Festivals are amongst the many events facing cancellations in 2021 as a result of current circumstances. 

But as lockdown begins to lift, there will be plenty to look forward to in the future. 

And with many fantastic festivals in Manchester and beyond, it’s never too soon to start looking for your 2021 plans. 

If you can’t wait for a celebration, check out this list of great UK festivals that features some classic Manchester favourites as well as one or two further afield that you might not have heard of!

Head For The Hills (Ramsbottom)

Formerly known as Ramsbottom Festival (and still sometimes known as ‘Rammy Fest’ to the locals), Head For The Hills began in 2011 and has been a homegrown hit ever since.  

Unfortunately, 2020 is the second consecutive year the festival has been cancelled, with 2019 halted by floods, but the festival website confirms it will be returning in 2021.  

Headliners are yet to be announced, but Head For The Hills is known for its blasts from the past – headline acts from previous years include The Stranglers, The Boomtown Rats, The Selecter, Inspiral Carpets and The Bluetones. 

Merchant City Festival (Glasgow)

This annual festival takes place in the Merchant City area of Glasgow and is a celebration of local arts and culture. 

Amongst other highlights, the event generally features street performances from dancers, musicians and artists. 

Last year’s performers found themselves up against the Glaswegian rain, but they were undeterred. Stunning photos from 2019 captured by SNS Group are available on their website, showing the range of lively performances, extravagant costumes and carnivalesque celebrations.

Merchant City Festival was planned to take place from 2nd-5th July this year, but sadly the event has joined the legions of others cancelled worldwide. However, on July 4th the festival’s organisers will be airing an online programme of performance, featuring live music, DJ sets and theatre. 

Pride (Manchester)

Every year, incredible pride events take place across the UK, but Manchester tends to top best-of lists along with the likes of Brighton Pride, London Pride and UK Black Pride. 

This diverse celebration of every colour of the rainbow is one of the city’s biggest annual events, and while it has confirmed cancellation for 2020, many can’t wait for this local favourite to make its comeback next year. 

Cary Grant Festival (Bristol)

It’s a little-known fact that silver screen icon Cary Grant was in fact born in Bristol where he lived for much of his early life before making his name in Hollywood. 

But many Bristolians consider this the city’s claim to fame, and he is celebrated there twice a year with the Cary Grant Festival. 

The biennial event involves screenings, tours, exhibitions and more. The next event is scheduled for November 2020, with no word on cancellations yet, so if you’re looking for something in the not-too-distant future, keep an eye on this one!

These are just a handful of the best festivals in the UK. Share your favourites with us, and any we’ve missed, in the comments below! 


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