7 Charity Festivals in England

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7 Charity Festivals in England

There are many reasons why festivals prove to be such an enduring tradition. People come for the culture, the entertainment, and the sense of community. With food and refreshments, and activities for young children, festivals are often very family-friendly. They are a perfect way to enjoy a summer's day and night, or several; they can open one's eyes to new artists and inspire with their positive energy.

Charity festivals only increase the feel-good factor, since some or all of the proceeds go to benefit worthy causes. These festivals tend to be run largely, or entirely, by volunteers, and often the artists themselves perform for free. Whether benefitting local organisations, or charities that work on a larger scale, charity festivals have a vital role in communities, as they enrich the cultural lives of residents, create the possibility for contact and engagement among people of all ages, raise awareness of certain causes, and give back to the town and the world. England has many charity festivals on larger and smaller scales throughout the year, and several have become favourites among locals and travellers alike.

Charity Festival #1: Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, Worthy Farm, Pilton

One of the world's most established music festivals, Glastonbury has been an annual event on Worthy Farm since 1970. Back then, the one pound ticket included free milk from Michael Eavis' farm, and the lineup was headed by Marc Bolan of T. Rex. The price of a weekend pass has gone up since then, but the festival remains dedicated to music, art, and peace. A portion of the proceeds go to a few charities selected annually, including local organisations and larger ones like Greenpeace, Oxfam, WaterAid, and more.

Glastonbury takes place in June, on the weekend closest to the summer solstice. It lasts three days, and features a number of different main stages for musical acts of various genres, including rock, jazz, folk, and more, with numerous exciting and well-known artists. The grounds are divided into different areas: some are dedicated to other types of performances, such as circus and theatre, with still other sections devoted to things like children's activities, or a ceremonial stone circle. Most visitors camp, whilst others choose to hire a tepee or set up their caravan just off the festival grounds. Rich in attractions, activities, and atmospheres, this family-friendly festival is a highly popular destination for many every June.

Charity Festival #2: Oxjam

Every October, concerts large and small spring up all across the the UK as part of the annual Oxjam festival. Oxjam began in 2006 as a grassroots effort to create a widespread festival that would raise money for Oxfam, a charity organisation focussed on eradicating poverty worldwide, and providing emergency aid to those in need. Oxjam has grown significantly, with high-profile celebrity endorsements and some big-name concerts. Still, the heart of Oxjam is the network of thousands of volunteers across England and the UK who organise local gigs whose proceeds go to Oxfam. Audiences can catch performances from major acts and up-and-coming artists of all genres, from rap to folk.

Charity Festival #3: Worcester Music Festival, Worcester

The majority of performers at the Worcester Music Festival are local, giving the festival a particular pride and energy. But they are also open to acts from all over the UK, providing a venue for artist to perform for enthusiastic audiences. The genres come from all over the map: rock, jazz, metal, hip-hop, folk, ska, and more. Artists perform for free in exchange for the chance to reach new, wider audiences, and the festival itself is run solely by volunteers.

Performances take place in various venues throughout Worcester city centre during the last weekend in August. It is an especially family-friendly festival, oriented toward music lovers of all ages. Also included under the auspices of the festival are several music workshops for younger people, as well as activities for children and families. The festival is free to enter, and every year it raises money for a charity or charities of choice, whilst trying to increase awareness of the particular cause or causes. Some of the charities they have supported include Sight Concern Worcestershire, Worcester Deaf Children's Society, New Hope, an organisation for disabled children, and Maggs Day Centre, providing support and services for the homeless.

Charity Festival #4: International Youth Arts Festival, Kingston

This rich and varied festival dedicated to celebrating young people's achievement in all areas of the arts has been an annual event in Kingston since 2008. The International Youth Arts Festival is held in connection with the year-round non-profit organisation, Creative Youth, whose purpose is to enable young people to develop their artistic potential and provide support for fledgling artists and companies.

The IYAF program lasts several weeks, from late June through late July, with a packed program of theatre, dance, music, poetry, comedy, visual art, fashion, film, and combined arts, all showcasing the talents of local and international participants aged five to 26. Much of the festival is designed to delight and inspire audiences of all ages; there are workshops, parties, and a gala evening. Performances take place in various venues in Kingston, and visitors can purchase individual tickets or a festival pass.

Charity Festival #5: Wilkestock, Hertford/Stevenage, Hertfordshire

Wilkestock is an intimate charity festival that takes place over three days in late August and early September. Over seventy bands perform on two stages and in three venues; a variety of genres are represented, as well as DJs. Dance tents, a cinema, a 360-degree bar, and a family camping area complete the experience for attendees. The festival is explicitly non-commercial and meant to be an affordable, fun experience for all ages. All proceeds go directly to a charity or charities selected annually, such as Keswick Mountain Rescue, and Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

Charity Festival #6: Lawnfest, Sevenoaks, Kent

Lawnfest packs a lot into its one-day festival. Held on the grounds of the West Heath School in July, this small festival has been a hit even among seasoned festival-goers. Kent residents of all ages can enjoy a range of signed and unsigned musical acts performing from the afternoon into the evening. Festival-goers can enjoy gourmet food from local establishments, have an old-fashioned afternoon tea, and sip fancy cocktails.

Lawnfest is very family-friendly, with an entire area dedicated to activities for children: cake decorating, magicians, face painting, an art wall, and more. The festival includes an affordable art auction, allowing visitors to browse and bid on their favourite pieces. Lawnfest is run by volunteers, and all profits go directly to the the West Heath School, which focuses on rebuilding the lives of emotionally traumatised children through education. Out-of-towners may want to find accommodation in a local bed-and-breakfast, as camping is not permitted on the festival grounds.

Charity Festival #7: Langdale Charity Folk Festival, Langdale Valley, Cumbria

Twice a year, folk musicians and fans gather in the magical Lake District for the three-day Langdale Charity Folk Festival. The festival has its origins in the early 1980s and has become much-loved amongst performers and visitors, who tend to return year after year. Organisers, stewards, and artists all pay their own expenses and work for free, meaning that all proceeds from the events go to the Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dog Association (SARDA) and the Great Northern Air Ambulance Service. The festival occurs in both May and September. The May event features local performers, while the September event draws them from around the country.

The festival takes place in The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, with formal lineups, open sessions for all to participate in, workshops, and more. Visitors can stay at the hotel itself, but usually need to book very far in advance. Additional accommodation includes a nearby farm with a bed-and-breakfast, a caravan site, and camping sites in the vicinity. Children are welcome to the festival. The festival is free; proceeds come from raffles, auctions, and donations.

Planning Your Trip to a Charity Festival with eBay

When planning your next trip to a charity festival, let eBay help you with everything from camping equipment to travel tickets. You may even find event tickets for the festival on eBay's website. Start looking on the home page, and enter keywords into the search bar, such as "caravan hire", or " Glastonbury Festival tickets".

Some festivals may have a policy that does not allow reselling tickets, so you should verify this in advance before shopping. When you find what you are looking for on eBay, be sure to read the item description thoroughly. Check for details like quantity, date restrictions, payment requirements, and more, as applicable. If you have questions, eBay makes it easy to contact the seller through the website.

It is also a good idea to get to know a bit more about the seller. You can do so by checking their feedback score and perusing comments left by past buyers. Top-rated sellers have a strong track record of customer service.


Charity festivals are a perfect way to have fun and give back to the common good. England is full of charity festivals of different sizes and styles. Several have emerged as enduringly popular, drawing people from near and far to celebrate.

Glastonbury is known worldwide as a festival for the arts and for peace. Held annually on Worthy Farm, it is has been a summer solstice destination for decades. Oxjam is a network-type festival held in October, with concerts held all over the UK in support of Oxfam. The Worcester Music Festival is a locally-oriented, family-friendly event that celebrates up-and-coming artists and is free for all. Kingston's International Youth Arts Festival lasts several weeks and celebrates youth arts with a program chock-full of local and international participants. Wilkestock in Hertfordshire and Lawnfest in Kent are proudly smaller-scale, family-friendly music festivals with several additional attractions. For folk lovers, there is the Langdale Charity Folk Festival, held in the heart of the Lake District twice a year.

With these festivals, and many more, it is easy for the whole family to enjoy great entertainment whilst contributing to a worthy cause.

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