Five Festivals To Fill Your Summer
Look around you and take note of all the melting ice-cream and lancing beams of sunlight baking sunblock-covered people. All that stuff is happening because it is Festival Season (often also called “Summer”).
“Festival Season?” you say, “but I haven’t been to a festival!”, the horror mounting in your voice. Don’t panic – it isn’t too late to book your fix of tent-based musical debauchery, nor is there any shortage of choice. There seem to be more festivals popping up every year, catering to every possible taste and sensibility, from pop-folk festivals in the rolling Cornish countryside to savage electro-industrial nonsense outside Belfast.
Latitude Festival – Thursday 16th – Sunday 19th July 2015
Latitude Festival and its twin Longitude are both coming up soon, but if you’re feeling impulsive or wondering how to spend next weekend, it’d be hard to find anything else that fits the bill so well.
With one of the most comprehensive available lineups and dozens of stages featuring music, comedy, theater, dance and film, this outdoor festival encompasses an enormous range of arts and sits pretty in the heart of Suffolk. No matter your taste in entertainment, you’ll find it at Latitude, and if at any point you tire of what you’re watching, just take a short stroll and you’ll find… pretty much anything else you might want to see. Headline acts include Alt-J, Portishead, Noel Gallagher, Alan Davies, Jon Richardson and Kneehigh, and you can buy tickets from Viagogo or direct from the festival site.
Bloodstock Open Air – Thursday 6th – Sunday 9th August 2015
While a little more specialist in focus than Latitude, if you like your music dark and your band logos spiky there is nowhere better to go than Derbyshire’s infamous Bloodstock Open Air. Expecting 15,000 metalheads this year, Bloodstock is a family-run festival with a dedicated stage for “new blood” bands that encourages new, unsigned bands to reach for the stars. Their lineup this year stars Trivium, Opeth and Rob Zombie, as well as dozens of other acts ranging from the completely brutal all the way through to the merely brash. Not to be missed.
Longitude Festival – Friday 17th – Sunday 19th July 2015
Bad news, guys. You can’t go to Longitude and Latitude. The sister festivals run at the same time, and while Latitude sits comfortably in Suffolk, Longitude can be found further afield, in sunny Dublin. Unlike the other festivals on this list, it isn’t a camping event, operating entirely out of hostels and hotels for its duration, so if you fancy the music but not the portaloos, this could be the one for you.
With acts like Hozier, Caribou, Jungle, Alt-J and The Chemical Brothers taking the spotlight, it’s a feast of beautiful songwriting and beautiful singing, though you’ll have to content yourself with the musicians – in another step away from Latitude, it focuses purely on the music instead of including comedy and theatre. I know, I know. The horror.
As with its partner, however, if you want someone to sell you tickets you know where to go: Viagogo UK or the official site.
Creamfields – Friday 28th – Sunday 30th of August 2015
Nestled in the heart of Cheshire, between the flourishing beacons of Northern civilisation that are Liverpool and Manchester, sits Creamfields music festival.
Pegged as the UK’s premier dance music festival, and preparing to kick off in the midst of a massive summer heatwave, festival goers can expect the atmosphere of an Ibiza party town and sets across ten stages starring the likes of Avicii, Knife Party, Steve Angello and Fat Boy Slim. With the focus placed squarely on dance and pop music, this festival is also home to dozens of upcoming and touring DJs, seamlessly integrating with the live musicians to create a flowing, exciting soundscape across the festival. Hope you brought your glowstick wristbands. If you’re interested, you might want to hurry, too – over 90% of the festival’s capacity has already been sold!
Reading Festival – Friday 28th – Sunday 30th August 2015
This is it, guys. The big one. Running parallel to Creamfields, though further south in -surprise- Reading, this festival encompasses a huge range of musical styles and draws massive names from all over the world. Acts tearing it up at Reading this year include Mumford and Sons, Metallica, Bring me the Horizon, Alt-J (they really get around), The Libertines, Kendrick Lamar, Limp Bizkit, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Mastodon and the Wombats. The sheer range and amount of talent available means there’s plenty for everyone, and demonstrates how one of the most famous outdoor musical festivals got that way. Standing proud with already-passed festivals like the immense Glastonbury and hard-hitting Leeds Fest, Reading has more than earned its place as one of the UK’s biggest and best festivals.