As festival season hits its stride, music and food-lovers across London step out to crowd round stages and gulp frosty beers in the sun. But that also means leaving your dog behind, and all the guilt that comes with it. Luckily, there’s a handful of festivals that welcome pooches – as long as they’re kept on-leash – and we’ve rounded them up for you right here.
STANDON CALLING, 26 – 29 JULY, HERTFORDSHIRE
If your pooch has an ear for music, then Standon Calling offers an eclectic roster of artists, as well as a comedy line-up. Camping fans can even reserve a boutique tent, which includes a proper bed. Four-legged music fans are welcome, but will need to be registered on arrival, and competitive types will want to check out the festival’s dog show – which includes an award for ‘Dog with the Waggiest Tail’: standon-calling.com.
FOODIES FESTIVAL, 13 – 15 JULY, CHESHIRE
Foodies Festival takes place throughout the year and in several different locations, including London, Oxford and Birmingham. This is one for all the dog-owners that love to eat, with live cooking demonstrations by chefs including Simon Rimmer and Rosemary Shrager, as well as cakes, street food and snacks aplenty from 200 exhibitors. Dogs kept on a short lead are welcome, but good luck ignoring those imploring eyes as you chow down on fine fare all day: foodiesfestival.com.
THE GREEN GATHERING, 2-5 AUGUST, CHEPSTOW
Your dog gets its very own ticket at this eco-friendly festival, which celebrates sustainability, ethically produced food and, well, everything green. There’s live acts, as well as a range of activities covering everything from yoga and meditation to magic (there’s a stone circle and faerie glade) and craft. Well-behaved dogs can even earn their owners back a £40 good boy (or girl) bonus: www.greengathering.org.uk.
THE GREAT BRITISH FOOD FESTIVAL, 10, 11, 12 AUGUST, LONDON
Another one for the food fans, this festival is a chance to indulge in a day of absolute gluttony. Of course there’s artisanal bread, cheese and gin, but also a chance to learn more about foraging, and meet some of your favourites from the Great British Bake Off. Dogs are allowed into the festival, but not inside the food marquee, so bring along a friend to help hold the pooch: greatbritishfoodfestival.com.
LONDON VEGAN BEER FEST, 14 JULY, LONDON
Feel like you could be persuaded to try veganism? This one-day festival – now in its sixth year – might just do the trick. It offers a long list of vegan beers to try out, as well as a set of stalls serving nothing but plant-based food. Not only is this a guilt-free day, but its outdoor spaces are dog-friendly too: veganbeerfest.co.uk.
LAKEFEST, 9 – 12 AUGUST, HEREFORDSHIRE
This one’s a bit of a trek for Londoners, but is a good choice if your’e after a long weekend away. There’s plenty of guilty pleasures on the line up (think The Wurzels, The Darkness and Toploader), and boutique camping for those that like some extra comfort. Friendly dogs are welcomed, but the festival organisers wisely remind owners to have water on hand, and keep those sensitive ears away from loud speakers: lakefest.co.uk.
DOG YARD, 30 JUNE – 1 JULY, MANCHESTER
Manchester Beer Week has dedicated an entire two days to our furry friends this year, with a day of hoppy deliciousness for humans and their pets. It’s free to attend, and pups are not only welcome, they’ll be able to choose from their own menu of doggie beer or ‘pawsecco’ – for the more snooty pooch: www.mcrbeerweek.co.uk/june-30/dogyard
SHREWSBURY FOLK FESTIVAL, 24 – 27 AUGUST, SHREWSBURY
Folk-lovers rejoice, this four-day festival is a chance to immerse yourself in music and maybe enjoy a few ales along the way. Dogs are welcome on-site – although can’t venture inside venues – and are sure to enjoy the riverside site and, if they’re lucky, little titbit from the array of street food stalls. Campsite wardens even offer free poop bags, in case you forget the essentials: shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk.
Have you been to a festival with your pup, or do you know of other dog friendly festivals? Tell us in the comments below!