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The Best Of The Fests: Stereoboard's Summer Festival Guide

Thursday, 23 May 2019 Written by Helen Payne

SUMMER. IS. FINALLY. HERE. Festival season is now upon us: the bumbags have been fished from the back of the wardrobe, the wellies have been scrubbed clean of two year’s worth of forgotten Glastonbury mud and you’ve stocked up on various colours of glitter from the craft shop. You discerning music fanatics now have an important choice to make: “Which festivals should you go to?”

Stereoboard know your pain. Every year we’re faced with the same dilemma, and with the UK festival scene growing faster than you can count your ever-growing collection of wristbands, it’s never been harder to decide. If only there were some sort of guide to help you through…

Here we are then. The best of the fests, organised by where you might be in the country. Because you’re never too far from a weekend of music and merriment. Let’s get started then, shall we?


WALES: GREEN MAN FESTIVAL

Nestled as far away from the hustle and bustle of city life as you can imagine (well, about an hour from Cardiff), the idyllic Green Man promises — and more often than not delivers — to let you escape the drudgery of life with bubbles, sparkles, colours, and general well-being. Oh, and of course there’s the music. Always providing a stellar line up ranging from folk heroes, electronica, indie rock and even some hardcore hip hop late at night on the Chai Wallahs stage, this year the bill has some real gems in the small print.

When? August 16 - 20.

Where? Glanusk Estate, Brecon Beacons.

Headliners: Father John Misty, Four Tet, Eels.

Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Big Thief, Stealing Sheep, Idles, Ex:Re, the Beths, Stella Donnelly.

Tickets: Weekend and day tickets for Green Man 2019 are now sold out. Congrats if you were lucky enough to nab one!

Find out more about Green Man here.

Other festivals in Wales: Cardiff Psych and Noise Fest, Sŵn, Let’s Rock Wales, SteelHouse, Merthyr Rising, and more.


LONDON: BRITISH SUMMER TIME

British Summer Time at Hyde Park has become a well-loved London institution over the years. Having previously hosted huge names such as the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, Arcade Fire, McBusted, Taylor Swift, the Strokes and Justin Bieber,  2019 is set to showcase some of the biggest and most popular artists from a range of eras and genres. You could even take your mam safe in the knowledge that she’ll enjoy herself.

When? July 5 - 14.

Where? Hyde Park, London.

Headliners: Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan and Neil Young, Florence and the Machine and the National, and Robbie Williams. Sigur Ros are also set to play a free headline show as part of the festival’s Open House series.

Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Black Eyed Peas, Laura Marling, Boy Azooga, Self Esteem, Nadine Shah, Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard.

Tickets: Individual day tickets are on sale now, priced from £65.00 including fees. Head here to buy tickets through Stereoboard.

Find out more about BST Hyde Park here.

Festivals in London: All Points East, Citadel, Camden Rocks, The Ends, South West Four, OnBlackheath, Kendal Calling, Kew The Music, Standon Calling, Greenwich Music Time, House Of Common, EFG London Jazz Festival, Community Festival, One Africa, Bushtock, Mighty Hoopla, Visions, Heritage Live, Hampton Court Palace Festival, Field Day, LoveBox, Meltdown, Wireless, Somerset House Series and more.


THE NORTH: BLUEDOT

Bluedot is the festival for those of you who just can’t decide between your two great loves: music or science? Well, why not choose both, and mash up some incredible electronic artists with real-life scientists all in one weekend of educational fun? That’s right, we said educational fun. Science is cool, especially when you’re thinking about outer space and watching Jon Hopkins or Kraftwerk’s 3-D live show at a real life observatory.

When? July 18 - 21.

Where? Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire

Headliners: Hot Chip, Jon Hopkins, Kraftwerk 3-D, New Order.

Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Kate Tempest, Sons Of Kemet, She Drew The Gun, John Grant, Jarvis Cocker Introducing Jarv Is...

Tickets: Tickets are on sale now, priced from £179.25 for the weekend and £65.70 for the day including fees.

Head here to buy tickets through Stereoboard.

Find out more about Blue Dot here.

Other festivals in the North: Wasteland, Star Shaped, Fusion Fest, Creamfields, Y Not?, Livewire, Bloodstock, Leeds Festival, Dot To Dot (also taking place in Nottingham and Bristol), Neighbourhood Weekender, BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend, Beat Herder, Tramlines, Lytham Festival and more.


THE SOUTH: READING FESTIVAL

Reading is a rite of passage. If you weren’t watching some amazing pop, rock, and punk bands, screaming your lungs out in a field and generally being debaucherous after your GCSE exams, what were you doing? Reading is the festival that gets you in to festivals - it lights a certain fire in you that never dies (until you get old, and want to sit in a comfy chair, and want to turn the music down, and be able to have showers, I suppose).

When? August 22 - 25.

Where? Richfield Avenue, Reading.

Headliners: The 1975, Post malone, Twenty One Pilots, Foo Fighters.

Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts:Anderson .Paak, Slowthai, the Japanese House, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers, Queen Zee, the Distillers.

Tickets: Weekend camping tickets are on sale now, priced from £221.40 including fees. Saturday and Sunday day tickets have sold out, but Friday day tickets are still available from £76.50 including fees.

Head here to buy tickets through Stereoboard.

Find out more about Reading Festival here.

Other festivals in the South: Isle Of Wight, Truck, Cornbury, Wilderness, Boomtown Fair, Ramblin Man Fair, Ritual Union Festival and more.


THE MIDLANDS: DOWNLOAD

Prepare to rock like you’ve never rocked before! Grab your black band t shirts and get ready to raise those horns, it’s time for the biggest rock and metal festival in the UK. Download formed in 2003 as a follow up to the 1980 and 1996 festival Monsters Of Rock, and still holds this title, despite the name change. If you can’t think of a better weekend than one choc-a-block with arena-sized mosh pits, then this is the place for you. Welcome.

When? June 14 - 16.

Where? Donington Park, Derby

Headliners: Def Leppard, Slipknot, Tool.

Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Slayer, Alien Weaponry , Skindred, Power Trip, the Interrupters, Conjurer, Fever 333, Animals As Leaders.

Tickets: Tickets are on sale now, with five day camping tickets from £237.60, three day camping tickets from £226.80, and individual day tickets from £89.20, all including fees.

Head here to buy tickets through Stereoboard.

Find out more about Download Festival here.

Other festivals in the Midlands: Latitude (not really the midlands, we know, but somewhere in the middle!), Dot To Dot (also taking place Manchester and Bristol) and more.


SCOTLAND: TRNMST

We get it, Scotland. It’s not all about the Edinburgh Fringe. Sure, we love literature, comedy and theatre, but what about the music? That’s where TRNSMT steps in: A summer weekend to fill your boots with some of the chart-toppers you’ve been after for so long. Situated at Glasgow Green, this festival proves that the Scots are up there with some of the best audiences in the world.

When? July 12 - 14.

Where? Glasgow Green, Glasgow.

Headliners: Stormzy, Catfish And The Bottlemen, George Ezra.

Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Years & Years, Sigrid, the Kooks, the Big Moon, Arkells, Fontaines D.C.

Tickets: Tickets for TRNSMT are on sale now, with day passes from £65.45, two day passes from £114.95, and weekend tickets from £164.95, all including fees.

Head here to buy tickets through Stereoboard.

Find out more about TRNSMT Festival here.

Other festivals in Scotland: Glasgow Summer SessionsEdinburgh Summer Sessions, Edinburgh International Festival, Eden Festival, Celtic Connections, Rewind Festival, Kylie at Edinburgh Castle, Playground Festival, Solas and more.


SOUTH WEST: END OF THE ROAD

A smaller festival than some of the others listed, End Of The Road is all about the charm. Picturesque and relaxed but serious about music, this festival is more concerned with a magical woodland wonderland, calming, decorated spaces and being at one with nature and art than it is about corporate advertising or financial gain. Formed in 2005, EOTR has always had a more indie aesthetic than some of its older festival siblings, having hosted Badly Drawn Boy, Patti Smith, Sigur Rós, Sufjan Stevens, Mac DeMarco and many more.

When? August 28 - September 1.

Where? Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset.

Headliners: Beirut, Metronomy, Michael Kiwanuka, Spiritualized.

Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Parquet Courts, Mitski, BC Camplight, Courtney Barnett, Martha, Viagra Boys, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, the Murder Capital.

Tickets:Weekend tickets are on sale now, priced from £199.99 including fees.

Head here to buy tickets through Stereoboard.

Find out more about End Of The Road Festival here.

Other festivals in Wales: Eden Sessions, Glastonbury, Boardmasters, Bristol Sounds, the Downs, Love Saves The Day, Beautiful Days, Dot To Dot (Also taking place in Manchester and Nottingham), 2000Trees, ArcTanGent, Watchet and more.


IRELAND AND N.IRELAND: ELECTRIC PICNIC

Now entering its second decade, Electric Picnic is a three-day music and arts festival set in Ireland’s gorgeous countryside, where good vibes are par for the course. You’d think it was difficult to top last year’s bill — which saw Kendrick Lamar, Massive Attack, N.E.R.D, St Vincent, George Ezra and Garbage for Pete’s sake — but they’ve managed to nail it, nabbing the most popular artists at the moment, evergreen pop stars, and that throwback band you never thought you’d have the chance to see.

When? August 30 - September 1.

Where? Stradbally Hall, County Laois.

Headliners: The Strokes, Florence And The Machine, the 1975.

Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Billie Eilish, James Blake, Metronomy, the Streets, Heavy Lungs, Shura, Bodega.

Tickets: All weekend and day tickets for this event are sold out. You’ll have to be quicker next year!

Find out more about Electric Picnic Festival here.

Other festivals in Ireland and Northern Ireland: Live At The Marquee, Longitude, All Together Now, Belfast Vital, Dublin’s Trinity Summer Series, Let’s Rock Belfast, Belsonic, Malahide Castle’s Concert Series, Iveagh Gardens Concert Series and more.





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