While it's hard to beat simple pleasures like a barbecue and a beverage, the British summer can be short, and this means we have a duty to enjoy it to the fullest. So, here's a list of five open air events that will allow you to face autumn with the happy knowledge that you got the most out of the warmer months. Whether it's enjoying live music and art, watching a play or film, or treating yourself at a food festival, have a summer to remember.


Like Reading & Leeds, V-Festival takes place simultaneously in two different locations, Hylands Park near Chelmsford and Weston Park in Weston-under-Lizard (close to Birmingham), with world-famous acts playing both festivals over the course of the weekend. Headlined by Beyoncé and Kings of Leon, the line-up of pop and indie stars across four stages also includes Calvin Harris, Basement Jaxx, Labrinth and Beady Eye. Although British festivals are renowned for regular wash-outs, and punters may have to pull out the wellies, a day of watching bands in good weather can leave you with sunburn and heatstroke- so remember to lather on the sun cream and stick to weaker drinks like Radler, Foster’s new lemon lager, or alcoholic ginger beer when the sun's out.

Proms in the Park

After the raucousness of V-Festival, you might be in need of something a bit more highbrow. In the first week of September, catch the last gasp of the British summer by heading to London's Hyde Park to listen to some of the best classical and contemporary music around. Hosted by the nation's favourite wry Eurovision commentator Sir Terry Wogan, this evening promises to be a real treat.

Open-air Theatre

After the music, time for some storytelling. Brownsea Open Air Theatre is one of the oldest in the country, with almost 50 years of putting on summer plays. Tucked away in Dorset, you can soak up some Shakespeare in the sunshine at this historic venue. If the Bard isn't your thing then one alternative is the Minack Theatre in Cornwall. Set against a stunning seaside backdrop, enjoy an evening's entertainment in a beautiful setting, including a revival of Timberlake Wertenbaker's Our Country's Good and musical Into The Woods.

Outdoor Cinema

If you prefer your drama projected onto a massive screen, then you can enjoy the full cinema experience without being cooped up indoors courtesy of Summer Screen. With showings at outdoor events all over the UK, there are films at a variety of gorgeous venues in Oxfordshire and beyond, including Hollywood blockbusters The Italian Job, The Goonies and Cinema Paradiso.

Chili Fest UK

And now for something completely different. Whether you're a chili expert or a spice novice, come down to Chili Fest and challenge your taste buds with delicious concoctions made by chili experts from across the globe. Set in a variety of open air venues and parks this summer, keep an eye out for a Chili Fest near you. Enjoy responsibly!