The lowdown on 2011 festivals in the UK.

The big ones…

Glastonbury Festival

When: June 22-26
Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset
Set in rolling green fields in the Vale de Avalon, Glastonbury is the world’s largest greenfield music festival. The site is eight miles in perimeter and broken up into different socio-geographic regions to accommodate everyone’s tastes. There are chill-out jazz zones as well as upbeat dance tents and everything in between. But chances are you won’t be able to pull yourself away from the main stage, which will be graced by U2, Coldplay, and Beyonce.
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Isle of Wight Festival

When: June 10-12
Where:Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight
What: A music festival of epic proporions, since it’s beginning in 1968 the Isle of Wight has hosted the likes of the eternal Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Bob Dylan’s first performance after a death-defying run-in with a wayward motorcycle. This year, the list continues with The Kings of Leon, The Foo Fighters, and Kasabian.

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Reading & Leeds Festival

When: August 26-28
Little John’s Farm, Richfield Avenue, Reading, Berkshire AND Bramham Park, Leeds, West Yorkshir
What: Like Siamese twins separated at birth, Reading and Leeds are essentially one festival that takes place on the same weekend in different cities. This year, the dynamic duo will present Muse, The Strokes, Pulp, My Chemical Romance, and 30 Seconds to Mars.
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V Festival

When: August 20-12
Hylands Park, Chelmsford and Weston Park, Staffordshire
Two parks, two stages, two days – one great festival. Born from the brain of Pulp’s very own Jarvis Cocker who, in ’96, said he wanted to play two outdoor music festivals in the same weekend was granted his wish in the form of V. This year expect performances by Eminem, Rihanna, Arctic Monkeys, and Plan B as well as the grandaddies themselves, Pulp.
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When: September 8-11
Where: Robin Hill Country Park, Downend, Nr. Arreton, Isle of Wight
What: Rock gods, pop stars, and DJ heros all congregate over 15 stages
in this year’s Bestival. Headlining the funfest are The Cure
along with Crystal Castles, Pendulum, PJ Harvey, and many more. Along with their usual gimmicks, new for 2011 is a Roller Disco and something mysteriously called the Swamp Shack. Check out all the weird and wonderful attractions set to the soundtrack of awesome live music and unforgettable performances.
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And the rest…

T in the Park:

When: July 8-10
Where: Balado, Kinross, Scotland
What: Scotland does it right with a three-day, multi-stage music
experience featuring the likes of Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Foo
Fighters, and Blink-182. Besides the headliners, T covers everything
from Bright Eyes to Ke$ha, so it’ll be hard to be disappointed by the
wide range of musical talents. Apart from good tunes, T has fair
grounds, cinema nights, fancy-dress days, and plenty of beer–all the
essentials, covered.
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Download Festival

When: June 10-12
Where: Donington Park, Leics
What: Ironically titled “Download,” a curse word in the music industry, this
hardcore rock show will be fronted by System of a Down, Lincoln Park,
and Def Leppard. Formerly known as Monsters of Rock, this annual music
fest has been going strong since the 1980s. Break out your black tshirt
and grab a ticket before they sell out.
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London Feis

When: June 18-19
Where: Finsbury park, London
What: Irish music festival Feis will see an exclusive UK performance by Bob Dylan on Saturday and
Van Morrison will be headlining the Sunday. There is also an exclusive
appearance from the newly reformed Irish pop-rock band The Cranberries.
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World of Music, Arts & Dance (WOMAD)

When: July 29-31
Charlton Park, Upper Minety, Malmesbury, Wiltshire
As a perenenial celebration of the musical arts, no act is too creative for the World of Music, Arts, and Dance (WOMAD). This year’s performers include a DJ with his own barbershop quartet, a six-piece band from Ireland, and a group of Chinese throat singers. WOMAD  boasts an “anti-spectator” mission, offering a range of cooking, art, and dance workshops.
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When: July 15-17
Where: Stoke Park, Guildford, Surrey
What: Guilfest has been called the most laid-back and friendly music festival in England. James Blunt and Razorlight headline this year’s festival, but Guilfest is more than just mellow music. The family-run funfest also provides comedy, theatre, and arts & crafts stations along with a 150-foot beer tent and a lido pool.
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When: July 8-10
Where: Knebworth House, Hertfordshire
What: This year’s heavy line-up features The Big Four: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeath, and Anthrax as well as highly anticipated appearances by the Mars Volta and Slipknot and many more. Sonisphere doesn’t mess around with any bells or whistles; it’s a good old fashioned metalfest that’s putting some power players on the same stage. Heavy rock, nothing else.
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Beautiful Days

When: August 19-21
Escot Park, near Fairmile, Devon
Expect good music with no frills at this five stage, family-friendly music and arts festival because Beautiful Days accepts no corporate sponsorships or commercial gimmicks. This year’s festival is headlined by Carter USM and Big Audio Dynamite and will be catered by the wholesome Otter Brewery.
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Wychwood Music Festival

When: June 3-5
Where: Cheltenham Racecourse, Prestbury Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
What: It’s best to think of Wynchwood as a small village rather than a festival, as it offers so much more than just good grooves. It’s impossible to get bored with Wynchwood’s endless workshops, comedy tents, shows, cinema, activities, demonstrations–the list goes on. Expect appearances from The Waterboys, The Charlatans, and Justin Fletcher.
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When: August 27-28
Where: Daresbury Estate, Halton,
What: House, dance, dubstep, techno – it all goes down at Creamfields. Coming hot off a “Best Festival” victory at the UK Festival Awards 2010, this year’s Creamfields promises to take it up a notch with the likes of David Guetta, Calvin Harris, and Boys Noize. Dancing shoes required.
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The Big Chill

When: August 4-7
Where: Eastnor Castle, Ledbury, Herefordshire
What: The Big Chill claims to be more “a way of life” than a music festival. And life – it seems – is good, as last year’s headliners included M.I.A., Thom Yorke, and Lily Allen. This year’s set is soon to be announced, but you can bet it won’t disappoint.
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When: July 14-17
Where: Hanham Park Estate, Beccles, Suffolk
What: With more performers one can count performing across four stages over three days, the Latitude may be one of the UK’s most comprehensive festivals. At the top of the list are Paolo Nutini, Suede, and The National. Latitude comes coupled with elements of theatre, art, comedy, cabaret, poetry, politics, dance and literature, so expect a touch of sophistication with your tunes.
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Outside: Inside Festival

When: July 9-30
Reading, locations pending
The UK’s first ever pop-up festival, outside:inside will be announcing performance locations as they’re discovered in Reading’s abandoned buildigs, open fields, empty churches, and any other nooks and crannies that can be transformed into unique venues. The landscape of the festival will depend on the whatever creative spaces performers can get their hands on, so it’s guaranteed to be a festival like no other. Headliners down for the sportatic spirit include Lee Scratch Perry, The Fall, and DJ Derek.
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