05 April 2018

Six of the best festivals happening in Wales this spring

From the world’s best philosophers, to the great tastes of the Welsh food and drink scene, there’s lots to see, do and experience in Wales this spring. And now that winter is officially over, it’s time to get back outdoors, embrace all things new and get ready to be entertained in the spring, come rain or shine. 

Focus Wales

Golden Fable with N.E.W Sinfonia at FOCUS Wales 2017

Focus Wales, Wrexham by Brent Jones
Wrexham, 10-12 May

The annual festival based in multiple venues across Wrexham, Focus Wales showcases over 200 acts comprising of music, comedy, film and more. Since its inaugural event in 2011 Focus Wales has become a beacon for emerging musicians across the country, and has previously played host to Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Joy Formidable and Charlotte Church. 2018 sees Welsh Music Prize winner The Gentle Good and Y Selar Best Band winners, Candelas, take the stage.

If you’re heading to Wrexham for the festival, check out an insider’s tips on where to eat, drink, stay, shop and more here.

AberCycle Festival

Old College and Promenade at sunset

Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
Aberystwyth,19-29 May

If you’ve ever seen BBC’s hit TV show Hinterland, you’ll be aware that Aberystwyth and the surrounding countryside and coastline, is home to some the world’s most beautiful scenery. And whether you prefer Hill Climbs or Sportives, the AberCycle Festival allows you take all of it in from the saddle of a bike. However, all work and no play makes us all dull boys and girls, so while you’re in town be sure to pop in to one or two of the plethora of pubs in Aber (as the locals call it) for a nice, cold pint of Brains beer. You’ll need it after all that cycling!

HowTheLightGetsIn

Man with a fire stick lit at both ends.

HowTheLightGetsIn festival, Wye Valley by HowTheLightGetsIn
Hay on Wye, 25-28 May

The world’s biggest music and philosophy festival (yep, that’s music AND philosophy) returns in 2018 with its unique blend of tunes, talks and trapeze (yes, there are even circus performers!). Based in the magical surroundings of Hay on Wye, this four day festival takes place at the end of May and is perfect for everyone who likes a side of intellectualism with their traditional festival experience. Get your tickets to see performances from the likes of George Ellis, Lou Sanders, Georgia Ruth and Spiegel Circus.

The Big Retreat

A woman in a yoga tree pose overlooking the estuary.

The Big Retreat, Lawrenny, Pembrokeshire by Owen Howells
Lawrenny, 25-28 May

In late May in the heart of the Pembrokeshire National Park, The Big Retreat Wales takes place. Essentially the festival is about wellness, but it’s also so much more than that. For kids, there’s everything from bushcraft to barn dance, and grownups can enjoy foraging, fitness, feasting and more. Join in this May for four days of ‘feel good’, unplugging from your usual routine and diving into a blissful melee of workshops, activities, music and sustainable food produce. 

Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival

Festival stalls and people around a rectangular pond

Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival, Vale of Glamorgan by Tracy James-Lieberman
Cowbridge, 27-28 May

Founded in 2004, the annual Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival has grown into an award-winning mainstay of this market town’s annual events calendar. Visitors from far and wide throng the streets perusing the multitude of food tents and stands, and quaffing local cider and bubbles. A short drive away from the Welsh capital, the event plays host to over 100 exhibitors, and is the perfect weekend jaunt for visitors wanting a taste of the culinary scene in Wales. Oysters, chutneys, shortbread, craft ales, scotch eggs and gourmet hot dogs, it’s all here. You won’t leave hungry.

Festival of Voice

Festival of Voice in the Millennium Centre

Festival of Voice, Cardiff by Owen Mathias
Cardiff, 7-17 June

This international arts festival created by Cardiff Bay’s Wales Millennium Centre has just about everything a music loving culture vulture could possibly aspire to on its constantly evolving, eclectic programme. From the legendary Gruff Rhys to the magnificent Gwenno, the voice of protest Billy Bragg, to two special performances from New York’s Queen of Cool Patti Smith, there is always something – or someone – to discover. Be prepared to find your new favourite voice, and listen in awe.

For more fabulous festivals in Wales, visit our Festivals page or search for events.