With summer just around the corner, so is festival season – and this time we’re talking about human festivals rather than festivals designed for doggos which we’ve been talking about a fair bit recently. Londoners are spoilt for summer festivals in and around the capital but if you’re a dog owner then why should you have to choose between one of the city’s summer highlights and leaving your dog a home? Well, the good news is that several festivals will allow dogs to come along too so we’ve rounded them up for you in our latest guide to the ‘Best Dog-friendly Festivals in London and Nearby’.
A few words on doggy well-being if you’re thinking about going to a festival. Obviously, if the temperatures are high then a festival is probably not the best place for your dog and neither will it be if the main focus of the festival is loud music and crowds. The festivals included in our best dog-friendly festivals round-up can all be attended for the day and usually have plenty of outdoor space where you and your pup can enjoy the festival atmosphere in a dog-friendly way. You may also find our ‘What to Take to A Dog Festival Checklist‘ useful – as many of the items recommended apply for dogs attending dog-friendly human festivals too.
We’ve also included a few festivals that are not too far from London in case you fancy combining a trip out of the capital with some human and hound festival fun. Some are pretty unique too such as Paddle Round The Pier in Brighton, Europe’s largest dog-friendly beach festival and they even have special doggy activities on the line-up such as Paddleboarding for dogs!
So here they are, our pick the best dog-friendly festivals in London and nearby, updated for 2020….
Dog-friendly Festivals in London
STREATLIFE Festival Alexandra Palace
STREATLIFE is Alexandra Palace’s legendary free Street Food & Craft Beer Festival. The festival takes place over four summer weekends along the south and Palm Court terraces on the 25/26 May, 15/16 June, 27/28 July and 17 August as part of the Great Fête (featured below). STREATLIFE features over 30 of London’s top street food vendors, craft beer bars, cocktails and more. It’s not just about food either – Saturdays will feature epic DJ sets and live music acts and Sunday will have a more relaxed vibe, with sets curated by radio stations.
When: May, June, July and August – 2020 dates to be announced, FREE
Where: Alexandra Palace, N22 7AY
Dogs at the STREATLIFE Festival: Dogs are welcome but STREATLIFE ask for good behaviour from dogs and owners alike
What: Foodies Festival is one of the UK’s biggest food festivals and this year it comes to London at Syon Park for a mouth-watering weekend of music and delicious food. Festival-goers will be able to enjoy live music from the likes of Scouting for Girls and Boyzlife, as well as workshops and masterclasses from top chefs, including live cooking with MasterChef winners and sweet treats from Bake Off winners plus lots of incredible street food dishes on offer to try. There’s also a brand new Dog Arena especially for four-legged festival-goers too. Pippa Penny who hosts the dog-friendly wine tasting events ‘Wine and Canine’ will be hosting a wine and canine tasting in the drinks theatre on the Saturday of the festival. Foodies Festival also have festivals in Brighton (4-6 May), Cambridge (28-30 June) and Oxford (24-26 August) which are all easily accessible from London.
When: 23rd-25th May 2020, day tickets from £19
Where: Syon Park, Brentford, Middlesex, TW8 8JF
Dogs at the Foodies Festival: Dogs are welcome to join the Foodies Festival fun and take advantage of the brand new dog arena but must be kept on a lead
Strongroom Beer Fest
What: The Strongroom Bar and Kitchen in Shoreditch is always dog-friendly (as featured in Rusty the Schnauzer’s My Dog-friendly London Guide) and that continues for their first-ever Strongroom Beer Fest being held this year celebrating beers from the UK and Europe. There will be over 15 breweries at the Beer Fest as well as live music and a smokin’ BBQ in the outdoor area.
When: The 2019 Strongroom Beer Festival took place in June, we’re waiting to see if there will be dates announced for 2020, £37.90
Where: Strongroom Bar, 120-124 Curtain Road, EC2A 3SQ
Dogs at the Strongroom Beer Fest: The Strongroom love dogs (be prepared for the in-house ‘puparazzi’ who’ll try to get your pic).When: 22-23 June 2019, tickets £37.90 and include your own glass, all your beer, a tote bag and brochure with all the info on what you’ll be drinking
Great British Food Festival Chiswick
What: The Great British Food Festival combines the nation’s love of great food and drink with stunning locations, providing a unique opportunity to explore new flavours and beautiful venues, all at the same time. The London festival will be set in the walled garden at Chiswick House, with over 50 food and drink producers, hot food stalls, bars, chef demos, live music and lots more!
Where: Chiswick House and Gardens, Burlington Lane, W4 2RP
When: July – 2020 Dates to be announced, adult tickets from £5
Dogs at the Great British Food Festival: Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome
Ealing Beer Festival
What: Another London festival for beer lovers and in fact the Ealing Beer Festival is the largest outdoor beer festival in London. It’s set in the beautiful Walpole Park, directly behind the Grade 1 listed Pitzhanger Manor House and is an oasis away from the bustle of central Ealing. Expect over 500 real ales, ciders and perries, foreign beers, English wines, live music and a variety of food.
Where: Walpole Park, Mattock Ln, Ealing, London W5 5EQ
When: July – 2020 Dates to be announced, adult tickets £5 plus £3 refundable glass deposit
Dogs at the Ealing Beer Festival: Well behaved dogs are welcome and should be under the control of their owner at all times. Well behaved humans also welcome
Walthamstow Garden Party
What: The Walthamstow Garden Party is a local event produced in partnership with The Barbican and other community organisations featuring live music & arts events. This two-day festival features a global line-up bringing thousands of people together to Lloyd Park for a lively weekend of music, theatre, dance, circus, film, spoken word, crafts and family fun.
Where: Lloyd Park, Forest Road, Walthamstow, E17 5EH
When: July – 2020 Dates to be announced, FREE
Dogs at the festival: Dogs are welcome but should be kept on a lead
Lambeth Country Show
What: The Lambeth Country Show boasts a unique lineup that brings the city and countryside together. Expect all the attractions of a traditional country show such as Horticultural shows, sheep and owl displays, homegrown vegetable and flower competitions, an abundance of craft and food stalls and even an on-site farm! Not forgetting the music line-up – expect an eclectic mix of dub, Afro-beat, disco, jazz, folk, ska and soul alongside acoustic folk, choir, soul and pop, along with steel orchestras and samba bands.
The show is very popular with over 100,000 people attending last year, making this one of the largest free festivals in the UK.
When: 18-19 July 2020, FREE
Where: Brockwell Park, Norwood Rd, London SE24 9BJ
Dogs at the Lambeth Country Festival: Well behaved dogs are welcome to along as long as they are kept on a lead at all times. Humans are also asked to please keep dogs away from children play areas.
What: Visions Festival take over several of Hackney’s venues each year to bring Londoners an exciting line-up of artists for a day of great music and grooves. However, for dog owners, it’s not because of the music festival that we’ve included Visions Festival in this guide but because of the annual Visions Festival Dog Show which has become a regular event on the London Dog Events Calendar. Each year the dog show has a festival theme which dogs and owners embrace with gusto. All proceeds from the Visions Festival Dog Show go to London Rescue & Rehoming Charity All Dogs Matter.
Where: St Johns Church, Lower Clapton Rd, London E5 0PD
When: August – 2020 Dates to be announced, £5 entry per dog show category
The Great Fête Alexandra Palace
What: The Great Fête is a free celebration of all things Alexandra Palace incorporating the STREATLIFE festival as mentioned earlier plus a jam-packed agenda of events with live music on several stages, a silent disco, outdoor cinema, ice skating (yes you read that right) and more.
When: August – 2020 Dates to be announced, FREE but the silent disco and outdoor cinema are ticketed (paid for) events
Where: Alexandra Palace, N22 7AY
Dogs at the Great Fête: Dogs are welcome in the outdoor areas of the festival but need to be kept on a lead
Dog-friendly Festivals Not Far From London
Paddle Round The Pier Brighton
What: Paddle Round the Pier is the largest FREE charity beach festival in Europe and runs every year on the beautiful venue of Hove Lawns (Brighton) featuring an exciting lineup of water sports such as surfing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding (SUP) and kitesurfing to name a few. It’s not all about watersports though with live music, kids’ entertainment, ‘have a go’ opportunities and much, much more.
The highlight from our perspective has to be The Doggy Paddle where dogs and their owners take to SUP paddleboards for a 15-minute group paddle of 25 metres to attempt a world record for the most dogs (and humans on paddleboards).
You do need to bring your own board to take part in the event (the organisers may have some spare to borrow on the day but this is not guaranteed). However, even if you’re not taking part this is a great event to watch and then enjoy the rest of the festival fun.
Where: Hove Lawns, Kingsway, Hove BN3 2PE
When: The festival takes place in July with the dates for the 2020 doggy paddle yet to be announced. The doggy paddle starts at 11am but you need to be signed in by 10:30 and be on the beach by 10:45 to take part. FREE but please register here. Dogs must be over 1 year of age and in good health. Any dogs that appear to be aggressive or stressed in any way will not be able to participate.
Dogs at the Paddle Round The Pier Festival: Dogs are encouraged to come along!
Getting there: Train from London Victoria to Brighton, then a short bus ride to Hove, journey time approx 1h 50 minutes.
What: Standon Calling is a small annual music festival held near the village of Standon, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, in the picturesque grounds of Standon Lordship. It’s a themed boutique festival (with boutique camping) which grew from a birthday barbecue into an annual public event and now boasts an exciting line-up of acts and artists.
Standon Calling proudly states that they are the most dog-friendly festival in the UK and have been welcoming dogs since 2015 – here is even a much-loved dog show which takes place on Sunday afternoon.
Where: Standon Lordship, SG11 1EE
When: 23-26 July 2020, Various ticket prices and options available see website for more info.
Dogs at Standon Calling: Dogs are very welcome and Standon Calling even have a page on the website all about it.
Getting there: From North London, it takes just 35 minutes to get to Standon Calling – nearest train stations are Ware, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertford North and Hertford East. See the Standon Calling website for more details.
Maverick Festival Suffolk
What: The Maverick Festival celebrates all things Americana, set amongst the restored Victorian barns of Easton Farm Park, deep in the idyllic Suffolk countryside yet only two hours from London, with films, workshops and performances from over fifty different artists across six stages, indoors and out.
Where: Easton Farm Park, Easton Woodbridge, Suffolk IP13 0EQ
When: 3-5 July 2020, day tickets from £25
Dogs at the Maverick Festival: As stated on the website ‘We’re happy to have considerate dog owners and their dogs at our festival, just make sure they’re on a lead at all times. Considerate parents and their children are encouraged at Maverick – no need to bother with leads’.
Getting there: There are details of how to get there by train on the Maverick Festival website but it will definitely be easier (and quicker) to travel by car (approx 2 hours from London)
Red Rooster Festival, Euston Hall, Suffolk
What: The Red Rooster Festival brings the sights and sounds of the American Deep South to the heart of the East Anglian countryside. There are also plenty of other activities to enjoy over the weekend including River Swimming, Pedalos, Den Making & Bushcraft, Dog Agility, Games & Workshops, a Kids area and more.
Where: Easton Farm Park, Easton Woodbridge, Suffolk IP13 0EQ
When: 3-5 July 2020, day tickets from £55 + booking fee, weekend tickets are better value at £69.50 + booking fee.
Dogs at the Red Rooster Festival: As stated on the website ‘Dogs are allowed on-site with a special dog ticket which can be purchased on the website (£20 + booking fee). Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times. Please be aware that only those with a Dog pass may bring their dog’.
Getting there: There are details of how to get there by train on the Red Rooster Festival website but again, it will be easier (and quicker) to travel by car (approx 2 hours from London)
Are you planning to go to a dog-friendly festival this year? If so, let us know in the comments below…