Summer is fast approaching and along with it comes festival season! With the festival calendar growing more every year we’ve selected our pick of the bunch, both locally and further afield. Get snapping up those tickets.
5-6 May, O2 Academy Leicester
Kicking off the season once again is Leicester’s ever growing independent festival, Handmade, which takes place at the O2 Academy on 5 & 6 May. As always, the line-up reflects the very best of the country’s new music talent mixed with the finest local talent. Headliners Drenge and Circa Waves are set to pack out the O2 Academy with other notable performances coming from the likes of Spector, Little Comets, Idles, Grace Petrie, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly and Future of the Left. Foodies are also in for a treat with Canteen providing the traders for the weekend! Last remaining tickets on sale from the Handmade Festival website.
29 June – 1 July, Market Harborough Showground
Bringing the some chart-topping names to Leicestershire this summer, Texfest lands in Market Harborough at the end of June. The festival will be headlined by Example and The Fratellis, with other performances across the weekend from We Are Scientists, Pigeon Detectives, Tinchy Stryder, Will Varley, The Hoosiers, Beans on Toast, Fuse ODG and a DJ set from Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw. There’ll be on site activities to keep the kids entertained, along with a funfair, camping, glamping and more. Weekend tickets are priced from £70 with VIP options available from the Texfest website.
8 – 10 June, Donington Park
The UK’s biggest rock festival comes to Donington Park once again with another huge line-up. Headliners this year are Avenged Sevenfold, Guns n Roses and Ozzy Osbourne, which is pretty massive! Elsewhere on the line-up you’ll find Marilyn Manson, You Me At Six, Bullet For My Valentine, The Hives, Black Stone Cherry, Andrew WK and so many more. Weekend and day tickets are on sale now from the Download Festival website.
15 – 16 June, Riverside Park, Newark
For a dose of nostalgia you can’y beat this year’s Newark Festival, which boasts performances from none other than Wet Wet Wet’s Marti Pellow, Kim Wilde, Go West, Limahl, Nick Heyward and more. With the stunning backdrop of Newark Castle and great food & drink options it’s set to be a great fun weekend out! Tickets and a VIP option are available now from the Newark Festival website.
3-5 August, Gopsall Farm
110 Above is really making its mark on the local festival scene this year with their best line-up yet. Heading to the Leicestershire farm will be Circa Waves, Fickle Friends, Peace, The Magic Gang, Eliza and The Bear, Saint Raymond, Marika Hackman and loads more talent! Festival organisers have built 110 Above up slowly over the past couple of years and now they really seem to be turning this into a top weekend of music! Tickets are priced at £85 for the weekend and available from the 110 Above website.
THE BEST OF THE REST
Slam Dunk Festival
Monday 26 May, Birmingham NEC
One of our favourite Midlands’ festivals is back again this year at their new(ish) base at Birmingham NEC. This year’s line-up once again pulls together the very best pop-punk you could wish for, with 2 huge headliners sharing the top spot as Good Charlotte and Jimmy Eat World both join in the fun. Elsewhere on the bill you’ll find Taking Back Sunday, Reel Big Fish, Lower Than Atlantis, State Champs, The Audition and loads more! Tickets are priced at £49 for the one day event and are available from the Slam Dunk website.
British Summer Time
July, Hyde Park, London
With Leicester just 1 hour away from the capital by train it would be rude not to enjoy a summer’s day out in the beautiful Hyde Park with some of pop’s biggest names, wouldn’t it? As ever, British Summer Time has pulled together a fantastic line-up of events including Michael Buble, Bruno Mars, Roger Waters, The Cure, Eric Clapton and Paul Simon, each with their own fantastic supporting bill. Also running at the start of the month are the Open House sessions with outdoor cinema, fantastic street food, live music and free activities. Perfect for all the family, make sure it’s on your summer day out list! Tickets are on sale from the British Summer Time website.
26 – 29 July, Lulworth Castle
Arguably the UK’s finest family friendly festival returns to Lulworth Castle at the end of July. So family friendly that it’s probably the most guilt free weekend of fun you’ll have where you can guarantee the kids will be having just as much fun as you! Main stage acts this year include Clean Bandit, Rick Astley, Orbital, Simple Minds and Shed Seven. Plus the kids can enjoy shows from Mr Tumble, Dick & Dom, Dinosaur World Live, Mister Maker, jump on the world’s biggest bouncy castle, dance at Rob Da Bank’s Music Club and enjoy all manner of fun activities. The perfect introduction to festival life for your little ones. Tickets are on sale from the Camp Bestival website.
Y Not Festival
26 – 29 July, Pikehall, Derbyshire
Y Not are bouncing straight back from the site and weather issues that surrounded the festival last year. The line-up is HUGE with The Libertines, Jamiroquai, Catfish & The Bottlemen, The Wombats, Manic Street Preachers, Seasick Steve, The Amazons, Tom Grennon… we could go on and on, plus organisers have been super quick to reassure everyone that the site layout has been improved and this year is very much on the up. Our past experience of Y Not has always been positive and we can’t wait to see the festival get right back to where it was at the head of the UK festival game! Tickets are on sale from the Y Not website.
A new kid on the festival block (see what we did there?) this summer is Blok Out in Derbyshire. The line-up for their debut event includes Feeder, Cast, The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club, Goldie Looking Chain and there’s plenty of foodie delights as Derby’s street food event Bustler takes over the on site catering. There’ll be a vintage fun fair and even an on site escape game and an old school barbers. Definitely a new one to check out! Tickets and info from the Blok Out website.
20 – 22 July, Sheffield
Sheffield’s Tramlines festival is pulling out all the stops this year with a line-up boasting Stereophonics, Noel Gallagher, Craig David, Clean Bandit, Blossoms, Jake Bugg and heaps more! Plus it’s cheap – yep all of them for just £79 for a weekend ticket. The event takes place at Hillsborough Park and this year they’ve also got a pop-up cinema, kids disco and giant games for families to enjoy too (under 12s go free). Full info from the Tramlines website.
6-8 July, Feanedock, The National Forest
For something a little bit different Timber Festival will be holding its inaugural event this summer in the nearby National Forest exploring nature and the arts. Highlights at the festival will include a keynote address from Stuart Maconie, the English festival premiere of Jony Easterby’s new interactive performance Tree and Wood, and the greenfield festival premiere of Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon. There’ll be fantastic onsite activities for families and plenty to keep everyone entertained, young and old. Plus it’ll be educational too! Tickets are available from the Timber Festival website.
Which festivals will you be heading to this year? Let us know over on Twitter.