Set within rolling countryside and charming towns – and the odd castle for an extra hit of extravagance – Devon’s festival scene is a wonderfully eclectic mix that has an event for every inclination.
Festivals in Devon are back and bigger than ever for 2024! With a fantastic selection of family-friendly music festivals as well as celebrations of food, drink and literature, Devon’s lineup is looking dazzling and we cannot wait to glitter up and let our hair down. Get the wellies at the ready (because rain or shine, they’re a festival staple), here are some of the best festivals in Devon in 2024…
Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival
Where: Budleigh Salterton
When: 1st - 2nd March
Access: Parking at Lime Kiln car park
Are your top interests books, books and more books? Well, if you go to sleep reading or wake up writing, then this literary festival should definitely be added to your holiday to-do list. Previous years have seen the likes of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and David Olusoga take to the page alongside some superb workshops for both writers and crafters, so there’s little wonder as to why this festival is considered to be one of the leading cultural events in the South West.
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Brixham Pirate Festival
Where: Brixham Harbour
When: 4th – 6th of May
Access: Some roads are closed for the festivals, but there a few long stay car parks a short walk away
Ready for some swashbuckling fun? Taking over Brixham’s harbour once more, the annual pirate festival promises to be bigger and better than ever with a whole host of re-enactors ready to throw you prow-first into a life of piracy. Sea shanties fill the air (along with a bit of pirate rock and the odd cannon for good measure), while street vendors lend their toothsome offerings to the bank holiday weekend – huzzah!
Dart Music Festival
When: 17th – 19th May
Access: Park & Ride at the top of town
Whip out the calendar and mark this weekend as busy as you’re not going to want to miss Devon’s kick-off to the music festival season. With over 100 performances across three action-packed days, Dart Music Festival is a beacon for family-friendly fun in South Devon. The performances take place all over Dartmouth at various venues (including a historic Tudor fort), giving you every excuse to explore the town as you go. Whether your musical tastes lie in folk, pop, or choir, this year’s lineup is shaping up to be a corker with a fantastic mix of artists filling the air with tunes. The best part? There’s no ticket to buy! Just donate what you can as you amble around soaking up the good vibes and good times.
There are some lovely Devon walks nearby if you want to add even more sightseeing to your visit, including one that takes you past Agatha Christie’s house!
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When: 18th May
Access: Parking available onsite
Round up the whole family for this one as Pigstock returns to The Big Sheep (one of our top things to do in North Devon) for a family festival like no other… Where else are you going to find live music and pig racing side by side? Headline music, DJ sets, and a whole host of activities to keep the kids endlessly entertained, Pigstock goes the whole hog for this one-day bonanza. Keep the bellies full with trips to the ever-tempting food village and dip into The Big Sheep theme park to make the most of the fantastic attractions.
Explore cottages in Bideford.
Kingsbridge Food and Music Festival
When: 31st May- 2nd June
Access: Large car park at the venue as well as overflow parking at the nearby leisure centre
Giving life to the adage that the best things in life are free, the Kingsbridge Food and Drink Festival welcomes everyone without a ticket in sight. Taste your way through a glorious round-up of locally-sourced and produced food while nodding your head in time with the fantastic live music that fills the air – perfection! There’s plenty for kids too, with face-painting, bouncy castles, and craft workshops filling up the family-friendly roster.
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When: 19th – 21st July
Access: There are lots of car parks around Exmouth, all of which are a short walk or bus ride to the Imperial Recreation Ground
Who doesn’t love a circus, especially when it’s combined with an array of live music, theatre, local art and copious amounts of the very best food Devon has to offer? Exmouth Festival has certainly perfected this eclectic mix of entertainment as it returns in 2024 for a jam-packed celebration of community spirit. Whether you love literature, film, music, or art, make sure to get this free festival in the diary!
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When: 5th – 7th July
Access: You can book spaces in the car park online
Get your motor running for this fabulous festival that’s all about going wild! Goren Festival is a wonderful nature-orientated festival that’s fun for the whole family. Listen to wild music as you chomp on some wild food, all amongst the happily swaying wildflowers that sprawl across the surrounding meadows. If you love the great outdoors, then this is the festival for you.
Explore cottages in Honiton.
Sidmouth Folk Festival
When: 2nd – 9th August
Access: Festival car park at Bulverton as well as car parks at The Ham East, The Ham West, Roxburgh, Manor Road, Cricket Club, Rugby Club and Bedford Lawn
If you’re looking for a celebration of culture and tradition, then the Sidmouth Folk Festival is one for the holiday itinerary. Full of community spirit and with a goal to showcase and commemorate traditional music, dance and song, this annual festival is a buffet for the cultural senses - and 2024 is its 70th year! Allow yourself to be swept up in the momentum of the festival and join them as they keep ‘an ear to the past and an eye on the future’.
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When: 16th – 18th August
Access: Parking passes can be bought online or there are free shuttle busses from Feniton Station
With a name like Beautiful Days, it’s easy to start looking forward to this weekend festival before you’ve even bought your ticket. This year the festival is celebrating its 21st year, with some incredible names stepping onto the stage, including Fishermen's Friends and Badly Drawn Boy. You can also look forward to the added extras we’ve come to know and love, including live theatre and some good old fashioned festival yoga. Oh, and a collection of food traders and real ale bars to keep the stomach fed as well as the soul!
Explore cottages in Honiton.
Gone Wild Festival
When: 22nd – 25th August
Access: Parking tickets can be purchased online
Who doesn’t want to party with Bear Grylls! Set in the grounds of the lovely Powderham Castle, Gone Wild is all about bringing family and friends together to make memories in the great outdoors. From 50m mud slides to survival skills, you can totally unwind and unleash at this one, with activities such as trampolining wall walks and urban parkour new for 2024. Of course, there’s still plenty of all the usual festival musts like great music and fully stocked food stalls (don’t worry, it’s not Bear’s usual grub) so you can make the most of your wild experience.
Explore cottages in Exeter.
Powderham Food Festival
When: 5th - 6th October
Access: Parking onsite (TBC)
Another festival making the most of the stunning setting at Powderham Castle, this foodie’s paradise is ready and waiting to round off the festival season with a bang-bang chicken! Come and tour the tastes of the South West as you meet the lovely local traders and producers that make delicious events like this possible. You can also check out the demonstrations so you can leave with a full tummy and a full list of recipes you want to try at home.
Explore cottages in Exeter.
Excited for Devon’s festival line-up in 2024? Check out our lovely cottages and start planning your perfect stay.