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    Not Your Run-of-the-Mill August Festivals

    From mesmerising outdoor music performances to colourful street parades, tempting food stalls and meeting new people from all over the world, summer festivals are one of the best ways to enjoy August. And when it comes to festivals in August, you are truly spoilt for choice. Pack up the whole family or grab a group of your best friends, jump in a car, and head out of the city! This week, we bring you a selection of exciting, extraordinary, and at times eccentric summer festivals taking place in the UK and around Europe in August!

    Nozstock The Hidden Valley
    1st to 3rd August 2014
    Herefordshire, UK

    What was once started by family and friends has grown into an established event on the festival calendar. Nozstock, now in its 14th year, takes place in Bromyard in Herefordshire, with the festival area surrounding a Tudor farmhouse. Nozstock truly caters to a huge variety of festival-goers: not only are major musical acts on offer, but a plethora of theatre performances, cabaret and comedy acts also take to the various stages at the Hidden Valley. Arts and crafts events are also available for all ages. Headlining this year at the main stage, The Orchard, are Roots Manuva and Fun Lovin' Criminals. At Nozstock you are sure to discover something new and exciting, and get to enjoy the best of the British countryside!

    How to get there:

    If you are setting off from London, driving along either the M4 or the M40 towards Worcester will have you arriving at the festival site in about three hours

    Street Parade
    2nd August 2014
    Zurich, Switzerland

    This Saturday the streets of Zurich become one big dancefloor, as the Street Parade hits the city. The event takes the form of a huge party set to a variety of electronic music genres passing through the city streets. About 30 trucks, referred to as 'Love Mobiles', decked with decorations, huge sound systems and top of the line DJs, drive around Lake Zurich at a slow enough pace for spectators to dance along with them. In addition to these mobile mini-stages, seven larger ones are also dotted around the route of the parade. The parade is organised by a non-profit, and the event focuses largely on safety with a message of 'love, peace, freedom, generosity and tolerance'. Headlining DJs this year include big names such as ATB and Fedde le Grand. Best of all, as a public event, entry to the Street Parade is free of charge!

    How to get there:

    Central Zurich is just a 20-minute drive away from Zurich Airport on the A1L. However, do not wait to drive into Zurich on the day of the event, as you will be sure to encounter traffic jams and have trouble finding a parking space. It is better to arrive at least a day before the event.

    Boardmasters Festival
    6th to 10th August 2014
    Cornwall, UK

    Head to Cornwall for a show of some of the best surfing talent in the world, or hit the waves yourself if you dare! Besides professional surfing competitions you can also view skateboarding and BMX events, as well as a very impressive line up of musical acts. Most of the extreme sports events take place at Fistral Beach, while The Watergate Bay hosts the main festival area, with eight different stages and a varied offering of food and drink. In Watergate Bay you will also find The View, the stage with acoustic performances and an unbeatable view of the cliffs and crashing waves. Whether you like to surf the waves or not, Boardmasters is definitely far out!

    How to get there:

    From London, the fastest way to get the festival site should be along the M4, M5, and A30 via Bristol and Exeter. The drive should take about four and a half hours.

    Puck Fair
    10th to 12th August 2014
    Killorglin, Ireland

    The self-described 'king of all festivals', Puck Fair is one of the oldest fairs celebrated in Ireland, and probably also one of the most unique. Before the fair officially starts, a group of individuals go to catch a wild, male goat in the mountains. This goat, or 'puck' (a male goat is referred to as 'poc' in Irish) is then brought to the town. The Coronation Parade takes place at the start of the festivities, with the penultimate float reserved for the Puck Queen, and the final one for King Puck, the goat. The Queen is selected from local girls who are in the final year of primary school. The coronation of King Puck marks the start of the fair. On the third day of the fair, the goat is brought back to the mountains.Besides the spectacle of King Puck himself, the fair showcases a variety of street performances throughout the town, all free of charge. Magic and puppet shows as well as workshops are there to keep younger visitors entertained, and the simultaneously run Horse Fair, one of Ireland's oldest, is also worth a visit.

    How to get there:
    If you pick up a car hire in Cork, you can reach Killorglin with a drive of one hour and 40 minutes via the N22 and N72.

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