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Family-friendly festivals in Devon 2023

Family-friendly festivals in Devon 2023

Looking for the best festivals in Devon for families? Here’s a round up of what’s on in 2023 including free events, festivals with packed music programmes and some of the more unique things to do in Devon.

You might also like to check out my posts about other events happening in Devon in 2023, firework displays, and Christmas events.

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Free festivals in Devon

Band on outdoor stage

Going to a family-friendly festival need not be an expensive experience. There are plenty of free festivals in Devon. Here’s some of the best:

Dart Music Festival – 19 to 21 May 2023

This is one of our favourite free events in Devon. Dartmouth has a rhythm of its own for this three day music festival with indoor and outdoor venues across the town.

See more than 100 performances across the weekend, ranging from rock to opera and jazz.

What’s on for families?

There’s a family-friendly vibe to this festival around the town with things happening during the day including children’s entertainment at the band stand.

Can you camp at Dart Music Festival?

No, there’s no dedicated camping at this Devon festival. You can however find self catering and B&B accommodation in town*.

Find out more on the festival website.

Exmouth Festival – 28 to 31 July 2023

Huge Exmouth sign on grass at festival
Image credit: Exmouth Council

Exmouth Festival is a family-focused event where you’ll find live music, theatre, circus and art, alongside the very best food and drink Devon has to offer. Activities are being planned across multiple locations across Exmouth in 2023.

What’s on for families?

Keep an eye on the festival website to see what’s planned.

There’s lots of family-friendly things to do in Exmouth while also enjoying the festivities.

Can you camp at Exmouth Festival?

No, but there’s plenty of places to stay in Exmouth. Expect accommodation to be busy because of the school holidays and Jubilee. Book early!

Find out more about Exmouth Festival.

Sidmouth Folk Festival, Sidmouth – 4 to 11 August 2023

Audience at Sidmouth Folk Festival - an event in Devon

Sidmouth Folk Festival offers a packed programme of music, dance and workshops across eight days at venues around the town. A lot of the festival is free to attend but there are some ticketed events.

What’s on for families?

The dedicated children’s folk festival is staged across three workshop venues with crafts, family-friendly shows and story times.

Can you camp at Sidmouth Folk Festival?

There’s no dedicated camping for this festival but there’s plenty of campsites and accommodation around Sidmouth* in East Devon.

Find out more about the festival programme and children’s festival activities on the website.

Unique Devon festivals

If you are looking for unique things to do in Devon then there are festivals that you won’t experience anywhere else in the UK. They include music, family fun and something else a bit special.

Here’s the dates to put in your diary:

The Brixham Pirate Festival – 29 April to 1 May 2023

French Bulldog dog dressed up in pirate costume with hat and hook arm

There be pirates in Brixham! Expect skirmishes, historic reenactments and live music over the May Day bank holiday weekend.

What’s on for families?

This festival is one of the largest gatherings of modern day pirates – what more could kids want?!

Can you camp at Brixham Pirate Festival?

There’s no camping at this festival but you might find yourself a bunk to sleep in if you speak nicely to a pirate! Alternatively, there’s accommodation in Brixham*.

Find out more about Brixham Pirate Festival on the website.

The Goblin and Fairy Festival at Soapbox Children’s Theatre, Devonport – 20 to 21 May 2023

Spellbound festival promotional picture

What’s on for families?

Dress up as magical creatures and enjoy storytelling, theatre, arts and crafts at the Goblin and Fairy Festival.

This family event is based in and around The Soapbox Children’s Theatre in the beautiful Devonport Park, Plymouth. The majority of activities take place under cover, either in the theatre or in one of the many tents dotted around the site. So, come rain or shine we’ll make sure you have a brilliant time.

Can you camp at this festival?

No, but there’s plenty of places to stay in Plymouth if you’d like to make a weekend of it.

Find out more and buy your tickets on the Soapbox Children’s Theatre website

Wavelength Spring Classic – 26 to 29 May 2023

Spring Classic promotional photo
Picture credit: Wavelength Spring Classic

Woolacombe’s surf and music festival showcases a range of high-profile acts alongside local musicians, live fire cooking feasts and demonstrations, as well as a show and shine area for those van and motor lovers.

The event is being organised by Wavelength, best known for its heritage surf magazine.

What’s on for families?

During the day you can enjoy the event’s surfing competition, skating demonstrations, local nature trails and children’s activities including a kid friendly rave with Junior Jungle, entertainers in Kids Corner and Fire Pit story time.

Can you camp at Wavelength Spring Classic?

Yes, there’s camping, camper van and bell tent tickets available.

Find out more about Wavelength Spring Classic.

Stone Cold Sober Festival – 17- 21 June 2023

Baby enjoying Stone Cold Sober Festival
Picture credit: Stone Cold Sober Festival

This brand new sober, vegan and holistic family-friendly festival takes place at Beaworthy in West Devon in 2023.

The five day event will be fully inclusive for children who are invited to join in dancing, meditation and all other activities alongside their adults. Children under 10 require a ticket but it’s free for them to attend.

What’s on for families?

Activities aimed specifically at kids include bushcraft, art, circus skills, story telling and games. More activities will be added to cater for the ages of the children attending. 

Can you camp at Stone Cold Sober Festival?

Yes, you can bring your own tent or camper van. There’s also bell tents available to hire.

Find out more about Stone Cold Sober Festival.

Nature Valley Gone Wild Festival – 24-27 August 2023

Family in front of Commando assault course at Powderham Castle
Commando assault course

Gone Wild is a four-day family-friendly festival in Devon packed full of adventure for adults and children aged six to 18.

It’s been co-founded by Bear Grylls with outdoor activities, inspiring speakers and popular bands on stage to finish up each day.

Read our review of Gone Wild Festival 2022 with tips for going next year.

What’s on for families?

The schedule has been designed by Bear to challenge families over an action-packed weekend. It includes kayaking, axe throwing, archery and battle archery, while Be Military Fit will lead group workouts. 

For something a little more, choose from sunrise yoga, paddle boarding, talks and workshops, as well as learning bushcraft with Bear Grylls Survival Academy.

Can you camp at Gone Wild Festival?

Yes, weekend camping tickets are available and we’d strongly advise making a mini-holiday of it to make the most of the all the adventurous activities on offer.

Find out more about tickets and camping on the festival website.

Tiny Gatherings Festival – 25 – 28 August 2023

Young child wrapped up in coat, hat scarf and welly boots dances in a canvas tent
Picture credit: Tiny Gatherings Festival

This boutique festival nestled in rural Devon on the outskirts of Dartmoor is a family and dog-friendly event for outdoor-loving people.

Tiny Gatherings offers a small scale festival experience with a community feel. It’s especially for family who love to camp, hike, camp, camper van, or caravan and what to meet others who do too.

The event takes place near Okehampton over the bank holiday weekend.

What’s on for families?

There will be stories around the campfire, fun and child music as well as an open mic night, yoga and workshops to inspire you to lead an even more outdoorsy life.

Can you camp at Tiny Gatherings Festival?

Yes, bring your own tent, camper or caravan or check availability at the glamping site next to the festival.

Find out more and book tickets on the Tiny Gatherings Festival website.

Music festivals in Devon

Devon has some brilliant family-friendly music festivals. Oragnisers understand that happy kids make for happy parents.

Here’s the festivals that get the balance right with awesome headline acts and plenty of entertainment for children: 

Sidmouth International Jazz and Blues Festival – 25-29 May 2023

Saxophone being played at an outdoor concert

Sidmouth jazz Festival offers a diverse and dynamic range of music genres from the absolute best in Jazz (Contemporary, Modern, Swing, New Orleans) Blues, to Roots, RnB, Soul, Funk, Latin, Cuban and Gospel.

During the event there will be ticketed and free gigs.

What’s on for families?

Imagine the colour, vibrancy and fun of New Orleans in the beautiful coastal town of Sidmouth – what an explosion of the senses for any music-loving family. See free street music performances as well as free music taking place at pubs, wine bars and hotels within Sidmouth.

Can you camp at Sidmouth Jazz Festival?

No, there’s no camping at this festival but you’ll find plenty of campsites and accommodation nearby. Book early!

Find out more about what’s on by looking at the festival website.

Foodies Festival, Exeter – 16 to 18 June, 2023

The biggest gourmet food and drink touring festival in the UK is coming to Escot Park, Exeter this September. It features MasterChef and Bake Off stars, headline music acts and gastronomic delights from around the world.

What’s on for families?

Across the three days there will be an opportunity for the youngsters to get creative in the Kids Cookery School, hosted by Foodies SuperChefs. And for those little (and big!) thrill seekers, there’s a funfair, sand art, toy stalls, face painting and family friendly areas with activities.

Can you camp at Foodies Festival?

No, this is a day only festival but you can find plenty of accommodation options around Exeter*.

Find out more and book tickets on the Foodies Festival website.

Goren Festival – 30 June to 2 July 2023

Get set for some long sunny evenings in the wildflower meadows filled with the sounds of music, laughing and playing.

What’s on for families?

This is a nature oriented family festival with a heavy bias for young children between five and 15. The area is quite safe to let your children explore the meadows, hedgerows and streams.

There’s music planned from Friday evening through to Sunday afternoon. Keep an eye on the Goren Festival website to find out the bands playing.

Can you camp at Goren Festival?

There’s camping available for two nights.

For tickets and more information see the Goren Festival website.

Tunes on the Sands – 21 to 22 July 2023

View of Blackpool Sands and Start Bay from road above

This seaside music festival takes place right on the beach at Blackpool Sands in the South Hams.

What’s on for families?

This small festival in the beach gives families the chance to enjoy great music and delicious eats from local food vendors while enjoying this picturesque cove.

Be aware that the festival site is sectioned off on one part of the beach. The rest of the beach remains open to the general public. If you come for the day there will be an allocated car park for festival ticket holders.

Can you camp at Tunes on the Sands?

Yes, there are three camping fields 10 minutes walk from the beach. You can bring a tent, camper van or motorhome. Vehicles will be parked in a separate field and there is a shuttle bus to the festival site.

Find out more and buy tickets to Tunes on the Sands.

Chagstock, Dartmoor – CANCELLED

Chagstock is a family-friendly festival in one of Devon’s most stunning locations – Dartmoor.

What’s on for families?

Chagstock has a dedicated area for kids with circus skills workshops, inflatables, fairground rides and entertainment. Kids aged under 12 go free. There’s a quiet camping field for families.

Can you camp at Chagstock?

Yes. There’s no charge for tents but camper vans and caravans must pay to reserve a space.

For more information and tickets visit the festival website.

Altitude Night Festival, Blackborough – 27 to 29 July 2023

Altitude brings you an eclectic mix of live music and DJ’s from across the country including independent, established and emerging artists.

What’s on for families?

There will be crafts and games for kids.

Can you camp at Altitude Nights Festival?

Yes! Day and camping tickets are available.

Find out more and buy tickets on the festival website.

Love Summer Festival, Plympton – 4 to 6 August 2023

Love Summer Festival logo

This small independent festival held in Newnham Park Estate is now in its 12th year. As well as live music there’s lots of family-friendly fun across the weekend.

What’s on for families?

Make your own pottery, learn how to be a DJ and try your hand at circus skills.

Can you camp at Love Summer Festival?

Yes, there’s camping, camper van/caravan passes and glamping.

Find out more about this year’s Love Summer Festival and how to get tickets.

Beautiful Days, Escot Park – 18 to 20 August 2023

Beautiful Days is an family music festival organised by The Levellers. There are several stages, art installations, a wild spa, walkabout theatre and folk sessions as well as food and craft stalls.

What’s on for families?

The festival has a huge children’s play area, family camping and campsite play zones.

Can you camp at Beautiful Days?

Yes. Camping tickets are available.

Find out more and how to get tickets on the festival website.

Abbfest, Newton Abbot – 15 to 17 September, 2023

Music meets Devon food, drink and crafts at this family-friendly festival in South Devon.

What’s on for families?

Saturday is the best day to attend with kids as this is when there’s usually lots of children’s activities planned.

Can you camp at Abbfest?

It’s not possible to camp at Abbfest but there are campsites and B&B accommodation in Newton Abbot*.

For more information visit the Abbfest website.

Food Festivals in Devon 

Festivals and food go hand in hand in Devon. But there are some that are fully dedicated to the finest West Country produce.

Find out when food festivals are on in Devon.

Get a while to stay? Check out my full guide to family holidays in Devon.

Are you a festival organiser or do you know of any events not listed? Get in touch so I can add you to this list.

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of these and make a purchase I may earn some commission. This does not affect the price you pay.

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