Welsh festival favourites along Our Epic Shores – food, music and culture

Food, drink, music, memories… and add our beautiful coastline to the mix and you have something truly special. Here’s a handful of firm festival favourites by the seaside to keep your toes tapping and taste buds tingling through 2018 and into next year.  

Festival No. 6, Portmeirion

Colourful performers entertaining the crowds in Portmeirion

Festival No 6, Snowdonia by Festival No 6
Next on: 6 – 9 September 2018

Dubbed by The Telegraph as the ‘oddest and most magical of the lot’, this award-winning music, arts and culture festival takes place in Portmeirion, an Italianate-inspired village on the North Wales coast. The setting is like none other, and truly comes alive over the festival weekend as Portmeirion’s stunning grounds, woodlands, houseboats, listed buildings and a bandstand overlooking the estuary of the River Dwyryd all play host to an eclectic mix of musical acts, theatre and even wood fired hot tubs.

The 2018 edition will see the likes of Friendly Fires, The The and Franz Ferdinand headline the mainstage, while stand-up legend Reginald D. Hunter struts his stuff in the comedy house. Recently the organisers announced that the 2018 event will be their last one while they take a breather, and have promised that this will be the biggest and best event to date. 

Gwledd Conwy Feast, Conwy

Crowds enjoying Gwledd Conwy Feast

Crowds enjoying Gwledd Conwy Feast, North Wales

 by Gwledd Conwy Feast
Next on: 26 – 28 October 2018

Mussels bubbling in white wine and garlic, mere steps from the shore where they were caught. Handmade chocolates. A plethora of Welsh cheeses including Fine Food Digest’s number one cheese brand of 2018: ‘Black Bomber’ from Snowdonia Cheese Company.  That’s Gwledd Conwy Feast, one of the biggest food festivals in Wales. Set within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Conwy, home to a 13th century castle and the last hand rake-only mussel fishing community in the UK, the food festival is held in October to coincide with peak mussel season. Immerse yourself in demonstration kitchens, wine tasting sessions, all manner of street food stalls and plenty of activities for young ‘feasties’. There’s also plenty of musical action on the quayside, and a full arts and crafts schedule to boot.

Wales Airshow, Swansea Bay

The Red Arrows in the sky at the Wales Air Show.

The Red Arrows at the Wales Air Show, Swansea by Swansea Council
Next on: 6 – 7 July 2019

Swansea Bay makes a stunning backdrop for this festival of the sky. Catch the Red Arrows and their aerial stunts, historical fighter planes and breath-taking parachute displays – all from the comfort of a deckchair on one of the area’s many beaches. Wales Airshow is free to attend and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Swansea train station and numerous event specific car parks are within walking distance of the festival.

The city is home to an abundance of hotels and hostels, but for the true back-to-nature experience check out the camping options on the Gower Peninsula, located slightly further west along the South Wales coast. Pitch my Tent offers glamping options at Oxwich Bay, while Colombus Campervans has vintage 1970s VW Campervans for hire. For more traditional camping, check out the stunning site at Three Cliffs Bay. 

The Movable Feast, locations across North Wales 

Interior of Dylan's, Criccieth.

Dylan's, Criccieth by Dylan's
Next on: 28 April to 29 September 2019 (some dates remain on the 2018 schedule)

This travelling pop-up festival showcases local produce from across North Wales, with a dozen dates taking place throughout the summer in Conwy, Gwynedd and Anglesey. The day-long family focused events feature culinary gems from local suppliers and pairs them with yoga classes, arts and crafts sessions and even an inflatable assault course. 

Gottwood Festival, Anglesey

The Treehouse stage at Gottwood with crowds dancing in front.

Gottwood, Anglesey by Gottwood
Next on: 6 – 9 June 2019

Anglesey’s boutique electronic festival returns in 2019 for its tenth birthday. Tucked away in the depths of a forest, on the shores of a lake just off the coast of Holyhead, the acclaimed festival was dubbed ‘Britain’s most scenic’ by the Independent and boasts some of the biggest acts in house and techno year on year.  

Glass Butter Beach, Abersoch 

Crowd in front of a stage at night.

Glass Butter Beach, Abersoch, North Wales by Glass Butter Beach
Next on: TBC (currently on a break)

Think Wolf Alice sipping craft ales with local surfers, while professional wakeboarders perform tricks and spins 20ft in the air. Think skateboard jams, bungee jumps and street food (we advise keeping them in that order), and surfing, paddle boarding, slacklining. You’ll find all that and more at Glass Butter Beach festival, which overlooks Cardigan Bay in the seaside town of Abersoch, on the breathtaking Llŷn Peninsula.

Three festival campsites – for general, campervan or VIP overnighters – offer beautiful views and good facilities, and there’s secure parking nearby. Shuttle buses make regular trips between the festival and Abersoch, and also from Pwllheli, which has a railway station on the Cambrian Coast Line.