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5 reasons why microfestivals are the next “big” thing!

No Glasto ticket this year? Pah! Microfestivals are where it's at. We spoke to the team from the fab Morley Beer Festival & Family Fun Day to find out more...

1. They’re ultra family friendly

If you’ve ever been to a large-scale music festival you’ll know that even the most ostensibly family-friendly offerings can be overwhelming, overpriced and even downright scary with younger kids in tow.

The answer? Smaller “microfestivals” which put families at the forefront from the get-go are where it’s at. Trust us, you heard it here first.

“Community and family has always been at the heart of the festival,” says Corinna Pharaoh , Lead Orgniser at Morley Beer Festival & Family Fun Day.


The Morley bonanza, returning for its eighth year this summer, draws up to 3,000 guests from all across the South Norfolk area. “It’s about spending precious, fun quality time with loved ones,” she says.

“Morley’s bespoke size means it’s a great first festival for families – it’s less daunting, there’s no getting lost and you can all eat really well for less money.”

This year the festival’s impressive lineup of family activities includes Foolhardy’s Circus Show, Yarnsmith of Norwich story-telling, various cool workshops (including Circus Skills), willow art, Mad Science shows, bubble fun, a climbing wall, an inflatable games field and face painting. Phew, that should keep them pretty busy – especially considering 16 year olds and under get in absolutely free!


There’s plenty more good stuff that adults can get involved with, too, from archery sessions and embroidery workshops to helping to create an enormous mural with Start Studio.

Most of all, we like the sound of the Paint Pixies mega paint fight – a chance for all the family to cut loose and get brilliantly messy with eco-friendly paint. (And with a small-scale local festival you don’t have far to travel to get home for a nice, hot bath afterwards!)


2. They’re the perfect showcase for local producers

No more queuing for 45 minutes to pay through the nose for a warm Heineken – at microfestivals you get to relax and enjoy the finest local produce.

At Morley there is, unsurprisingly, a real focus on amazing local beers – the clue’s in the name! But that’s just for starters…


“We have curated list of more than 20 real ales and ciders from craft breweries around Norfolk,” says Corinna. “Plus, we’ll also have a fantastic gin and cocktail bar from local mobile bar VanVino.”

After a caffeine kick instead? No problem! “We’re hosting the Hope Coffee Company,” she says. “They’re passionate about serving quality coffee using the best ethically-sourced and freshly roasted beans – perfect for all you coffee snobs! You’ll also be able to get everything from iced lattes to wicked deluxe hot chocolates with all the toppings.”

3. You can catch intimate gigs with local stars


Watching big-name acts at huge festivals is always so much better in theory than in practice. The reality often involves being crushed and sloshed from all sides, so far away from the band that they’re pretty much a speck in the distance. And if somebody in your group needs a pee? That’s it, you’ve lost them for 24 hours!

Microfestivals, on the other hand, give you the chance to watch on-the-rise local stars in an intimate setting. Plus, there’s plenty of room to dance!


Morley, for example, is set to showcase five different local musical acts over the course of the two day festival. Riotous local legends The Foreign Locals will bring their fun mix of reggae, ska and gypsy punk on the Friday evening, followed by pop rocker headliners Agent Orange.

Top headliner on the Saturday night will be Tallulah Goodtimes – an internationally-renowned electroswing DJ, producer and singer from Suffolk. Unsure if you like electroswing? You will do after you see her in action.


“She has an adoring fanbase who love and respect what she brings to the world,” says Corinna. “You will honestly be blown away by her naturally high energy performance, mixing the vintage sounds with beats and bass from today. She captivates the crowd – good times guaranteed.”

Saturday night will also see an awesome live fire show by local star Ruby Flames – Burning Man, eat your heart out!

4. You can make a real difference to meaningful local causes


Sure, some larger festivals have a fundraising element, but microfestivals present a chance to really give back to organisations in your local community.

“It’s really important to us to support Norfolk charities,” agrees Corinna. “Over the years we have raised more than £17,000.” Worthy causes include Nelson’s Journey, a fund to help bereaved children.


5. The food is amazing!

The bland food outlets at a massive festival just can’t compete with the fresher-than-fresh local delicacies on offer at a microfestival. We’re already planning in just what order we’re going to eat our way around the banging street food stalls at Morley festival this year.

“The local street food on display is going to be sensational,” says Corinna. “Don’t miss Boxed Burger – gourmet meat, vegetarian and vegan burgers with some flaming twists in handmade brioche buns with incredible loaded fries. Incredible!”


We’ve also got our eye on Yellow Door Eats, top notch pizza made fresh to order, and the mega Mexican street food from Gringos Nacho Factory – the pulled jackfruit option looks incredible for veggies.

Plus, make sure you leave some room for Get Treated – their sweet treats look unbelievably yummy. (You’ll need the energy for all that dancing!)


The Morley Beer Festival & Family Fun Day is at The Derek Daniels Playing Fields, Morley on 24 and 25 June. 16-year-olds and unders go free! Advanced tickets only – book here.

Find more ideas here

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