With the summer festival upon us, it’s time to pack the tent, put on your denim shorts and wellies and MAKE SOME NOOOOISE! Check out this year’s top 10 music festivals in Britain – home of the summer music festival.
When: 22nd-26th June, every other year - the next festival will be in 2013
Where: Glastonbury (where else!), Somerset
Why: Glastonbury is the Mac Daddy of music festivals, the Big Cheese, Il Supremo, the Head Honcho… (sorry, we’ll stop now), but Glastonbury really is the big one. As well as an unbeatable line-up of acts including U2, Coldplay, Beyoncé, Paul Simon and Tinnie Tempah there’s thousands of performances at over 50 venues, including music, cabaret, theatre, circus, a fantastic kids’ area, poetry, green crafts and lots more.
T in the Park
When: 8th-10th July
Where: Near Kinross, Scotland
Why: In true Scottish style, this is the summer festival that shows the rest of Britain how to have a good time – the nosiest, craziest, jumping-around-on-shoulders-wildest festival in the country. Now in its 17th year, T in the Park is Scotland’s major summer music festival. As well as the music from the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay, Beyoncé, Tom Jones and Foo Fighters, there’s a fantastic fairground, delicious organic food and drink and numerous stalls and bars.
O2 Wireless Festival
When: 1st-3rd July
Where: Hyde Park, London
Why: Now in its 7th year, the O2 Wireless Festival is the coolest music festivals in London. This 3-day festival in the heart of London, set in the stunning surroundings of Hyde Park, plays host to some of the best bands, artists and DJs around. Headliners this year include Black Eyed Peas, Chemical Brothers, Pulp, Bruno Mars and David Guetta. Although it’s not a camping festival, Wireless hosts an array of festival activity including a massive beer garden, food stalls, chill out areas and interactive games.
When: 8th-10th July
Where: Pwllheli, Gwynedd, North Wales
Why: Relentless Wakestock adds a completely new dimension to the rolling-around-in-mud-listening-to-bands formula we know and love. Wakestock adds wakeboarding into the mix to bring you a weekend of high-octane music and excitement. What started as a party in a car park after a wakeboard contest, has grown into one of the coolest music festivals in Europe playing host of top music acts such as Kelis, Example, Chase & Status and Ellie Goulding, along with the biggest wakeboard competition in Europe.
The Eden Sessions
When: July-August (various dates)
Where: St Austell, Cornwall
Why: Set inside the Eden Project, the world’s largest glass-domed ‘global garden’, Eden Sessions offer a festival experience like no other. You’ll get world class artists, which this year include Primal Scream, Pendulum and The Flaming Lips in a venue dubbed the 8th Wonder of the World. Britpop legend, Jarvis Cocker, described Eden Sessions as “no mud, no pushy sponsors, no dodgy burgers, just lots of greenery”.
The Big Chill
When: 4th-7th August
Where: Eastnor Deer Park, Herefordshire
Why: The Big Chill started life 16 years ago as a series of parties in London. Today it’s become one of the country’s most impressive summer festivals set in the sweeping backdrop of the Malvern Hills. Known for its striking visual displays and New Age character boasting on-site masseurs, alternative therapists and healers (which you’ll probably need by the end of the festival), The Big Chill is an extraordinary place to both listen to top artists such as Kayne West and Chemical Brothers, and (as the name suggests) ‘to chill’.
When: 20th-21st August
Where: Chelmsford and Staffordshire
Why: The V festival attracts the big name acts from around the world such as Eminem, Rihanna and Bruno Mars, as well as acts that don’t usually do the summer festival circuit. The event happens across 2 jaw-dropping historic venues; Weston Park with its stunning 17th-century stately home and a 1000-acre parkland, and Hylands Park which boasts a neo-classical Grade 2* listed house set in 570 acres of parkland including ancient woods, pleasure gardens and a serpentine lake. How’s that for music meets heritage?!
Leeds and Reading Festival
When: 26th-28th August
Where: Leeds, West Yorkshire / Reading, Berkshire
Why: Leeds and Reading Festival is Britain’s leading rock, alternative and indie festival and believe it or not, one of the oldest music festivals in the world with a head-banging history going right back to 1961. Held simultaneously across 2 locations, the outstanding line-up dash frantically between venues so you get the same top-notch artists such as My Chemical Romance, The Streets and Madness, no matter which of the 2 festivals you rock up to.
When: 26th-28th August
Where: Darebury, (near Liverpool)
Why: Creamfields has received endless accolades for getting the fields around Liverpool stomping to the beats of electro, house, garage, acid, minimal and every of type of dance music you can imagine. Stomp around this summer festival to the likes of David Guetta, Mark Ronson, Paul van Dyk and Katy B in the massive outdoor stage area or one of the DJ-only areas. Creamfields has also had massive international success having staged the events in no less than 15 countries – although it’s home will always be our Liverpool!
When: 8th-11th September
Where: Newport, Isle of Wight
Why: Bestival is more than just a festival, it’s a philosophy. And there’s no better way to see out the summer festival season than this award-winning 4-day boutique music festival set in a leafy country park in the heart of the Isle of Wight. The creative vision behind Bestival brings you not only eclectic, world-class music from the likes of The Cure, Groove Armada and PJ Harvey, but also unusual experiences such as the Bollywood Cocktail Bar, healing and fancy dress en mass. It’s this uniqueness that makes Bestival a wondrous world of discovery and a damn good end to summer!
IMAGE: Glastonbury frontpage image via Tom Bamber