Hipster festivals, don’t you just love ’em? Those bushy beards, skinny legs, mum jeans and can’t-keep-up-fashion sense – what will they think of next hey?
I like to think of myself as part hipster, part emo, part a bit weird and part whatever’s comfy. That little hipster part of me can’t resist going to the festivals and making the most of the people watching opportunities though. Here are 5 festivals where you can track down the best fashions, the most ‘sustainable, gluten-free, raw-food vegan, pulled pork’ and the coolest bands.
Best hipster festivals to head to
If you’re looking for a place to show off good fashion sense and eat great food, here are my recommendations for the best hipster festivals around.
1. Field Day, London
TBC August 2024
Field day has evolved since I last went; from being a combination of school sports day with late night acoustic sessions to a big one day event in London’s Victoria Park. The musical line-up has been a diverse mix of folk favourites, weird pop, indie newbies and urban dance acts so those seeking to embrace the edgy and step away from the mainstream can find a full schedule for alternative, feel-good tunes. Lately it has become more of a electronic orientated festival.
Previously this three-day London event, now one day, was a little more kitsch with its Village Mentality. This was a series of daytime events plucked straight from a fifties village fete. That has transformed in to much more of a dance music festival with Aphex Twin headlining last year. Whether you love the avant garde sonic landscapes of the daytime slots or the newer acts reminiscent of the 90s rave scene, Field Day is achingly cool and hipster with all the bucket hats to go with it!
I’ve been, I wasn’t sure, I didn’t get the man with the flower pot on his head, or the queues and meanness of the staff – Field Day Sort Your Toilets Out.
2. Benicassim, Spain
18th – 20th July 2024
Based in the sunny climate between Barcelona and Valencia, Benicassim has proven to be a top draw hipster festival. You may not need your wellies for this festival but be sure to still pack your straw hat / trilby / bucket hat for this one as temperatures can soar during July. The music doesn’t start until the late afternoon / early evening to cater for this – but does run through the night!
To further back up its hipster credentials previous headliners have included Lana Del Rey, Kings of Leon, Vampire Weekend, The 1975, Kasabian and The Libertines.
So if you want to go the a festival where you could actually come back with a tan (unheard of in the UK!) whilst also adorned in your beach wardrobe then Benicassim is for you.
3. Lollapalooza, Berlin
7th – 8th September 2024
Lollapalooza was originally a strictly-Chicago fest but they’ve been expanding round the world for the last few years. 2024 will be its 8th edition in Berlin!
“Lollapalooza Berlin follows in the tradition of Lollapalooza US bringing incredible music, food, art and social responsibility to a location in the heart of Berlin.”
Across the years the very biggest stars from across the spectrum have music have played Lollapalooza Berlin. Billie Eilish, Kings of Leon, Dua Lipa, Foo Fighters and The Weeknd are just a few A-listers who have performed.
Aside from the megastar acts, Lollapalooza Berlin also features a huge fairground and even a ‘green oasis of sustainability’. Get your fix of hipster watching at the Fashionpalooza, see whimsical carnies and visit the fashion markets too. Plus Kidpalooza ensures that even the littlest festival goers are catered for!
4. Austin City Limits, Texas
6th – 15th October 2023
– photo from the Dallas Observer
This Austin City Limits Music Festival comes off the back of the TV concert series of the same name. The programme has been such a success in the US over the years, showcasing new acts from a multitude of genres, that someone had the ‘far out’ idea of taking it on the road.
Held in Zilker Park in Austin, Texas over two weekends, it draws in music fans looking to hear quirky faves and alternative newbies across the eight stages. Now ACL is such a huge success it also draws top-tier headliners such as Kendrick Lamar and The 1975 whilst still celebrating left-field and up-and-coming acts.
But it’s not just about the music. Falling in line with the hipster vow of sustainability and saving the planet one coffee bean at a time, organisations such as Oxfam America are there to show us the way.
It runs over my birthday, so if anyone wants to treat me, I’m available.
Definitely one of the coolest festivals in the world!
5. Pitchfork Festival, Chicago, Paris, London & Berlin
September 2023 (Chicago) November 2023 (Paris, London, Berlin)
The Pitchfork Festivals are definitely in the top 5 of my festivals I want to go to list. Held in Paris and Chicago, now also including London & Berlin, they usually have the best line ups (according to me) – ones that attract a more ‘discerning customer’. Both versions encourage attendees to arrive by bike, they have craft fairs, food fairs and vinyl fairs within the grounds and the book fort is one of the best places for those all important Instagram shots.
Pitchfork festivals are expanding further across the coolest capitals of Europe with Berlin hosting from 1st – 5th November 2023, 6th – 12th in Paris and from 7th – 13th in London. With different acts in each city it is definitely the best place to check out the greatest new acts. The venues for the shows differ across the cities so not only will you get to see and hear lots of new music but your sure to fall in love with lots of new music venues too!
So pull up your socks, grab your Ray-Bans, denim cut offs with the pockets showing, festival hats and statement jewellery and you’ll fit right in, but that’s not what it’s all about is it?
Quicklist of the best hipster festivals
- Field Day, London
- Benicassim, Spain
- Lollapalooza, Berlin
- Austin City Limits, Texas
- Pitchfork Festival, Chicago, Paris, London & Berlin
What is the UK equivalent of Coachella?
The UK equivalent of Coachella in terms of popularity and international recognition would be Glastonbury Festival. Like Coachella, Glastonbury is known for its eclectic mix of music, arts, and cultural activities. It takes place annually in Somerset and attracts a massive audience as well as massive stars.
What is the craziest music festival?
The term “craziest” is a bit hard to decide, but many consider Burning Man festival in Nevada desert to be among the wildest due to its unique blend of art, self-expression, and community. In the UK, festivals like Boomtown Fair are known for their immersive experiences and intricate set designs too.
What do you wear to a hipster festival?
For a hipster festival, people typically opt for a blend of vintage, bohemian, and indie-inspired clothing. Key items might include band t-shirts, high-wasted jeans, hats, sunglasses, cowboy boots etc.
What is the biggest festival in the UK?
Glastonbury Festival is widely considered the biggest festival in the UK in terms of size, attendance, and international recognition. Held in Somerset, it’s a five-day event that showcases a wide variety of music genres alongside other arts such as film, comedy, and theatre. The festival attracts major global artists and a vast audience from all over the world.