The Best Camping Music Festivals in UK and Ireland

The best things often come in duos: milk and cookies, bread and cheese, vodka and coke…and music and camping. One of the greatest combinations is music and camping, so it is no surprise that the most popular music festivals offer camping during the several days on which they are held. The UK and Ireland are known for their great outdoors music festivals, even if the weather is unpredictable. The events have made Wellies popular summer footwear so come prepared for a muddy and wet party in a field…


Oxegen, Punchestown, Ireland


Oxegen has been voted Europe’s Number One Music Festival this past two years. With such a prestigious title under its belt, you can be sure event organizers strive to hold onto it, and 2014 will have an exceptional line-up. The festival offers both camping and glamping facilities. There are three camping grounds, each subdivided into sections (but don’t expect that you won’t get lost anyway). Artists perform on eight stages all within close distance to the camp grounds. Facilities on sites have improved in recent years after many complaints: there are now many more toilets and showers, Centra (convenient shop) located on each campsite and even a funfair! Oxygen is known for both its headline and breakthrough support acts. Rodrigo y Gabriella became famous after supporting Damien rice at the festival in 2004, so expect to see some interesting artists and performers who hit the charts shortly after the final act plays.


 T in the Park- Kinross, Scotland


While Oxygen attracts a lot of overseas visitors, T in the Park is majority Scottish, lending an authentic vibe to the festival. In fact, the main reason the festival became a camping festival, was to reduce the amount of traffic heading to the site on the day of the concerts: Since its inception in 1994, T in the Park was a two-day non-camping event. But in 2007, severe traffic jams en route to the festival meant many people missed the concerts, so event organisers opened the premises a day earlier the following year to encourage campers. Now, camping has been well-established and there are almost as many campers as there are day ticket holders (around 85000 per day and 70,000 campers over the weekend). There are seven main stages, with 2 stages dedicated to Scottish born acts and displaying local talent. Many of the main stages share a similar line-up to Oxygen. Tickets are released for sale in batches each year, with the final tickets available in February, although they have been known to sell out in 90 minutes. The festival features and interesting “green” initiative: a 10 pence refund for every beer glass brought to recycling areas.


Bestival-Isle of Wight, England


Bestival is a highly acclaimed festival, despite being relatively new to the scene. In 2011, it won Fans Favourite Festival, and is the 2010 and 2012 winner of the Best UK Music Festival. Bestival is the longest camping festival, held over a four-day period in late summer on the Isle of Wight. The festival is smaller in size than other festivals in the UK, averaging around 50,000 visitors. There is also a family friendly “Camp Bestival” aimed at families and calmer groups located close to the main festival. Bestival also has several other features that differentiate it from mot festivals. The music is more alternative and less main-stream. There are also traditional dress-up days, usually over the Saturday or Sunday of the festival. In fact, so many festival goers took part in 2010 that they set a new Guinness World Record. Bestival offers a weekly payment scheme for ticket holders, the first festival to do so. Bestival is acclaimed “boutique festival”. It is a founding member of the Greener Festival Alliance, and pioneers for environmentally friendly initiatives at festivals.