Festivals for People Who Don't Like Festivals

May 25, 2016

From plush honeymoon-worthy campsites and gourmet grub to cultural activities and seaside swimming, we round up the best events that'll steal your festival heart.

Okay okay, we get that festivals aren't for everyone. Portaloos so grim they should be quarantined, £15 for a greasy 'mystery meat' burger and camping in an increasingly flooded tent; festival horror stories are enough to give anyone nightmares. Luckily - for the discerning festival goer - there are a few bright spots on the horizon. From gourmet grub, purse-friendly packages and comfy camping, there are plenty of ways to make the festival experience one to remember. We round up the best festivals for every type of reveller (wet wipes optional).

For Food Snobs

Healthy and Fresh Festival Food

If you're a self-confessed food snob then Oslo's Øya Festival needs to be top of your summer to-do list. This isn't festival grub as you know it. Gone are the ice cream vans, sludgy rice dishes and overpriced burgers - instead revellers are treated to gourmet stone baked pizzas, homemade fish and chips and a wealth of fresh veggie platters. If you fancy a lesson in home grown produce, then pop in for a workshop at the growing area and chicken coup; alternatively head to one of the (usually queue-free) bars for a thirst quenching cocktail. The line-up's pretty good too - the festival is welcoming Massive Attack, PJ Harvey and Jamie xx in 2016. That sounds like the perfect soundtrack for gourmet-on-the-go to us.

Upgrade your trip: After a weekend of festival food, make time to explore one of Oslo's several Michelin-starred restaurants. TripAdvisor has a good list of the top places to chow down.

For Sun Seekers

Festival-goers Enjoy the Sun at Croatia's Garden Festival

Forget shivering in a field wearing your sleeping bag for warmth, Croatia's Garden Festival is all about sunshine and hot hot heat. Held at the beginning of July near the small town of Tisno on the Dalmatian coast, this loved-up electronic music fest has guaranteed sun cream weather. Situated along the beachfront, party-goers can split their time between DJs sets and dips in the Adriatic Sea. Trust us, you'll need it; not only will you be working up a sweat with your best moves, but daytime temperatures peak at around 32 degrees Celsius. Toasty.

Upgrade your trip: If you fancy warm weather without the inevitable sweat box (aka your tent) then head to Expedia for a great range of Tisno rooms and apartments.

For Welly-Phobes

Verbier Festival in Switzerland

Some people are put off festivalling by the gear; wellies, dubious fancy dress and the general unkempt, unwashed look. Personally, we quite like the anything-goes festival vibe but if you're really craving a bit of chichi then get yourself to Verbier Festival in Switzerland. You’re about as likely to see a disposable poncho here as Her Majesty the Queen is to enter the Big Brother house, but it nevertheless has a summery festival feel. Expect pristine cotton dresses, sharp suits and plenty of evening glamour after nightfall. As well as classical recitals and jazz shows (from the likes of Julian Lloyd Webber) there are also two pop-up restaurants and plenty of wine tents. Festival accommodation is provided in luxe nearby chalets (and there's not a wellie or headdress in sight).

Upgrade your trip: Get an authentic taste of the luxury life by staying in your very own private chalet in Verbier. Love Home Swap lets you stay in a local house for a fraction of the cost - so you can save your dosh for posh festival attire.

For Comfort Zone Campers

A comfortable and cosy tent perfect for comfort zone campers.

If the thought of sleeping in a half-erected, partially submerged tent fills you with dread, then one of the UK's most boutique festival offerings, Festival No. 6 Portmeirion, provides more than your average camping digs. Located on the Welsh waterfront this unique UK village was modelled on an Italianate coastal town, complete with sub-tropical palms and elegant houses. As you'd expect from such a magical place the 'camping' options are like a luxury hotel (although you have to be willing to splash some cash). The boutique area features yurts and tipis with everything from double beds and super soft rugs, to scented tea lights and sofas. Unwind in the members’ only restaurant and bar or simply recline with a glass of fizzy on your Egyptian cotton bedsheets.

Upgrade your trip: If you're still seeking the ultimate glamping experience (and you're related to Richard Branson) arrive in style at the festival's very own helipad. Alternatively 'save' some pennies and charter a limo for the ride.

For Budget Seekers

Three Friends Dance at a Festival

Festival season can be fraught with hidden costs. Even if you've been thrifty and pre-bought cheap booze, stocked up on tinned goods and recycled last year's mushroom costume, you still need to pay for the ticket. Luckily Couleur Café in Brussels offers the perfect solution. Entry fees start from around £30 and there are also combination tickets (including three day, camping, individual and flexi) available. This quirky, groovy and friendly festival attracts plenty of different musical genres; previous headliners include Basement Jaxx, Dizzee Rascal and Ben Howard. Booze and bites to eat are (fairly) cheap too. Who knows? Maybe you'll escape re-wearing last year's fancy dress 'brainwave' after all.

Upgrade your trip: If you're on a budget then opt for cheap and cheerful accommodation if you can't brave camping. Hotels Click has a good range of purse friendly options.

For Culture Vultures

Woman Enjoys Music at Bilbao's BBK Festival

Many people argue that going to a festival eats into their valuable holiday time. If you're keen to combine traditional holiday activities (museums, café culture, heading to the beach) with a festival, then try Bilbao's BBK. Featuring a range of pop and rock icons, the event is close enough to the city centre so you can split your time between festival frolics and a chic city break. Bilbao's home to plenty of wonderful sights, including the Guggenheim Museum and the historic Casco Viejo. Festival antics and a culture fix? Sounds win win to us.

Upgrade your trip: Make the most of your festival weekend by hiring a vehicle from Easy Car for a road trip along the ruggedly beautiful northern Spanish coast.

What's your perfect festival? Tweet us @travioor or post a comment on Facebook.

Siobhan Brewood-Wyatt After a Masters in Comparative Literature, Siobhan worked for several big-name travel companies before joining travioor. She has been hooked on travel since her teens and her biggest adventure is booking flights from Rome to Rio after a few too many beers.