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Summer Noise: Stereoboard's Ultimate Guide To Festival Season 2024

Wednesday, 22 May 2024 Written by Huw Baines & Jack Butler-Terry

Festival season is almost upon us (again) so it’s time to dust off your tent/flags/Doc Martens/wellies/fold-away chair/cooler/camping stove/disregard for societal norms and get back in a field. Here’s our one-stop selection of the best this year has to offer.

// Slam Dunk //

The year’s biggest pop-punk throwdown will once again shift festival season into high gear, with You Me At Six’s long farewell set to claim top billing. The UK scene stalwarts will bow out in 2025 — following two decades in the game — and this is their last fest on home soil. Elsewhere, keep an eye out for the revamped Funeral For a Friend, Head Automatica dialling up peak indie-disco by celebrating 20 years of ‘Decadence’ and Wilkes-Barre hardcore outfit One Step Closer bringing songs from their superb new record ‘All You Embrace’ out for the first time. // Huw Baines

  • When? South, May 25 / North, May 26
  • Where? Hatfield Park / Leeds Temple Newsam
  • Headliners: You Me At Six, I Prevail
  • Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Funeral For a Friend, Head Automatica, One Step Closer

// Wide Awake //

This pleasingly weird London one-dayer will host a killer line up of post-punk and sharp-edged electronica, with headliners King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Slowdive and Young Fathers offering their own idiosyncratic takes on garage-rock, shoegaze and hip hop, with further tasty treats coming in the form of Dry Cleaning’s wry sprechgesang and Sub Pop signees’ Sweeping Promises’ extremely cool, atmospheric minimalist punk. // HB

  • When? May 25
  • Where? Brockwell Park, London
  • Headliners: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Slowdive and Young Fathers
  • Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Dry Cleaning, La Luz, Sweeping Promises

// Parklife //

At the top of the bill is a major first with Doja Cat’s first UK festival headline set, but Parklife’s bona fides run deep these days. The poster for the Manchester event’s latest staging is studded with stars at the height of their powers, from J Hus to Four Tet and Peggy Gou, while the prospect of some peak nostalgia with Sugababes sits alongside someone like Nia Archives, who is reshaping decades of music lore in her own image. // HB

  • When? June 8-9
  • Where? Heaton Park, Manchester
  • Headliners: Doja Cat, Disclosure, J Hus
  • Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Nia Archives, Four Tet, Peggy Gou

// Download //

After their bumper four-day anniversary extravaganza last year, Download has returned to a three-day programme for 2024 while showing that they’re not afraid to try new things. Their headliner trio raised questions among die-hard fans when it was announced, but each of Queens of the Stone Age, Fall Out Boy and Avenged Sevenfold are first time headliners at Donington and they cap a broad lineup. In a new configuration, metal legends Pantera return to the UK for the first time in 20 years, while Machine Head and Tom Morello mix it up with upstarts like Zulu, Harper and Alien Weaponry. We still don’t fully understand Busted being on the lineup but, honestly, we’re here for it. // Jack Butler-Terry

  • When? June 14-16
  • Where? Donington Park, Leicestershire
  • Headliners: Queens Of The Stone Age, Fall Out Boy, Avenged Sevenfold
  • Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Bambie Thug, Code Orange, Heriot

// Glastonbury //

The world’s most famous living music festival has never been one to get stuck in its ways and the 2024 edition’s headliner picks will keep that going by sandwiching the reliable Coldplay with exciting fresh faces in Dua Lipa and SZA. This the first time in the festival’s history that two of the three headliners have been women, while Janelle Monaé, Avril Lavigne, CMAT, PJ Harvey, Cyndi Lauper, Little Simz, Paloma Faith and this year's 'legend' Shania Twain keep representation high across the lineup of 3000 acts. // JBT

  • When? June 26-30
  • Where? Worthy Farm, Glastonbury
  • Headliners: Dua Lipa, Coldplay, SZA
  • Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Danny Brown, Sleep Token, CMAT, Janelle Monaé

// Outbreak //

Year on year, Outbreak just keeps delivering massive line ups and crazy exclusives. This time around they’ve got hardcore greats Have Heart back together for another go-around, along with the Hotelier, Thursday, Nothing and Joyce Manor playing classic records front to back. Elsewhere, Mannequin Pussy are at the peak of their powers, Mindforce rip, Thirdface are skin-peelingly intense and Ceremony are back on these shores after their massive LA celebration of ‘Rohnert Park’. Like we said, massive. // HB

  • When? June 28 - 30
  • Where? BEC Arena, Manchester
  • Headliners: Action Bronson, Have Heart, Basement, American Football
  • Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: The Hotelier, Mindforce, Thirdface

// BST Hyde Park //

This summer offers BST Hyde Park’s 10th series of concerts and what better way to mark the milestone than with a swathe of bonafide legends and future leaders? Stevie Nicks, Andrea Bocelli and Robbie Williams are all set to wow the capital, while Shania Twain will bring her show to those unable to catch her at Glastonbury. The series also gives South Korean boyband Stray Kids their UK festival debut, while Kings Of Leon and SZA are also part of a stacked programme, each with their own run of support acts, many of whom are yet to be announced. // JBT

  • When? June 29 - July 14
  • Where? Hyde Park, London
  • Headliners: SZA, Kings Of Leon, Morgan Wallen, Andrea Bocelli, Robbie Williams, Shania Twain, Stevie Nicks, Kylie, Stray Kids 
  • Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Stevie Nicks, Sampha, Anne-Marie

// 2000trees //

Officially the UK’s best Medium-Sized Festival according to the 2023 UK Festival Awards, the Cheltenham-based gathering has once again assembled a lineup of the biggest and brightest acts in alternative music. Americana rockers The Gaslight Anthem and gym bro ragers Don Broco lead the charge alongside Creeper, Wargasm, Empire State Bastard and Spanish Love Songs, while a UK festival headline debut for Aussie punks The Chats caps a day that sees post-hardcore outfit Palm Reader play their final show, citing 2000trees as their “spiritual home”. // JBT

  • When? July 10-13
  • Where? Upcote Farm, Cheltenham
  • Headliners: The Gaslight Anthem, The Chats, Don Broco
  • Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Palm Reader, Better Lovers, Creeper

// Wireless //

Europe’s biggest celebration of hip hop and R&B certainly isn’t lacking in superstars this year with a cavalcade of the genres’ biggest names, including Nicki Minaj, Doja Cat and J Hus headlining the three days at London’s Finsbury Park. Even looking outside of the headliners, Ice Spice, Sean Paul and Tyla ramp up the star quality even further and that’s all before we get to the surprise special guests, which have included PinkPantheress, Future and Drake in the past couple of years. Expect the unexpected. // JBT

  • When? July 12-14
  • Where? Finsbury Park, London
  • Headliners: Nicki Minaj, Future, 21 Savage, J Hus, Doja Cat
  • Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Tyla, Teezo Touchdown, J Hus

// TRNSMT //

Scotland’s premier indie and pop festival is bringing a raft of big names this year, including a headline set by Liam Gallagher, who will be celebrating 30 years of Oasis’s ‘Definitely Maybe’ by playing the record in full. Local hero Gerry Cinnamon and fellow Scot Calvin Harris round out the headliners, while Garbage’s Shirley Manson will also deliver her own inimitable star wattage on home soil. The Last Dinner Party and Sprints, meanwhile, will bring two of 2024’s most vital albums to Glasgow Green while Natasha Bedingfield, Sugababes and Rick Astley deliver doses of nostalgia. // JBT

  • When? July 12-14
  • Where? Glasgow Green
  • Headliners: Liam Gallagher, Gerry Cinnamon, Calvin Harris
  • Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Garbage, Enter Shikari, Sprints

// Latitude //

Latitude is principally about having a nice time in nice surroundings and its headliners reflect that, with Duran Duran, Kasabian, Keane and London Grammar all offering slightly different variations on having a nice time, from throwback singalongs to medium lairiness, gentle revelry and lighter-in-the-air moments. Further down the line up, though, you’ll find slightly more out-there pleasures in Jockstrap’s reconstructed pop, CMAT’s riotous country-pop and Future Islands’ inimitable riff on synth-pop. // HB

  • When? July 25-28
  • Where? Henham Park, Suffolk
  • Headliners: Duran Duran, Kasabian, Keane and London Grammar.
  • Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Future Islands, Jockstrap, CMAT

// Boomtown //

There are few experiences quite like Boomtown, which year after year assembles an exciting mix of acts from across the musical spectrum in a themed village that is inhabited by actors and narrative events. While this year’s lineup is still a mystery (and will remain so until shortly before the event begins) we do know the theme is ‘Revolution of Imagination’ and will once again carry an environmentally-conscious focus. Across 12 districts, the story of the weekend will unfold in unexpected ways while extravagant opening and closing ceremonies make every edition of Boomtown feel like an event that is not to be missed. // JBT

  • When? August 7-11
  • Where? Winchester
  • Headliners: TBA
  • Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: TBA

// Bloodstock //

This year the metal institution is showing its pulling power with a raft of UK exclusives, including Architects and Amon Amarth’s headline slots, a 30 year celebration for metalcore leaders Hatebreed and a special fan chosen set for Opeth. This year, Bloodstock will also play host to the ashes of Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister, housed in a bust of the hard rock and metal icon, which will return to Catton Park every year for fans to pay their respects. // JBT

  • When? August 8-11
  • Where? Catton Park, Derbyshire
  • Headliners: Opeth, Architects, Amon Amarth
  • Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Green Lung, Burner, Unpeople

// ArcTanGent //

Celebrating its 10th birthday in 2024, ArcTanGent is once again set to serve up the best in boundary-pushing bands to the Bristolian countryside. An eclectic mix of post-metal, hardcore, instrumental, black metal, and just about anything else you won’t find in the mainstream, ATG is an outsider music paradise. Whether you lose your mind to established groups like headliners Meshuggah, Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky or discover new loves along the way like Zetra, Vower or Kaonashi, there’s no shortage of weird and wonderful in every tent. // JBT

  • When? August 14-17
  • Where? Fernhill Farm, Bristol
  • Headliners: Explosions In The Sky, Meshuggah, Mogwai
  • Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Amenra, Imperial Triumphant, Blood Command

// We Out Here //

Sprawling across four days, this genre-mashing event from founder and curator Gilles Peterson will take revellers from Afrobeat to R&B and back again via a new age flute happening from headliner André 3000. Further down the bill you’ll find Loraine James backing up last year’s head-spinning ‘Gentle Confrontation’ and Yaya Bey getting into emotionally coruscating tracks from ‘Ten Fold’, with DJ sets also coming from Joy Orbison and drum and bass legend LTJ Bukem. // HB

  • When? August 15 - 18
  • Where? Wimborne St Giles, Dorset
  • Headliners: André 3000, Sampha, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Floating Points
  • Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Loraine James, Yaya Bey, Ogbonjayar

// Green Man //

Nestled in the Bannau Brycheiniog national park, Green Man has cultivated a reputation as one of the most picturesque festivals in the calendar. Beyond the scenery, though, people keep coming back for bills that meld indie star wattage with the outlandishly fun and enjoyably weird, as evidenced by their latest concoction. Big Thief, Sampha, Jon Hopkins and Sleaford Mods are set to headline, with further potential highlights coming in the form of Sheer Mag’s fizzing power-pop, Explosions In The Sky’s esoteric post-rock and Hotline TNT’s blown-out shoegaze confections. // HB

  • When? August 15-18
  • Where? Glanusk Estate, Bannau Brycheiniog
  • Headliners: Big Thief, Sampha, Jon Hopkins and Sleaford Mods
  • Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Sheer Mag, Hotline TNT, Mannequin Pussy

// All Points East //

Returning to Victoria Park this summer, the latest rotating cast of All Points East is a ripper. Loyle Carner, Mitski, Kaytranada, LCD Soundsystem, Death Cab for Cutie and the Postal Service will all pitch up, with Field Day slotting in towards the end, bringing an amped up Justice to the party following the release of ‘Hyperdrama’. The overall feeling here is of good vibes meeting sad vibes — also known as pop music’s indisputable sweet spot. The rest of the line up is uniformly great, with everyone from André 3000 to Thundercat, Ethel Cain, Sleater-Kinney and Jockstrap set to hit the stage. // HB

  • When? August 16-25
  • Where? Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, London
  • Headliners: Kaytranada, Loyle Carner, Mitski, LCD Soundsystem, Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service
  • Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Victoria Monét, Lianne La Havas, Beabadoobee, Yo La Tengo

// Reading & Leeds //

Ushering in the end of summer in style is the dual-location staple of Reading and Leeds, this year with a massive seven (yes, SEVEN) headliners. From pop-punk icons Blink-182 and hip-hop superstar 21 Savage to dance titan Fred Again… and the iconic Lana Del Rey, there’s something for everyone across the August bank holiday weekend. Elsewhere, the  Prodigy, Beabadoobee, Raye, G Flip and Barry Can’t Swim complete a smorgasbord of musical stylings that should produce plenty of iconic moments for 180,000 fans across both sites. // JBT

  • When? August 21-25
  • Where? Richfield Avenue, Reading; Bramham Park, Leeds
  • Headliners: Blink 182, Fred Again…, Lana Del Rey, Liam Gallagher, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Gerry Cinnamon, 21 Savage
  • Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: The Last Dinner Party, Denzel Curry, Rachel Chinouriri, Raye

// End of the Road //

End of the Road has become a dependable presence in the festival calendar, with a bill that always combines the pop-leaning and esoteric sides of indie-rock. This year, headliners IDLES, Slowdive and Fever Ray are to be aided and abetted by everyone from face-melting Tuareg guitar master Mdou Moctar to Welsh harpist Cerys Hafana and Militarie Gun, who remain one of the most exciting hardcore-adjacent bands on the planet. // HB

  • When? August 29 - September 1
  • Where? Larmer Tree Gardens in Salisbury, Wiltshire
  • Headliners: IDLES, Slowdive and Fever Ray
  • Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Mdou Moctar, Cerys Hafana, Militarie Gun

// Forwards //

Landing at Clifton Downs in Bristol with hopes high for some late summer sun and mayhem, Forwards has tapped Loyle Carner and LCD Soundsystem to headline alongside a carefully curated line up that’s set to offer retro-disco fun (Jessie Ware), uber cool pop (Romy), lascivious storytelling (Baxter Dury) and styles-clash electronica (Floating Points). All in all, it has the makings of a very good time. // HB

  • When? August 31 - September 1
  • Where? Clifton Downs, Bristol
  • Headliners: Loyle Carner, LCD Soundsystem
  • Stereoboard’s Must-See Acts: Romy, Jessie Ware, Baxter Dury
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