How To Turn Your Back Garden Into a Festival

Ben Conroy6 min readOutdoor Activities

2020 was a very strange year indeed. Staying indoors took some getting used to, and it was difficult to keep up with all the lockdown and social-distancing rules from time to time. It’s certainly one we won’t forget, which is rather ironic considering there wasn't much going on throughout it. Sporting events were postponed to take place with no crowds, theatre shows and music concerts were put on hold and all British festivals were cancelled.

To keep everyone as safe as possible again this year, some festivals have been cancelled well in advance. For those of you who have already booked tickets, and we don't blame you due to them usually selling like hotcakes, many festivals are offering refunds on tickets, or validating them for next year instead. 

Here at Millets, we want to make sure you still get the best spring and summer possible! That’s why we’ve made this guide on how to turn your back garden into your very own socially-distanced festival!

Garden Festival

Setting Up Your Festival

You don’t have to go any further than your home to create a truly awe-inspiring party atmosphere. It’s all in the set up.


If you really want to go for the full festival vibe, pick up some Lanyards and make some custom programmes for the whole family to enjoy; you could even give your festival a name. There's free apps available for your smart phone, filled with thousands of unique and colourful invitations that are sure to impress. Spend a few minutes adding all the information you need and then give one to everyone in the house. It may not be the busiest festival but that doesn't mean it can't be as fun.

Decorations & Lighting

Set up your house and garden to compliment the activities you have planned for the day. Try to create mason jars filled with fairly lights or colourful chick peas. Hang some funky bunting around the place, it’s super easy to make and looks great! Or why not go in full festival force and put some flags up. You can easily purchase your own 2m coloured flags and make them your own! We have lots of lighting options available online: click here.

Festival Flags


Enjoy the best seat in the house at your very own festival by setting up camping chairs and loungers however you wish. These types of chairs are often inexpensive and easy to move around. Popular with festival goers, make sure you have a comfortable seat to enjoy the fun.

Play That Funky Music

Festivals are all about the music, so try and make it the focus your party. If you have friends or family who are members of a band or play any instruments, get them involved to play a mini gig at the party. Even better if there’s a few, you can get your very own line-up going!

If you want to take a more relaxed approach and just want to stick to listening to some of your favourite pop tunes, why not create a collaborative playlist? Ask your festival goers who their favourite music artists are or for some of their favourite songs and put them in a playlist. Another cool feature most music streaming apps now allow is ‘Group sessions’ which allows you and all your friends to connect to the same listening party to queue and listen to songs together!

Dress for The Occasion

Outfits are arguable the most iconic aspect of any festival. Bright colours, funky vibes and fresh styles are all apart of the experience. Pick up some outfits for the family, and make sure they're ‘Festival Chic’. From Hawaiian shirts, reflective jackets all the way to colourful ponchos (in case the weather takes a turn), they’re all staple pieces of the festival look. You could even bring wellies. Regardless of the weather, they’re an essential piece of festival fashion.

Festival Outfits

If you wanted to up the fun factor, why not host a best-dressed competition with a prize for the winner. Not only will everyone bring their A game, but it adds more fun for later on!

It’s All Fun & Games

As the musics pumping, you’re going to want to have some fun games and activities set up around the place for everyone to enjoy. Here are just a few suggestions:

Flower Crown Making

The perfect addition to finish off your festival outfit. Flower crown making is fun for everyone, young and old. You could make yourself a beautiful crown of daisy’s or you could link flowers together to make some stunning decorations.

Face Painting

And iconic piece of any summer party. Kids love getting their face painted, and we all love to see it. After all, it’s not a proper summer party until all the little one’s have their face painted! There’s plenty of guides online on how to do a good job if you want to do it yourself, or ask if any of your atendees want to get involved. Alternatively, you could go more down the traditional festival route and do glitter face painting.

Please remember that social distancing measures must still be followed to keep everyone safe, so please try and only help out with a member of your household or maintain social distancing whilst painting.

Face Painting

On top of these, who can forget the key piece to all the fun at festivals... GLOWSTICKS!

Fine Dining

Festivals are famous for their food, the mouth-watering smell of outdoor cooking is a vital part of the festival experience, so make it a vital part of your festival! Try making some colourful food displays that’ll catch everyone's attention. Simple foods with an unusual twist is often a good rule.

Party Food

Alternatively, festivals are well known for their wide selection of fast food options. Burger vans, chippy stalls, pasta shacks, they have it all. If you want to treat yourself and the rest of your festival attendees, you could order a big takeaway for everyone to enjoy.

Find That Festival Feel

The great thing about all this is it’s something different. Everyone throws barbecue’s in summer with friends, having a good laugh, but this time, try and make it different from just a regular get together, have little events planned for certain times, games and activities dotted around the place, get your atendees involved rather than just the kids.

When you go to a festival, usually, you’d camp, so why don’t you? Pick up some pop-up tents from our festival store and let the kids have their first festival camping experience all from the comfort of their back garden. Set up a campfire (or even a bonfire if you want to go big) and roast marshmallows over it. Build a blanket fort and tell spooky stories before bed. Give the kids’ the ultimate festival experience.

That’s our guide on how to turn your back garden into your very own festival. We’d love to see some of your own festivals, so reach out to us on Twitter and Facebook and show us your set up! Make sure you stay tuned to Millets’ summer as we’ve got plenty more fun ideas in the pipeline!

We’re aware of the growing situation with COVID-19 and so that’s why we’re here to offer alternatives to your usual summertime plans. Don’t let this virus ruin your whole summer, stick with Millets for plenty of ideas on how you can enjoy the outdoors from home. Stay safe.

Author avatar
Ben is passionate about the beauty of the outdoors. Stargazing, sightseeing and outdoor photography hold a special place in his heart. Now that beauty is at risk he’s keen to take a stand to try and fight back against this Climate Crisis. In his free time, Ben is a music fanatic. If there’s one place you can find him, it’s at a festival. Plus, he plays guitar, bass and piano, as well as producing his own electronic & UK Garage tracks. He’s also a regular at every Wetherspoons in his local area, so if you ever see him around, pull up for a pint?