gracing the Main Stage. There’s also The Busker’s Stage and the Woods stage where you can see up and coming local artists and new talent.
Latitude Festival, Henham Park, 21-24 July
The most revered of the East Anglian festivals, Latitude returns this summer for a fun-filled family-friendly experience. There will be music (Lewis Capaldi, Foals, Snow Patrol, Phoebe Bridgers), as well as dance, comedy, poetry, theatre, literature, podcasts, family activities and wellness. General camping adult tickets from £254.
Secret Garden Party, Abbots Ripton, 21 – 24 July
Not much I can tell you about this festival other than the date and place, because the rest is a secret! Although I can tell you the theme this year is ‘All You Need Is Love’. In fact, festival goers only find out the day’s line-up each morning. Sadly, tickets are already sold out, but you can keep eye on the ticket page to potentially bag a returned ticket.
Standon Calling, Standon, 21-24 July
Over in Herts, boutique music and arts festival, Standon Calling started life as an extravagant birthday garden party, only the party just kept getting bigger and bigger. This year’s line-up includes Anne-Marie, Loyle Carner, Craig David and the Sugababes, with DJing by Annie Mac and Grandmaster Flash. Day ticket for £70, or weekend ones for £189.
Cambridge Folk Festival, Cherry Hinton, 28 – 31 July
It wouldn’t be summer without Cambs’ annual Folk Festival at Cherry Hinton Hall (seriously it wouldn’t – it’s one of the longest running folk festivals in the world). If you like to be in-the-know about up and coming artists, there’s The Den, a stage for artists under 30, and The Hub, for young musicians to take part in workshops.
Primadonna Festival, Stowmarket, 29 – 31 July
Not really a glow sticks and hot pants kind of festival goer? How about a nice festival of books, ideas and inspiration instead? Primadonna in Stowmarket is no Hay Festival though, as even if you don’t like books you’ll love the talks, interviews and discussions on a range of subjects including film, music and comedy. There’s also lots of delicious food and drink to be enjoyed alongside sets from DJs and wellness therapies. This year’s line-up includes La Roux, June Sarpong, Juno Dawson and Erin Kelly.
Beast In The East Festival, Ipswich, 30 – 31 July
Based at Ipswich’s Trinity Park, this year the Beast In The East has four headliners – The Feeling, Scouting For Girls, Hoosiers, and Space. There’s also a miniBeast Festival for the family with a kids entertainment area, a Feast in the East area for foodies, and camping on site for £25.
FolkEast Festival, Glemham Hall, 19 – 21 August
Get your beard growing now for FolkEast, a family folk festival of music that is celebrating its tenth year with a stellar line-up of folk music, dance, games, workshops, art, storytelling, and food and drink. You can camp on site in a pre-booked bell tent from £220 or your own tent for £10 a day, while day tickets start at £55.
We Out Here Festival, Abbots Ripton, 25 – 28 August
This festival is DJ Gilles Peterson’s club culture collaboration of musical styles including soul, hip-hop, house, afro, electronica and jazz. It’s open to all, including those who don’t do camping *raises hand*, with a variety of luxury yurts and bedouin tents to book.
Dogfest, Knebworth House, 10-11 Sept
Over the border in Herts, Dogfest is back for a barking good time. There’s a big dog walk, a puppy academy, doggy wellness, and the chance to prove — once and for all — who’s the best boy, in one of the dog shows. Tickets from £20, or £35 for the weekend.
HAVE WELLIES, WILL TRAVEL
Isle of Wight Festival, 16-19 June. (Line-up: Lewis Capaldi, Kasabian, Pete Tong, Muse, Craig David, Shaggy)
BST Hyde Park, London, 24 June – 10 July. (Line-up: Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Adele, Eagles, Pearl Jam, Duran Duran)
Wireless Festival, London Finsbury Park, 8-10 July. (Line-up: Cardi B, SZA, Nicki Minaj)
Kaleidoscope Festival, London Alexandra Palace, 23 July. (Line-up: Orbital, Happy Mondays, Charlotte Church)
Camp Bestival, Dorset, 28-31 July. (Line-up: Rag’n’Bone Man, Rudimental, Kool & The Gang)
Wilderness Festival, Oxfordshire, 4-7 Aug. (Line-up: Years & Years, Jungle, Underworld).
Edinburgh Summer Sessions, 8-14 Aug. (Line-up: Tom Jones, Simple Minds, Simply Red, Michael Kiwanuka)
Boardmasters, Cornwall, 10-14 Aug. (Line-up: George Michael, Disclosure, Kings of Leon)
Camp Bestival, Shropshire, 18-21 August. (Line-up: Fatboy Slim, Rag’n’Bone Man, Becky Hill, Sara Cox)
All Points East, London Victoria Park, 19-28 Aug. (Line-up: Charlie XCX, Gorillaz, Nick Cave, Kraftwerk)
The Big Feastival, Oxfordshire, 26-28 Aug. (Line-up: Anne-Marie, The Human League, Stereophonics)