Festivals - Something For Nothing
Those hoping to festival hop around the country on a budget need not despair, as Anna Millar finds more free events than ever before
If you’re looking to wet a whistle, then look no further than the Orkney Beer Festival (22–24 August, www.visitorkney.com), held at the Stromness Hotel. A now annual wing-ding, guests are invited to join fellow tipplers for a taste of the local Orkney ales, as well as a collection of cask-conditioned ales and foreign beers.
Elsewhere, the more flighty festival-goer can enjoy the inaugural Bournemouth Air Festival (28–31 August, www.bournemouth.co.uk). From aerobatic and WWII aircrafts to supersonic jets, this all-new festival will celebrate some of aviation’s greatest achievements. Taking place between Boscombe Pier and the Lower Gardens, this free four-day event is expected to attract thousands of visitors, with showcases from Britain’s world famous Red Arrows, beach landings and marching bands.
Closer to home, the more green-fingered and foodie favouring festival lover can opt for Dundee’s three-day Flower and Food Festival (5–7 September, www.dundeeflowerandfoodfestival.com) at Camperdown Country Park, in Dundee. Offering a hearty menu of food and flowers, as well as a programme of activities for all the family, the festival provides a showcase for floral and garden displays and cookery demonstrations, as well as featuring competitions, craft stalls and fashion shows. This year’s celebrity addition arrives in the much-loved guise of TV favourite, Ainsley Harriott.
Earlier in the summer and attracting over 100,000 people alone last year, the jam-packed West End Festival (13–29 June, www.westendfestival.co.uk) also affords a host of free events, as well as ticketed ones, from visual arts and film to dance, music, theatre and comedy.
Last but by no means least, the Pittenweem Arts Festival (2–10 August, www.pittenweemartsfestival.co.uk) in Fife invites its visitors to visit over 100 artists exhibiting in the local village, whether in garages, studios and gardens.