Best Festivals in the South West in May

The South West offers a host of festivals throughout the year. Here are the Best Festivals in May 2023!
St Ives Food and Drink Festival

The South West offers a host of festivals throughout the year. You can choose from food and drink, music and literary events to name a few. Some are free to attend while others require tickets. Why not combine driving a section of South West 660 with one of these listed below? Don’t forget to check on the organisers’ websites to get the most up-to-date information and how to book.

St Ives Food and Drink Festival: 12-14 May

Head down to Porthminster Beach for the Festival where you’ll be able to tuck into food and drink, enjoy chef demonstrations and experience food and drink tasting tutorials. In addition, there’ll be live music during the day and evening. Parts of the festival are free while some specific events require tickets.

Devon Big Weekend, Escot Park: 12-14 May

The Big Weekend includes chart topping DJs get the party started on Friday followed by music over the weekend. Acts confirmed include Ella Henderson, Alexandra Burke, Chip, Artful Dodger, Nathan Dawe, Tincy Stryder, and Phats & Small. In addition, there’s an outdoor cinema, classic car show, fun fair, circus tent, and fireworks.

Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature: 12-20 May

Set up originally to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Daphne du Maurier’s birth, the Fowey Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The event includes an art trail, secret gardens, guided walks and workshops as well as sessions with authors, commentators and musicians.

Ilfracombe Art Trail: 13-14 May

The Ilfracombe Art Trail is an independent collaboration of artists, makers and galleries. You can view and purchase their art work in their homes, studios and galleries, most within a 20-minute walk of the High Street. Pick up a map and follow the trail to find paintings, sculpture, photography, jewellery, printing, textiles and ceramics. Some venues offer tea and cake or visit one of the amazing artisan cafes in the town.

Devon County Show: 18 – 20 May

Run by The Devon County Agricultural Association, at the Devon County Show you can expect a packed programme of entertainment in the Main Arena, livestock competitions, a food fair offering the most mouth-watering food and drink available in the southwest, and a crafts and gardens pavilion home to an array of craft stands, a floral art competition, home baking competitions, and flower and gardening stands.

Dartmouth Music Festival: 19-21 May

The ethos of the Dartmouth Music Festival is music for all for the performers and audiences. There are international acts, those from all over Britain as well as local talent. At this festival classical and contemporary music sit together and as many genres are included in the line-up from urban folk, blues, soul, folk, indie pop, opera, acoustic pop, jazz funk, and Americana to name a few. All performances are free.

Sidmouth Jazz Festival: 25-29 May

The Festival 2023 programme in Sidmouth includes four headline evening concerts and three days of wonderful free music on the festival’s dedicated outdoor stage at Blackmore Gardens. In addition, there will be free live music performances at various local venues. Curtis Stigers opens the festival and The Brand-New Heavies, Mud Morganfield and Courtney Pine play on the other nights.

Flavour Fest, Plymouth: 26-28 May

The south west’s largest food and drink festival returns to Plymouth’s Piazza with stalls full of local delicacies – everything from brownies and baked goods, cheese, gins and liqeurs – and a bar. There’ll be more than 70 traders showcasing the best regional produce and cookery demonstrations from local chefs.

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