Your guide to the UK festival scene this summer 2018

Fri 13 – Sat 14 July

Gunnersbury Park, London

The two-day Groove Armada dance-a-thon is back for another year, but this time in a new home: Acton’s Gunnersbury Park. But the hustle and bustle of moving hasn’t stopped them setting the festival’s lineup on fire: Childish Gambino, NERD and Skepta take the headliner spots, and with appearances from Wu Tang Clan, Anderson.Paak, Bonobo and Mura Masa, it’s set to be a helluva weekend that both hardened Lovebox goers and new partiers will enjoy.

Of course, previous visitors to the festival will know that’s not all it includes, with circus performers, cabaret and fringe acts all involved, Lovebox is also known for being a very creative-led event, with stages and areas being elaborately built and dressed. Moreover, the Chapel of Love(box) is famed for hosting the best weddings ever: those with your best bud. There’s also hip-hop karaoke, beauty parlours, vintage markets, cocktail bars and street food to sink your teeth into amid all that brilliant music – if you can tear yourself away from the stage, that is. There’s loads to take away from the Lovebox experiences – just don’t forget to stay hydrated – and beer doesn’t count!

Thurs 12 – Sun 15 July

Henham Park, Southwold

It’s a great Western tradition to go crazy with your mates when the DJ cranks up Mr Brightside at the end of a night out. But just imagine how much better that would be when surrounded by tens of thousands of people at a festival? Well, this summer, Latitude are making it happen. Las Vegas quartet The Killers are the main headline act, however the festival is staying true to its indie roots with the appearance of Solange, Alt-J, plus long-time Scottish folk rockers Belle and Sebastian. There’s also Black Honey, Fickle Friends and Rag N Bone Man, making Sussex proud of its musical expats.

Across the wooded areas Alcove and Solas, festivalgoers are able to find emerging artists from across the musical spectrum. The Faraway Forest and Lavish are arts spaces, visually spectacular and feature live art performances. Even kids and teens are accommodated for with specific activities and areas just for them. No surprise Latitude previously won awards for Best Family Festival and Best Family Day Out.

Thurs 26 – Sun 29 July

Pikehall, Derbyshire

Why just go to a festival? Why not a mini-golf tournament and paint fight too? Add a fun fair? Why not? For one weekend a year, the stunning Peak District countryside becomes home to Y Not Festival: the embodiment of pushing boundaries in all that is expected at a British music festival.

Since 2005 when it began life as an over-spilling house party in the deepest, darkest Derbyshire, there has been steady, organic growth, its lineup getting better each year to reflect this. This year’s incredible lineup includes The Libertines, Catfish and The Bottlemen, and Jamiroquai as headliners, with Welsh legends Manic Street Preachers, Kaiser Chiefs and festival veterans The Levellers also making the bill. But fear not – it’s not just old bangers your dad listens to, there’s also Blaenavon, Pale Waves, Bryde and more waving the flag for the up-and-comers corner.

With panoramic countryside views, local ales, food and more live music than you can shake a stick at… all you need to bring is yourself, some wellies and a killer fancy dress outfit.

Thurs 26 – Sun 29 July

Standon Lordship, Hertfordshire

A boutique event which punches well above its weight, Standon Calling is set in beautiful Hertfordshire countryside. Now celebrating its thirteenth year, it’s grown from a gardenparty into one of the friendliest festivals in Britain. Across four days you’ll hear music from Paloma Faith, George Ezra and Bryan Ferry. Joining them is Maribou State, Gaz Coombes, Gengahr, Goldfrapp, Little Simz, Akala, Ibibio Sound Machine, Dream Wife, The Horrors, and Nina Nesbitt.

Elsewhere, you’ll be able to savour incredible food from vendors like Patty & Bun, Wingmans and Happy Maki, or rave until the early hours with 2ManyDjs, Hot Chip, George Fitzgerald (Live), DJ Yoda and Greg Wilson. There are loads of family activities too, or you might want to laugh it up with top shelf comedy – including Lucy Porter, Kerry Godliman and Seann Walsh. You could as easily lounge by the pool, luxuriate in a hot tub, take relaxing treatments or be inspired by talks. There’s even workshops, a dog show, a fancy dress parade and a range of incredible activities.

Fri 24 – Mon 27 Aug
Ashdown Forest, East Sussex

Are you ready for a festival that dubs itself as being “a carnival of free speech and independent media”? Hosted over four days in August, Byline Festival will be taking place in Pippingford Park in Sussex this year, having partnered with the Frontline Club. With workshops and performers, as well as guest speakers such as Hugh Grant and John Cleese, this festival has loads of activities to get involved with; it’s virtually impossible to be bored! It’s also notable for its lack of commercialism, and that it is founded by two people; one has a punk background, the other being a playwright and dramatist.

Among other festival highlights, there will be a BBC Virtual Reality Tent, where you can immerse yourself ten-minute films such as A Trip Down The Nile, as hosted by BBC volun-teers. There is also The Bad Press Awards, who, with their tagline, say that they are “campaigning for Truth and Trust in Britian’s Feral Press.” There will also be announcements relating to Byline Festival 2019, as well as a Drag Queen Miss Byline Beauty Pageant, which will take place in The Other Bit. This festival also does not shy away from being innately political; featuring topics such as Brexit, Fake Enviromental News, Whistleblowers Make History, Putin’s World Disorder, and what has been dubbed “Trumpocracy”, this is the place you need to be this summer.


Also hugely recommended…


Weds 8 – Sun 12 July

Watergate Bay, Newquay


Sun 15 July

Gunnersbury Park, London


Thurs 20 – Sun 22 July

Hillsborough Park, Sheffield


Fri 20 – Sun 22 July

Hill Farm, Oxfordshire


Fri 27 – Sun 29 July

Secret Location, Nr Brighton


Sat 28 – Sun 29 July

Lloyd Park, Croydon


Thurs 2 – Sun 5 Aug

Lulworth Estate, Dorset


Thurs 2 – Sun 5 Aug

Hever, Kent


Fri 2 – Sun 5 Aug

Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire


Thurs 16 – Sun 19 Aug

Brecon Beacons, Wales


Fri 24 – Sun 26 Aug

Richfield Avenue, Reading


Fri 24 – Sun 26 Aug

Southsea Seafront


Thurs 30 Aug – Sun 2 Sept

Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset


Thurs 6 – Sun 9 Sept

Portmeirion, Wales

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