If you don’t want to camp, stick to the capital for your festival fix. You can still spend all day and most of the night hanging out in a park, listening to top music acts and drinking until you feel like passing out – and you can, in the comfort of your own bed no less. Bonus.
WE ARE FSTVL: May 24 – 25
Where: The Airfield of Dreams, Damyn’s Hall, Upminster, Essex
House and techno dominate at this dance-fest mega-party. And don’t worry, Upminster tube station is nearby so you can get back to town easily after dancing all day and night. Line-up includes Fat Boy Slim, Annie Mac, Richie Hawtin, Luciano, Andy C and Kenny Dope. Click here for more info.
FIELD DAY: June 7 – 8
Where: Victoria Park
Pop, punk, indie, techno, electro and dubstep tuneage provide the soundtrack to fête games such as tug-of-war and tea bag tossing at this impossibly cool music fest. Line-up includes Metronomy, Pixies, SBTRKT, All We Are, Blood Orange, Charlotte OC, The Horrors, Temples, POND, and Drenge. Click here for more info.
Across the UK:
If you’ve seen the pictures of mud, wellies, thousands of rows of tents and people with eyes the size of saucers (they must be tired…) and thought, ‘that looks like awesome fun’, then grab your tent, jump in your (or a mate’s) car and go to one of our top muddy music fest picks.
An hour or less from London:
HIGH DEFINITION: July 5
Where: Eridge Park, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
The music at this fetival is a stellar mix of house, techno, disco, trance, electro, dubstep and rave. Line-up includes Carl Cox, All About She, B.Traits, and Charlie Hedges. Click here for more info.
READING FESTIVAL: August 22 – 24
Where: Richfield Avenue, Reading
Huge names always headline this rock and alternative festival, which is by all accounts as grungy as they come – the Arctic Monkeys will heading up the main stage this year. Blink 182, Jake Bugg, Disclosure, Metronomy, The 1975 and SBTRKT have also been announced. Click here for more info.
SONISPHERE FESTIVAL: July 4 – 6
Where: Knebworth Park, Hertfordshire
This heavy metal clanger is the mother of all rock shows with a programme dedicated to the loud stuff only. Line-up includes The Prodigy, Iron Maiden, and Metallica. Click here for more info.
Less than three hours from London:
BESTIVAL: September 4 – 7
Where: Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight
With today’s stars and legends from the past, the charming location and fantastical themes make for a magical weekend full of non-stop auditory and visual delight; this year’s theme is ‘desert island disco.’ The line-up includes Busta Rhymes, Outkast, Foals, Beck, Disclosure, Major Lazer and London Grammar, and there will be many more big names to come. Click here for more info.
BLISSFIELDS: July 4 – 5
Where: Vicarage Farm, near Winchester, Hampshire
This year’s theme is ‘walk on the wild side’, in honour of its collaboration with the Born Free Foundation, so there will be talks and fundraising for the cause, plus dressing up as your favourite animal is a must. Quirky and quintessentially British.The line-up is TBA, but last year’s included Bastille, Mystery Jets and Friends. Click here for more info.
DOWNLOAD: June 13 – 15
Where: Donington Park, Leicestershire
Rock gods of the past and present take to the stage in the UK’s premier rock and metal fest that, as always, will be a paradise for head bangers. The line-up includes Avenged Sevenfold, Linkin Park, Aerosmith, StatusQuo, and Fall Out Boy. Click here for more info.
Why not swap a field for a beach and go on an out-and-out mates’ holiday to carry on the party? Here are our top foreign festivities…
GERMANY: MELT! July 14 – 21
Where: Ferropolis, Germany
The big draw at this electronic-meets-rock fest is its unique location in an open-air museum of huge industrial machines from the 20th century. At least doing ‘the robot’ will be welcome. Portishead, Royksopp, Robyn and Haim are on the list so far. Click here for more info.
SPAIN: BILBAO BBK: July 10 -12
Where: Bilbao, Spain
Big acts set the scene on top of a hill with spectacular views of the city and mountains. The beach is also just 20 minutes away. Recommended. Line-up includes The Black Keys, Franz Ferdinand, Phoenix, MGMT, White Lies, John Newman, and Jack Johnson. Click here for more info.
CROATIA: HIDEOUT: June 30 – July 3
Where: Zrce Beach, Pag Island, Croatia
Hideout has beefed up with a bigger and better sound system and a foray into house music since its 2011 debut, but it still maintains a magical, hidden-away feel. Line-up includes Disclosure, Rudimental, Loco Dice, Solomun, and Sasha. Click here for more info.
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