It’s hard to believe the festival season is nearly upon us, but with what promises to be a record-breaking year for temperatures in the UK, 2016 could prove to be one of the most memorable for those of us who will be swapping the comfort of our homes for popup tents packed haphazardly into farmers’ fields.
For many, the word ‘festival’ means ‘Glastonbury’, but there’s far more to the UK festival scene than that. We’re renowned the world over for our ability to turn any random field into a music-fuelled celebration of life and freedom. So, without further ado, here’s 5 festivals we can’t wait for in 2016.
Glastonbury (Pilton, Somerset: 22-26 Jun)
Oh, go on, then - we’ll start here. It’s unavoidable, after all. With tickets already sold out, it’ll be hard to bag a place if you haven’t done already, but there’s plenty to look forward to when Somerset’s crowning jewel of UK festivals hits our TVs in June. Headliners are still yet to be confirmed, but rumours include Radiohead, Guns n’ Roses, Elton John and - please let it be true - the Stone Roses. We’ll see. Just as long as Miley Cyrus doesn’t make an appearance, as was reported last November.
The Secret Garden Party (Mill Field Hill, Cambridgeshire: 21-24 Jul)
Never heard of it? Not surprising, really, for a festival which has somehow stayed largely below the radar for most of us. An eclectic mix of paint fighting, mud wrestling and dance offs, the ‘SGP’ is random but brilliant. It also has the most inventive festival website you’re likely to find. Check it out.
We Are FSTVL (Airfield of Dreams, Essex: 28-29 May)
If you’re into your dance music (or ‘EDM’, as it is now referred to), forget Creamfields. We Are FSTVL has a far better name and is also the proud holder of the Best Medium-Sized Festival prize, so you’re guaranteed a brilliant weekend. Over 200 DJs, gourmet food and champagne bars make up one of the most colourful festivals around.
Reading & Leeds (Little John's Farm & Bramham Park: 26-28 Aug)
If there’s ever a bank holiday weekend where you can still throw on your 80s Casuals and lose it for three days, it’s at the timeless Reading and Leeds festivals in late August. Favouring new and modern classic bands over the often retro feel of Glastonbury, these two festivals are the places to be if you want to checkout the rising and established music of today.
Common People (Oxford & Southampton: 28-29 May)
Ok, so this little known festival doesn’t offer the option to camp, but it features one of the most compelling line-ups we’ve seen. This year, Primal Scream, Public Enemy, Gaz Coombes, The Sugarhill Gang and even Chas & Dave are making an appearance. If you missed out on Glasto tickets, this is a compelling alternative.
So - dig out those old wellies, order the cheapest tent you can find, borrow your dad’s old gas burner, gather your mates and book at least one of the festivals above - it’s time to make the most of what is surely going to be an awesome year for celebrating music.
Summer Festivals Are Fun!
By Mark Ellis