The line-up for this year’s Glastonbury Festival was announced today, and what a mediocre one it is. Like a lot of huge festivals it relies on the expected roll out of faded heroes and next week’s hipsters. If you are looking for a more, dare I say, ’boutique’ experience there are plenty of music festivals around the UK such as The Green Man Festival, End of the Road and All Tomorrow’s Parties.

Moseley FolkMoseley Folk Festival by H4NUM4N

But thousands upon thousands of music lovers, from metal heads to twee folksters head to the Midlands every year to experience our independently run festivals, well crafted events that are deeply rooted in the community they came from.

So, forget V, Leeds and Glasto, get yourself along to one of these West Mids fests:

BASS Festival (British Arts and Street Sounds) is the UK’s only month long celebration of Black Music and Art. Every June, the UK comes alive with a phenomenal line up of events, new commissions, gigs, exhibitions, master classes, showcases, club nights, theatre, conferences and film. This year’s theme is ‘Inspired by Africa and Africans’, celebrating and exploring Africa’s influence on the UK arts scene.

When: June. Cost: Free – £10

Moseley Folk Festival has been running for 4 years now, programming  a healthy mix of traditional, contemporary and downright experimental folk and acoustic music. The festival is held in what feels like a world away from Brum’s City Centre within the gorgeous woodlands of Moseley Park. This year’s line up includes: Beth Orton, Saint Etienne, Jethro Tull and Kris Drever, John McCusker & Roddy Woomble.

When: 5th, 6th and 7 th September. Cost: £10 – £65.

Supersonic Festival is definitely one for those who don’t like the mud, but do like loud and experimental music. If you think you don’t, go along to this Custard Factory festival anyway and you may just have an audio visual experience to remember, which has to beat standing the rain listening to Kasabian, right? See the Capsule website for the full line-up.

When: 24th – 25th July. Cost: £15 – £75

Indie Tracks Festival is all a twee navelgazer could ever need in a festival; indiepop bands, a museum, churches, farms and most importantly stream trains. Set further afield in Derby, this fairly new and unspoilt festival is certainly worth the journey from Brum, and is steeped in rural Midlandsness.

When: 24th – 25th July. Cost: £30 – £55

Other more than worthy regional mentions to go Gigbeth, Birmingham International Jazz Festival, CoCoMad, Wolvestock and  Summer Sundae. This isn’t a definitive list, so feel free to add your recommendations in the comments.


  • Angela Slater
    posted May 26th, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Thanks for this ace local festival round-up – although I would argue that the larger festivals do have something to offer as well – and I like the idea of listening to Kasabian in the rain!

  • Chris
    posted May 26th, 2009 at 10:00 am

    2009 will be a Gigbeth-free year.

    The Flyover Show on 13 June looks to be pretty essential again –

  • Dave Allen
    posted May 26th, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I reviewed IndieTracks last year. A great atmostphere if a little odd. Here’s what I thought at the time anywho:

  • Rob
    posted May 26th, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Don’t forget Moseley Festival,, 80 events over 10 days in cosmo-moseley.

    there are lots of community festivals (sutton, kings heath) – any plans to feature these in CiB?

  • Nicola Toms
    posted May 31st, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Oxjam Birmingham will be running again this year during the month of October. Oxjam is Oxfam’s month-long music festival with a difference: you make it happen. So Oxjam Birmingham will be based around local venues, acts and volunteers.

    In fact we are recruiting for co-ordinators right now!


    Or email

  • George Young
    posted Jun 7th, 2009 at 10:18 am

    This one you may have missed, Monarchy @ Ragley Hall, 4/7/09. Monarchy is a new young and vibrant team of promoters, based in the Custard Factory and this is their first festival and the first time Ragley Hall have hosted such an event. Headlined by the Happy Mondays, Supergrass and Reverend and the Makers, it also features Neville Staple, fresh off the Specials reunion tour, and up and coming youngsters, Bombay Bicycle Club, as well as a host of Djs spread across a number of stages. Here’s the link


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