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Sussex festivals to book now!

Never mind Glasto. The local festival scene right here in Sussex is scorching hot and with events already selling out for spring/summer 2021, now's the time to get booking!

Covid be damned, we shall have festivals in 2021! Here’s our pick of the best Sussex has to offer this spring and summer. Keep your eye on the event websites for changes, but all being well, we’ll see you out there!

Spring Live, South of England Showground, 24-25 April

Spring will have well and truly sprung by the time this celebration of the great outdoors kicks off. Held at Ardingly’s South of England Showground over two days, Spring Live will be packed with interactive entertainment and fun for all the family. Workshops, stalls, animal encounters, a sheep show, a full section on bees and honey, circus workshops and, er, axe throwing are all on the bill.

The Great Escape, Brighton, 12-15 May

Early bird tickets for this annual festival of new music, the biggest showcase in Europe and lauded by the likes of BBC 6 Music, have already been snapped up so if you fancy channeling your inner muso and discovering the next Kano or Rag N’ Bone Man, or whoever the kids are going crazy over these days (showing my age there, eh?) then get booking, quick smart!

Elderflower Fields, Pippingford Park, 23-27 July

The much-loved family festival is set to return over the Bank Holiday weekend and Muddy for one can’t wait. Big enough to satisfy the Glasto crowd, but small enough to be fun for all the family, this staple of the Sussex calendar will be the perfect way to celebrate life returning to a more even trajectory (oh gawd, imagine that!). The theme this year will be Night-Time Animals vs Mythical Creatures. Excitingly, to make up for last year’s cancellation, this year the site will remain open for an extra night, and families can enjoy a chilled-out day in the gorgeous grounds with all the usual vendors open, plus potentially some self-led activities and access to the Ashdown Forest.

Love Supreme Jazz Festival, Glynde, 2-4 July

With the likes of Candy Staton, Sister Sledge and the mighty TLC on the bill, this is more than your average jazz festival! Expect exuberance, ingenuity and – of course – improv at this two-day extravaganza in the gorgeous village of Glynde, near Lewes. High end and very classy – absolutely No Scrubs.

Sussex Gin Fest, Borde Hill Garden, 10 July

The UK’s biggest gin festival will descend upon the gorgeous Borde Hill Garden, near Haywards Heath, this July. As you can imagine, it’s for over 18s only and so if you fancy celebrating all things gin, in a child-free environment, with live entertainment and did we mention, gin, this is the one for you. Hic!

Into The Wild Festival, East Grinstead, 27-30 August

The UK’s premier nature-based festival will descend upon Chiddinglye Farm in East Grinstead over the final weekend in August – traditionally summer’s last hurrah. Expect music, more than 200 workshops, crafts, food, camping, film, family activities and heaps more. It’s all outdoors or in well-aired marquees so Tickets sell like hot cakes, you have been warned!

Into The Trees, Pippingford Park, 10-12 September

This late summer festival is a relaxed little sister to Elderflower Fields. Into The Trees is a rare chance to relax and actively explore natural surroundings as the seasons change and we wave farewell to summer. Weekend and day guests are welcome to discover a host of sports, arts and nature activities together. Full of wholesome fun like foraging walks, kayaking, Forest School sessions, collaborative art, music, crafts and much more.

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