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.
Sunday 5 May, multiple venues across Leicester
Kicking off the season once again is Leicester’s ever growing independent festival, Handmade, which takes place at at various venues across Leicester on Sunday 5 May. As always, the line-up reflects the very best of the country’s new music talent mixed with the finest local acts. Headline acts this year come in the form of Metronomy and The Futureheads, with other notable acts including The Sherlocks, Jamie Lenman and Black Honey, as well as a host of brilliant up and coming and local acts. Plus, don’t worry about getting around the different venues because they’ll be providing free buses! They’ve just been named in the Top 10 City Festivals by The Guardian, so grab one of the ;last remaining tickets on sale from the Handmade Festival website.
14 – 16 June, Donington Park
The UK’s biggest rock festival comes to Donington Park once again with another huge line-up. Headliners this year are Def Leppard, Slipknot, Slash, Tool, Smashing Pumpkins and Slayer, which is pretty massive! Elsewhere on the line-up you’ll find Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus’ new outfit, Simple Creatures, Rob Zombie, Whitesnake, Enter Shikari and so many more. It’s one of the UK’s biggest festivals and it’s just up the road! Weekend and day tickets are on sale now from the Download Festival website.
2-4 August, Gopsall Farm, Twycross
110 Above is really making its mark on the local festival scene and every year keeps getting better and better. Heading to the Leicestershire farm will be Pale Waves, Mystery Jets, Twin Deep, Jaws and loads more talent! Leicester starlets, Easy Life, will be down there too! Festival organisers have built 110 Above up slowly over the past few years and now they really seem to be turning this into a top weekend of music, which TMRW Magazine called “Indie’s best kept secret“! Tickets start from £52.50 and are available from the 110 Above website.
Back to the 80s 90s Festival
30 August – 1 September, Cattows Farm, Leicestershire
Back to the 80s 90s Festival is back this year with another fantastically retro line-up! Where else in Leicestershire could you find Tony Hadley, Vengaboys, Heather Small, Nik Kershaw, B*Witched, S Club, 911, East 17, Shola Ama and so many more?! It’s going to be one long weekend party, that’s for sure. Don’t forget your fancy dress, on Sunday they’ll be attempting the world record for the most people dressed as Where’s Wally in one place!
Tickets are priced from £65 and are on sale via Eventbrite.
THE BEST OF THE REST
25 – 28 July, Lulworth Castle, Dorset
If you have little ones that you want to introduce to festival life then Camp Bestival is an absolute MUST. Arguably the UK’s finest family friendly festival returns to Lulworth Castle at the end of July, and it looks set to be better than ever. Camp Bestival is so family friendly, in fact, 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 Jess Glynn, Lewis Capaldi, Nile Rogers & Chic, The Human League and Annie Mac (Oh, and East 17… very excited about that!). Plus the kids can enjoy shows from Mr Tumble, Mr Bloom, Mister Maker… in fact there’s a whole CBeebies takeover! They can jump on the world’s biggest bouncy castle, enjoy the firework spectacular, enjoy bedtime stories, and look forward to meeting new friends in Dingley Dell. The perfect introduction to festival life for your little ones where the fun doesn’t stop all weekend. Tickets are on sale from the Camp Bestival website.
Sunday 30 June, Finsbury Park
What a line-up they’ve pulled together for Community Festival this year. With London only 1 hour on the train there’s no excuse not to jump on board and head down to one of the great events happening in the capital. Community takes place in the beautiful Finsbury Park and is headlined by The Kooks. They’ll be joined by the likes of Blossoms, the awesome Kate Nash, rising star Gerry Cinnamon, one of our favourites in The Hunna (who saw them back at The Cookie?), The Amazons and Leicestershire’s own future stars, Sea Girls. Elsewhere you can see Blaenavon, Don Broco, The Night Cafe and loads more. All on one day with no need to get your tent out! Oh, and tickets are only £40. Grab yours from the Community website.
13 – 14 July 2019 – Blackheath, London
Another reason to jump on the train to the capital this summer is OnBlackheath, which has pulled together a brilliant line-up over the 2 days, offering something really different to the rest of this summer’s festival scene. Don’t miss the chance to catch Jamiroquai headlining on Saturday night, with canned heat in his heels he’ll be supported by James Morrison, The Roots, Soul II Soul and more. Sunday’s line-up is just as brilliant with the fabulous Grace Jones alongside Rag n Bone Man, Newton Faulkner, UB40, Morcheeba, Aswad and more. If that’s not enough there’s a whole host of other fun on offer for the kids thanks to the Science Museum, Mister Maker Live and even a mini zoo. The festival is held in a beautiful part of London on the heath and tickets are only £75 for the weekend (kids £15). Grab tickets from the OnBlackheath website.
Slam Dunk Festival
25 & 26 May, Leeds and London
This year we mourn the loss of Slam Dunk from the Midlands, BUT don’t worry because you know what, Leeds really isn’t that far and it’s a bloody brilliant city! The UK’s best celebration of pop punk has pulled out another brilliant line-up of acts including All Time Low, New Found Glory, NOFX, Simple Plan, As It Is, HelloGoodbye and so many more that we just can’t list them all. If pop-punk is your thing, Slam Dunk is an absolute must! Slam Dunk North takes place in Leeds on Saturday 25 May and Slam Dunk South takes place at Hatfield House Park on Sunday 26 May. Tickets are priced at £64.90 for the one day event and are available from the Slam Dunk website.
7 – 11 August 2019, Newquay
The best festival view in the UK? I think it just might be. Boardmasters is the coolest way to soak up the summer vibes in Newquay, with your favourite acts overlooking the stunning Watergate Bay. If you can think of a better way to spend a summer’s weekend, please let us know! The line-up this year is as good as ever with Florence and The Machine, Wu-Tang Clan, Foals, Slaves, Dizzee Rascal, Plan B, The Wombats, Rudimental and so many more! Plus, they clearly got in the festival act booking game early this year with star of the moment Lewis Capaldi playing mid way down the line-up. If you missed out on tickets to his arena tour, you won’t want to miss this. Keen to keep an eye on the local? Leicester’s finest stars Easy Life, Sea Girls and Mahalia are all on the bill over the weekend! Of course, as well as the music you’re right by Fistral Beach for arguably the very best surfing in the UK. Make the most if it and turn it into a summer holiday. Tickets start from £69 per day with VIP upgrades, after party bolt-ons and surfing lessons available as part of your package too. Find out more on the Boardmasters website.
British Summer Time
Various dates, 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 Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder with his pal Lionel Richie, Florence & The Machine and The National and Robbie Williams who’s being supported by Black Eyed Peas, Keane, Texas and Feeder. As always there’ll be other on site entertainment, a brilliant street food offering and numerous bars on site. The events make for a brilliant day out! 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.
19 – 21 July, Sheffield
Sheffield’s Tramlines festival has pulled yet another top line-up out of the bag this year with Two Door Cinema Club, The Courteeners, Nile Rodgers, Manic Street Preachers, Johnny Marr, Rag & Bone Man and heaps more descending on Sheffield for the weekend! Plus it’s cheap – yep all of them for just £75.50 for a weekend ticket. The event takes place at Hillsborough Park and this year they’ve also got a pop-up cinema, comedy, kids disco and giant games for families to enjoy too (under 12s go free). Full info from the Tramlines website.
Which festivals will you be heading to this year? Let us know over on Twitter.