Festivals for Grown-Ups: the Ultimate Summer Guide

By Tessa Dunthorne

2 years ago

Let the big kids play – with these festivals for grown-ups

Festival season is upon us. And sure, it’s nice to have a family-friendly time over the summer… But here are our top festival picks this summer which are just for the grown-ups. 

The Best Festivals for Grown-Ups This Summer


The Cambridge Club

Childerley Orchard, Cambridge

The Cambridge Club, Festival - festivals for grown-ups

The crowd gets into the spirit at the Cambridge Club Festival.

Get groovy with huge-name disco and funk headliners, including the inimitable Diana Ross, legendary disco man Nile Rodgers & Chic, plus queen of big hair Jodie Harsh. This star-studded festival will have you twinkly-eyed in its beautiful orchard setting, too – partake in next-day yoga to get your zen back before further partying. 

Verdict: Families are allowed, but Diana Ross is one for the adults. 

10 – 12 June 2022, thecambridgeclub.co

KITE Festival

Kirtlington Park, Oxfordshire

Tom Misch, musician

Tom Misch is one of the headliner acts at Kite Festival 2022.

Another swotty setting and the perennial choice between Oxford and Cambridge, as this festival takes place the same weekend as The Cambridge Club. However, Oxonians rejoice, this is a greenfield festival which will also get your mind ticking… Not just a music festival (and a good one at that… TLC and Tom Misch make for a soulful line-up), KITE offers talks from the likes of Elizabeth Day and David Milliband.

Verdict: Return to work the Monday following and brag to colleagues about democracy talks in Oxford. No-one will suspect a thing.

10 – 12 June 2022, kitefestival.co.uk

Strawberries & Creem

Childerley Orchard, Cambridge

Burna Boy plays at Strawberries and Creem festival

Strawberries & Creem serves up a real treat with the acts on offer.

From hip-hop to grime, and a 60 per cent female line-up, Strawberries & Creem made headlines last year for its UN Women partnership. A party with a cause, which we can get behind. Headliners include Lil Wayne and afro-beats newcomer, Tems. 

Verdict: Dance to the sound of equality. A very grown-up choice. 

17 – 19 June 2022, strawberriesandcreem.com

Balance Festival

The Truman Brewery, London

Balance Festival

At C&TH, we love a life in balance – Balance Festival is, therefore, right up our street.

The world’s best fitness instructors, wellness brands, and all-round collective of people who will make you feel very much better. Not a music festival like some on the list, but a line-up including Laura Biceps and Kobox is certainly music to our ears.

Verdict: Nothing says I’m an adult with my life sorted like a gong class. Heal your inner child without meeting any actual children. 

17 – 19 June 2022, balance-festival.com



Charlton Park, Wiltshire

Yoga class at Womad Festival - festivals for grown-ups

Find your zen at Womad.

In its 40th year, this festival has seen audiences of millions. The headliners showcase the best of global talent, and this year sees line-ups including Beninese activist-songwriter Angelique Kidjo, Cuban hip-hop artist Cimafunk and to the delight of all rappers, The Sugarhill Gang. Plus, enjoy Capoeira workshops in the World of Wellbeing… 

Verdict: A children’s area called World of Children means you can easily avoid anyone below a certain age threshold. 

28 – 31 July, womad.co.uk


Wilderness Festival

Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire

A massage at Wilderness Festival - festivals for grown-ups

Wilderness festival proves that a festival weekend doesn’t have to leave you feeling in need of a shower.

Wilderness offers the kind of hippie healing that will cozy you up in warm feelings. Take a (very) deep breath, too, with the guidance of exhalation experts, Breathpod. The music offering is fantastic, too – immersive sound experiences by Jon Hopkins offer psychedelic therapy. 

Verdict: Quiet immersive experiences that will allow you to reflect and relax.

4 – 7 August, wildernessfestival.com

Ben & Jerry’s Sundaes On The Pier Day Festival

Hastings Pier, East Sussex

Ben & Jerry's Sundaes on the Pier

Enjoy the ice-cream van without the queues of kids.

Embrace your inner child with unlimited free ice-cream (covered by a £5 ticket), a ball pit, a climbing wall… At an 18+ day festival on Hastings Pier, featuring dance tunes from both Soul II Soul and Maribou State, let loose on a sugar rush. All proceeds from ticket sales go towards the Refugee Buddy Project, too, which makes this a very grown-up, responsible choice of festival. 

Verdict: Bop along to tunes in a ball pit until the late hours. 

6 August only, benjerry.co.uk


Life Lessons Festivals

King’s Cross, London

Life Lessons Festival at the Barbican

Live better with talks from Louis Theroux (you really have to see it), celeb-CEO Steven Bartlett, and the silkily-voiced Mariella Frostrup. Life Lessons Festival is a late-summer chance to feel inspired by thought leaders and experts from all walks of life, aiming to help you achieve a life without limits. 

Verdict: Life lessons require you to have lived a bit first – so, not for the little ones. 

9 – 11 September, lifelessonsfestival.com


Kenwood House, London


Returning to Kenwood House this September is HowTheLightGetsIn, the world’s largest music and philosophy festival. This year’s theme is Error and Renaissance, with an exciting programme of speakers from award-winning playwright David Hare to author Esther Freud, covering topics such as race, gender and modern economics. Alongside this, festival goers can enjoy music, comedy and cabaret, with headliners including DJ Django Django and Welsh musician Gwenno. 

Verdict: Prepare to bump into Nobel Prize winners while queuing for your G&T at this unique festival, which aims to challenge the notion that philosophy is for everyone.

17 – 18 September 2022, howthelightgetsin.org

Featured image: Strawberries & Creem Festival – 18+ only attendance, and therefore a true festival for grown-ups!


The Best Music Festivals in Europe / The Best Family-Friendly Festivals 2022