23 must see summer shows in Herts 2022

Standon Calling festival Hertfordshire

Standon Calling has a knack for mixing great music with a very fun attitude - Credit: Standon Calling

Whether your passion is music, food, art, literature or just great family fun, there's a festival to suit you this summer in Herts. Here's our pick of the best 

June 25, Redbourn 
You'll find fairies, a fairground and a whole lot of fun at this festival for the under-fives. The County Showground is transformed into a giant playground with activities including a children’s theatre, creation zone, water play, baby rave, a musical alley and giant canvasses, while Captain Calamity will be on hand to make it even more bonkers. Parents have a chill out and bar area, thank goodness, to relax in while the littluns wear themselves out. 

Children on a carousel

Totfest is a treat for little ones - Credit: Emily Packman Photography

July 1-2, Tring 
This boutique retro festival in the picturesque Chilterns has built a legion of fans in its 10 years. Getting the party started on Friday are tribute acts including ABBA Revival, Noasis and The Bootleg Beatles. Then go back to the heady days of the 70s and 80s, with the real thing - Tony Hadley, ABC, The Proclaimers, Toyah, Maxi Priest, Bad Manners, Toploader and, er The Real Thing. Oodles of happy nostalgia. 

Childwickbury Arts Fair
July 1-3, St Albans

This showcase of art and crafts founded by Christiane Kubrick (wife of Stanley) is set in the gorgeous grounds of her home, Childwickbury Manor. Over 60 artists and artisans will be exhibiting paintings, ceramics, glasswork, textiles and more with a focus on high quality. Chat to the makers, see them at work or have a go yourself. There's good food and fun things for the kids to do too.

Kimpton Folk Festival 
July 2, Kimpton 
There’s a stella line-up for this one-day family folk festival. Three stages host folk royalty Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, Fara, Megson, Granny’s Attic, Brooks Williams, Honey and the Bear and others. As well as ticketed events there's a free stage on the village green. Marvellous music, delightful dance, splendid storytelling, creative crafts and wonderful workshops await.

Folk artists Nancy Kerr and James Fagan

Hear Nancy Kerr and James Fagan at Kimpton Folk Festival - Credit: Elly Lucas

The Tringe
July 3-23, Tring
This festival of laughter - and don't we need it - features well-known names and up and coming talent from the comedy circuit. Mark Watson, Zoe Lyons, Ivo Graham and Maisie Adam are just some of the talent scheduled to appear. With most gigs held at the Court Theatre it's a chance to preview shows before they go up to the Edinburgh Festival. Fun fact, at three weeks long, it's also the seventh longest comedy festival in the world.

St Albans Film Festival
July 8-10, St Albans

Screenings, talks and walks are on the agenda for the ninth St Albans Film Festival. The Pioneer Club and The Hub will be hosting screenings over the weekend including the finalists of the festival's short film competition. Other events include a film and TV location walking tour across the city. The film programme has yet to be announced so keep an eye on the website for details.

Todd in the Hole  
July 15-17, Todds Green, near Stevenage 

This countryside music festival has six stages with over 80 acts from renowned cover bands including the wonderfully-named Highly Minogue, UK Fleetwood Mac and The Bob Marley Revival, as well as local acts. DJs include Spandau's Martin Kemp, Pat Sharp and Ibiza legend Dave Pearce. Children have their own arena presided over by Aidan O'Neill, and and there’s the unmissable Great British Elvis Off. Great food, great acts and great family fun. 

Todd in the Hole festival, Stevenage

Todd in the Hole is all about fun with family and friends - Credit: Grant McGonagle

Battle Proms
July 16, Hatfield
Get your summer off to a bang with this picnic celebration of classical and nostalgic music accompanied by fireworks, a Spitfire air display and cavalry charge in the grounds of Hatfield House. Listen to vintage songs from the Battle Proms Belles and join in the flag waving with rousing Last Night of the Proms favourites Rule, Britannia! Land of Hope and Glory and Beethoven’s Battle Symphony accompanied by cannon fire. Take the hampers and champers for this one. 

The fireworks finale at Battle Proms

The fireworks finale at Battle Proms - Credit: Battle proms

The Great British Food Festival
July 16-17, Knebworth 
Eat, drink and be merry at this festival for foodies at Knebworth House. There’s chef demos, a BBQ stage, foraging walks and talks, grow your own demos, an artisan market, bakers from the Great British Bake Off, competitions and kids cookery. It's all washed down with live music, street food and bars, a mini zoo and craft and gift stalls. One thing's for sure, you won’t go hungry. 

Folk by the Oak
July 17, Hatfield 

This village fete meets music festival in the parkland of Hatfield house books some of folk music’s finest acts and emerging talent. This year's highlights include The Proclaimers, Richard Thompson, The Unthanks and Spell Songs. Hand-picked caterers, creative workshops, crafts and children's activities complement the music on the intimate Acorn Stage and the buzz of the main stage.

Highland Gathering 
July 19, Harpenden

No need to go head up to Scotland, as the Highlands are coming to Rothamsted Park in Harpenden for this festival full of ‘Scottish flavour’ organised by Harpenden Lions Club. Get the clan together for pipe and drum bands, highland dancing and traditional highland games including tossing the caber and putting the stone. Scots Corner sells fine food, clothing and crafts and there's heaps of other events including a classic car and motorbike display. 

Standon Calling
July 21-24, Standon

From pool party beginnings, Standon Calling has evolved into a boutique music festival attracting top names. Set in picturesque countryside, festival goers can dance until the early hours, enjoy comedy, talks and great music including Razorlight, Example, Madness, Anne- Marie, Loyle Carner and Primal Scream. There's the unmissable fancy dress parade, dog show, kids activities, health and wellbeing classes, and camping and glamping. This really is a festival that spans the generations.

The Legends Festival 
July 29-30, Redbourn 
Revive old memories and make new ones at this music festival featuring the world’s biggest tribute acts. Ten of the best will be performing at the County Showground including Elvis (Gordon Hendricks), And Finally Phil Collins, The Dolly Show, Robbie Williams performed by Dan Budd and Whitney Nya King. It’s family friendly, bring a picnic or enjoy the artisan street food on offer. Close your eyes and you will imagine you are listening to the real thing. 

Big Jiveswing Festival 
July 31, Watford 

Celebrating the big band sounds of the '30s, one of the UK’s largest free jazz festivals at Cassiobury Park will have acclaimed jazz musicians, bands and dancers performing on the band stand. There’s dance classes for all ages, vintage stalls and a vintage photo booth to capture the fun. Take a picnic and enjoy the hip swinging stuff. 

Royston Kite Festival 
August 7, Royston 
Butterflies, birds and even ghosts can be seen in the sky over Therfield Heath as Royston's colourful annual charity kite festival takes off. You can bring your own kite or the kids can make their own. There are professional kite displays, children’s entertainment and an historic vehicle show too. Food is available or picnic on the heath with its glorious views. 

Child girl portrait with rainbow kite on blue sky background

See kites of all colours at Royston's Kite Festival - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Maryna Petrenko-Shvets

Flamstead Scarecrow Festival
August 19-21, Flamstead
See all manner of scarecrows from scary ones, funny ones and downright odd ones at this eccentric English festival. There will be live music over the three days and performances from local traditional dancing groups, plus plenty of stalls to tempt you. Don't forget to vote for your favourite scarecrow as villagers compete for the coveted title.

Herts Pride
Aug 20, Watford 

A big top circus tent in Cassiobury Park will host a unique mix of artists including Allan Jay,  Laura Harding and drag acts Miss Jason and Davina Sparkle at Herts' largest LGBTQ+ festival. There’s also a funfair and market area, a health and wellbeing marque and you can show of your four-legged friend in the Herts Pride Dog Show. Fab, fun and flamboyant, now in its 10th year, this celebration of diversity continues to grow.

Classic Ibiza 
August 20, Hatfield

Create a bit of White Island magic for a night of iconic dance music reinvented with a full orchestra. The Urban Soul Orchestra will be accompanied by live vocalists, alongside DJs including Goldierocks and a laser light show. Dance the night away in Hatfield Park to tracks from The Prodigy and The Shapeshifters, to Faithless and Underworld. Take a picnic, crack open a San Miguel and enjoy the relaxed DJ chill out set before the tempo increases as the evening hots up. 

Benington Chilli Festival
August 27-29, Benington 

This celebration of the humble (but powerful) pepper will get you hot under the collar. Buy chilli plants, products and sample foods from around the world with more than 60 independent traders offering chutneys, sauces, cheese and chocolate. Cool down with local beers, try the legendary Hot Mule cocktail or enter the chilli eating competition if you dare. It's all set in the beautiful gardens of Benington Lordship. We're feeling hot, hot, hot...

Classic Motor Show
August 28-29, Knebworth

Rev up your engines for two days of motoring magic. You’ll find hundreds of classic and collectable vehicles on show in the parkland of Knebworth House. With displays, parades, arena events and interviews, there will be everything from sports to commercial and military to motorbikes. The show features vintage music, children’s entertainment, parts and memorabilia stalls, and food and drink. Motoring history kept alive.  

Pub in the Park
September 9-11, St Albans
This festival in homage to the great British pub brings together delicious food, award-winning chefs and chart-topping music. This year’s menu of entertainment includes Melanie C, Sophie Ellis-Bexter, Beverley Knight and the Kaiser Chiefs plus DJ sets from Gok Wan. Tuck into dishes from renowned eateries The Mariners, The Bull & Last, Made in Oldstead, The Churchill Arms, The Hand and Flowers, Atul Kochhar Restaurants and Cue Point. This year the event at Verulamium Park is hosted by The Hairy Bikers. Eat, drink and dance - perfect. 

September 10-11, Knebworth 

This festival at Knebworth Park will set tales waging in appreciation. A celebration of all things dog, visitors can get advice from experts - check out the Dog School new for this year, let the pooch loose on activities including hay bale racing, an agility course and dog diving or join a big dog walk. Or just enjoy the action packed arena displays, dog show and peruse the amazing array of pet products. 

Dog agility test - puppy running through posts

Dogfest - heaven for your pooch (and dog lovers) - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival 
September 29-October 3, Hatfield
This year's chamber music theme is A World of Music and includes a diverse programme including contemporary works, narrated and family concerts, masterclasses, and world premieres, all performed at Hatfield House. Cellist Guy Johnston leads international artists including South American bandoneon player JP Jofre, Indian veena player Nirmala Rajasekar, and Mexican guitarist Morgan Szymanski. The ORA Singers celebrate the Queen's Jubilee with a special concert in the Marble Hall in front of the iconic Rainbow Portrait of Elizabeth I. 

 Guy Johnston (cello) rehearsing for an evening concert at MusicFest Aberystwyth , Wales UK -

Guy Johnston will be one of the stars of the classical music world at Hatfield House - Credit: Alamy Stock Photo