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From boat parties to book festivals and street food fiestas, 10 things to do this August bank holiday weekend


It's the very last bank holiday weekend of the year so you may as well make the most of it. But if you haven't made plans yet for the three-day break, fear not.

We've rounded up some of the best, most offbeat events taking place around the UK that still have tickets going spare.

From live tunes on a Dorset farm to bog snorkeling in Wales, horror flicks in London and a free block party in a 19th Century Manchester mill, here's where and how to rinse every last minute of fun out of your precious time off.

Purbeck Folk Festival - Purbeck, Dorset

From local real ale and cider to live music, poetry readings and a fancy dress parade, there's little not to like at this award-winning festival set on a sheep farm on Dorset's picturesque Jurassic coastline. The vibe is easy-going and friendly with Turin Brakes and Idlewild among this year's highlights. Online tickets are still available for £100, or you can secure entrance on the gate for £120 - as the organisers point out, it's a bargain compared to going festival rates right now.

21-24 August, purbeckfolk.co.uk

Holi One Colour Festival - Bath

This vibrant fiesta is a non-religious celebration of togetherness inspired by the original Indian Holi fest and takes place in venues all over the world. This Saturday it hits Bath racecourse, with thousands of people dressed in white gathering to share music, dance, performance art and visual stimulation. Party-goers shower each other in six shades of rice flour powder: Pink Bikini, Green Planet, Blue Lagoon, Yellow Sunrise, Juicy Orange or Violet Secret. Cue: a riot of colour and hours of fun guaranteed. Tickets from £27.99.

23 August, holione.com

Film 4 FrightFest - Leicester Square, London

Now in its 14th year, FrightFest is a don't-miss event for anyone who loves scaring themselves senseless with a good old slasher flick. A horror fantasy festival, it's been hailed as "The Woodstock of Gore", with all the blood-spattered action played out at one of the UK's largest cinema screens in Leicester Square. This year's line-up includes classic horror movies (cue: aliens and knife-wielding maniacs), along with sci-fi screenings, short films and animated sequences. Tickets from £12.

21-25 August, frightfest.co.uk

Summer Jam at Liverpool International Music Festival

Four days of live music and entertainment awaits at the Liverpool International Music Festival's Summer Jam at Sefton Park. This weekend the park's acres of rolling fields will play host to a huge alfresco party. There'll be an eclectic mix of music from pop, folk, blues, soul and classical performers across five different stages and a beach and lake area to hang out in. Best of all, it's completely free.

21-24 August, limfestival.com

World Bog Snorkelling Championship - Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales

If you've never been privy to the delights of bog snorkelling before, now's your chance. Held annually in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales, the competition sees hundreds of participants from around the world come together to churn through muddy water and slime with the aid of a snorkel, mask and flippers. Sounds delightful, right? If you'd prefer to be a spectator to this unusual sport, there are food and drink stalls, crafts, live music and a bar on the site to keep you entertained.

24 August, green-events.co.uk

Sail Awake Sunday - Tower Pier, London

This frankly inspired-sounding boat party promises to "soothe, caress and awaken your soul". An alcohol-free event, all the action takes place aboard a Dutch Master boat that sets sail from Tower Pier at 10.30am on Sunday. What follows is a day's worth of live acoustic music, workshops, games, free massages, yoga, DJ sets, a juice bar and brunch offerings set across three decks - with unparalleled views of London along the way. The dress code, intriguingly, is "Pyjama Party, Hello Sailor, Glitter Bug or Morning Raver" and remaining tickets will set you back £30.

24 August, brownpapertickets.com

Great British Food Festival 2014 - Stonyhurst College, Lancashire

With over 80 top local producers strutting their wares, the Great British Food Festival promises to satisfy all manner of gourmands. Better still, it's taking place in the stunning grounds of Stonyhurst College, a 16th Century manor house. They'll be food demos, artisan talks, live music and competitions such as the Great British Cake Off and Men Vs Food challenge, as well as exotic cuisine along the lines of Ostrich burgers, chili-infused chocolate liquor and real Thai pies. Tickets are £7.50.

23-25 August, greatbritishfoodfestival.com

Edinburgh International Book Festival

Amid the wealth of comedy and fringe performances at Edinburgh Festival, it's also worth popping this world-class books event on your radar. Taking place in the elegant surroundings of the city centre's Charlotte Square, it comes to a finale this bank holiday weekend, with talks from authors such as Michael Rosen, Michael Morpurgo, Malorie Blackman and comedian Francesca Martinez. Don't miss the free evening mini-festivals (9-11pm every night), where you can soak in a mix of literature and music over a glass or two of vino.

To 25 August, edbookfest.co.uk

Up In Your Grill bank holiday marathon - Brownsfield Mill, Manchester

Manchester's summer series of weekend block parties round off in style this bank holiday with a three-day extravaganza curated by one of Manchester’s leading club nights at Brownsfield Mill. Expect top notch street food from the world over, along with craft beer, ciders, cocktails and a stellar summer soundtrack. Free entry every night, all night.

22-24 August, upinyourgrill.co.uk

Up Hill Down Hall: An indoor carnival - Tate Modern, London

If you want a little taste of carnival spirit with none of the risk of rain, head to the indoor carnival at Tate Modern this Saturday. This unusual three-hour performance offers up a celebration of carnival as a participant-led art form and features cutting edge architectural, visual and sound artists whose work has informed the Notting Hill carnival (now in its fiftieth year) as well as other fiestas around the world. Let the Samba beat commence!

23 August, tate.org.uk



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