We brits love nothing more than getting right dirty in a field, oo-er. i am of course talking about visiting festivals all over the shop, like a musically spiritual pilgrim to listen to bands play music to folk covered in 3 day old sweat. Mmmm.
10th – 13th September – Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight – 195 Squidsies
Bestival has long been sat at the tippest top where ‘boutique’ festivals are concerned, with its quirks and kooks, it always manages to bring many revellers to the Isle’s shores.
Established back in 2004 by husband and wife duo Rob & Josie Da Bank, it’s since soared to acclaim and won all kinds of shiny awards. The line-up is always applause worthy, and this year is no exception with the Chemical Brothers, Tame Impala, Future Islands, Duran Duran and Jungle shuffling overseas for the weekend. This all means one thing, you better make like a tree and leaf boring life at home behind to come join the party.
bestival.net – @Bestival
28th – 30th August Bramham Park, Wetherby – 205 Squidsies
You know this, it’d be silly for me to assume you didn’t. Leeds & Reading are pioneers in music festivals, having brought full on line-ups to the masses since 1999. Nowadays it sees seas of youths embark on a pilgrimage to the holy grail of freedom, escaping their parents’ houses to get adorned in Day-Glo paint and flower crowns. The hype is always unreal and the atmosphere hits you big time, and with good reason, this year’s line-up features Mumford & Sons, Metallica and The Libertines as headliners, with appearances from Panic! At the Disco, Peace and Years & Years.
leedsfestival.com – @OfficialRandL
12th – 14th June – Donington Park, Derby – 225 Squidsies
The rockiest festival
ever to occur ever. Okay, slight exaggeration, but you guys know what Download is all about. Other festivals will try to compete with the line-up combinations of old and new bands to appeal to rockers of all ages, rock legends Kiss will be heading up this year to shake it up, accompanied by Slipknot and Muse to headline over the weekend. Joined by newer bands lucky enough to share the stage with their idols, all in all an energetic feat more than worth your time. If you want away from twee and cutesy, this is your place.
downloadfestival.co.uk – @DownloadFest
20th – 23th August – Brecon Beacons, Wales – 165 Squidsies
A festival close to all of our hearts here at Toast HQ, a festival which is so serene and so peaceful it’s almost a different world. Its idyllic location takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the cities and transports you to a much greener place, mix that with some good people and some good music and it makes for perfect vibes all weekend long. There’s as much to see and do as there is music to listen to and the soundtrack to this year will feature Father John Misty, St Vincent, and Goat – go chill out with them.
greenman.net – @GreenManFest
13th – 16h August – Matterley Estate, Hampshire – 155 Squidsies
We use the term ‘something for everyone’ a lot, but here it really reigns true, probably the only festival out there with acts spanning over 22 main stages in only three days, Boomtown has something for each and every attending individual. Go lose your mind with Gogol Bordello in the Town Centre, chill with Stephen Marley in the Lion’s Den, shimmy with Songhoy Blues at the Old Mines or freak out with Astrix in the Psychedelic Forest – whatever you decide to do, make sure you take in your surroundings at the same time, it’s basically a multicultural festival of party heaven. Phew.
boomtownfair.co.uk – @BoomTownFair
End of the Road
4th – 6th September – Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset – 195 Squidsies
My first reaction to this one were: ‘wow, good line up this year, nice one’ – it’s a true musical venture if ever there was one. Admittedly, their title does sound a little sinister, but we can make you a promise that it is in fact a little more jovial and Roadies (?) can enjoy a full weekend of entertainment, combining music, films, literature, comedy and healing. Music-wise, they got The War on Drugs, Django Django, H.Hawkline and Girlpool are just some of the names there to sing you sweetly while you enjoy your serene surroundings in your nestled away little camp.
endoftheroadfestival.com – @EOTR
30th July- 2nd August – Lowther Deer Park, Lake District – Sold Out. there there.
Now, this is a grand festival anyway, throw a 10th birthday in there and it’s set to totally blow the summer away. It’s scooped up plenty of awards in its decade long existence, graduating from Best Small Festival in 2010 & 2011, to Best Medium Festival in 2013 – onwards and upwards, ey? With a proper little village atmosphere, they aim to make you feel at home as possible – like a concert in your living room. Just some of the acts playing in between your TV and potted plant this year are Kaiser Chiefs, The Vaccines, Elbow and Snoop Dogg.
kendalcalling.com – @KendalCalling
Live at Leeds
1st – 4th May – Leeds City Centre – 27 Squidsies & 50 Pences
200 artists, 20 venues, 1 wristband – says it all really, doesn’t it?
Last year it was awarded ‘Best Metropolitan Festival’ with more than enough reason, they’re pretty good at spotting future stars with some bloody good names having graced the stage in the past, this year is no exception as they have jetsetters in the form of Slaves, Sunset Sons, Dry the River, George the Poet and Lawson – all fresh-faced and eager to please any grumpy patron, proper shiny and happy. It’s a good bill for a good price, just don’t try camping, Leeds is scary at night.
liveatleeds.com – @liveatleedsfest
28th – 30th August – Daresbury, Cheshire – 220 Squidsies
First and foremost, Creamfields has been running for bloody ages, and they’ve come a long way in that time. The last 17 years has seen it get bigger and better each annum, attracting more and more revellers as it goes on. Anyone who has attended can tell you it’s one huge, weekend long party and if you can’t handle it then you better jump-ship before it even starts. Get on that cross-trainer ‘cause once you start dancing, you can’t even think about stopping, but with the likes of Avicii, Annie Mac, Knife Party and AN21 – why would you want to?
creamfields.com – @Creamfields
6th & 7th June – Heaton Park, Manchester – 89 Squidsies & 50 Pences
There are few festivals that manage to fit the line-up of a full-on 3 day extravaganza into just two days, it’s lucky that Parklife have access to a whopping great 600 acre park to be able to get on with being pioneers on that front.
In fact, the line-up this year is so huge that it’s been divided into Live and DJ just so you can decide which you fancy and follow that up. Announced so far (yes, the acts they have already are just the ones they have SO FAR) include James Bay, George Ezra, Rudimental, Caribou – just some of the cracking names they got rocking up.
parklife.uk.com – @Parklifefest
Secret Garden Party
23rd – 26th July – Mill Hill Field, Cambridgeshire – Sold Out. there there.
A magical fest if ever there was one, super full of quirks and niceness.
Revellers are heralded as ‘Gardeners’ for the weekend, and their off-spring are appropriately titled ‘Little Gardeners’ – so yes, to answer your question, it’s very child-friendly. So much so, in fact, that this year sees the theme of childishness come to play, they’re promising weary travellers a ‘100-acre toy box complete with jelly, ice cream and sprinkles’; no silly, they’re not your headliners – The Cat Empire, Caravan Palace, Temples and Roots Manuva are your headliners. Go release your inner child and hear some wonderful music simultaneously.
secretgardenparty.com – @SecretGardenHQ
24th – 26th July – ‘Ere & there, Sheffield – 30 Squidsies
Ahh, here we are again peeps. People have bitched their way through the last couple of years since Tramlines has been paid, but it’s with good reason that the organisers are making you lot stump up, the quality had absolutely soared in the last couple of years, so stop whining. This year sees the festival closing its doors after 6 years on Dev. Green as they shuffle across the city and set up camp at Ponderosa Park – all go for 2015. You haven’t heard the line up? Where you been living? This year says hello to Wu Tang Clan, the Charlatans and Basement Jaxx as headliners, yep, seriously.
tramlines.org.uk – @tramlines
17th – 19th July – The Ribble Valley, Lancashire – 147 Squidsies & 25 Pences
Another festival celebrating its 10th birthday, most 10th birthdays would be spent with cake and probably heading to a soft play area where you can kick the nerdy kid in and blame it on the ball-pit – kids are mean.
Beat-Herder is taking the more mature approach by having Basement Jaxx, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Plump DJ’s, and Catz n Dogz perform for the masses – the masses being you lot. You have to be pretty full on to receive the ‘Extra Festival Activity Award’ as they did last year, there’s something to keep you entertained around the clock.
beatherder.co.uk – @Beatherder
Mosborough Music Festival
6th June – Westfield Crescent, Mosborough – 20 Squidsies
We love the small and mighty festivals, they pack a right welly and cost a 10th of the price of your bigger ones, this one is no exception, you can hop on the bus and be home for warmed-up leftovers. Lovely. What we like even more is that all their ticket and bar prices have remained frozen, so you can get music and a pint for the same price you could back in the days of ’13. The day will be packed with odds and ends to keep you entertained, including performances from Doctor & the Medics, The SSS, The Selector, and The Sherlocks to brighten your spirits.
mosboroughmusicfestival.co.uk – @MmfestivalM
16th – 19th July – Henham Park, Suffolk – 200 Squidsies & 50 Pences
As massive for comedy as it is for music, Latitude might be pricey and a bit of a trek – but it’s absolutely worth it. A jaw-dropping line-up is leading to this being Latitude’s finest year yet, and they had some toughies to beat. With comedy from Jason Manford & Alan Davies, you can laugh while you watch the sunset or if you’re more a musical goer, you have Noel Gallagher’s HFBs, Seasick Steve, The Vaccines and about a million more to get your tastebuds flowing. Known for family festivities there’s all sorts of friendly bits (oo-er) you can be doing to while away the hours.
latitudefestival.com – @LatitudeFest
The Great Escape
14th – 16th May – All ‘Ore Brighton – 59 Squidsies & 50 Pences
It’s Brighton’s equivalent to Tramlines. Over the last year they’ve obviously had scouts out at every underground gig, venue and to-do as they’ve managed to yet again get a bill full of all those up and coming youngsters.
Coming to play you out are Ward Thomas, Turbowolf, The Bohicas, Blossoms and a whole host of others. Might be worth dropping it in that Brighton Dome shows are a bit more expensive, you can get top ups for your wrist bands to gain access – Kate Tempest is one you’ll have to shell out the extra £8 to see but Alabama Shakes is sold out. Soz.
greatescapefestival.com – @thegreatescape
Love Saves the Day
23rd & 24th May – Eastville Park, Bristol – Weekend tix sold out
Twelve hours for two days makes for an awful lot of music to be heard and memories to be made. After making it a weekend-long festivity last year and revelling in the success that brought, they’re doing it again with an all new location and tonnes of musicians in tow. For their fourth year, their new location will see hundreds of acts grace the stage over the two day course and being in May means their firmly rooted in the start of the summer season. Celebrate the best time of the year with Jessie Ware and Azealia Banks, well, not literally. Go see ‘em anyway.
lovesavestheday.org – @LSTDBristol
27th – 30th August – Secret Country Estate, Northamptonshire – 149 Squidsies
What better time to party than a bank holiday, right? Shamabala is known for its diversity and credible amount of shit that goes on – in a good way.
Over 200 musical acts, 2 live stages, cabaret, workshops, comedy, talks, circus’, theatres and poetry all wrapped up in its serene and hidden location. It’s absolutely perfect to take the kids to since you can’t leave ‘em at home, they have ideal accommodation to suit everyone. This year’s stages will be walked on by feet belonging to The Mouse Outfit, The Excitements, Babyhead and Kate Tempest – just to name a few.
shamabalafestival.org – @Shambalafest
2nd – 6th September – Camping Brioni, Croatia – 190 Squidsies
A new entry in our Festival Guide this time around. Europe’s largest Soundsystem Festival is returning for its eighth year. Renowned for its delicious line up of real bass music, the last seven events have seen thousands of satisfied travellers leave with a smile on their face. Who wouldn’t be smiling? They’ve set up camp right next to Adriatic Sea in Croatia. They always offer a huge range of underground dancefloor music for you to enjoy as the suns sets, and this year is proving no exception as the island will be rocked by Run the Jewels, Boy Better Know, David Rodigan and Wiley. Blimey.
outlookfestival.com – @OutlookFestival
6th – 9th August – Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire – 175 Squidsies & 94 Pences
Music, art, culture and leisure get squished in to a festival flavoured sandwich at this one. This is a festival for those of you who aren’t keen on slumming it. You know it’s fancy when they have five different types of campsites for you to plonk your rump, to accompany your posh glamping experience, they offer a wide range of foodie choices too, from communal munching, to long table banquets, to feasts, to eating with the chefs of the site – proper posh job. They have music too, obvs, this year they’re offering Björk, Ben Howard, George Clinton, Funkadelic & Parliament and Nick Mulvey to play you some tunes.
wildernessfestival.com – @WildernessHQ
23rd – 27th July – Castle Hill, North Devon – 125 Squidsies
Another newbie in amongst our festival guide. After its debut last year sold out and went down an absolute storm, it’s back for the follow up.
An event which is as much about health and wellbeing as it is the music, with an eclectic mix of field trips, trekking, mountain biking, horse riding, surfing, crafting and a whole host of other excursions; there’s never a dull moment over this weekend. There are also communal long table feasts, street theatre, circus acts, art and sports tournaments going off, all to a sweet soundtrack including Laura Marling, Imelda May, Jimmy Cliff and Bombay Bicycle Club.
somersaultfestival.com – @SomersaultHQ
Y Not Festival
31st July – 2nd August – Pikehall, Derbyshire – 99 Squidsies
A significant price difference between this’un and other festivals of the same standard, dependant on how hard you go, this might be cheaper than a Friday night filled with shame.
It’s always a cracker of a line up for about half of the price of its competitors, if you’re doing a festival swoop make sure you add this onto your agenda in order to see Snoop Dogg, Primal Scream, Rae Morris, Pulled Apart by Horses and Honeybood. If camping makes you wanna throw up a bit, check these guys for the ultimate glamping experience – they have tents with plug sockets and everything.
ynotfestivals.co.uk – @Y_Not_Festival
13th June – Mount Pleasant Park – Free. Woo.
Sharrow has been running for almost two decades and each time has been arranged by a right nice bunch of good eggs and have kept it running solely on donations – that’s some serious skill and commitment. As if that wasn’t enough, they get a full day of activity going too, lots to do with some good grub and decent music to accompany it. Peace in the Park will be making a cameo this year with the second of two ‘Little Peaces’ mini events. Go support your local community by paying them a visit and be a happy chappy by donating, yeh?
Sharrowfestival.btck.co.uk – facebook.com/sharrowfestival
Peace in the Park
13th June – TBC – TBC
You’re reading this right, this year sees the winds of change batter their way through the beloved festival, and it isn’t just a ripple of breeze – we’re talkin’ full on tornado. Their new vision for the festival is to make it more realistic and sustainable so they’re choosing to run it in a two-year cycle, this year will host the first ever ‘PITP By Night’ which is set to be paid entry as a sort of night time fundraiser, in order to get money for next year’s regular PIPT ‘By Day’. It’s all hush hush right now so stay tuned.
peaceinthepark.org.uk – @PeaceinthePark
24th – 28th June – Worthy Farm, Somerset – Sold Out. There There.
Ahh Glasto, what would summer be without it? Nowhere, that’s where. The weekend of the mighty festival is filled with sitting in front of your telly and watching it, all the while ignoring the blazing sunshine outside… Imagine if you could be there… Well, tough, you can’t, it’s sold out, obviously. Probably the only one out there that could sell out before any acts have even been announced, there’s so much going on it’s still good for the money and you know it’s gonna be awesome. Thus far Lionel Richie and the Foo Fighters have been announced to headline the infamous Pyramid Stage – not together, now that would be interesting.
glastonburyfestivals.co.uk – @GlastoFest
21st – 24th May – Catton Hall, Derbyshire – 87 Squidsies
It’s done pretty well at scooping up handfuls of awards in the last couple of years. If the rough and tumble of the… Younger (?) festivals scares you then this is the place for you.
You can relax with people who are 100% there for the music and a good pint of proper ale, you won’t be woken in the night by anything scarier than a slightly drunken Yorkshire man tumbling into your tent. Acclaimed as being the first family festival, it holds these values true, providing plenty for the little ones to stay amused. With the likes of Alabama 3 and James playing, it’s a good’en.
beardedtheory.co.uk – @beardedtheory
30th July – 2nd August – Lulworth Castle, Dorset – 195 Squidsies
When I mentioned Camp Bestival, the first thing our boss man said was; ‘yeah it’s cracking, great for the kids’ – I shouldn’t need to say more than that, but I will ‘cause I have a word count. The clever minds behind Bestival are responsible for this one, it isn’t quite as far away and it’s super family orientated, kiddies everywhere doesn’t mean it’s a shit festival cause they always have a mind blowing line up ready to meet the grown-ups, this year they’ve rallied Professor Green, Clean Bandit, Ella Eyre and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown to babysit the adults.
campbestival.net – @CampBestival
5th – 7th June – Umberslade Estate, Warwickshire – 89 Squidsies
Having a peruse through their website, I couldn’t shake the feeling of how much my dad would love it, it’s right up his street. By day, the festival is awash with workshops, sessions, activities and all general niceties to keep you busy until the night, which is when the music comes out. Where else to enjoy the likes of The Bootleg Beatles, Wilko Johnson, Sylvan Esso and Public Service Broadcasting than the stunning landscape of the midlands – there’s something I never thought I’d say. Get your glamp and grub on simultaneously as you can enjoy the wide range of residencies they have to offer and the super selection of foodie wonders.
lunarfestival.co.uk – @lunar_festival
24th – 26th July – Bromyard, Herefordshire – 105 Squidsies
Founded by a fun family surrounded by creative and talented people who had a few tall tales to tell, Nozstock has since been nominated for a ridiculous amount of awards for its quirks that make it so special. Like a good festival should, each year they have a theme and this year has set and it goes under ‘Nozstockers Guide to the Galaxy’ which is as it sounds, a mass Sci-Fi extravaganza. Let’s hope Beardyman, Wu Tang Clan, Ed Rush & Optical, Velocity Raptor and Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer can get in on the action with their fellow performers and sport a third eye or something like that.
nozstock.com – @Nozstock
23rd – 26th July – Charlton Park, Malmesbury – 165 Squidsies
Being ‘the world’s festival’ they have to make sure they keep up appearances by being as diverse and multicultural as possible and once again, they don’t disappoint. Being family friendly and having something for everyone would be difficult if they weren’t so bloody clever at combining things, with that in mind, they have all sorts of odds and ends to put a smile on even the grumpiest festival face. Another one adorning a theme for the year, this time in the form of ‘Myths, Legends and Folktales’ – just make sure you remove those false Elfin ears to be able to hear music from Bellowhead, Tinariwen and De La Soul.
womad.co.uk – @WOMADCHARLTONPK
21st – 24th May – Piercefield Park, Chepstow – 122 Squidsies & 5o pences
An idyllic setting down near Way-uls is the perfect place for a festival under this title, it’s a chance for you to escape your grumpy grown up life and step out for a breath of fresh air. They’re all round good eggs and support as many causes as they can, having different traders in to sell their wares for a good cause is just the start. Plus if your canine compadre is well behaved, they can come hear Sam and the Womp, Laid Blak, Laughing Buddha and GMS too, so you don’t have to leave them all puppy eyed and waving at the window.
sunrisecelebration.com – @sunrisefestival
29th – 31st May – Cheltenham Racecourse – 129 Squidsies
Oh Wychwood, you’re so lovely. Voted the ‘Best Family Festival’ every year without competition for the last few years, but you already knew that. With enough music to keep the parents entertained, kids can bask in some peace and quiet while enjoying the wonders of Dick & Dom and the Kids Literature Festival amongst about a million other activities before going to collect the adults for another evening of arguments about bedtime. Wait what? The grown-ups can head on off to enjoy music from UB40, Craig Charles, The Proclaimers and Lucy Rose in the midst of a huge line up.
wychwoodfestival.com – @WychwoodFest
Stop Making Sense
16th – 19th July – Tisno, Croatia – 80 Squidsies
Another one in an exotic location where it’s more boat parties and picturesque sunsets than mudded up wellies and ripped cag-in-a-bags. Sunbathing whilst listening to music is for you if the idea of getting muddy and sweaty with no shower to wash down in makes you gip – wimps. Enjoy boat parties out at sea in the day and non-stop music by night, plenty of fancy food and drink on offer for y’all too. They have a range of accommodation including hotels, wooden yachts (for real) and apartments for you to retreat to after a full night of grooving to Sub Club, Warm and Corsica Studios.
stopmakingsense.eu – @Stopmak1ngsense