Let’s be honest: there are hundreds of festivals every year, and it’s just not possible to go wild and attend them all. Some of them focus on a particular genre of music, some pair up with a sport, some are family friendly . . . and others, not so much. So how do you pick? When there are so many fantastic chances to get closer to the musicians that you love, why not think about festivals a little differently? We’ve chosen nine of festivals that we think you should be attending – and we want you to let us know in the comments below if we’ve missed your favourite.
Bournemouth 7s: ‘an action-packed schedule of sport and music’
When/where: 26-28th May, Bournemouth
Who will be there? Sports enthusiasts, local emerging artists, DJs, urban and garage acts, and some of the best sportspeople in the world.
Why should I be going? If you love sport, there is no better place to be this summer than the Bournemouth 7s festival – rugby, netball, dodgeball, and hockey teams will come together to compete for the ultimate title in the biggest music and sports festival in the world! Work hard, and play hard: every evening, over five venues will set up for world-changing music sets. What’s not to love?
Mutiny: ‘this year’s outdoor dance spectacular’
When/where: 27-28th May, Portsmouth
Who will be there? 50 Cent, Chase and Status, Majestic, Pendulum, Big Tobz, Kwali, Chicane, Soger Sanchez, Bontan, Sasasas, JD Hazard, Mollie Collins, MJ Cole
Why should I be going? If you have dreamt about seeing 50 Cent live, then this may be one of the best chances that you will ever get – he’ll be headlining at Mutiny Festival this year, and there are tonnes of other drum and bass, grime, and dance acts to lose yourself in. Mutiny may only be four years old this year, but it’s proved itself amongst the big guns and we predict big things its future.
Isle of Wight Festival: ‘a festival of counterculture’
When/where: 8-11th June, Isle of Wight
Who will be there? David Guetta, Rod Stewart, Kaiser Chiefs, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, The Pretenders, The Kooks, Melanie C, Bastille, George Ezra, Clean Bandit, Scouting for Girls, Razorlight
Why should I be going? Spiritual festival home of Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, The Who, and Leonard Cohen, the Isle of Wight Festival is considered to be one of the absolute best music festivals – and not only do you have to get there by boat, but there’s even an outdoor spa to unwind in after the crazy nights.
Wild Life Festival: ‘secret sets to be revealed soon’
When/where: 9-10th June, Brighton City Airport
Who will be there? Jess Glynne, Chaka Khan, Fatboy Slim, Stormzy, Eric Prydz, DJ Bannerworx, Moxie, the Martinez Brothers, My Nu Leng, Shadow Child, The Black Madonna
Why should I be going? If you’re all about the music, then this is the festival for you: no frills, just thrills, as some of the best musicians head over to Brighton to amaze. This is also a non-camping music festival, so if you’re not a happy camper then this could be the place for you.
Glastonbury: ‘twice as many bands this year and a new drive-in cinema‘
When/where: 21-25th June, Pilton Somerset
Who will be there? Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Ed Sheeran, The XX, Katy Perry, Lorde, Solange, Laura Marling, The Jacksons, Emeli Sandé, Haim, Annie Mac, Birdy
Why should I be going? It’s Glastonbury. One of those festival experiences that anyone seriously in love with getting out to a field, getting muddy, and listening to some of the best music in the world needs to go to, even if it’s just once.
Y Not Festival: ‘great people having a great time makes a great festival’
When/where: 27-30th July, Derbyshire
Who will be there? Stereophonics, The Vaccines, Clean Bandit, Maxïmo Park, Feeder, Lethal Bizzle, Idris Elba, Kate Nash, Black Foxxes, Shvpes
Why should I be going? Starting out as a gathering of local teenagers, Y Not Festival has exploded to include family friendly craft events, a rustic inn, and a wild west saloon. Their green approach extended to recycling stations and vegan food stalls, so if you like a little conscience with your music, this is the festival for you.
Bloodstock Open Air: ‘the new home of traditional metal rock music’
When/where: 10-13th August, Derbyshire
Who will be there? Megadeth, Skindred, Hatebreed, Whitechapel, Bossk, Wintersun, Courtesans, Oni, Kroh, King Parrot, Blind Guardian, Annihilator
Why should I be going? One of the few festivals dedicated purely to heavy metal, this is the best place to hear the bands you love along with some rising stars that get their first official show. The community-feel at Bloodstock is always indescribable, and you could find yourself making friends for life here.
V Festival: ‘Jay Z may drop new material in time for his headline set’
When/where: 18-20th August, Chelmsford and South Staffordshire
Who will be there? Rudimental, Calum Scot, Scouting for Girls, Craig David, Example, Jay Z, Pink, James Arthur, Sean Paul, Busted, The Vamps, The Wombats, Ellie Goulding,
Why should I be going? Considered one of the safest and most regulated festivals, V Festival is known for its expensive water but outstanding acts. If you want to save the pennies, pick the day that looks the best (difficult, we know), and grab a day ticket.
Reading and Leeds Festival: ‘the world’s oldest popular music festival still in existence’
When/where: 24-27th August, Reading and Leeds
Who will be there? Kasabian, Majestic, Eminem, Major Lazer, Korn, Muse, Blossoms, Architects, The Black Lips, Wiley, You Me At Six, Charli XCX, Katy B, Sundara Karma
Why should I be going? The hallowed grounds of rock, Reading Festival is best known for its incredibly vocal audiences, and it’s history of being one of the first festivals in the world really gives the place an atmosphere you can’t replicate anywhere else. Whether you decide to attend Reading or Leeds, you’ll experience the same line up which is an impressive feat.