The best UK music festivals you need to be attending this summer


Festival season is rapidly creeping up on us and I’m beginning to get very excited for it. I’m sure if you’d have spoken to me on my way home from Bestival last year when I wanted to throw myself from the top deck of the ferry, I wouldn’t have been anywhere near as enthusiastic. However, it wouldn’t be summer for me without spending at least two or three weekends in a muddy field, watching bands with all of my friends and having beers for breakfast. UK festival season offers something for everyone and we are all ridiculously spoilt for choice, so I’ve put together a list of some of the best festivals that you should be attending this summer.

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Live At Leeds, Leeds

29th April

*Acts Include: Slaves, Wild Beasts, White Lies, Pigeon Detectives, Jagwar Ma, Black Honey, Rag n’ Bone Man, Nothing But Thieves, Honeyblood, Temples, The Hunna, DMAs, Fickle Friends.*

Having recently celebrated a whole decade of defining new music, Live at Leeds is the place to be this year if you are out to discover your new favourite band. Although still inclusive of established artists such as 2017 British breakthrough winner Rag n’ Bone Man and punk duo Slaves, Live At Leeds celebrates the best in upcoming talent and is on the must list to kick start the summer.

Slam Dunk Festival, Birmingham, Leeds & Hatfield.

27th – 29th May

*Acts Include: Enter Shikari, Beartooth, Don Broco, Against Me!, Neck Deep, Bowling For Soup, Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, Tonight Alive, Turnover, Citizen, The Bronx, Set It Off, Memphis May Fire and Fenix TX.*

Having established itself as the best alternative festival for pop-punk and rock music, Slam Dunk is undoubtedly one of my favourite days of the year. The line up is unbeatably fantastic and is always filled with lots of my mates so it is impossible for me to have a bad time there. Headlining this years festival are electronicore legends Enter Shikari, who are celebrating ten whole years since the release of their debut EP ‘Take To The Skies’. Additionally, emo rock band ‘Cute Is What We Aim For’ are making a return and playing their 2006 album ‘The Same Old Blood Rush with a New Touch’ in full which is sure to deliver a massive nostalgia trip to all.

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Mighty Hoopla, London

4th June

*Acts Include: Years & Years, All Saints, Sophie Ellis-Bexter, Alma, S Club 3, Will Young and Charlotte Church’s late night pop dungeon.*

The newest music day festival held in London’s iconic Victoria Park will take you back to the 90s with some of your old pop favourites and is set to be one massive party.

Download Festival, Donington Park

9th – 11th June

*Acts Include: Biffy Clyro, Aerosmith (Final UK appearance), System Of A Down, Slayer, A Day To Remember, AFI, Steel Panther, Creeper, Sum 41, Good Charlotte, Sleeping With Sirens and The Dillinger Escape Plan.*

As the leading rock and metal music festival in the UK, this year’s Download line up seems to be blowing other festivals out of the water. As well as hosting the last ever UK performance from rock veterans Aerosmith, the introduction of the Avalanche stage will showcase the best in punk rock, post-hardcore and alt-rock. Alongside this amazing line up they have also just announced the WWE NXT superstars that will be in attendance this year, so if wrestling and heavy music is your vibe then this is the festival for you.

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Kendal Calling, Lake District

28th – 31st July

*Acts Include: Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers, Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds, Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, Tinie Tempah and Franz Ferdinand.*

Could you ask for a more picturesque place to camp than the Lake District? Kendal Calling is the place to go if you are looking for more than just a music festival. In what is regarded to be the most beautiful festival site in the whole of the UK, you will get four days of music, art installations, plenty of family friendly entertainment and an ale festival all packed into one festival site.

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Standon Calling, Standon

28th – 31st July

*Acts Include: Orbital, Clean Bandit, Slaves, Laura Mvula, !!! (Chk Chk Chk), British Sea Power, Steve Mason, Dutch Uncles, Nadia Rose and Cabbage.*

Standon Calling is a celebration of creativity, community and freedom and takes place in the private residence of the Standon Lordship in Hertfordshire. Alongside a heap of cool music, the site also boasts a carnival, a dog show and an on-site pool. Where festivals are usually extremely hectic, Standon Calling is designed to be entertaining but with a chilled and friendly vibe. If nothing else, the dog show sold it for me to be honest.

Boardmasters, Cornwall

9th – 13th August 2017

*Acts Include: Two Door Cinema Club, Jamiroquai, ALT-J, Jake Bugg, Slaves, Andy C, Roger Sanchez and Bec.*

Here’s one for you outdoors types. Five days of music and surfing set on the gorgeous site of Fistral Beach in Cornwall. Even if you aren’t a pro surfer, there is an opportunity to learn with a variety of surf schools at your disposal to get you riding those waves in no time. If that isn’t for you then you could get up early for a morning yoga session, then get to witness the biggest international surf contest in the UK. Pretty cool huh?

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Reading and Leeds Festival 

25th – 27th August

*Acts Include: Muse, Kasabian, Eminem, Major Lazer, At The Drive In, Against The Current, Glass Animals, Bastille, Andy C, While She Sleeps, Tory Lanez, Flume, Fatboy Slim, Wiley and Korn.*

Year upon year my friends and I say that we are going to give Reading festival a miss, then the weeks leading up to it arrive and we all get massive FOMO. The line up always ends up being killer, featuring colossal acts from almost every genre and I guess everyone should experience camping at Reading festival at least once (ideally before you reach the age of 20, mind). Whichever one you choose, Reading and Leeds really are true festival behemoths that keep music fans going back each year and remain as an important part of the festival circuit.

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Victorious Festival, Portsmouth

25th – 27th August

*Acts Include: Madness, Stereophonics, Elbow, Jake Bugg, The Charlatans, Slaves, Frank Turner, Rita Ora and Olly Murrs.*

Heading into its sixth year of running, Southsea’s premium attraction has already released a couple of fairly strong line-up announcements with more to be added. If you want a significantly cheaper alternative to Reading or Leeds on your bank holiday weekend, then this may be your answer. Especially if you’re into your indie and pop music!

Lost Village, Lincolnshire

24th – 26th August

*Acts Include: Moderat, De La Soul, Dixon, Nina Kraviz, The Black Madonna, Jeremy Underground, Jackmaster, Nightmares on Wax, Bicep and Greg Wilson.*

In my opinion festivals of this capacity are the best experience you can have. They’re intimate, full of passion and you have so much more time to involve yourself in the detail that’s gone into the organisation. Over the three days, you’ll experience music, art, global food, comedy and lectures within magical environments that you can fully immerse yourself within.

Sundown Norfolk Showground, Norwich

1st – 3rd September

*Acts to be announced*         

If you’re not quite ready to let go of the summer then this is the one for you. Sundown festival holds a massive party in the sun (optimistic), filled with huge acts across the pop, dance and urban genres.

Let us know which festivals you’re going to be attending in the comments section below.

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