Top 10 UK-wide music festivals
The summer season is almost upon us and if you didn’t manage to bag a coveted Glastonbury ticket, fear not, book your tickets now for the hottest UK festivals
All Points East
Revellers will be converging on Victoria Park for yet another summer series of All Points East, with a fantastic line-up that will be enticing music fans from across the country to the capital. Each day offers up something different, with the first day of the festival seeing the likes of The Chemical Brothers, Hot Chip and Primal Scream take to the stage, and the final day of the festivities will be delighting fans with the soft indie folk of Bon Iver and First Aid Kit. As well as the world-class line-up, there will be an extensive programme of activities including cinema, music, arts and street food.
24 May – 2 June
Family friendly Wildnerness is a dreamy boutique festival set in sun-dappled fields just north of Oxford and is every inch utterly Instagram-able. Set to play this year are Bombay Bicycle Club, Robyn, Groove Armada and collaborative artist, George Fitzgerald. It’s not just music though, and visitors can make the most of the boho arts and crafts scene available. Catch a performance at one of the onsite theatres, take a natural dip in the lake and visit the waterside spa, soak up lectures from inspiring guest speakers or pay a visit to the Petersham Nurseries tent which will be transformed for a decadent banquet set in a fabulous floral marquee.
A two-day festival dedicated to celebrating all things surf, with a line-up transcending various musical genres including hip hop, drum and bass, and indie rock. The magical setting at Boardmasters overlooks the cliffs of Watergate Bay in dreamy Cornwall, so those who are serious about catching a wave can head down to the beach for some serious. For the rest of the festival-goers who are more focused on enjoying the entertainment, there is plenty else to do from wellbeing tents where you can keep your zen with a yoga session, plus SUP coaching, kayaking and coasteering. This year’s line-up includes Wu-Tang Clan, The Wombats, DJ EZ, Razorlight and Bear’s Den.
New to the North London scene, Field Day was last year based south of the river at Brixton’s Brockwell Park and before that, east London. The move marks a brand new chapter as the festival takes to its new home in Meridian Water. There will be an epic 10 acres of outdoor space for warehouses and tents to host some huge names from the music world. On this year’s bill is Skepta, songstress Jorja Smith, Diplo and dj Bonobo. Field Day also brings together the cream of London’s street food scene, with over 60 unique stalls selling a great range of foodie fare.
Cunningly set out like a spiralling city and divided into districts, Boomtown returns year in year out with an explosion of colourful carnival atmosphere. The city thrives on music, theatre, escapism and creativity with everything from mind-blowing immersive theatre events to narrow winding cobbled back streets. Across the 11 districts, revellers can expect to stumble upon forest parties, colourful barrios, a wild wild west-style pop up of smoke-filled alleyways and bars. This year’s line-up features Prophets of Rage, Slaves, Bedouin Soundclash among plenty of other names.
Somerset House Summer Series
Spanning across 11 long summer nights in the capital, the iconic Somerset House venue will be opening its doors for open-air gigs making the very most of the season. This year’s programme includes an extensive range of musicians including Jacob Banks, whose swooping soulful vocals will fill the venue, as well as alternative R&B artist, Nao, plus the unmistakable sultry sound of The Internet.
British Summer Time
What better venue to celebrate the summer season than the inner-city expanse of Hyde Park in the heart of the capital. As part of the series of open-air concerts, this year’s British Summer Time programme includes the band that encapsulates the summer season, Florence and the Machine, the Black Eyed Peas, showman Robbie Williams and Celine Dion. To provide sustenance throughout the day, there will be a broad range of foodie options for visitors to try out while kicking back on the grass, soaking up the sun and enjoying the music.
Set in the idyllic Norfolk countryside, the relatively new Houghton Festival is a celebration of all things arts and music. With just two festivals under its belt, Houghton has done well to create such a lasting impression, but it’s fully deserving of its solid reputation. The brainchild of British electronic music veteran, Craig Richards, the festival has managed to produce a fabulous line-up and atmosphere with no hitches, and this year’s event looks to be no different, with a line-up yet to be announced but a stunning countryside backdrop with forest, lakes and stunning light sets, it’s sure to be another stellar year.
Green Man Festival
An intimate countryside festival in the shadow of the sweeping Black Mountains, Green Man’s dramatic setting adds to the magic of the experience. The festival is packed with entertainment and performers that go on well into the early hours, from poetry recitals to theatre to science talks and arts and crafts hubs. This year’s line-up includes dj Four Tet, indie sensation Father John Misty, Mali-based musicians Amadou and Mariam, and Texan guitar trio, Khruangbin.
Lost Village Festival
An enchanting four-day music festival in the heart of a magical woodland, Lost Village offers a world of music with this year’s bill including Maribou State, dj Bicep, plus George Fitzgerald among many others. The festival is noted for its exceptional lakeside foodie scene, with world-renowned restaurants and an array of global flavours adding to the Lost Village experience.