It’s Going To Be In-Tents: 21 UK Summer Music Festivals To Rave About

By Lottie Hulme and Lottie Woodrow |
22nd January 2020

Ah, the festival. Four days of stomping through thick mud in your brand new bright pink wellies, squelchingly dancing along to your favourite musician in torrential rain and sharing things that are disguised as portaloos with thousands of strangers. Yep, it’s the Brits rite of passage. Despite it all though, we can’t help but love ’em!

If you’ve fallen short of bagging yourself a Glasto ticket for the sixth year in a row, fear not because we’ve found 19 other festies that’ll see you dancing in the moonlight to some seriously stellar tunes. Turn it up!

Boomtown

Boomtown

If there’s a festi that doesn’t do things in half-measures it’s Boomtown, a festival that is, quite literally, a town! The Winchester-based roots, reggae and bass-driven music festival is alive with variety, colour, Instagrammable locations and a booming line-up. Kano was the first headliner to be announced, alongside Astrix, Noisia, Hilight Tribe and Vini Vici.

12th – 16th August 

Where: Winchester
Website: www.boomtownfair.co.uk

Wireless

Wireless

Wireless is pretty much a classic when it comes to festivals. Huge stage, even bigger crowds and a good bit of rare English sunshine (we can’t guarantee the latter…) Taking place in July, Wireless resides as the UK’s biggest urban music festi, with acts from the grime, hip-hop and garage scenes pumping up the volume to eager partiers. Past acts include huge name-drops, Stormzy, Travis Scott, Cardi B and Tyga – so, yanno, it’s a pretty big deal.

3rd-5th July 

Where: London
Website: www.wirelessfestival.co.uk

Creamfields

Creamfields

Cream is a dance brand and boy can they throw a party, especially when it’s somewhere in a field, like their namesake. What started off in a Liverpool nightclub has become a major dance festival attracting thousands upon thousands, so they must be doing something right! Expect to be dancing the weekend away to The Chainsmokers, so get yourself to the best field in the country this summer.

27th – 30th August 

Where: Daresbury
Website: www.creamfields.com

Lovebox

Lovebox

We’ve fallen in Lovebox, unsurprisingly as its ecclectic line-up makes for a festival that could easily appeal to one and all. This edition, the line-up boasts untouchable names such as Tyler, The Creator, Disclosure, Khalid and Charli XCX. Taking place in the capital itself, Lovebox primarily champions the love of music, with other fantastical happenings thrown in such as vintage fairs, roller discos and a whole host of tasty food and drink.

12th – 14th June 

Where: London
Website: www.loveboxfestival.com

We Are FSTVL

We Are FSTVL

Kicking off proceedings as one of the year’s earlier festivals, We Are FSTVL does just what it says on the tin, producing beats in a nod to the summer that’s yet to come. The extravaganza set across three days boasts hundreds of DJs, 16 stages to bounce around at and champers bars that’ll have you feeling as VIP as those performing. This year, the line-up oozes huge names including Sub Focus, Carl Cox, Charlotte de Witte, Andy C and CamelPhat.

23rd – 24th May

Where: London
Website: www.wearefstvl.com

End of the Road
Credit: Rachel Juarez-Carr

End of the Road

With a line-up this good, you’d be absolutely foolish to not nab up your tickets pronto. Nestled amongst rolling hills and the ornate gardens of Larmer Tree Gardens, honouring independent rock and folk music is still at the very core of End of the Road festival. 2020 will see the likes of Pixies, Angel Oslen, Big Thief and the band that’s on everyone’s lips Bright Eyes, who only teased their relaunch earlier this month, making their way to the festival.

3rd – 6th September 

Where: Dorset
Website: www.endoftheroadfestival.com

Isle Of Wight Festival

Isle Of Wight Festival

It’s that time of year again – the ferries to the little ol’ Isle of Wight are soon to be crammed full of festival-goers. Yep, it may feel like a little hassle getting to this one but oh my, the line-up is worth the wait – and buck. Kicking off this festival with a wild bang will be headliner and old-timer Lionel Richie, accompanied by Lewis Capaldi, Snow Patrol, The Chemical Brothers and, UK festival exclusive, Duran Duran. Not forgetting artists like Sigma (DJ set), Primal Scream, Kaiser chiefs and Happy Mondays. Get your party wellies out and prepare to dance the weekend away.  

11th – 14th June

Where: Isle Of Wight
Website: www.isleofwightfestival.com

The Great Escape

The Great Escape

In a city abrim with independent music venues cropping up on every corner, it only seems fitting Brighton is home to a festival dedicated to showcasing emerging artists. Scattered over 30 venues and even its very own pop-up festival site on Brighton Beach itself, it’s a chance to discover fresh new talent and maybe even the next Idles.

13th – 16th May

Where: Brighton
Website: www.greatescapefestival.com

Glastonbury

Glastonbury

Okay, okay. We know you’ve missed the ballot but it’s just not a guide to the UK’s best festivals without included the big shots. But, so that we don’t give you serious FOMO for the lucky one’s who bagged themselves a ticket, we’ll keep it short. Headliners realised include Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, and Diana Ross, with huge names waiting to be revealed nearer the date. But, with the line-up thus far, we’re already experiencing FOMO ourselves. The festival may well have sold out in the first 35 minutes but we’re hopeful that where there’s a will there’s a way when it comes to nabbing a ticket!

24th – 28th June

Where: Pilton
Website: www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

Bestival

Bestival

This quirky offering used to be based on the Isle of Wight and has recently set up camp in Lulworth. Bestival really is one of the best festivals, with shennanigans inclusive of fancy dress, poetry, theatre, comedy oh and music (of course). The festival is a bit of staple when it comes to music having run for a noteworthy amount of time boasting names such as M.I.A., London Grammar, Silk City (Diplo & Mark Ronson), Grace Jones, Plan B, Chaka Khan, Mura Masa, First Aid Kit, Sam Smith and more. We’re super excited to see who’ll be making their way onto the stage this year…

30th July – 2nd August 

Where: East Lulworth
Website: www.campbestival.net

Bluedot

Bluedot

Any science fanatics may be a fan of this one as Bluedot combines music, science and cosmic culture into four jam-packed days of fun. Details are a little hush hush at the moment but last year is anything to go by, you’ll be in good hands. 

23rd – 26th July 

Where: Cheshire
Website: www.discoverthebluedot.com

Latitude

Latitude

A double whammy of music and performing arts, Latitude Festival shouts about all things from music, comedy and poetry to theatre, politics, film and workshops. If you’re up for a dose of the eclectic then this festi is where it’s at, with electronic, alternative, folk and a whole lot more on offer. What’s more, if you’re feeling a little fragile post festivalling (if that’s a word?!) there’s yoga and wellness on offer to get you back into the party spirit as soon as possible! This year’s line-up includes Him, Liam Gallagher, The Chemical Brothers, Keane, The Lumineers and Michael Kiwanuka.

16th – 19th July 

Where: Suffolk
Website: www.latitudefestival.com

Love Supreme

Love Supreme

For the jazz lovers wanting a boogie, then Love Supreme is the perfect option to fulfill your deepest jazz-inspired desires. With the rolling hills of the iconic South Downs of East Sussex surrounding you, Love Supreme is the first all jazz festival in the UK, spread across four stages. Expect to be dancing the weekend away to The Isley Brothers, Sergio Mendes and Charles Lloyd. 

3rd – 5th July

Where: Sussex
Website: www.lovesupremefestival.com

Wilderness

Wilderness

If go big or go home isn’t your style then Wilderness fest is where it’s at, boasting vibes a little on the tamer side (although the image above shows otherwise). This culturally diverse occasion in Oxfordshire sees revellers enjoying all things from music (past acts include Robyn, Bombay Bicycle Club, Bastille, Chic & Nile Rodgers and Groove Armada), to Shakespeare and a whole smattering of hot tubs.

30th July – 2nd August 

Where: Charlbury
Website: www.wildernessfestival.com

TRNSMT Festival

TRNSMT Festival

Claiming that a Scottish crowd is the best audience you can get is an extremely bold statement, with I’m sure most countries around the world claiming their city’s is the best. That being said, we aren’t going to disagree – you’ll have to find out yourself by heading to TRNSMT Festival this July. Over the three days, the Glaswegian audience will see Liam Gallagher, Foals, Sam Fender, Blossoms, Courtneers, Lewis Capaldi, Snow Patrol and Rita Ora hit the stage, along with so many other amazing acts.  

10th – 14th July

Where: Glasgow
Website: www.trnsmtfest.com

Parklife

Parklife

One of the biggest dance music events in the UK is rockin’ into Manchester to rave up Heaton Park. There are tropical vibes galore with a Palm House and Circoloco, the Ibizan staple as well as DJs and artists in their truck loads. The diamond of Manchester’s music scene has seen huge past headliners taking to the stage; The xx, Lorde, Jessie Ware, Skepta and A$AP Rocky being just a few.

13th – 14th June 

Where: Manchester
Website: Join The Waiting List Here

Liverpool Sound City

Liverpool Sound City

Liverpool Sound City is all about promoting fresh new talent and for that reason, we love it! This year, you’ll find a line-up including Pale Waves, The Blinders, Tim Burgess, The Lathums and Stealing Sheep. It’s a groovy opportunity to brush up on your musical knowledge and be the person that plays the best new tunes at your next party!

1st – 3rd May

Where: Liverpool
Website: www.soundcity.uk.com

Henley Festival

Henley Festival

Known as the UK’s only black-tie festival, Henley Festival is the closest thing we have to reaching those glamorous Coachella vibes – that being said, it looks hella classy with many festival goers arriving by boat. The green lawns give off total Great Gatsby vibes – this accompanied with champagne, fireworks and black tie clad, and you’ve got a perfect festival. Set up 38 years-ago, it still to this day runs on as a nonprofit basis, supporting charitable projects on both a national and local level. Including all things musical, comedic, jazz and swing, world and folk.

8th – 12th July

Where: Henley On Thames
Website: www.henleyfestival.com

Green Man

Green Man

If you fancy a little holiday away, you can camp at Green Man for the whole week, allowing you to discover the underrated beauty of the Welsh surroundings. It’s nestled within the Brecon Beacons with miles of mountains, waterfalls, forests and rivers for you to explore. Across the weekend, the line-up is filled with a whole range of genres, with previous headliners like Four Tet (Live), Father John Misty and Eels. Plus, if music isn’t your tipple, then there is plenty of literature, comedy, arts, science and film to peruse.  

20th – 23rd August

Where: Wales
Website: www.greenman.net

Reading | Leeds

Reading | Leeds

If Reading or Leeds wasn’t your first festival debut when you were a teenager, can you even call yourself a real Brit?

What was once the UK’s leading alternative festival has since blossomed into a world of its own showcasing emerging talent alongside serious music legends. The first 2020 headline announcement has been made and will see Liam Gallagher rocking the stage. It’s the only way we’ll be spending our August bank holiday.

28th – 30th August 

Where: Reading / Leeds
Website: www.readingfestival.com

Download

Download

Perhaps one for heavy rock fans around the table, but Download Festival is iconic among the rock music set. Parking up in Donington Park, you can expect to be rocking to music legends Kiss, Iron Maiden, System of a Down and Korn. Rock on!

12th – 14th June 

Where: Derbyshire
Website: www.downloadfestival.co.uk

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