FESTIVAL GUIDE: Your essential round-up of festivals in May!

Photo credit: Giles Smith

It’s May and that means festival season has officially arrived!

As part of The Ocelot’s guide we have more than 20 pages in our printed magazine covering some of the best festivals our regions have to offer! Festivals kicking off this month include Wychwood, Lechlade Witney Music festival and RunFestRun!

Your guide to festivals in May:

Swindon Spring Festival 

When: May 6 to May 19
Where: Swindon – venues vary
Who: Martin Kemp, Swindon Poetry Slam, Kate Spicer, Creative Swindon Network


Newbury Spring Festival 

When: May 11 to May 25
Where: Newbury – venues vary
Who: National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Budapest Café Orchestra, A Taste of Italy, Leonardo – 500 Years On


Wood Festival

Belshazzars Feast – photo credit: Luke Pajak

When: May 17 to May 20
Where: Braziers Park, Oxfordshire
Who: Tunng, Martin Harley, Belshazzar’s Feast, Midnight Skyracer, Hannah Rose Platt, The Hanging Stars


Witney Music Festival

Pawel Sytniewski – Lucky Blue Photography

When: May 24 to June 15
Where: Witney – venues vary
Who: Republica, N-Trance, Jilted Generation, The Inflatables supported by My Winehouse


Lechlade Festival

When: May 24 to May 26
Where: Riverside Park, Lechlade
Who: The Feeling, That 80s Rock Show, Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra, Chay Snowdon, The Marley Experience, Tasha Leaper as Madonna, Jetstream

Ocelot feature: Since its inception in 2011 Lechlade Festival has hosted the likes of Status Quo, The Proclaimers and The Hoosiers.

In 2016 it was voted “The Best Festival in the Cotswolds” by Cotswolds Awards and last year alone organisers welcomed 6,500 festival-goers through the gates.

This year will be Lechlade’s biggest line-up yet welcoming headline act The Feeling, as well as one of Britain’s rising musical stars Chay Snowden. As well as music there will also be Burlesque shows and the Comedy Stage.


ChippFolk Fest

When: May 24 to May 27
Where: The High Street, Market Square
Who: Melrose Quartet, John Kirkpatrick, Gog Magog Molly, John & Karen Sweeney, England’s Glory Ladies’ Morris, Jody Kruskal

Ocelot feature: The ChippFolk Fest returns for its 48th run of local, and traditional, folk music and dance!

The volunteer-led festival will play host to folk dance, Ceilidh, storytelling, parades and more.

An organiser of the event said: “Chippenham Folk Festival is a unique and distinctive event of national importance. It features the very best in English traditional music and dance.

“The festival punches well above its weight and is regarded as one of the premier folk festivals in the country.”


Blenheim Palace Food Festival

When: May 25 to May 27
Where: Blenheim Palace 
Who: Launch of ‘Nature’s Pantry’, Raymond Blanc MBE, Jean-Christophe Novelli, Angellica Bell


Vintage Nostalgia Festival

The Flaming Feathers

When: May 31 to June 2
Where: Stockton Park, Wiltshire
Who: Bamboozle, The Flaming Feathers, The Harlem Rhythm Cats!, Veteran Cycles, vintage/classic cars 


Wychwood Festival

Scouting For Girls

When: May 31 to June 2
Where: Cheltenham Racecourse
Who: The Stranglers, Scouting for Girls, ABC, T’Pau, Toyah, Ibibio Sound Machine, Thrill Collins, Regiment, The Baghdaddies, Penny Mob, Folk On

Ocelot feature: For a small festival Wychwood has gained attention nation-wide.

In previous years the festival has thrown some stellar acts into the line-up including Buzzcocks, The Beat, Baxter Dury, Peter Hook and the Light and Bill Bailey.

Jump forward to 2019 and it’s Wychwood’s 15th birthday!

“An excellent hybrid of the Big Chill, WOMAD and The Cambridge Folk Festival” – Time Out.

The Independent added: “You can go to festivals all over the world, but none will be quite as homely as Wychwood”.


Devizes Arts Festival

When: May 31 to June 16
Where: Devizes – venues vary
Who: Moscow Drug Club, Ed Byrne and Friends, The Shakespeare Smackdown!, Grupo Lokito, An Audience with Fay Weldon



When: May 31 to June 2
Where: Bowood House & Gardens
Who: Chris Evans and Vassos Alexander present: Olly Murs, Razorlight, Reef, The Coral, Ten Tonnes, Faithless DJ Set

Ocelot feature: This is a rather athletic festival, – encompassing some of the UK’s best athletes and musical talent – and May sees its first ever run!

Chris Evans said: “We want to encapsulate the excitement of preparing for a weekend of running and all the irrepressible energy and camaraderie that comes with that.”

Based on what awaits at the end of the finishing line, I’m sure many runners will be hitting some personal bests!

The Ocelot cannot wait to attend RunFestRun’s festival debut!