Redbrick's Festival Guide 2018 | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Redbrick’s Festival Guide 2018

Redbrick Music is back with its comprehensive, month-by-month walk-through of all the biggest festivals coming this summer across the UK and the continent

May

5th: Live at Leeds

Live at Leeds returns on 5 May for its 11th year, bringing a host of indie’s brightest emerging talents and established heavyweights to the city’s multitude of venues. This year sees The Vaccines, Peace and Circa Waves topping the very impressive bill, showing a return to the festival’s indie roots. Rising stars Pale Waves, Tom Walker and The Magic Gang all return for a second successive year, hoping to justify the recent hype they have received from fans and critics alike. With alumni such as Ed Sheeran and Alt-J, Live at Leeds is an unmissable yearly showcase of the UK’s newest talent and 2018 is shaping up to be no different.

Josh Parker

Tickets available here.

25th-27th: All Points East

If you like the line-up of Primavera Sound or NOS Alive, but want your festival experience to have more gentrified B&Bs and pissed-off commuters, then look no further than All Points East, a brand new festival taking over London’s Victoria Park from 25 May - 3 June. Set over two weekends, the festival (in its first weekend) features headline slots from London’s own art-pop trio The xx, comfortably wedged between veteran acts LCD Soundsystem and Bjork. A festival with a certain electronic edge, sets from Hookworms, Sylvan Esso, Rex Orange County and Tom Misch are certain take your mind off the price of the pasties. 

Sets from Hookworms, Sylvan Esso, Rex Orange County and Tom Misch are certain take your mind off the price of the pasties

The second weekend compromises headline shows from Catfish and the Bottlemen, The National and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, with support from the likes of Future Islands, Blossoms, Courtney Barnett and St Vincent. The centre of London might lack the character of Glastonbury, but All Points East might be the only UK festival boasting the name-power of those on the continent.

Luke Charnley

Tickets available here.

25th - 27th: World Island

World Island Festival returns to Leeds for its second year this May Bank Holiday weekend, its affordable prices and on-trend headliners making it a solid choice amongst UK festivals. It’s still in the city centre, but this year it has moved outside rather than being held in indoor venues. The Friday line-up starts the festival off relatively slowly with fewer artists; Sampha and BADBADNOTGOOD being the main ones to catch, as well as the up-and-coming Tom Tripp. Saturday kicks off the weekend properly with a bunch of acts with mainstream appeal, from Eliza (F.K.A. Eliza Doolittle), Aussie singer-songwriter Jordan Rakei, and the everyone’s current favourite rapper, Loyle Carner, making appearances. 

Saturday kicks off the weekend properly with a bunch of acts with mainstream appeal, from Eliza (F.K.A. Eliza Doolittle) to Loyle Carner

Sunday’s headliners Unknown Mortal Orchestra will no doubt be playing tracks from their new album as well as crowd favourites, and bands such as Mr Jukes and Jungle are bound to warm up the stage nicely for them. Being a relatively new festival, there’s not much information to go on regarding the set up and general vibe of the weekend, but the line-up speaks for itself — anyone into chilled R&B and new British music is bound to enjoy this one.

Ellie Koepke

Tickets available here.

28th: Slam Dunk

Your bank holiday weekend is about to get better! With the recent additions of nine bands on the Rock Sound Breakout Stage, including Palaye Royale and Holding Absence, the lineup is Slam Dunk’s most diverse in years. Co-headliners Good Charlotte and Jimmy Eat World are guaranteed to bring back the emo nostalgia to the NEC, while heavier bands such as Every Time I Die, and Northlane will please the metal heads. What’s more, afterparty hosts Uprawr are throwing a pre-party on Saturday 26th May, where you can pick up your wristbands to skip the morning queue! An entire day of music for less than £50, it doesn’t get better than that.

Naomi Penn

Tickets available here.

30th - 3rd: Primavera Sound

Taking to the Barcelona coastline for its seventeenth successive year, Primavera Sound has already long since established itself as one of the most dynamic and successful festival in mainland Europe. And this year, with Glastonbury taking a step back from the fore, there is no better summer to make the commute to Catalonia for a sun-soaked week of eclecticism and debauchery. With past headliners as varied as Arcade Fire, Public Enemy and Iggy Pop, Primavera Sound has become renowned for presenting lineups which showcase the best in almost every genre under the sun, helping it pull in crowds from all over the world. 

This year, with Glastonbury taking a step back from the fore, there is no better summer to make the commute to Catalonia for a sun-soaked week of eclecticism and debauchery

Headlining in 2018 is Iceland's queen of crystaline-electronica, Björk, alongside US alt-rockers The National and Sheffield’s own Arctic Monkeys, artists who are sure to bring vastly differing but equally spectacular live shows to the main stage. Elsewhere, Vince Staples and Tyler, The Creator will be continuing their crusade across Europe’s festival circuit, leading a plethora of hip-hop talent - including Madlib and Migos  - that will be performing at various stages across the four days. For those of a more indie persuasion, sets from HAIM, Chvrches and Car Seat Headrest are just some of a selection sure to whet your appetite, while Superorganism and Lorde are sure to provide enough glittering pop to ensure the sun stays out.

Thom Dent

Tickets available here.

June

1st - 2nd: Field Day

Field Day has announced its eclectic 2018 line-up, hinting at what will be a great two-day event at the festival’s new home: Brockwell Park in Lambeth, London. The festival, headlined this year by Erykah Badu and AJ Tracey, was a standout event of last year’s festival season, with UK exclusives from both Aphex Twin and Nicholas Jaar, alongside great acts such as Run the Jewels, Flying Lotus and Slowdive. Now, spanning two days rather than just one, Field Day has grown, and the line up is both expansive and exciting. 

Yet again, Field Day has offered a wide-ranging mix of genres and sounds for their 2018 event. Loyle Carner is returning to the bill, whilst audiences are being treated to everything from the ambient instrumentals of Nils Frahm to the loud-mouthed witty rap of Princess Nokia. The Friday line-up, consisting of Erykah Badu, Madlib, Gilles Peterson, and Moses Boyd, promises an energy-fuelled day of irresistibly feel-good performances. Saturday will see AJ Tracey and Earl Sweatshirt perform, as well as a great mix of lo-fi house music from DJ Boring, DJ Seinfeld, and Ross from Friends. 

Audiences are being treated to everything from the ambient instrumentals of Nils Frahm to the loud-mouthed witty rap of Princess Nokia

Standout acts for me for Field Day 2018 are Four Tet, Thundercat, and Mount Kimbie, all of whom have had notable releases over the last year. Four Tet’s New Energy is the perfectly warm soundtrack for a summer festival, whilst Thundercat’s Drunk and Mount Kimbie’s Love What Survives are both important 2017 albums that will work wonderfully on Field Day’s stages.

Letty Gardner

Tickets available here.

8th - 10th: Best Kept Secret

Best Kept Secret lives up to its name. How on earth this festival, with crowd-pleasing giants the Arctic Monkeys, LCD Soundsystem and The National leading their 2018 line-up, is still flying under the radar, is beyond me. On smaller stages, the enigmatic Rodriguez (subject of the Academy-Award winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man) and Redbrick’s favourite break-out, acid/dream-pop, eight-piece, trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific super-group, Superorganism, will be providing their alternative take on the festival set. 

Tyler, the Creator will also be bringing his forbidden fruit to the safari park (yes, safari park) where Best Kept Secret is held, the exact weekend after exam season finishes

And lastly, Tyler, the Creator will also be bringing his forbidden fruit to the safari park (yes, safari park) where Best Kept Secret is held, the exact weekend after exam season finishes. Could your path to summer celebration be clearer?

Emily Barker

Tickets available here.

8th - 10th: Download

This June, Britain’s favourite rock festival returns to Donington Park, where mainstage headliners will be Avenged Sevenfold, Ozzy Osborne, and the almighty Guns N’ Roses. With 80+ acts already announced across 4 stages, and more to come, it’s set to be the biggest Download for years, with acts spanning across every rock genres. Further main stage acts include Marilyn Manson and Cradle of Filth, while smaller stages will make room for the likes of Japanese heavy metal band Babymetal, Bury Tomorrow, and Tesseract. The festival also hosts a variety of non-music activities, including a comedy stage, a cinema tent, club nights, and resident tattooists. Tickets are available in many forms, including 3 and 5-night camping, arena only entrance, and RIP premium camping.

Naomi Penn

Tickets available here.

9th: Junction 2

Last month, launch parties at Tobacco Dock and Motion Bristol began the lengthy build-up to one of the UK’s newest and most burgeoning festivals. Saturday 9 June will see Boston Manor Park once again host Junction 2. Returning to West London for only its third instalment, the one-day festival boasts a line up sure to make any techno fan weak at the knees. Some 12,000 revellers will usher in the summer in the company of headliners including Len Faki, Joy Orbison, Nina Kraviz, and Adam Beyer, to name but a few of the heavyweights Junction 2 continues to attract.

Nathan Davies

Tickets available here.

9th - 10th: Parklife

Parklife is returning to Manchester, again bringing a line-up with something for literally everyone
Parklife returns to Heaton Park, Manchester this June, with a lineup that is once again something to marvel at. Headliners include The xx, Lorde, A$AP Rocky, Skepta and Manchester’s very own Liam Gallagher. The headliners alone show the versatility of this festival and every stage will offer something different. From those already stated on the main stage, to the funkier sets of Young Marco, Four Tet or MCDE in the Palm House, or the incredible sets of future talent like Bonobo, Tom Misch and Ross from friends, there is literally something for everyone. The festival is brimming with students, from both Manchester and further afield, and you can see why. It falls right after exam season, and is very reasonably priced for all it has to offer, with general admission starting at £119.50. General weekend tickets have already sold out, and only a few Saturday tickets remain, so if you want to experience a UK festival at its finest, you might want to get your ticket quickly.

Issy Campbell

Tickets available here.

15th - 14th: Meltdown

Imagine one of history’s greatest artists curating a festival, assembling an Avengers-esque team of friends, influencers and influencees, then allowing them to occupy a riverside venue for ten whole days for a series of intimate performances. Well, that’s exactly what Meltdown is. 

Following in the steps of icons like Bowie, Morrissey and countless others, the festival’s 25th anniversary  will see sonic trailblazer Robert Smith (The Cure, Siouxsie & The Banshees) crafting one of the most insanely diverse, blown-out lineups yet. Acts such as Manic Street Preachers, Mogwai, Placebo, MONO and Alcest will all grace the Southbank Centre stage for one night only, as well as exclusive performances from gritty indie titans The Libertines, industrial doomsayers Nine Inch Nails and the first UK show from legendary shoegaze outfit My Bloody Valentine in five years. Also set to play are The Psychedelic Furs, Deftones, 65daysofstatic and many, many more. 

Imagine one of history’s greatest artists curating a festival, assembling an Avengers-esque team of friends, then allowing them to occupy a riverside venue for ten whole days

Meltdown is not so much a festival as a celebration of music’s sheer power to unite. Designed by heroes themselves, the lineup embodies a thriving community of excellence, with Meltdown, to this day, remaining more true to the essence of the art-form than anyone else out there. After twenty five successful years, Robert Smith may have created the greatest edition yet, and you’d be absolutely crazy to miss it.

Kieran Read

Tickets available here.

20th - 27th: Kala Festival

As European festivals continue to contend with the best line-ups, it’s no surprise to see that Albania is now debuting their week long, coastal festival – Kala. Kala boasts its uniqueness by quoting itself as ‘a self-contained world filled with intimate party locations’ and having ‘an eclectic selection of artists connected by spirit rather than genre’. Current headliners - Tom Misch and Roy Ayers – already build enough anticipation, but it’s the names further down the bill, such as Hot Chip, The Black Madonna, Moodyman, Ross From Friends and Todd Terje, that really set the tone for the festival. Expect to see these acts in the surrounding forests and beach caves.

It is often the sense of community which make festivals such a unique experience - with a capacity of only 2000, Kala is set to be a tight community by the end of the week. And while at a usual festival you may develop some friendships with the dozens of neighbouring tents pitched only a few inches from you, Kala’s exotic beach huts or luxury hotels (claiming to be set at an affordable price) means you’re likely to be making friendships with the people from villa opposite instead. It’s probably worth getting your tickets for this one quickly.

Pablo Doyle

Tickets available here.

21st - 24th: Secret Solstice

A festival situated in a place where the sun never sets is bound to attract a certain type of partying crowd; a seriously fun one. Asides from the endless hours of warming sunlight, this festival in Iceland, Reykjavik has even more to offer. Jaw-drop-inducing scenery serves as a backdrop to one of the best up-and-coming European festival. Think of it as an alternative to Sziget or Outlook, just perhaps a little cooler (in both senses). Explore the unique landscape, peppered with stunning waterfalls, and untouched caves. Party in natural hot springs and idyllic lagoons or if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, maybe you’d rather attend afterparties and DJ sets inside the depths of a glacier. There is even a music experience held in a volcano if the two previous venues weren’t quite unique enough for you. 

A festival situated in a place where the sun never sets is bound to attract a certain type of partying crowd; a seriously fun one

The promising lineup ranges from the likes of Stormzy, Skream and Clean Bandit, to name a few. Some of the lesser known but by no means less exciting artists include Gentleman’s Dub Club and Artwork. Mixing an assortment of genres in this event, Secret Solstice also features an abundance of local Icelandic talents, such as Högni and Fox Train Safari. This festival incorporates incredible music with spectacular scenery to create a festival unlike any other in the world.

Isabel Shaw

Tickets available here.

22nd: Black Deer Festival

A whole-hearted celebration of all things Country and Americana, Kent’s Black Deer festival this year is bringing a host of well-selected names to its main stage in 2018. Amongst them are the familiar voice of Passenger, who has a lot more to his soulful brand of song-writing than the globally acclaimed single ‘Let Her Go’. Also on the billing are Americana favourite Iron and Wine, aka singer-songwriter Sam Beam, familiar to many as the man behind ‘Flightless Bird, American Mouth’, and rapidly gaining a cult following. Aside from the music, a focus on smokehouse cooking, custom-built motorcycles and the artisan craftsmanship all harkens strongly back to the American south, whilst the Kent countryside frames it all as wonderfully British. An intriguing mix, and not one to be missed.

Jonah Corren

Tickets available here.

26th - 29th: Kendal Calling

Kendal Calling will celebrate its 12th year this summer as one of the best indie festivals the UK has to offer. Its multiple awards, including the UK Festival Award for Best Small Festival in 2010, are definite proof of its brilliance. Headlining the festival this year are indie-rock legends The Libertines as well as effortlessly cool Catfish and the Bottlemen. Also in the line-up, and steering away from the rock vibe, are 80s hip-hop stars Run DMC, with their old-school bangers sure to get the crowds jumping. With an air of magical northern charm and the beautiful backdrop of the luscious Lake District, Kendal Calling is definitely one not to miss. 

With an air of magical northern charm and the beautiful backdrop of the luscious Lake District, Kendal Calling is definitely one not to miss

Alex Carmichael

Tickets available here.

29th - 1st: Love Supreme

Continually boasting a fantastic, decades-spanning lineup of jazz innovation, Love Supreme returns to Glynde Place in Sussex for its sixth consecutive year, with groove legends Earth, Wind & Fire and guitar hero Elvis Costello topping the bill for it’s 2018 dates. Across the two days you can catch the genre-defying genius of funk forefather George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic, Steve Winwood headlining the legendary Big Top stage and the soul-warming vocals of R&B gospel superstar Mavis Staples, a collaborator of everyone from Ray Charles to Gorillaz.

Elsewhere, Tom Misch, Mr Jukes, Songhoy Blues, Ezra Collective and Moses Boyd Exodus represent a crop of fresh, exciting musicians championed by the diverse festival, as proud to promote the new pioneers as it is the old. With many names to be added, Love Supreme, once again, proves itself an experience centred around the best that music can offer, a must-go for anyone looking for a chilled-out weekend soundtracked by the far-reaching, smooth, cosmic corners of jazz and it’s all influenced offspring. Coltrane himself would be proud.

Kieran Read

Tickets available here

July 

1st: Community

This is the second year of Community Festival, a one-day event held in London’s Finsbury Park. Last year saw Catfish and the Bottleman, The Wombats and Slaves headlining, and while that line-up was incredible, this year is getting even bigger as the event has started to become better known and make a name for itself.

While some of these acts are new and emerging, there are also some old favourites
This year’s main headline act is Two Door Cinema Club, being accompanied by The Vaccines, You Me At Six, Circa Waves, Rat Boy, Sundara Karma, Tom Grennan and Pale Waves, with more acts yet to be announced. It’s the perfect indie festival, with a mixture of established and emerging artists. The festival claims to be a celebration of the best in new music, and while some of these acts are new and emerging, there are also some old favourites, meaning there will definitely be something there for everyone. It is a positively dreamy festival line up, with a bonus that they are all performing in one day, so no need to worry about camping or getting there too early to secure your place, and you can wear a stellar, insta-worthy outfit while seeing some incredible acts.

Sorcha Hornett

Tickets available here.

4th - 7th: Open’er

Now in it’s 16th year, Open’er Festival is promising another huge line-up for 2018, including the best in alternative rock and pop. Taking place in a huge military airport in the polish city of Gdynia, the festival has twice been named as the ‘Best Major Festival’ at the European Festival Awards, with previous headliners including Kanye West, Coldplay, Rihanna and Radiohead. This year will see the return of the Arctic Monkeys, who will be releasing their highly anticipated 6th album at some point this year. Visitors to Open’er will also be treated to the electronic symphonies of Depeche Mode, with Gorillaz and Bruno Mars also headlining. The Talking Head’s David Byrne will also be making an appearance following the release of his latest album American Utopia.

Open’er is Poland’s biggest music festival, also boasting fashion shows, a big wheel, volleyball courts, football pitches and even an onsite museum
Offering a massive four days of non-stop music, Open’er is Poland’s biggest music festival, also boasting fashion shows, a big wheel, volleyball courts, football pitches and even an onsite museum. And if all that’s not enough to sway you, you can always leave the festival site and hit the beach before the first act plays in the late afternoon. All that for a price cheaper than you're average UK festival; it’s looking more and more hard to say no.

Louisa Bebb

Tickets available here.

 5th - 8th: Farr Festival

Now in its 8th year, Farr Festival returns this July to Hertfordshire’s Bygrave Woods with its biggest line up to date. Previously only hosting the event over three days, this year organisers are bringing the festival’s first ever Sunday line up. This means four days of eclectic electronica amongst the backdrop of magical woodland. The weekend’s biggest artists include Mount Kimbie, Daphini, Jacques Greene, Maribou State and the first ever Sunday headliners Hunee. Every year Farr has boasted more than just the music, from its idyllic and quirky woodland setting to the vibrant and intimate crowd and this year promises to be no different.

Caitlin Nash

Tickets available here.

5th - 8th: Rock Werchter

With six previous Arthur awards for best festival in the world, the European goliath Rock Werchter seems set to have another great year. Running since 1975, the festival has a huge legacy as one of Belgium’s biggest. This year, the festival is hosting the likes of The Killers, Arctic Monkeys  and Queens of the Stone Age. It will also see David Byrne play, a performance which will mark forty years since Talking Heads’ first Rock Werchter appearance in 1978. The organisers have also done well to sprinkle in a number of emerging hip-hop and electric talent, giving real variety across the four days.

David Evans

Tickets available here.

6th - 14th: British Summer Time

Whilst it’s set to be more of a family affair than a global music event, there’s going to be something for everyone at BST
British Summer Time 2018 will be taking place throughout July at one of London's most glorious green spaces: Hyde Park. Headliners include Roger Waters, The Cure, Bruno Mars, Eric Clapton, Michael Buble and Paul Simon, with more acts yet to be announced. Alongside this will be an ‘open house’ event which includes outdoor film evenings, street food stalls, bars, live music and a fun fair, as well as live screenings of Wimbledon games. Whilst it’s set to be more of a family affair than a global music event, there’s going to be something for everyone at BST, and will be a great way to kick off the summer. Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th July are already sold out, though there are still some tickets available for the four other days of live music, now starting at around £90.

Amelia Hiller

Tickets available here.

12th - 14th: 2000 Trees

Do you like the idea of a whole weekend of music, activities, and great food for £115? Then 2000 Trees is the festival for you. Located in the beautiful Cotswolds, headliners (so far) are British rockers Enter Shikari and At The Drive In, in their UK festival exclusive. Further bands on the lineup include the up-and-coming Loathe, Touche Amore, and Creeper. Highlights also include the nightly silent disco at both the Main Stage and The Cave, with genres including RnB, chart hits, pop punk and metal. Tickets are sure to sell out, so act fast, and don’t forget that ticket prices are 10% off for students!

Naomi Penn

Tickets available here.

12th - 14th: NOS Alive

On the sunny skirts of Passeio Marítimo de Algés, just eight minutes from the city of Lisbon, NOS Alive will be basking in the warmth, sounds and euphoria of summer again this July. This three-day experience with the community of Artic Monkeys, energy of Queens of the Stone Age, nostalgia of Snow Patrol and many more epic headliners, will be momentous to say the least. This year’s line-up covers all bases, platforming the new sounds of Beatlesque/Floydian band Real Estate, hip-hop/trap artist Dead End, and celebrating the established sounds of The Kooks, Wolf Alice, Rag n’ Bone Man, Jack White and so many more artists. With the entire weekend at only €149, mellow camping settings by the beach and pretty much guaranteed decent weather, NOS Alive promises a spectrum of genius artistry and the cultural experience of Europe at its finest. 

NOS Alive will be basking in the warmth, sounds and euphoria of summer again this July

Lydia Waller

Tickets available here.

12th - 14th: Mad Cool Festival

This is only Mad Cool’s third year of running, yet it has established itself as one of the hottest and boldest festivals around. Situated in Madrid, just 15 minutes from the heart of the city, the festival has an insane lineup this summer. Returning to the festival scene after an unbearable 3-year break are Arctic Monkeys, joined by fellow indie rockers Kasabian and a whole mix of artists including MGMT, Tame Impala, rapper Post Malone and pop princess Dua Lipa. With a 7pm kick off time every night, Mad Cool is the perfect mix of daytime sunbathing and nighttime party madness.

Alex Carmichael

Tickets available here.

13th - 14th: Jurassic Fields

Also on the billing are a healthy number of acts with styles carved into the Dorset landscape
Back for its fifth year, Jurassic Fields festival in Bridport, Dorset, is once again shaping up to be a wonderful showcase of musical talent from across the board. One might expect a festival situated in a small field next to a Morrisons not to be worth checking out, but Jurassic Fields has consistently proved such assumptions to be very much mistaken. In 2018, some of the names heading down to Asker’s Meadow, where the festival is held, include countrywide festival favourites Dub Pistols, bringing their energising, funk-powered rap to the main stage.

Also on the billing are a healthy number of acts with styles carved into the Dorset landscape, such as roots-rockers Rusty Shackle and versatile folk band The Leyliners. If you’re in the area, Jurassic Fields is not an event to be passed up on, and if you’re not, Dorset is a lovely place for a holiday, and July is as good a time as any to come set up camp.

Jonah Corren

Tickets available here.

13th - 15th: Beat-Herder

This year’s Beat-Herder is the one to beat (literally), with the initial line-up announcement consisting of an eclectic mix of artists, including Django Django, Soulwax, Patrick Topping, and even S club - but at Beat-Herder the music doesn’t always take centre stage. The festival boasts 18 unique music areas, 14 bars, 40+ stalls, fairgrounds, and a plethora of wonderfully wild things that you won’t see anywhere else except this festival (think robot pole dancers made out of old CCTV cameras). On top of this you can find underground tunnels leading to secret areas and a church complete with DJ sets and (unofficial) marriages. 

If this all doesn’t sound weird enough, the festival is truly unique in its dismissal of consumer brands. With all alcohol and food available being from locally sourced suppliers, and the laid-back attitude towards bringing your own alcohol into the main arena, Beat-Herder is truly the best budget-friendly piss-up. Saturday is fancy dress, and everyone here takes it very seriously, don’t be afraid to go all out or prepare to feel left out.

Marianne Holt

Tickets available here.

15th: Citadel Festival

Citadel festival is being held at Gunnersbury Park in London on Sunday 15 July, and promises to be ‘the ultimate summer Sunday’. With Tame Impala headlining the one-day event as a UK exclusive, I’m hoping they won’t let us down.

Citadel was launched in 2015 as a way for Sunday to be the centrepiece of the week, for it to be ‘less of a full stop, more of an exclamation point’. Last year saw Bonobo, Laura Marling and Wild Beasts headlining, and this year sees Tame Impala, Chvrches, Leon Bridges and Fat White Family take the stage. While this line-up has been hyped all across the internet because of Tame Impala, Citadel festival isn’t just about music. This year sees features like Sunday Papers Live, where broadsheets are brought to life with the help of Refinery29 and Sofar Sounds, a Science Camp put on by the Science Museum and an Art Studio helped by the British Film Institute and Roundhouse Circus Arts. 

Citadel was launched as a way for Sunday to be the centrepiece of the week, for it to be ‘less of a full stop, more of an exclamation point’

If the culture side of this festival wasn’t enough to peak your interest there are also fitness classes being put on, including a Sports Day, for the whole family, and a Spandex Stage, promising mass yoga and dance workshops. There really is something for everyone at this festival, and will appeal to people of all ages. Along with all this there are also offers of street food, cocktail bars and fashion markets. Bear in mind you’re getting all this for £49. If it all goes smoothly this really isn’t just your standard festival, there are so many different things to do that you have to look beyond the musical line up and see the festival as an experience.

Sorcha Hornett

Tickets available here.

20th - 22nd: Truck Festival

Beginning in 1998, Oxford’s Truck fest is the self-confessed ‘Godfather of the small festival scene’. Turning 20 is no big deal, and this year they’ve arranged a jam-packed line-up that is only set to improve in time for the 20th-22nd July weekend and celebrate that china anniversary in style. Within its first announcement were Friday’s headliner, Friendly Fires, bringing their electro-synths and sure-fire dance beats to the Oxfordshire farm; following them on Saturday evening is George Ezra with his happy-go-lucky brand of folk pop, hot off the heels of his new album Staying at Tamara’s released later this month. 

Turning 20 is no big deal, and this year they’ve arranged a jam-packed line-up that is only set to improve

A new addition this year, if you get early entry to the campsite on Thursday, you’ll be treated to your first ever Thursday headliners: Peace. It’s a welcome return to the festival circuit for the Brummie band, joined by fellow Midlands band JAWS to whet your appetite before the fun really begins. Other acts across the weekend include the hip-hop legends De La Soul, a first-time appearance from Jake Bugg and even an outing to Oxford for BBC3’s KuruptFM. Truck has something for everyone, and if we’re lucky, the sun will be shining down on a lot of Oxfordshire farmland fun come late July.

Kirstie Sutherland

Tickets available here.

26th - 29th: Womad

Peter Gabriel’s celebration of world culture, food, arts and, of course, music never fails to disappoint. Every year the line-up is jam-packed full of wonderful acts from all across the globe, and 2018 is no exception; amongst the first announced acts are psychedelic art-rock group Django Django, experimental Parisian singer-songwriter Camille and Malian blues-swing duo Amadou and Mariam, who Damon Albarn described by saying, ‘I don’t think there’s ever been a band from Africa with whom people have engaged in such a way’.

If previous years are anything to go by, Womad’s constantly growing lineup is one well worth a watch, and last year’s headliners shaped out to eventually include talents such as London rapper Loyle Carner, South African giants Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and nifty, soulful singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey. Womad is so much more than just the music, but that said, it’s worth coming for the music alone. 

Jonah Corren

Tickets available here.

27th - 30th July: Standon Calling

Boutique festival Standon Calling has grown from a backyard barbecue to an all out festival force of nature. Creating a truly transcendent environment, the festival prides itself on combining epic musical guests with a wide array of artistic expression, accompanied by excellent food and good vibes, making the festival the quintessential summer experience. This year’s lineup includes headlines from Paloma Faith and George Ezra. The bill is complemented by a wide range of sounds, with Redbrick favourites like Pale Waves, Tom Walker and Sam Fender joining the mix. Standon Calling once again produces a diverse line-up with family friendly options, a combination that has made it a festival for the season.

Kylie McCormick

Tickets available here.

August

2nd - 5th: Bestival

Bestival is back, and it’s not messing around. After facing some pretty heavy backlash from the last few years, Rob da Bank and his team have really pulled out the stops to attract the festival-goers and restore its former glory. After the terrible weather last year putting a dampener on the weekend, quite literally, the team have made the call to move the festival forward a month, hoping that this will bring better weather, and avoid the catastrophes of last year, where the arena was temporarily closed on Sunday.

With tickets starting as cheap as £149, and a line-up this impressive, there is really no reason not to give Bestival a go
With a line-up boasting all genres and showcasing a serious array of female talent; including headliners London Grammar and M.I.A., Other Castle Stage headliners include Mura Masa, Thundercat, First Aid Kit and Grace Jones. These aren’t the only notable acts however, The Big Top stage is hosting Jorja Smith, a UK exclusive this summer, Django Django, Mabel, who’s currently supporting Harry Styles, and Mr Jukes, amongst many other acts sure to create a real buzz.

In true Bestival style, David Rodigan is once again returning with his Ram Record sessions in the Bollywood tent. As well as impressive live music acts, Bestival’s Temple stage is a clear standout. Whether you’re after the funky beats of Artwork, Mall Grab and Dennis Sulta, the heavier drops of Flava D and Darkzy, or the techno vibes of Objekt and Mella Dee, Bestival have you covered. With tickets starting as cheap as £149, and a line-up this impressive, there is really no reason not to give Bestival a go; I truly hope this is its comeback year.

Issy Campbell

Tickets available here.

8th - 15th: Sziget

Sziget festival, based in Budapest, is one of the largest music and cultural festivals in Europe. This year sees the Arctic Monkeys, Dua Lipa, Kendrick Lamar, Gorillaz, Mumford & Sons and Kygo head to Hungary. It has pretty much every massive name you could think of in the industry, hence why it is a perfect all-rounder; there is something for everyone. 

Sziget prides itself on its Love Revolution, celebrating diversity and people coming together from more than 100 different countries

It started out as a student-run festival, founded 25 years ago and based on the idea of creating a temporary ‘dream nation’, celebrating and sharing the best from cultures and people across the globe. Sziget Festival prides itself on its Love Revolution, celebrating diversity and people coming together from more than 100 different countries and using the power of the community to support causes that could help the planet become a better place. The ‘Love Revolution’ is such a powerful and relevant modern-day concept; pair this with a pretty insane line up it is the perfect festival for anyone. The festival is good value for money for the amazing line-up and the chance to spend seven days in Budapest, enjoying the amazing music but also being able to explore the city, sounds like the perfect festival to me. If you’re looking for the perfect Europe getaway with incredible music from the finest acts the industry has to offer, this is the festival for you.

Sorcha Hornett

Tickets available here.

10th - 12th: Flow Festival

Dubbed as ‘one of the most unique experiences in live music today’ by DIY, Helskini’s city festival, Flow, is set to smash the festival season this summer. With an eclectic mix of acts from all over Europe and the U.S, Flow festival brings together old favourites and new hype to create a masterpiece. On just the Friday alone, Patti Smith, godmother of punk, takes a headline slot, buoyed up by the wonderful Fleet Foxes and UK newbies Bonobo and Mura Masa. 2018 prolific festival headliners, Arctic Monkeys, take the Saturday while Kendrick Lamar and St. Vincent set up a fantastic Sunday. With a small-print roster of exciting cult acts and up-and-comers, Flow festival is set to be both nostalgia highway and the road to new discoveries this August.

Holly Carter

Tickets available here.

17th - 19th: Lowlands

After a 25th anniversary blow-out last summer, Lowlands didn’t seem to have much further upwards they could go. That is, until 2018’s line-up was released. Not only is last year’s (already stellar) hip-hop game being rivalled by the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Brockhampton, Ho99o9 and Little Simz, the Alpha tent will also be graced with the presence of the Gorillaz and Dua Lipa, just to name a couple. 

With Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (and Red Light District) only an hour away, and flights starting from cheaper than the average train down to London, Lowlands is the place to be this August

 The only thing that could match the Lowlands line-up is its setting – perched on the edge of one of the country’s largest theme parks, you could lounge by the famous and idyllic ‘Lake Lowlands’ with Rag’n’Bone Man lulling you from afar. With Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (and Red Light District) only an hour away, and flights starting from cheaper than the average train down to London, Lowlands is the place to be this August.

Emily Barker

Tickets available here.

23rd - 26th: Lost Village

Somewhere deep in the forests of Lincolnshire is a place where nothing is quite as it seems…this is Lost Village, a boutique festival experience like no other, featuring performances from the biggest names in underground electronic music, from Four Tet and Mall Grab to Peggy Gou and Goldie. While the sun shines, take a dip in one of the hot tubs surrounding the Lake of Tranquillity, head over to the comedy tents to enjoy routines from some of the UK’s finest funny men and women, and enjoy the delicious street food on offer. 

Lost Village is like something from another life, reality replaced temporarily by something more spectacular

As night falls, step past the freaks that populate the village and lose your mind to the primal beats pounding out of the speakers. Following last year’s instalment, the LV team posted a picture of the Abandoned Chapel stage, spotlights filtering through the leaves, a sea of hands raised in exaltation – the caption: ‘Was it all a dream?’ And that’s exactly how it felt: like something from another life, reality replaced temporarily by something more spectacular. This August, allow yourself to get lost.

Greg Woodin

Tickets available here.

24th - 26th: Leeds Festival

The northern counterpart to Reading, Leeds Festival is back with an all-star line-up set for August Bank Holiday weekend. Leeds Festival veterans Fall Out Boy and Kings of Leon return as this year’s headliners, with Kendrick Lamar bagging the much-coveted Sunday-night main stage slot. Indie giants Wolf Alice and Slaves are billed for the BBC Radio 1 stage, while newcomers The Magic Gang and Pale Waves are among the fresh talent fronting the Festival Republic stage. Plus, Post Malone makes his Leeds debut, joining The Vaccines and The Wombats on the main stage bill.

Katie Leigh-Lancaster

Tickets available here.

24th - 26th: Reading Festival

Reading Festival, alongside its northern counterpart, doesn’t need much of an introduction. Traditionally one of the most hotly anticipated festivals of the year, the bank holiday in late August will see Kendrick Lamar, Panic! At The Disco, Kings of Leon and Fall Out Boy headline on the main stage, amongst many other household names. The likes of Pendulum, Kate Nash and Wolf Alice will grace the five other stages, and with both one-day and full-weekend tickets available, there’s the opportunity to pick and choose who you see. As always, with the plethora of genres alongside comedians in the Alternative tent, the diverse range ensures there is something for everyone. 

Kat Smith

Tickets available here.

26th - 27th: South West Four

South West Four returns this August Bank Holiday, at its Clapham Common turf, for a two-day dance music party. Celebrating 15 years of the festival, SW4 has upped its game this year to commemorate the milestone of the capital’s beloved summer weekender. For a relatively small festival, SW4 boasts an impressive line-up of house and dance artists. Performing on the Saturday is the likes of Marshmello, Sigma, Armand van Helden, Jonas Blue, well-established artists in the house scene for their remixes and noteworthy collaborations. 

For a relatively small festival, SW4 boasts an impressive line-up of house and dance artists

Dizzee Rascal is an exciting addition to the line-up, a national favourite who will no doubt be a crowd pleaser, especially if he performs any of his older singles. Taking the Main Stage on Sunday are dance favourites Chase & Status, Craig David, Disciples and Andy C, and Birmingham’s own Hannah Wants. My Nu Leng will also be there to bring some drum and bass, and British rappers Lethal Bizzle and Bugzy Malone. With such an eclectic list of performers, SW4 looks set to be a fun and lively weekend.

Anna Wise

One-day and full-weekend tickets available here.

31st - 2nd: Godiva

Returning a little later than usual is one of the Midland’s finest free festivals: The Godiva Festival. Held in Coventry every summer, the festival boasts a range of music acts, from local bands, DJs and vocalists, to bigger names such as The Wombats, Scouting for Girls, and Example with DJ Wire, who have appeared on the main stage, with acts such as Mallory Knox and Neck Deep in the Rock and Rhythm tent and Carly Smallman in the Paradise tent in the past. While this year’s line up for the various stages and tents has yet to be announced, with a range of stages and tents to choose from there’s likely to be a range of musical genres for everyone to enjoy. This is a free festival not to be missed.

Roshni Patel

Tickets available here.

September

6th - 9th: Festival No. 6

The award-winning Festival No.6 bills itself as a festival like no other, in the most stunning festival location in the world. A far cry from the traditional UK festival location of a muddy field and portaloos, No.6 takes place in the most idyllic setting imaginable: the picturesque Italianate village of Portmeirion, Wales. The first line-up announcement was huge - legendary cult band The The are back, after a 15-year hiatus, to headline, and joining them are Franz Ferdinand and Friendly Fires. This magical festival allows you choose your own fairy-tale: you can sleep in a castle, wander through the 70 acres of exotic woodland, or even lose yourself at HomoElectric: a non-stop erotic pansexual party. 

Marianne Holt

Tickets available here.



Published

19th March 2018 at 9:00 am



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