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Muddy’s 2022 Festival Guide: Berks & beyond

Are you ready to make some noise?! From opera weekends to 80s throwbacks to thumping chart-toppers and literary affairs, these are the festivals you need to know about this summer.

ON OUR DOORSTEP

Readipop Festival stage

The Gap Festival, Goring and Streatley, 1-12 June

If you’re quick, you can still get involved in this hive of cultural activity, which sees the picturesque villages of Goring and Streatley come to life with over 80 events, including theatre, comedy, live music, free children’s activities, open gardens, and more. Ticket prices vary, from £0 – £20.

The House & Garage Orchestra, Palmer Park Reading, 17 June

Love your house and garage choons? Back for a second year, the House & Garage Orchestra will pitch up at Reading’s Palmer Park with a classical re-imagination of some of the UK’s biggest house and garage hits of the 90s and noughties. The orchestra will be joined by many of the original vocalists to perform, there will be posh nosh and bevvies for you to keep sophisticated. Tickets on sale soon.

Readipop, Christchurch Meadows Reading, 8-10 July

Readipop is a brilliant boutique music festival offering a laidback vibe but with all the festival bells and whistles we love: music, street food, drinkies and fun stuff for the kids. This year’s line up includes hip hop legends Sugarhill Gang (with Melle Mel and Scorpio from Furious 5), British soul and trip hop pioneers Morcheeba and Mercury Music Prize winner Badly Drawn Boy. The three-day festival at Christchurch Meadows also features a ton of local talent, so you can say you saw them here first when they hit the big time. Weekend adult tickets £52.

Party in the Paddock with Craig David, Newbury Racecourse, 16 July

Giddy with excitement that a summer of fun is on the horizon? Picture the scene. You’re frocked up and heading out into the sunshine for a long overdue day out with your besties. The drinks are flowing and the crowds are going wild to the soundtrack of thundering hooves. Enjoy a day at the Newbury Races on Saturday 16 July for the Weatherbys Super Sprint Day starring Craig David live after racing. You can even win four tickets right here.

English Wine and Food Festival, Hungerford, 25-26 July

Move over Bordeaux, it’s the Thames and Chilterns terroir that has tongues wagging and lips smacking in the wine world these days. Enter the English Wine and Food Festival over in Berks, a two-day opportunity to taste, compare, and buy award-winning local wines, as well as tuck into perfectly-paired food from local producers. It’s safe to say we can think of worse ways to spend a weekend. Tickets from £5.

Marvellous, Dinton Pastures Country Park Hurst, 23 July

A crowd-pleasing festival of tribute acts playing homage to the greats. This family friendly festival has been rocking the country park for nearly two decades. Taking to the stage in 2022 are: UK Foo Fighters, The Jam’d, Definitely Mightbe, Queen tribute act Flash, Wild Boys and more. There’s also camping and glamping is you want have more a few Pear Ciders in the sunshine.

Heritage Live, Englefield House Theale, 23 July

Singer boy george in black and white spotted suit and hat

The 80s called, they want their music back. Well they can’t have it, because we’re jumping on board this retro time machine for Boy George’s Culture Club performance at Englefield House. Part of the Heritage Live Concert series, the band will take to the stage, alongside Lulu, Kim Wilde and Gabrielle. Tickets from £61.90pp.

Last Night Of The Heritage Proms, Englefield House Theale, 24 Jul

Opera star and former I’m A Celebrity inmate, Russell Watson has confirmed he will be performing an outdoor concert at Englefield House in Theale this summer (24 Jul to be exact). The Last Night Of the Heritage Proms will feature the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and very special guests The NHS Choir. There will also be a Spitfire flypast and fireworks finale. Union Jack flags at the ready for a patriotic sway to Land of Hope and Glory.

Flackstock, Englefield House Theale, 25 July

Can you believe it has been just over two years since Caroline Flack’s tragic death? Well a festival has been organised in her memory– and we’re all invited to her happy place. Cover yourself in sequins for Flackstock at Englefield House in Theale on 25 July for a night of music, comedy and dance festival. The line up includes: Natalie Imbruglia, Louise Redknapp, Fleur East, Professor Green, Dermot O’Leary, Keith Lemon, Paddy McGuinness and Joel Dommett. Money raised will be split between four mental health charities – Choose Love, Mind, Samaritans and Charlie Waller Trust. Tickets £50.65.

Reading Festival, Richfield Ave Reading, 25-27 Aug

Arctic Monkeys Reading Festival
 Arctic Monkeys at Royal Albert Hall in aid of War Child UK. Image: Aaron Parsons Photography

If there’s one thing that’ll clear a field full of teenagers, it’s their parents living it up like it’s 1996. Reading Festival has announced that The Arctic Monkeys, Dave and Rage Against The Machine will be headlining this year’s festival, so expect more middle-aged, parka-wearers than usual.

Fi-Fest, Maidenhead, 9 Jul

Fi Fest headliners are from our musical youth with REEF, The Hoosiers and Dodgy. It’s a glorious 90s throwback with a kids zone to keep the whole family entertained Channel Kate Moss festival fashion and out you go.

The Gin and Rum Festival, The Great Hall Reading, 14-15 Oct

Has gin had its day? (Not judging by Muddy consumption) Is rum the next big thing? Hedge your bets and head for the UK’s largest Gin and Rum Festival. With over 120 gins and rums, a brand new Tequila bar with up to 20 authentic Tequilas to sample, plus DJ, boozy masterclasses and a goodie bag, a taxi is essential and a hangover almost certainly guaranteed. Hic.

Cliveden Literary Festival, Cliveden House Taplow, 15-16 Oct

Cliveden Literary Festival

Politics, scandal and intelligent literary chat – kept civilised with an abundance of bubbles. Not a Boris  Johnson No10 party but the Cliveden Literary Festival. Speaking at last year’s event were: comedian David Baddiel, authors Kate Mosse, Olivette Otele and former political columnist Barbara Amiel, to name just a few. With the sumptuous hotel as the backdrop, this promises to be a fabulous affair.

BREAK FOR THE BORDERS

Wilderness Festival, Cornbury Park, 4-7 Aug

Pink green and purple balls above the crowd at Wilderness Festival Cornbury Oxon
Pic: Andrew Whitton

The most revered of the Oxfordshire festivals, Wilderness returns this summer for a four-day boutique experience. There will be music (headliners: Years & Years, Jungle, Underworld), long-table banquets, woodland parties, theatre, film, dance, and a pop up spa (well, we are in Oxfordshire). It’s generally a heady mix of right-on hippiness (yoga, skinny-dipping, hot hubs) and top-tier music. General camping adult tickets from £230.

Truck Festival, near Abingdon, 22-24 July

This veteran South Oxon festival in a farmer’s field, known to some as “The Godfather of the small festival scene”, hits all the right notes: family-friendly feel, good food, thumping indie tunes. Headlining this year are Sam Fender, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Kooks, and Kasabian among others. Resale weekend tickets from £150.

Café Mambo Ibiza Classics, Stonor Park Henley, 12 Aug

Who needs to endure the 2am EasyJet flight to Ibiza, when Ibiza is coming to you. For the second year, Café Mambo Ibiza will bring a star studded line up of DJs – Danny Howard, Disciples, Riton, to name a few – to Stonor Park for an evening of dance anthems. ‘Classics In The Park’ will whisk you off to the white isle, with the bonus of waking up in your own bed. A guaranteed sell out, so book up. Tickets £33.50pp.

Waterperry Opera Festival, Near Wheatley, 12-20 Aug

Love a bit of high culture? You’ll want to get yourself tickets to an opera festival, darling. The 2022 line-up promises eight productions to enjoy over the eight days: Mansfield Park (Dove), Peter and the Wolf (Prokofiev), The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart), Svadba ‘A Wedding’ (Ana Sokolović), and more. There is also a Young Artist Gala on 14 and 19 Aug. Tickets for The Marriage of Figaro are £45 (or £25 for under-30s — think we could pass?), or from £15 for all other productions.

Rewind Festival, Henley-on-Thames, 19-21 Aug

Leg warmers and glitter at the ready (sustainable, natch)! Henley’s REW!ND at Temple Island Meadows is steaming ahead. Headliners are an Eighties pop queen’s dream: Holly Johnson, The Human League, Belinda Carlisle, T’Pau, Level 42 … What are you waiting for? Adult day tickets from £65, weekend from £99.

The Big Feastival, near Kingham, 26-28 Aug

A posh nosh extravaganza, and an unbeatable excuse to eat yourself silly. Hosted on the farm of cheese-obsessed Blur bassist Alex James, The Big Feastival promises top notch chefs, family fun and chart-topping artists: good food, and great music. The line-up this year includes Anne-Marie, The Human League, Stereophonics, plus others. Adult day tickets from £92.50.

Foodies Festival Oxford, 27-29 Aug

The UK’s biggest food festival returns to Oxford South Parks over the Bank Holiday weekend, featuring Chef residencies from The Orange Bakery‘s Kitty Tait, the team behind Oxford’s Taste Tibet, and Lottie Bedlow from 2020’s series of The Great British Bake Off. Music headliners include Natalia Imbruglia, Toploader, and The Feeling. Get ready to eat, enjoy good music, learn new skills, and then eat some more. Weekend adult tickets from £42, day from £23.

BunkFest, Wallingford, 2-4 Sept

Get your beard growing now for BunkFest, a family folk festival of music, dance, and plenty of beer, back with a vengeance for the first time since 2019. Best of all? It’s completely free. The line-up features some excellently-named acts: Geno Washington & The RamJam Band, My Mate Dave, and Rusty Shackles to name but a few. You do however have to pay for a camping space, from £23.

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)

Latitude Festival, Suffolk, 21-24 July. (Line-up: Lewis Capaldi, Foals, Snow Patrol, Phoebe Bridgers)

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)

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)

Need more summer entertainment ideas? Try our round up of the best outdoor theatre and outdoor cinemas in Berkshire.

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