Sock wrestling? Trapeze? The weirdest things you can do at festivals this summer

In case you hadn’t heard, festivals aren’t just about music anymore. Over the last few years, there’s been a huge rise in extracurricular activities from the serious to the bizarre. Want to regress back to your childhood or turn the festival field into your own personal spa? Go ahead! Here’s the weirdest things you can still do at this summer’s remaining festivals.

Flying trapeze school

What: The theme for this year’s Bestival is the circus and you can learn some skills worthy of a Big Top. Join the Gorilla Circus and Flying Trapeze School and learn how to fling yourself from one aerial bar to another. It might not be the most useful skill for everyday life, but it does sound quite impressive.
Where: Bestival, Lulworth Estate, Dorset, August 2-5.

Mass musical benches

What: Unless you’re a literal child or have attended a child’s birthday party in recent years, you probably haven’t even thought about musical chairs in years. For some reason, the people behind Wilderness have and they’re inviting you to relive your youth with a super-sized version of the party game. Test your reaction time and battle it out against your fellow festival-goers to be the last one sitting.
Where: Wilderness Festival, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, August 2-5.


Ear candling

What: End Of The Road has a whole programme of “healing” activities, from various massages to reflexology. By far the most unusual to undertake in the middle of a festival field, though, must be ear candling – a practice that involves lighting one end of a hollow candle and putting the other end in your ear while you lie on your side. According to devoted ear candlers, the hollow candle creates suction that pulls wax and dirt out of your ear, while others say the melted candle wax softens your earwax, which then falls out of your ear over the course of a few days. Doctors, however, say it does neither and could cause you more problems than some say it solves.
Where: End Of The Road, Larmer Tree Gardens, Wiltshire, August 30-September 2.

Aerial yoga

What: Most festivals these days seem to have some sort of wellbeing programme where yoga is a key fixture, but Boardmasters goes beyond the norm with a slightly different take on things. Aerial yoga involves pulling all your usual yoga moves but uses a silk hammock to elevate your body off the ground. Be warned, if you have no arm muscles, you will not get off the ground.
Where: Boardmasters, Newquay, Cornwall, August 8-12.

Walking willows workshops

What: The Green Man website describes its walking willows workshops as a “collective act of looking and listening.” Over 90 minutes, festival-goers will be taken through a series of exercises designed to help them “perceive, experience, and respond to place” and aims to increase awareness of how our bodies “encounter the world.” A 20-minute session on the last night of the festival will see participants perform their “silent action” together.
Where: Green Man, Brecon Beacons, Wales, August 16-19.

Sock wrestling

What: The aim of sock wrestling is to remove your competitors’ socks before they get yours. Could be gross any normal day, but in the middle of a festival? You’d have to be truly brave to get involved with this, especially as Wilderness say it draws out people’s competitive side.
Where: Wilderness Festival, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, August 2-5.