The Low-Down on Boutique Festivals


Boutique festivals have become popular of late, and while you have heard the term it can be challenging to know exactly what a boutique festival is. From our understanding, a boutique festival offers a niche to its patrons. So instead of having a host of events, acts, performances and talks as is usually the case at a festival, boutique festivals will hone in on one theme or aspect and focus on that. Boutique festivals are also small compared to the larger mainstream festivals out there. We’ve mentioned Family Festivals at home and abroad, but what about boutique festivals? Due to their specified focus and smaller size, they could be the perfect match for you and your family or a way to build up to the bigger festivals around. 

Getting organised and packing for any sort of festival is much the same, essentials are essentials after all! Depending on the type of boutique festival you are attending, accommodation and amenities can often be of a higher standard than your average festival due to the scaled back size of the event. It’s always a good idea to look into these aspects of the event first. 

Ireland’s Boutique Festivals 

The Festival of Curiosity, July 18th-21st, Dublin 

This is the ultimate festival with a “something for everyone” theme. Labelled as “Dublin’s International festival of science, art, design and technology there’s everything from a cardboard carnival to a summer night of stargazing. Classes for little ones include preparing for the moon with aerial hammocks, and the scientific dilemmas of Dippy The Dinosaur. See the full programme here. Some events are free while others are ticketed so check out the website in advance. 

Indiependence Festival, August 2nd - 4th, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork 

Indiependence is a family friendly festival focused on music and arts. It’s small compared to other festivals, but with Lewis Capaldi and Biffy Clyro on the line up, it’s set to be an excellent experience for all. You can camp, or book a “Festi Hut” or Camper Van. Children under 12 go free, there are still some tickets left - they can be found here

UK & Europe Boutique Festivals

If you fancy travelling further afield for your boutique festival experience why not try… 

Curious Arts Festival, Pippingford Park, East Sussex, August 23rd -26th

This festival offers everything from your usual popular headline acts, to talks with poets and novelists as well as classes focusing on food, and wellness. Set amongst a historical backdrop 

(Pooh’s 100-acre wood is in viewing distance), Curious Festival at Pippingford Park is a feast for the eyes. You can camp, or enjoy some glamping within the grounds. For ticket info, see here.

Waking LifeFestival, Portugal , 14th- 19th August

Based near the town of Crato in Portugal, Waking Life is a music and arts festival that stretches over six days. If you are into electro sound, you’ll love this festival. Events also include immersive theatre, cinema, wellness and fitness classes, as well as talks on a range of topics. Children from ages 3 to 13 go free, with adult tickets falling from €95-€125. Camping is included in the ticket fee. Tickets for this boutique festival are very limited, so act fast if you wish to attend. See here for tickets.