The East End’s craziest summer fete is returning for its tenth birthday this year. The bunting-decked, straw bale-filled heart of this event, Village Mentality plays host to a lot more team sports than you usually see at your normal festival. The tug of war and sack races are only part of the proceedings. But this bash retains a distinctly left-field feel amidst a very urban setting. Artists include D.D Dumbo, Fat White Family, The Temper Trap, James Blake, Coves, Four Tet, Jackmaster b2b Gerd Janson, Fickle Friends, Plastician, Sleaford Mods, Blossoms and Beach House. This sells out every year, so act fast…. There aren’t many places in the city where you can soak up the sun while a brass band blasts out some contemporary classics.
It’s round two for this hugely popular local event. Selling out in just 72 hours in its debut year, once again we see chart-toppers Disclosure and Rudimental bring some of their favourite artists to the South Coast. Rightfully crowned Best New Festival at the UK Festival Awards, this year looks set to be even better. Across its four stages, the uncompromising cast of current and classic talent includes Skepta, Ice Cube, Busta Rhymes, Pusha T, De La Soul, Carl Cox, James Bay, Earth Wind & Fire, Annie Mac, The Avalanches, Four Tet, The Martinez Brothers, Dixon, Kurupt FM, Todd Terje, Eats Everything, Andy C and DJ EZ. Atop of all these, local collective and community project the Shoreham Allstars return after greatly impressing last year. That’s how you kick-start a summer!
Not only the first full-weekend camping jazz festival in the UK, but also the one with the best scenery. Nestled next to the stunning South Downs, it features a selection of world-class contemporary artists. There’s a big showing from some of the greatest international and UK jazz, soul and funk acts, plus plenty of cutting edge artists. The best local sounds also get a look in, with stage devoted entirely to the scene by Brighton’s Verdict Jazz Club. Just a few of 2016’s highlights include Grace Jones, Burt Bacharach, Lianne La Havas, Caro Emerald, Melody Gardot, Kamasi Washington, Kelis, Esperanza Spalding and Gilles Peterson. With DJs, talks, album playbacks, films, kids areas and a fairground, this is an immersive musical weekend with a friendly and dedicated following.
Not so much a festival as a series of genre-defining artists rocking the heart of London. Forget getting your tent robbed or have to live in squalid conditions for three days. Over the past three years BST has built a reputation for bringing together the biggest, brightest and best in the music industry, for two weekends that draw almost the whole city into its finest park. This year’s line-up is as impressive as ever, calling in Kendrick Lamar, Florence + The Machine, Stevie Wonder, Don Henley, Pharrell Williams, Jamie xx, Alabama Shakes, TV on The Radio, Warpaint, Wolf Alice, Ella Eyre, Olly Murs, Massive Attack, Mystery Jets, Nick Mulvey and Carole King. All that and more in the heart of the capital, without campsite to be seen and a tube service to whisk you home to bed. Result.
This diverse and expansive music festival returns in 2016 with two explosive headliners… LCD Soundsystem and Major Lazer join a line-up which spans genres, eras and continents. Featuring the hottest new acts, music’s most exciting names, grime’s heavy hitters and a few legends, it’s set to be the biggest year yet for the Tower Hamlets festival. It’s packed stages will feature Mø, Diplo, David Rodigan MBE, Toddla T, Kano, Patrick Topping, Nightmares On Wax, George Clinton, Jack Garratt, Oh Wonder, George FitzGerald, Terry Francis, B.Traits, Crazy P Soundsystem and Tiggs Da Author. The park also sees Fabric bringing their soundsystem outside, elrow’s Brazilian confetti-coated party and a VIP area inspired by the hedonistic lifestyle and intriguing charm of Miami Beach. There’s so much live music and world class DJ sets to discover in some incredible settings.
The Cambridgeshire countryside is getting ready to host the weird and wonderful once more. With this year’s theme of ‘Gardeners of the Galaxy’, this year can promise to be just as bizarre and brilliant as ever. Tunes come from Caribou, Primal Scream, Lissie, Maribou State, Rae Morris, Band Of Skulls, Hot Since 82, The Skints, Slutface, C Duncan, Kudu Blue, Natty, A Guy Called Gerald, PINS and loads of others. With many esoteric activities being excitedly embraced, the threat of the unusual is never far away, it’s a must for anyone wanting something wacky but refined. Naked trampolining, mud wrestling and twerking OAPs are fairly common here, so leave your preconceptions at the gates. So if you’re into cosmic knitting, floating dancefloors, laser wars or dance-offs, then get ready to rock. If not, you can always jump in the lake instead…
From its founder’s back garden to fronting an Android television advert, this festival has gone from strength to strength. Now renowned for breaking some of the UK’s biggest acts, they moved to a bigger location for their best event yet. Now offering a hefty 12 music venues and three main stages. With an artist line-up featuring Lianne La Havas, Circa Waves, Ghostpoet, Everything Everything, Roots Manuva, The 2 Bears, Submotion Orchestra, Formation, Clean Cut Kid, The Big Moon, Demob Happy, Dinosaur Pile Up, Fort Hope, Miamigo and Lazy Day, it’s a haven for new and alternative music fans. There’s also cinema, spas, cabaret, a casino, cocktail bars, workshops, food and paint fights, loads of sports activities, hidden venues, hot tubs and (we’re not joking here…) glitter wrestling. That’s a great weekend, right there!
Where else are you going to see Bananarama and DJ Yoda on the same line-up next to a castle? Family friendly and with views of Dorset’s stunning Jurassic coastline, Bestival’s younger sibling always offers an incredible wealth of entertainment. Music is being supplied by Fatboy Slim, Tears For Fears, Jess Glynne, Katy B, Kt Tunstall, Squeeze, Arrested Development, Jamie Lawson, Turin Brakes, The Brand New Heavies, The Cuban Brothers Duke Special and plenty more. There’s also delights from Keith Farnan, The Chuckle Brothers, Comedy Club 4 Kids, LazyTown Live, Aliens Love Underpants, London Contemporary Voices Choir’s Space Junk, Royal Albert Hall’s Albert’s Band, West End Kids, Funky Little Choir’s The Steelers and the BRIT School. It’s where ‘hi-de-hi’ holiday camp capers meet the spirit of early festivals.