Festival season is very nearly upon us, which means it’s time to blow away the dust from your wellies, wipe away the mud from your tent and meticulously plan which festivals you want to go to (and can afford).
While America’s festivals may well attract the most punters and take the prize for flamboyancy and extravagance, the UK is arguably home to the most diverse and eclectic music festivals anywhere in the world.
It’s not uncommon for a reveller at a festival on home soil to go from taking a breather in a hammock to being accosted by a robot on wheels to raving in front of a giant fire-breathing spider within a matter of minutes, and that variety is why they are regarded as some of the best on the planet.
Needless to say, it’s also far more enjoyable pitching a tent in the rain than in blazing sunshine, isn’t it?
So without further ado, let’s get stuck in to ten of the best festivals the UK has to offer this summer:
Where: Glastonbury, Somerset
When: June 24 – 28
How much: £205
Glastonbury is the world’s most iconic festival. Few festivals on the planet, if any, generate as much attention as this legendary event. And rightly so; it’s the highlight of the year for music fans and festival-goers all over the world. Away from the main stages, the festival’s dance fields provide loves of electronic music with acres of hedonistic heaven; the world’s best DJs playing in the most imaginative and intriguing stages you’re ever likely to see.
Where: Isle of Wight
When: September 10 – 13
How much: £195
Rob da Bank’s end-of-summer blowout on the Isle of Wight has become one of the UK’s favourite festivals in recent years. It’s a little trickier to get to than some others with the added necessity of a ferry ride, but those who have been will tell you that the carnival atmosphere combined with the diverse line up makes it a pilgrimage well worthwhile. This year’s ‘Summer of Love’ themed party features The Chemical Brothers, Underworld, Skrillex, Shy FX, Benga, Hospital Records and a whole load more!
Where: Alresford, Hampshire
When: August 13 -16
How much: £155
Boomtown is, without question, the craziest, most surreal festival in the UK. Its creativity and imagination makes it a spectre to behold; you will see things you’re unlikely to see at any other festival as each new chapter of the messy story unfolds before your very own startled eyes. Lunacy and bedlam aside, this year’s bonanza features a very strong line up, with the likes of Noisia, Spor and Dillinja embarking on Hampshire’s beautiful Matterley Estate.
Where: Clapham Common, London
When: August 29-30
How much: £115
Longstanding London double-dayer, SW4 takes place in Clapham Common and guarantees some of the biggest names imaginable covering all shapes and sizes of electronic music. This year is no exception as the likes of Faithless, Skrillex, Andy C, Wilkinson, Fatboy Slim, Ben Pearce and loads more are set to appear over the bank holiday weekend.
Where: Shepton Mallet, Somerset
When: July 10 – 12
How much: £103
Gnarly, gritty and raw, NASS is an uncompromising event set in Shepton Mallet that showcases the best extreme sports stars backed up by a weighty soundtrack. This festival’s stature has been improving year after year, and this year’s event features its most impressive billing yet; Rebel Sound are backed up by a huge line up featuring the likes of Enter Shakiri, Hannah Wants, Sigma, High Contrast, DJ EZ, DJ Hazard, Low Steppa, Mike Skinner and tonnes more.
Love Saves The Day
When: May 23 -24
How much: £39.50 (per day)
Bristol is a city with plenty of musical heritage, so it seems fitting that a festival with such clout sits in the heart of it. Now in its fourth year and gathering momentum each time, this year’s weekender is headed up by special guests Roni Size and Groove Armada with an array of talent covering all genres also on the bill.
Where: Secret Location
When: August 27 – 30
How much: £109
Described by some as Boomtown’s little sister, Shambala provides an equally eclectic and impressive spectacle on a slightly smaller scale. It’s a favourite among many thanks to its non-commecial, intimate feel and independent vibes. Last year’s varied line up featured Andy C, DJ Marky, B Traits and My Nu Leng. This year’s promises to be just as big.
Where: Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
When: May 30
How much: £42.50
In 2014, Nottingham-based Detonate moved their legendary annual indoor festival series to the outdoors for the first time ever and it was a huge success, with the likes of Andy C, Friction and Noisia smashing the city’s racecourse. This year, the one-day festival is staying outdoors and the line up is equally as impressive – hip-hop legend Nas is going to perform his legendary Illmatic album while elsewhere you’ll find the likes of Sub Focus, Wilkinson live, David Rodigan and Skepta.
Where: Daresbury, Cheshire
When: August 28 – 30
How much: £175
Creamfields is the largest and perhaps most renowned electronic music event in the UK’s festival calendar. The biggest names from house, trance and drum & bass come together to form what is always a ridiculously meaty line up, and this year is no different; The Chemical Brothers, Knife Party and Armin Van Buuren feature among those gracing Cheshire with their presence.
We Are FSTVL
Where: Upminster, London
When: May 30 – 31
How much: £57.50 (per day)
This London bonanza is still relatively new compared to some of its rivals, yet the line ups it has delivered so far have been nothing short of exceptional. Thankfully, the team behind this year’s weekender has delivered once again this year, as the likes of Carl Cox, Hannah Wants and Camo & Krooked prepare to embark on the capital.
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