British festival guide 2015
Dust off your wellies, festival season is almost upon us! As music and party fans alike prepare for weekends of non-stop madness, pricey beers and glorious sunshine (fingers-crossed), we have put together a handy guide to showcase the best of what Britain has to offer. Whether you adore the huge crowds and constant buzz of Glasto or if you’re after a low-key, family-friendly vibe, we have compiled two separate lists counting down the best of the big and the smaller festies!
Best big festivals
5. Download, June 12th–14th, Donnington Park, Derby
Download Festival has earned a reputation as being one of the best metal festivals in the world and with the likes of Slipknot, Mötley Crüe and Marilyn Manson on this year’s bill, this status shows no signs of decline. Sure, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but as far as music festivals go, Download has some of the most loyal fans who will continue to inspire this rapidly expanding festival for years to come.
4. Reading and Leeds, 28th–30th August, Richfield Avenue, Reading/Branham Park, Leeds
Reading Festival is the world’s oldest popular music festival and has come a long way since originating from the National Jazz Festival in 1961. It is now twinned with Leeds Festival and is annually headlined by the world’s biggest artists. This year will see Mumford & Sons, Metallica and The Libertines take on the hot spots.
3. Creamfields, 28th–30th August, Daresbury, Cheshire
If you live for the sense of euphoria and new-age rave, then Creamfields is the festival for you. It is the oldest dance festival in the UK and is back, bigger than ever in 2015, debuting a 14,000 capacity “mega arena” as well as promising to host “the biggest electronic line up you’ll see this year”.
2. Bestival, 10th–13th September, Robin Hill, Isle of Wight
If Bestival is your summer destination, ensure the number one item on your festival checklist is your dancing shoes! Situated in the charming setting of the Isle of Wight, Bestival is one giant party, which welcomes a mix of old-school legends as well as the new kids on the block. The relentlessly crazy atmosphere of Bestival makes it truly a fun place to be!
1. Glastonbury, June 24th–28th, Worthy Farm, Somerset
Glastonbury has become a staple in British culture and the number one rite of passage for hippies and freedom fighters the world over. The fact that the festival routinely sells out within minutes, before a single act has even been announced, has got to indicate something special! Furthermore, Glastonbury is one of those festivals that has something for everyone whether you’re into pop, rock or (dare I say it) Kanye, Glasto will undoubtedly fill you with everlasting memories.
Best small festivals
5. The Great Escape, May 14th–16th, Brighton
The Great Escape is the perfect festival for discovering the best new artists on the scene from all walks of life. The festival is set across 35 different venues in Brighton and also features an industry convention which has previously welcomed talks from the likes of Michael Eavis and DJ Shadow. What’s more is that festival goers are situated right next to the seaside, which is more than can be said for the majority of British festivals!
4. Secret Garden Party, 23rd–26th July, Huntingdon
Secret Garden Party is a festival with a definite unique spark. It embraces the theme of nature combined with mystery and creativity to embody what we visualise it is like up there in hippy heaven! Whilst the festival has tried to stick to its roots of a small and exclusive event, its attendance has grown year on year from 1,000 people in 2004 to 32,000 people ten years on.
3. Kendal Calling, July 30th – 2nd August, Lake District, Cumbria
Kendal Calling is very much a family-friendly festival, winning Best Small UK Festival in 2010 and Best Medium Festival in 2013, after only starting up in 2006. Kendal Calling is famed for it’s exciting yet relaxed atmosphere that keeps the regulars returning. This year sees Elbow, Snoop Dogg and Kaiser Chiefs topping the bill.
2. Y Not, 31st July – 2nd August, Pikehall, Derbyshire
Music journalism student and avid festival goer Joe Woods shared his thoughts about Derbyshire’s Y Not festival, which he does justice by summing up brilliantly: “It’s not every day that Snoop Dogg brings his funky-fresh flows and hip-shaking grooves to a setting as beautiful as the Peak District, and for under £90 you’d be a fool to miss it, I’m certainly not going to! But if you’re more of a cat person, Nick Mulvey, Indiana and Basement Jaxx will provide the fuel to power your dancing shoes. There’s also the fact that Y Not won the Best Toilets Award at the UK Festival Awards in 2011, meaning that you could practically eat your dinner from the seat of these award-winning loos. So why not eh!?”
1. Latitude, July 16th-19th, Henham Park, Suffolk
This year sees Latitude’s 10th birthday and this special anniversary will surely not be taken lightly by the festival organisers. The festival incorporates elements of theatre, art, comedy, cabaret, politics, poetry, dance and literature on top of the extensive line-up of music artists. This year’s headliners include Alt-J, Portishead and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.