Why you should be attending at least one smaller festival every year

(Image credit: Felix Kunze/Redferns via Getty)

We all love festival season it's the perfect opportunity to escape reality and enjoy a few days of unrelenting music, fun, booze and sun in the company of your favourite people. 

While Bloodstock, Download, Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds might have some of the most incredible line-ups, there's still a lot to be said for the smaller festivals the UK has to offer.

Smaller festivals are intimate affairs with lower ticket prices, and you might even bump into one of the bands if you are lucky (that'd never happen at Reading!). So when you are buying tickets for next year's Download or Bloodstock, why not treat yo' self to another mini-break and book a smaller festival too? 

We chatted to some of the bands playing Radar Festival in Guildford, Surrey, to find out why they love playing at a more low-key affair.

James Spence, Rolo Tomassi

"Smaller music festivals are crucial to the development of new artists as well as developing other artists into festivals headliners. They allow musicians who are in more of a niche to have their own platform and foster community among the fans. 

"We're so fortunate to have a number of these festivals in the UK and I imagine after its inaugural event, Radar will be up there among them."

Kaan Tasan, Heart of a Coward

"You should check out small fests because, tickets are cheaper, they can be more genre focused, easier to get to, everything is contained in a smaller venue / area. 

"In my experience they create community within the genre and the general vibe of them is chilled, plus you get to see some great acts up close and personal."

Eric Bickerstaff, Loathe

"One thing I love about smaller festivals is the opportunity to check out any new local bands that are playing, which is a given considering it’s a gig but I really enjoy being blown away by new live music and that honestly happens a lot with local bands at festivals. 

"Alongside that, the atmosphere is a bit different to a standard larger sized festivals. Considering they’re often ran by humble groups of friends joining together - you often feel a warm, welcoming aura from everyone attending and working the festival. 

"The difference between larger and smaller festivals alone is definitely something to experience as they’re two different worlds, both really cool in their own ways"

Greg Kubacki, Car Bomb

"I like playing more specialized festivals like this, which in a lot ways feel like a large club show. The crowd is usually far away from the stage at festivals, which can feel like I’m on display like an animal at a zoo or something.  

"I like to be real close to the audience, preferably to the point where they’re sweating on my pedalboard."

Adam Woodford, Polar

"Smaller festivals such as Radar are very important, they allow up and coming acts to have exposure to bigger audiences than they would usually play to. 

"The competition for the bigger festivals has been and always will be very high but the existence of smaller festivals allows bands have a chance to play festivals, meet new bands and enjoy a festival atmosphere. 

"It’s also a great place to discover new bands too. It would be very unhealthy for the development of new bands if smaller festivals didn’t exist, we all have stories of seeing festival legends playing smaller festivals!"

(Image credit: Radar Festival)

Radar Festival 2019 (opens in new tab) takes place on August 2 & 3 at Guildford's Corner House, U.K. This year's line-up includes Monuments, Animals As Leaders, Heart Of A Coward, Rolo Tomassi, Polar, Loathe, Car Bomb, Intervals, Harbinger and Toska. Click here to get your tickets now. (opens in new tab)