BN1’s Guide to Summer Festivals

Reading Festival – Fri 25 – Sun 27 Aug

Kasabian will be amongst the headliners at Reading

Kasabian will be amongst the headliners at Reading

Rivalling Glastonbury for the pinnacle of the UK festival scene, Reading Festival returns once again with a line-up that promises a bank holiday weekend not to miss! This year sees the return of Eminem, Muse and Kasabian to headline the main stage which means that massive sets are guaranteed. Expect to hear classic anthems from each including ‘Without Me’, ‘Supermassive Black Hole’ and ‘Fire’ plus fresh material from Kasabian’s new album ‘For Crying Out Loud’.

2017 also sees the rise of a number of acts including JUDAS, Black Honey and Louis Berry who are all names to watch out for over the next few years. Local royalty Fatboy Slim will also be making headline appearance over in the BBC Radio 1 Dance Tent for those who want more of an energetic ‘90s throwback.

Having once been the home to the biggest rock weekend in the UK, Reading now caters for everything including alternative, metal, rock, punk and dance meaning that everyone whatever the taste, whatever the mood will be in for a treat. That is after you’ve dragged yourself through the characteristically boggy campsite – though it wouldn’t be Reading without the mud.

Truck Fest – Fri 21 – Sun 23 July

Franz Ferdinand will be headlining at this year's Truck Fest

Franz Ferdinand will be headlining at this year’s Truck Fest

Returning to the Oxfordshire countryside for its 19th year, Truck Festival boasts one of the biggest line-ups yet with headliners including Franz Ferdinand, The Libertines and The Vaccines. With it’s main emphasis resting on the music experience the festival also offers up big names including Slaves and The Wombats and finds support from up-and-coming acts Sundara Karma, Vant and Cabbage.

Back in 1998 founders (Robin and Joe Bennett) felt that the likes of Glastonbury and other big arenas were becoming commercialised and predictable so the festival as we know it was born. Priding itself as the “godfather of the small festival scene” the festival offers itself as an antidote to the large crowds of mainstream events.

When most festivals want to grow, the principles that Truck Fest are built around mean that it has remained dwarfed by larger events by choice, instead maintaining a small capacity of only a little over 5000. This guarantees that you won’t become just another face in the crowd but will instead feel closer to the artists and actually be doing some good thanks to the festival’s supported charities.

Boardmasters – Wed 9 – Tue 13 Aug

Catch Stormzy at Boardmasters this year

Catch Stormzy at Boardmasters this year

With arguably the best views from a festival site in the world the UK’s biggest surf, skate and music festival heads back to Watergate Bay and Fistral Beach for its 36th year. Set in the heart of the Cornish coast the festival offers a blend of acts and sporting spectacles to produce what is likely to be the most chilled vibes that you will find all summer. Watch the pros compete to tackle big waves, or with over 300 miles of prime coastline get involved yourself before heading back to the stages for an evening full of gigs.

This year plays host to artists including Stormzy, Jamiroquai and indie-pop legends Two Door Cinema Club who will all find themselves added to the Boardmasters hall of fame which has in previous years included Snoop Dogg, Bastille and Chase and Status. Plus for a change of pace head over to the skate park or if you want an even more relaxing experience wander down to one of the beach sessions. Whatever your choice, ditch the usual festival wellies and grab yourself a pair of flip-flops.

Camp Bestival – Thurs 27 – Sun 30 Aug

Located in the grounds of Lulworth Castle on Dorset’s dramatic Jurassic coast, Camp Bestival is the multi-award winning little sister of September’s Bestival. As the name suggest the festival places emphasis on the camping experience so you’re more likely to find yourself relaxing in the Boutique Campsite than wading through knee-high mud.

Boasting a vast kids area to accommodate for the ‘little’uns’ and a main stage headlined by sing-along favourites including Madness and ‘Uptown Funk’ singer Mark Ronson, Camp Bestival undoubtedly aspires to be the most stress-free festival experience going. In addition to the live acts, the family friendly festival offers stages for both comedy and theatre with highlights including a production of The School of Rock – The Musical and the return of TV’s favourite mischief makers Dick and Dom.

If all this excitement isn’t enough for you then continue exploring and join the fancy dress parade, bounce around on the world’s biggest bouncy castle, or for a more nail-biting experience watch the gravity-defying Wall of Death.

Boomtown – Thurs 10 – Sun 13 Aug

Sector 6 Stage

We’ve all imagined ourselves in an extravagant fantasy– so why not live one? Chapter 9 of Boomtown’s steampunk themed story ‘Behind the Mask’ unfolds this August in Hampshire’s Matterley Estate. With a bill including Protoje, Newton Faulkner and The Comet is Coming the four day festival will bring together every conceivable narrative in one place for a weekend of absurdity and excess. Expect to find yourself spinning away from pirates just to end up facing down the Wild West.

One minute you’ll be partying in the pulsing heart of the Town Centre or swinging to the soulful circus-themed Mayfair, the next you’ll be dancing to gypsy fusion in Old Town or vibing to reggae and jungle in the Aztec-esque Trench Town. Then for a change of pace and something slightly heavier turn towards Chinatown for a dose of ska and punk or head into the pioneering futuristic zone of DSTRKT 5 or Sector 6’s nuclear plant for some drum & bass.

Whatever you’re mood Boomtown can deliver so be sure to make your escape and become a part of the most inclusive story as it unfolds. Viva la revolution!

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