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View of Plymouth Hoe

The best summer events to book now

Summer in the UK has officially started. And as well as heralding the start of warmer weather, the summer season kicks off a line-up of events across the UK that spans everything from open-air concerts and festivals to huge sporting spectacles. We’ve picked out seven unmissable UK cities with summer events you won’t want to miss this year. So, get the dates in your calendar, book your megabus coach tickets, and start planning your summer city break.

Go back to the 90s in Bristol
Low-rise jeans, bucket hats and chokers at the ready – Bristol’s going back to the 90s for one night only, and you’re going to need to look the part. In fact, the touring Back To The 90s night is popping up all over the UK this summer in cities including Birmingham and Liverpool. But it’s the event at Motion Bristol on 5 August that’s got Bristolians ready to party to Fragma, N-Trance and more, so get those tickets booked before it’s a sell-out.
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Catch a wave – and your favourite band – in Newquay
Get yourself down to Newquay this summer if five full-on days of music and surfing sounds right up your street. Boardmasters festival runs from 9-13 August at Fistral Beach – famous for its incredible surf and beautiful surrounds. Expect surfing lessons, beach bars, and a music line-up that includes Lorde, Little Simz and Florence and The Machine.
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Get some summer lovin’ in Birmingham

Take a trip back to Rydell High at Secret Cinema – GREASE: The Live Experience. Running at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre from 26 July to 20 August, it promises plenty of singing, lots of dancing and an awful lot of leather jackets. Better start practising that hand jive.
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Go on an art trail in Liverpool
Happening every two years, Liverpool Biennial is the biggest free festival of contemporary visual art in the country – and it’s back for 2023. This celebration of all things artsy runs from 10 June all the way to 17 September with free exhibitions, performances and screenings running at locations across the city. That includes historic buildings as well as pop-up spaces, plus live drawing at venues like the Cotton Exchange and Tobacco Warehouse.
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Swim from pier to pier in Bournemouth
Fancy joining one of Europe's biggest charity swimming events? Bournemouth’s Pier to Pier swim is taking place on 1 July, and participants will swim 1.4 miles between Bournemouth and Boscombe Piers in aid of the British Heart Foundation. There’s still time to sign up and get involved, so dust your wetsuit off and get training for one epic dunk in the English Channel.
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Head to Northern Pride in Newcastle
While June is Pride month in the UK, 22-23 July is the official date of Northern Pride – Newcastle’s two-day Pride event on the Town Moor. You can access the Community Village for free, but you’ll need tickets to get into the Festival Arena. Saturday night’s closing party is hosted by Ministry of Sound, and there’s a cabaret zone featuring performers from Newcastle’s LGBTQIA+ scene.
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Head to Plymouth Hoe on 16 and 17 August and you’ll be in town for the British Fireworks Championships. Six pyrotechnic companies will fill the skies above Plymouth Sound in a bid to win the Championship title. Plus, there’s live music, fairground rides and food and drink to keep you busy between displays. Get there early for prime views – The Hoe and Citadel are both great spots to watch from, and the displays are fired from Mountbatten breakwater.
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