12 Festival-themed Garden Party Ideas to Free Your Spirit

By   | Last Updated :   July 28, 2022 | Filed In :   Garden Activities & Events Ideas

After the 2 year hiatus, festivals are well and truly back and they’re bigger and better than ever before. If you were lucky enough to bag a ticket to Glastonbury or one of the other fabulous festivals this year (we’re not jealous at all) you might be inspired to recreate the festival vibe in your garden this summer. If you missed out, consider planning your own fun festivities without the mud, queues and questionable toilets.

festival themed garden party ideas

Image credit: @canvas_and_peg

How to throw a festival party in your garden

Whether you’ve got a large field or a bijoux back garden, it’s possible to host a fabulous DIY festival party at home.

The beauty of planning a festival party is that there are no rules and almost anything goes! You can recreate your own summer festival with a central stage, themed tents and even circus acts. You could hire a local band to come and perform or invite musical friends to jam together. Not enough seats? No problem! Use bales of hay or straw for rustic, aesthetically pleasing seating.

And of course, the best thing about hosting a festival party in your garden is that you’ll have fresh water on tap, clean toilets (!) and the scrummiest food – no long queues for the burger van.

Festival-themed garden party ideas

Glitter and glow sticks at the ready? We’re here to arm you with creative ideas for throwing a festival-style garden party that Macca himself would be proud to attend.

1. Theme it

theme festival party idea

Backyard festivals are the best kind. Image credit: @a_stephens90

All great parties start with a plan and if you have a festival party in mind, it’s great to pick a theme for it. When you imagine a festival, live music and acres of mud probably spring to mind. It doesn’t have to be all about the music though, food festivals, religious festivals, art festivals and seasonal festivals are all fantastic ideas for a party. Factor in delicious food, fun drinks and plenty of party games and you’ve got the recipe for a perfect shindig.

Try celebrating with a summer-solstice festival, create a mini-Coachella, host a health and wellness party and go all out with festival-themed decorations to create a chilled-out feel in your garden.

2. Rustle up a festival feast 

rustle up a festival feast

Have fun with festival-friendly food. Image credit: @goballantyne

No party is complete without food and a festival-themed party is no exception! Take inspiration from food festivals like the Sausage and Cider, Foodies and Vegfest events when planning your food. Simple, easy-to-eat food like pizza, tacos, burgers and salads are always popular choices. 

Don’t fancy cooking? You could invite a pizza van or outside caterer, or ask friends to bring a plate of food each. 

If you don’t have lots of outdoor tables and chairs, you can create a boho-chic eating area from pallets. Stack a few on top of each other, cover with a cloth and place cushions on the floor for festival-style, laid-back dining.

For fun, festival-inspired drinks areas, you could create your own bar area, make a prosecco-pimping station with a variety of tempting mixers, and place cold drinks into ice-filled wheelbarrows or plastic camping wagons.

festival beverages

Be innovative with your beverages! Image credit: Pinterest

3. Get creative with DIY festival decorations

Decorating your garden for a festival-themed party needn’t be expensive, in fact, the boho theme lends itself perfectly to homemade accessories.

diy festival decorations

Get the festival feel with brilliant bunting. Image credit: @cornishtipis

festival photo backdrop

A flower wall makes a perfect festival photo backdrop. Image credit: @funnyflower_dekoracje

3. Glow up your garden

Great lighting is key to creating the right ambience for a party and when it comes to lighting up your garden, you can be really imaginative.

String lengths of festoon lights along fences, over arbours and across gazebos and other garden structures.

Tealights in jam jars or empty tin cans make pretty, inexpensive garden lights, you can line them up along pathways or group them together for maximum impact. Small fairy lights can be added to trees and plants and twisted around garden parasols and if you have a pergola or gazebo, try grouping different lantern lights together for an eclectic look.

Pretty solar lights can be dotted around the garden, added to flower pots and hung from fences. You can also add tiny fairy lights to empty wine bottles and glass lanterns for more gorgeous sparkliness. 

festival lights decoration

Add lights everywhere! Image credit: @home_with_victoria

4. Have fun with party props

Everyone loves a party prop! Grab the oversized glasses, the comedy hats and large empty photo frames and create some fun backdrops to delight your guests. Photo booth props are a great way to encourage people to take photos and let their hair down. 

festival party props

Have festival fun with party props. Image credit: @retrocelebrations

If you don’t want to buy photo props, they are really easy to make. Draw out some glasses, moustaches and hats, mount them on cardboard and attach sticks. Papertrail design offers free printable photo booth props too.

5. Create different zones

If you have the space, creating different zones for your party is a great way to add a festival feel to your garden. Think about making separate zones for eating and relaxing and designating an area for activities (see next idea). 

You can use outdoor rugs to help delineate areas as well as beanbags, chairs and tables. Create a stylish dining space by attaching long lengths of ribbon to a large frame. You can construct a frame from wood offcuts or even large twigs.

coachella inspired party decoration

Image credit: Pinterest

It’s worth drawing out a plan if you have a large space to make sure that the zones work well together. Locate food and drink near areas where people can sit and relax and if there’s a stage, you can make this the central point or place it at the end of the garden, where everyone will be able to get a good view.

6. Organise some festival-themed activities

Aside from music and food, festivals can be great places to try your hand at something new. Why not encourage your guests to have a go at some circus skills? Juggling, stilt walking and hula hooping are all fun activities to try at home.

circus props for festivals

Hone your circus skills. Image credit: @ellavationcircus

Take inspiration from Glastonbury’s healing field and try yoga, meditation, Tai Chi and dance!

If you’re hosting a creative party, your guests can try their hands at painting, pottery making or even sculpture. 

7. Provide shelter

We all know how changeable the Great British weather can be so it’s a good idea to factor in some shelter for your guests.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a gazebo or pergola there are several other options:

festival shelter

Image credit: @backyardfestival.uk

Alternatively, you could just be authentic and ask everyone to bring wellies and umbrellas!

8. Heat it up

Just as it’s important to factor shelter into your garden party plans, it’s worth making provisions for keeping your guests warm when the sun goes down. Unless we get another scorching heatwave, everyone will be grateful for a bit of extra warmth.

Firepits, chimineas and patio heaters are great, safe options for keeping your outdoors party heated. Some firepits come with grills, perfect for toasting a few marshmallows throughout the evening.

More on this: Garden Furniture And Fire Pit Ideas

Provide plenty of blankets and throws and you’ll be ready to party until dawn.

festival party heating ideas

Image credit: @cornerstonekitch

9. Festival-themed kid’s party ideas

If you’re thinking of hosting a children’s festival-themed birthday party, we’ve got some fun ideas to get you started.

Kids will love sitting on low tables so grab some pallets to make rustic eating areas. The corners of pallets can be sharp and splintery so make sure you give them a sand before use. 

Festival food is well-suited to kids. Bite-sized pizza slices, mini hotdogs, sliders and kebabs will all go down well. Top it off with fresh fruit salads, jelly and ice creams. Cocktail fish bowls and large jars with taps are fun ways to serve drinks.

festival garden wonderland

Create your own garden wonderland. Image credit: @sz_luxuryevents

Fun festival-themed activities for kids include:

All these activities are easy to organise, perfect for doing outdoors and you could set up a few different activity stations for children to move between.

10. Festival-themed wedding party ideas

If you’re considering a festival-themed wedding, there are so many ways that you can give your wedding party a gala feel. From onsite camping for guests to making your own decorations, here are our top tips for helping your special day go with a swing:

diy festival signpost

DIY signposts add a personal touch. Image credit: Blue Daisy Photography

11. It’s all in the details

From festival-style invitations and wristbands for guests to well-planned seating and shelter, the secret of a successful party is all in the details. A little planning can go a long way, and it will be well worth the effort. 

festival party bracelets

Image credit: @menopause_2017

So dig out your wellies, source those haybales and get planning a festival party to remember!


How to decorate your garden for a party?

If you’re planning to host a party in your garden, it’s worth giving it a quick spruce-up before the big day. Give fences and woodwork a fresh coat of paint, mow the grass, give the hedges a trim and pop some pretty flowering plants in pots

Hanging a variety of pretty outdoor lights is a quick, easy and super effective way to decorate your garden, and for a festival-themed party, don’t forget the bunting, garlands and balloons.

How can I make my garden look like a festival?

When it comes to decorating your garden, festival-style, pretty much anything goes! Provide shelter in the form of tents and teepees, create a rustic pallet bar, fashion sofas from hay bales and add masses of lighting in the way of candles, solar lanterns and festoon lights.

Flags always feature heavily at festivals so hang metres of bunting, construct some pendant banners and make your own festival flags.

how can I make my garden look like a festival

Image credit: @misscopey1

How do you throw a small festival?

Planning is key! Think of a theme, decide how many guests you’ll invite and take it from there. You might choose to invite a local band or have friends who can provide the music, or go for a food or creative festival instead.

You’ll need to make sure you’ve got plenty of room for everyone to enjoy the entertainment and to eat, drink and dance.

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