Festivals are undeniably great, the friendly atmosphere, great music and the chance to forget about washing without being shunned as a dirty hippy. The only problem is finding your mates who you actually want to share the experience with in a crowd of 250,000 is nearly impossible. Needle and in a haystack doesn't quite cover it. It's more like a piddle in the ocean.
However if you're still clamoring to get that festival feeling then there is an alternative. Boutique festivals may sound like somewhere you would find Clarice Cliff pottery enthusiasts, but it is actually just a small festival, with around 10,000 people. So here are three of the best.
1 \ Lounge On The Farm, Caterbury, Kent - 10, 11, 12 July.
What is it? Based in the Garden of England and now celebrating it's fifth birthday. The Lounge On The Farm festival has some of the best talent from the Garden of England and nails the boutique vibe on the head. The festival has comedy, a great variety of local food and even somewhere for your younger siblings to play whilst you sip on some cider.
Who is playing? Toots and the Maytals, DJ Yoda and The Vandellas. Plus loads of local talent.
What is good about it? After stuffing yourself full of loads of locally sourced food and drink, you can feel all warm and fuzzy inside for helping the local economy. Well done you.
Tickets are available from here.
2 \ Camp Bestival, Lulworth Castle Dorset, July 30, 31 and August 1.
What is it? Bestival's younger sister/brother, we're not sure which, as festivals don't tend to have genitalia. It's a aimed at families but considering the stellar line up that isn't too bad of a trade off. We would take families over snotty teens called Tarquin shouting about how every band has sold out and nu-wave-electro-folk is the only thing worth listening to nowadays.
Who's playing? Calvin Harris, Annie Mac, Friendly Fires, Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, Ellie Goulding, Tinie Tempah.
What is good about it? It is beautiful. The festival takes place next to Lulworth Castle and looks truly breathtaking with all the flags and streamers on display. Plus some acts like Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip relish in playing their favourite festivals with smaller crowds and produce an even better performance because of it.
Tickets available from here.
3 \ Summer Sundae, De Montfort Hall and Gardens Leicester, 13, 14, 15 August.
What is it? Ten years in and Summer Sundae is getting very popular and rightly so. It started with humble beginnings as a one day event with fourteen bands, but now there are six stages, with a little something for everyone. From rock, to pop, to grime, but no one actually likes grime so that doesn't count.
Who is playing? Seasick Steve, Mumford and Sons, Diana Vickers and Tinchy Stryder.
What is good about it? There are twenty different cask ales available and a wide variety of cocktails, what more could you want? You'll probably be so merry you will dance to Tinchy Stryder, no, actually there isn't a cocktail strong enough in the world to make that happen.
Tickets available from here.