Cardiff Festivals – The Best Festivals in Cardiff 2024
Festivals are now somewhat of a British institution, and where better to attend one or some than a capital city?! That said, London is very expensive and full of tourists all year round which can definitely dilute the festival experience.
Festivals in Cardiff make for a fantastic alternative should you be a local or a visitor.
In the event that you are visiting the city, why not make a weekend of it and explore all the Welsh capital has to offer at the same time?
Almost 22 million tourists visit Cardiff every year and a festival makes for a great excuse to have a good look around and try out some of the myriad of activities, sites and places to eat and drink across the city.
The festival scene in Cardiff used to revolve around Party In The Park, hosted by the Global Radio Group and their local station, Red Dragon FM.
However, this was cancelled once the charity it was fundraising for (The Prince’s Trust) ended. Fear not, though: the Cardiff festivals scene is alive and well with a whole host of new names!
Today, festivals in Cardiff include the music events we all think of right away as soon the words ‘festival season’ hit headlines as well as food fairs, cultural events, arts exhibitions, and family-friendly events aimed at all ages.
Top Picks of Upcoming Festivals
Of course, as a capital city, the festivals in Cardiff are plentiful and varied in type with visitors attending from all over the UK and sometimes even further afield.
You’ll find family friendly events, music festivals, art festivals and food festivals so there’s truly something for everyone.
Cardiff Open Air Theatre Festival
One of the most famous festivals in Cardiff is the Cardiff Open Air Theatre Festival. Taking place over a long six weeks in various venues across the city centre in the summer, it attracts over 14,000 visitors each year with a variety of productions that cater to a wide demographic of ages and theatre experience.
Alongside traditional theatre, the festival staged innovative interpretations of conventional shows, light entertainment performances, musical gigs, comedy productions and family shows.
The Cardiff Open Air Theatre Festival is LGBTQ+ friendly with collections taking place for Cardiff Pride throughout the various events, as well as fundraising for a select charity partner each year.
A pinnacle of the Cardiff festivals scene is the Cardiff Mela (full name: the Cardiff Multicultural Mela); an annual large-scale multicultural festival held in Cardiff Bay at the Roald Dahl Plass.
Completely free to attend (although tickets may need to be reserved depending on demand), it is hosted by a not-for-profit organisation and celebrates the cultural aspects of Asian life.
The event first took place at Cooper’s Field in 2007 but had to move in latter years as a result of its popularity, amongst the Asian community and others. Check out the full line up on their website for all that is on offer, from music to dance, food and art.
The Bay Series
A relatively new Cardiff festival is The Bay Series, a premier concert series that aims to bring together music, food and culture in a way most festivals simply can’t combine.
Spread across six days in an impressive open-air site at Cardiff Bay with a custom-built stage, The Bay Series already attracts some of the world’s largest, most established and famous artists in the world.
Cardiff Music Festivals
Cardiff is bursting at the scenes with music festivals in a way only a capital city can!
There is an event for every genre of music so whatever your taste, age and predilection for camping, one of the numbers below will be sure to get your toes a-tapping!
Inside Out Festival
Inside Out Festival takes place at the end of August, in Cardiff Bay. It's a music event showcasing acts across genres including dance, electronica, garage, hip hop, RnB and drum and bass.
Having swiftly risen to popularity with younger people throughout Wales and England, Inside Out festival has firmly established its name as a must-visit for those looking to party through the summer and embrace festival season.
The weather so far has been great for every event so festival-goers can swap their wellies for dancing daps and sunglasses! Book your tickets and check out some of the big hitters from the likes of Andy C and Pendulum.
In It Together Festival
Down the road toward Swansea in Margam is In It Together Festival, a music event blending pop and indie artists. The festival is a vibrant, inclusive event celebrating community, music and the arts.
With six stages, two distinct festival areas, a fun fair and a circus tent, festival-goers never need run out of things to do or see at In It Together.
Those camping for the whole weekend can enjoy an exclusive opening party on the Thursday night to get the weekend off to a roaring start.
A party like no other, headliners have included UB40, Chase & Status, Dizzee Rascal and many more international acts.
In It Together is open to all ages and there’s a specific teenage campsite for young people.
Lets Rock Wales
The Let's Rock Wales Festival is a vibrant celebration of retro music, attracting fans with its nostalgic line up of iconic 80s artists.
Held in Cardiff, Wales, this lively event features a family-friendly atmosphere, complete with fun activities and a spirited ambiance, making it a must-visit for music enthusiasts.
Cardiff Food and Drink Festivals
Although Abergavenny's famous food festival is a mere 30 miles away from Cardiff, the capital city hosts it's own amazing gastromical fiestas which are well worth a visit! Try the two events below and you and your belly will not be disappointed!
The Cardiff Food & Drink Festival
The Cardiff Food & Drink Festival showcases the best in Welsh cuisine and beverages, and is held over three days in July at the Roald Dahl Plass in Cardiff Bay (just next to the Mermaid Quay complex).
Over 100 local, national and international producers attend to show and sell their wares throughout a Producer’s Fayre, a Farmer’s Market and a Street Food Piazza.
When in session, the festival’s Street Food Piazza forms the largest market in Wales and runs along the water’s edge on the Bay.
Daily workshops for children encourage young chefs to learn and create their own dishes, and in the evenings fairy lights are strung up between stalls as live music acts play and the drinks begin to blow.
Cardiff Foodies Festival
he Cardiff Foodies Festival is a vibrant celebration of culinary delights, attracting food enthusiasts from far and wide.
Set in Bute Park, this festival offers an array of gourmet experiences, featuring local and international cuisines, live cooking demonstrations, and workshops by renowned chefs, making it a haven for gastronomes. Live music, Chef, Baking & Drinks Theatres, Artisan Market, Street Food and much more...