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Summer Festival Guide

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In the UK, we are lucky to have a huge range of summer music festivals to enjoy, and at CrossCountry we are lucky to have many festivals taking place across our network. With live music from some of the world's biggest artists, as well as live comedy, unique activities, and food & drink markets, there is nothing better than a festival to make fabulous summer memories with your friends and family.

One of the easiest ways to travel to festivals is by train. No need to worry about parking, permits, or traffic - simply hop on-board a CrossCountry train and let us transport you to a weekend of fun. If you are travelling to festivals on CrossCountry trains, we would encourage you to pack lightly and to ensure that all of your belongings can fit within our on-board luggage racks. Although there is plenty of room on-board for luggage, it is important that all of our passengers have room to comfortably stow their luggage and enjoy their journeys.

Please be prepared and stay hydrated with water as busy trains can become hot especially during summer months. Given how unpredictable British weather can be, even in the Summer, please be respectful of our trains and consider our cleaners. If your shoes are especially muddy after a weekend of dancing in the rain, please make sure to change into a cleaner pair or to ask at the station for shoe covers.

Some festivals can mean our services might be a lot busier than usual. Whether you're attending festivals or simply travelling nearby, we've put together some advice for how to travel to festivals by train to help you avoid the busy times and travel in comfort.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Friday 2 - Monday 26 August 2024

With hundreds of comedy, theatre, music, and cabaret acts performing over the course of a month, Edinburgh Fringe is one of the biggest annual events to take place in Scotland’s capital city. With so much to see and do (and laugh at), it’s no wonder that the Edinburgh Fringe Festival has become a summertime favourite. Each August, Edinburgh plays host to entertainers from around the UK and the world; from world-class comedians to up-and-coming cabaret acts, you’ll find plenty to enjoy at Edinburgh Fringe.

How to get to Edinburgh Fringe by train:

Edinburgh Waverley station (Edinburgh’s main railway station) is ideally positioned in the heart of the city, close to most Edinburgh Fringe festival destinations and the many bus routes servicing Princes Street (the main shopping street).

Due to various events taking place over the 3.5 weeks of the festival, and increased volumes of footfall expected into the station by rail, we would encourage you to check your journeys and plan ahead at the busiest times.

With the last day of the festival, Monday 26 August, also being a bank holiday, we expect services to be extremely busy throughout the day. Please take this into consideration when planning your journey and consider travelling later in the week where possible.

Boardmasters, Wednesday 7 - Sunday 11 August 2024

Held every year in sunny Cornwall, Boardmasters is a festival that makes the most of the beach lifestyle. Combining surfing, watersports, and skateboarding with great live music, Boardmasters has become one of the UK's favourite festivals. The gorgeous seaside surroundings make for stunning views, while huge musical acts provide tunes to keep you in party-mode all weekend.

How to get to Boardmasters Festival by train:

Boardmasters Festival is located in Newquay, and you can get to Newquay station easily with CrossCountry. The simplest way to get to Newquay using CrossCountry services is to change at Plymouth station.

From Newquay station, shuttles run to the festival every fifteen minutes on Wednesday 7 August. Using the CrossCountry network, we expect Plymouth station to be the busiest connecting station.

We expect festival attendees to be travelling through Plymouth on Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 August, and again on Monday 12 August when passengers are travelling home. If you are travelling around Plymouth on these days, services may be slightly busier than usual.

Boomtown, Wednesday 7 - Sunday 11 August 2024

Boomtown prides itself on being a festival like no other. Boomtown centers creativity and artistic freedom, both for the musicians and artists performing and for festival attendees. The vibrant festival decoration and design is a miniature town, with technicolour cityscapes to explore and enjoy. The music you'll hear is varied - whether you love reggae, techno, disco, afrobeat, or electronic music, you'll find something to enjoy at Boomtown. Pack your brightest colours, indulge in creativity, and enjoy a weekend of creative community.

How to get to Boomtown by train:

Winchester station is the closest station to Boomtown festival, and then onto a shuttle bus straight to the festival site. Shuttle buses run every day throughout the festival, from Wednesday 7 to Monday 12 August.

We expect services to be busiest into Winchester from early and throughout the day on Wednesday 7 August, with some people also arriving throughout the day on Thursday 8 August too.

We will then expect to see high footfall away from the festival on the morning of Monday 12 August and throughout the day.

Reading Festival, Wednesday 21 - 25 August 2024

Every year, for a weekend, Reading plays host to the UK's alternative music scene for Reading Festival. With some of the world's biggest rock bands, punk artists, rappers, and indie musicians hitting the main stage over the course of the weekend, there is nowhere better if you're a fan of rock and roll. With a partner festival in Leeds, Reading Festival has been one of the UK's biggest festivals since it began in the 60s.

How to get to Reading Festival by train:

There are plenty of ways to get trains to Reading Festival, as Reading station is just 15-20 minutes away on foot. You can get to Reading station directly on a range of CrossCountry services from all over the UK.

Once you arrive at Reading station, you can hop on a shuttle bus from Reading town centre to the festival site. More information is available on the Reading festival website.

We expect CrossCountry services to be busier than usual from early on Wednesday 21 August, with people arriving on Thursday 22 August as well. Festival attendees leaving on Monday 26 August could lead to busier services and stations too.

Reading Festival also offers day tickets, so passengers travelling to and through Reading over the weekend should expect trains and stations to be busier than usual.

If you are travelling to Reading Festival with a day ticket, be aware that the last trains leaving Reading station are often extra busy and do not run late on Friday & Saturday night. Please allow plenty of time to use these services - festival organisers recommend leaving at least an hour from the festival site exit gate.

Leeds Festival, Wednesday 21 - 25 August 2024

The sibling festival to Reading Festival, introduced in the 1990s as a Northern counterpart to expand the alternative festival, Leeds Festival has become an institution in the UK alternative music scene. Featuring major music acts across several stages, with some of biggest names in alternative, rock, punk, and hip-hop music from all over the world, Leeds is the perfect festival for moshers. With so much to see and do over a (hopefully) sunny weekend in Leeds, what isn't to love?

How to get to Leeds Festival by train:

The closest train station to Leeds Festival is Leeds station, which you can get to directly on a wide range of CrossCountry services from all over the UK.

Once you arrive at Leeds station, you can hop on board shuttle buses to the festival site while the festival is running.

We expect our services to be busiest into Leeds from early and throughout the day on Wednesday 21 August, with some people also arriving by train to Leeds Festival throughout the day on Thursday 22 August too.

With day tickets available throughout the weekend, the city centre and station could be busier than usual on each day, so please plan your journey ahead.

The last trains leaving Leeds train station are often incredibly busy and do not run late on Friday and Saturday night. Please leave extra time if you’re planning on using these services.

We will then expect to see high footfall away from the festival on the morning of Monday 26 August and throughout the day.

With this also being a bank holiday, we expect services to be extremely busy throughout the day. Please take this into consideration when planning your journey and consider travelling later in the week where possible.

Isle of Wight Festival

The Isle of Wight Festival is a legendary music event held annually on the Isle of Wight, just off the south coast of England. The festival dates back to 1968, usually featuring a diverse lineup of world-class artists attracting music lovers of all ages. Beyond the music, attendees enjoy food stalls, carnival rides, and interactive art installations. The picturesque island setting adds to the festival's charm, offering a unique experience. Whether you're an Isle of Wight Festival regular or looking for a new summer festival to explore, this is a great way to spend a sunny weekend!

How to get to the Isle of Wight Festival by train:

Of course, the Isle of Wight is a small island in the English Channel, so you can't get to the Isle of Wight Festival travelling only by train. However, you can hop on-board a ferry from Southampton, and you can get to Southampton Central station directly on CrossCountry services from around the UK.

Once you reach Southampton Central station, the quay is a short walk away, or an even shorter bus ride if you're travelling with a lot of luggage.

Glastonbury

Probably the most famous UK festival in the world, Glastonbury Festival is a British institution. It has been running since 1970 in Somerset, and has become one of the biggest music events for major stars and newcomers to the industry alike. With so much to do, and so many artists to see, Glastonbury is a whirlwind weekend for anyone in attendance.

How to get to Glastonbury Festival by train:

The closest station to Glastonbury Festival is Castle Cary, and attendees can find shuttles running between the station and the festival.

If you're travelling with CrossCountry, Bristol Temple Meads is likely to be the busiest connecting station. You can get from Bristol Temple Meads to Castle Cary with a connecting train and bus service, and passengers can reach Bristol Temple Meads directly from all around the CrossCountry network.

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