The Festivals To Book Now So You've Got Something To Look Forward To
The Debrief: Roll on summer
The Instagram Friendly One
Now in its fifth year, Wilderness Festival is the unashamedly middle class festival that celebrates all things food, music, academia and wellbeing, all under one beautifully designed metaphorical roof. Set in idyllic Oxfordshire, there’s everything to do from lake swimming, yoga, attending talks by authors, activists and experts, attending celebrity-chef cooked banquets, horse riding, watching live music and talking part in ‘philosophy walks’.
Line up so far includes Bjork, Ben Howard and the truly excellent Ibibio Sound Machine, with food from Angela Hartnett and theatre from the Oxford Shakespeare Company. It’s not exactly cheap, but it’s pretty damn fancy and will (hopefully) be free of the trilby wearing teenagers found at other festivals.
See also: Somersault Festival. Little sister to Wilderness, this North Devon one is cheaper and involves circus and dance classes.
The Overseas Dance Party
Because, fuck listening to guitar bands in a muddy field. Calvi On The Rocks is the dance festival that’s populated by beautiful people and is set on the most idyllic beach Corsica has on offer. Line up this year so far includes Caribou, De La Soul, LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip, Phoenix, Metronomy… I mean, it’s great music on beaches with crystal clear waters. Bit of a no-brainer, really.
See also: Check out Outlook Festival, the ‘underground’ dance music festival in Croatia that’s set in an abandoned fort. It also has boat parties. Line up so far includes Jurassic 5, Kate Tempest, Toddla T, Artful Dodger(!), Madlib and Wiley. Tickets from £140 but it’s worth looking at the flight packages they offer, too.
The City Slicker One
If trekking through muddy fields or spending hours on buses isn’t your thing, city festivals are probably your best shout. This year sees Lollapalooza the festival that already takes place in Chicago, Chile, Brazil and Argentina expand to Europe for the first time. It’s taking place in abandoned airport Templehof in the south of Berlin and the poptastic line-up includes The Libertines, Bastille, Tame Impala, Chvrches and Wolf Alice. Even better, you can stay in an AirBnB; no camping required. And it’s dead cheap.
See also: Long-running Parisian festival Rock En Seine, located in the city’s north east. Acts so far include Alt-J, The Livertines, Jungle, Interpol and (omg) The Offspring.
The One To Find New Music At
Smaller festivals are great to see bands people haven’t heard of yet plus, they come with the added bonus that if they do get really big you can be that guy who’s like, ‘I saw them at the beginning MAN’. Dot To Dot festival in Bristol, Nottingham and Manchester has a nice mix of big hitters: Rae Morris, Best Coast, Fat White Family, but is great for championing new acts as well. Check out Australia’s all-girl Little May and Leeds’ Menace Beach.
See also: Blissfields in Winchester which is showcasing the excellent Ibibio Sound Machine and Ekkah.
The Right Old Country Knees-Up
If you’re going to get muddy, at least do it in style. End Of The Road is playing host to The War on Drugs, Tame Impala, Future Islands and The Fat White Family, right in the middle of Dorset.
See Also: Barn On The Farm, headlined by James Bay (who isn’t going to have time to BREATHE this summer by the looks of it), this tiny festival in Gloucestershire also features the lilting tones of Jack Garratt, Rhodes and Foy Vance.
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