18 summer festivals to enjoy in Berkshire during 2019
PUBLISHED: 14:35 03 May 2019
Martin Shaw Photography
Whether you’re looking for family-friendly fun or want to dance the night away, there’s something for everyone in our round-up of the best summer festivals in Berkshire
Cookham Festival and Let's Rock the Moor - 4-19 May
Music features prominently at the Cookham Festival, with everything from folk and the Big Band sound, through pop and rock to brass and classical choral pieces. Primary school performers will also be on stage this year with a world premiere – Katie Cox and the Rhythm of the River, written by local musician and composer Rob Castell. There will also be a full orchestral Family Concert featuring Peter and the Wolf. The Sculpture Garden is a major attraction, and you can also accompany Timmy Mallett as he makes his epic painting pilgrimage by bike from Cookham to Santiago de Compostella. Art professionals will provide expert guidance and tuition to all ages over the first weekend in the Arts Hub and James Ferguson will be exhibiting a selection of his cartoons. Richard James has a one-man show, The Seven Ages of Shakespeare, and will also be reading excerpts from David Walliams' Gangsta Granny. Plus, you can learn to dance and attend numerous talks, poetry and the Cookham Comedy Club. Don't miss Let's Rock the Moor at Marsh Meadow on 18 May − a retro blast with the best music from the 1980s, with a fabulous line-up of artists including Jason Donovan, Go West, Nick Kershaw, Erasure's Andy Bell, Marc Almond, Shalamar and more.
Newbury Spring Festival - 11-25 May
One of the most popular festivals in the south of England, the Newbury Spring Festival brings live music to all. The festival uses 20 different venues in and around Newbury to host the concerts and performances. The opening night on 11 May in St Nicolas Church is with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the young violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky playing the Brahms Violin Concerto. The tradition of having choral music continues, with appearances by the Gabrieli Consort and Tenebrae, as well as the young award-winning choir Sansara, who will perform at East Woodhay Church on 24 May. The Corn Exchange programme features artists from classical through to jazz and world music. The BBC Big Band open the programme with the 'Sound of Cinema' and the Pasadena Roof Orchestra will close it on 25 May. During the two weeks there will be the opportunity to hear the Misha Mullov Abbado Group, National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Harry the Piano, as well as Sound Beginnings for all the family, which this year is Babar the Elephant. For children and adults alike there is a performance of Peter and the Wolf and Carnival of the Animals by the Orpheus Sinfonia on 19 May. This year, the festival has a new scheme in place to encourage the next generation of festival-goers. Thanks to the generous support of Greenham Common Trust, tickets are available to certain events free of charge to anyone under 25 years old. There are a limited number of seats available for the performances in the scheme. Under-15s must be accompanied by an adult.
Forbury Fiesta and Reading Children's Festival - 11 May-3 June
Forbury Gardens, Reading
The launch of the popular Reading Children's Festival returns to the Forbury for a giant party, with children's entertainment, stalls, workshops, refreshments and lots more. This year's Reading Children's Festival offers three fun-packed weeks of events and activities for children all over the borough. From sport and circus workshops to fun days with art and craft sessions, take your pick from the many exciting events across Reading.
Red Sky Music Festival - 25-26 May
Padworth Hall, Reading
This family festival is set by the River Kennett at Padworth Hall near Reading and this year has a line-up of T'Pau, Doctor and the Medics, Dirtbag and more. A weekend of non-stop family music and fun, including a silent disco, activities for all the family and boutique concessions.
Bracknell Ale and Wine Festival - 26 May
Bracknell Rugby Club, Bracknell
Beer and wine lovers are in for a treat as the club in Lily Hill Park will play host to more than 30 ales, a selection of wine, locally brewed cider, food and a day of live music − all in aid of raising money for the town's rugby club.
South Hill Park Festival of Food & Music - 8 June
South Hill Park, Bracknell
Back for a fourth year in the mansion and grounds around the lake, the Festival of Food and Music is South Hill Park's celebration of summer. It features performances from local and regional musicians, children's activities and a variety of craft stalls to browse.
Reading Chilli Festival - 15 June
Broad Street, Market Place, Reading
If you like it hot, head to Reading's month-long celebration of food. Stalls and entertainment will stretch from Broad Street to Market Place, and with over 40 chilli and non-chilli stalls, there is sure to be something for everyone. The main stage in Market Place will feature local bands and artists playing throughout the day, interspersed with Man v Food and chilli-eating competitions.
Great British Food Festival - 29-30 June
Englefield House, Reading
Enjoy lots of great artisan food stalls, a gift and lifestyle marquee, tasty street food, sample the cake-off creations, try out the lovely bars, watch chef demos, go to drinks tastings and chill out to the fabulous live music and more at the beautiful setting of Englefield House.
Windsormania Family Music Festival - 30 June
Royal Windsor Racecourse
The Windsormania Festival is offering a huge selection of entertainment and attractions this year, including a free fun fair for the children, including the UK's largest dodgems. There will also be seven thrilling races for both the adults and children to enjoy. Two tribute acts, Almost Olly and The Little Mix Show, will also be performing.
Readipop Festival - 12-14 July
Christchurch Meadows, George Street, Caversham
This three-day music festival on the banks of the River Thames at Christchurch Meadows features internationally renowned and local acts, alongside street food, craft beer and real ales, plus workshops in music, arts and dance. The festival celebrates Reading's creativity and raises vital funds that go towards the work Readipop carries out in the community, bringing music to all with workshops and initiatives for those underrepresented in the arts.
Bastille Day Festival Reading - 13-14 July
Forbury Gardens, Reading
Join this cross-cultural weekend of food, drink, arts and crafts and music in Forbury Gardens. The purpose of this festival is to entertain while bringing people of all cultural backgrounds together around a French-themed festival.
Marvellous Festival - 20-21 July
Dinton Pastures Country Park, Wokingham
Head to Dinton Pastures Country Park for another superb weekend of music and fun. The line-up includes The Chicago Blues Brothers, The Bryan Adams Experience, Platinum Abba Tribute, Flash the Queen Tribute and more.
A Different World Festival - 10 August
Abbey Rugby Football Club, Reading
A Different World Festival provides a unique indie/rock festival for people with any additional needs. There's a line-up of 10 bands, stalls, food stalls, workshops, animals and circus skills. The festival is organised by Simon and Louise Turner, who were inspired by their teenage son with autism, who is desperate to go to Reading Festival, but due to his condition is unable to access it. So they decided to organise their own! The music is not too loud, there are no flashing lights, there is lots of space to move around, the site is flat for wheelchair users and there's signing singing for the majority of bands.
Rewind South Festival - 16-18 August
Temple Island Meadows, Remenham
Rewind South Festival returns with a line-up celebrating music icons of the 1980s and beyond. Four Tops, Lulu, Tiffany, Kim Appleby, Michael Bolton, Belinda Carlisle, UB40 and Paul Young among others will be playing. But Rewind is about so much more than just music, with late-night karaokes, musical bingo, boat parties, silent discos, comedy, crazy golf, a funfair, delicious dining and cocktails. There's also a kids' area, Ziggy's and loads more.
Reading Thai Festival - 17-18 August
Prospect Park, Reading
Experience Thai culture, cuisine and entertainment at The Reading Thai Food & Crafts Festival. Enjoy food and craft stalls, live entertainment, traditional dancing, Thai massage, Thai Boxing, a beer garden and more.
Reading Festival - 23-25 August
Richfield Avenue, Reading
A rite of passage for all festival-goers, head to Reading Festival this August Bank Holiday to see headliners the Foo Fighters, The 1975, Post Malone and Twenty One Pilots, as well as the likes of Bastille, Billie Eilish, Blossoms, Denis Sulta and Stefflon Don. There are also film screenings, comedy, food stalls and more.
Wokingham Festival - 24-26 August
Cantley Park, Wokingham
This family-friendly festival will extend its offering this year, adding a third date to celebrate classic and progressive rock styles. The festival attracts a great line-up of musicians, from folk to soul, pop to rock. Headline acts this year are Martin Turner ex Wishbone Ash, Funk Lab and Totally Blondie. There's a special Children's Corner, plus face painting and henna to get them festival-ready.
LoveUnites Reading Pride - 30 August
King's Meadow, Reading
Reading Pride represents and supports the local LGBT+ community. The festival kicks off with the parade at 12pm, with a full line-up of entertainment throughout the day, along with a funfair, youth area, a wide range of food, drink and market stalls.