For those of you lucky enough to be 19 or under, this is one of the best single day festivals in the country. Inspired by a series of club nights in South London the festival, now in its fourth year, specialises in that sort of indie pop (think Mystery Jets, The Maccabees) which is obviously popular with the ‘youngsters’. But this year they’ve only gone and got M.I.A. Add to that indie big-hitters like Los Campesinos and Crystal Castles and future stars like Egyptian Hip-Hop and I can’t think of a better way of spending £30. It certainly promises to be an event worth stealing your younger brother’s/sister’s ID for.
Famous for being the only indie music festival where one stage is part of a steam train, Indietracks puts out a great spread for anybody who feels like raising money for the Midland Railway Trust by watching bands like Slow Club, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and the one of Eddie Argos’s many projects, Everybody Was In The French Resistance…Now. Weekend tickets are £60 (although camping looks like a bit of a faff and isn’t included in the price), so if you like indiepop, trains and doing fun things with your summer that don’t just involve mud, fields and raving in marquees, then it’s probably aimed squarely at you.
5 stars for atmosphere
An insistently original event, Shambala relishes in the revolutionary beating heart of festival atmospheres. Never releasing its line-up before the event, the festival relies on its reputation for undiscovered roots and obscure world genres, underground poets, subversive comedy and esoteric cinema for its undimming popularity. From the anarchistic ‘Rebel Camp’ to the sensual ‘Compass of Desire’ (“a smorgasbord of… surreal encounters and libidinous beats”) Shambala embraces the socio-political idealism of youth along with the eccentricities of all things British (check out ‘The Social Club’ and ‘The Craft Village’). A hub of environmental activism, Shambala is the largest British event to be 100% powered by solar, wind and biodiesel sources. Although you may need to pedal to power up your phone, the festival promises to be a phantasmal holiday from reality that urges you, above all else, to feel.
Three giants of live music, Cream, Goldenvoice and Loudsound, have joined forces to create what is destined to become one of London’s most exciting outdoor electronic dance festivals. Pooling their collective resources they have secured exclusive London performances from the mighty David Guetta, and legendary pioneers of electronica Leftfield as well as an array of special guest appearances from a phenomenally diverse range of dance music’s most exciting acts.
The inaugural festival which takes place over London’s stunning Victoria Park kicks off on Friday 27th August Bank Holiday weekend, and will be headlined by the one and only David Guetta. On Saturday 28th August the headliners will be one of the worlds most influential names in dance music history, Leftfield.
Other acts performing across the weekend include genre-smashing musical pioneers Goldfrapp who will bring the speedy rush of euphoria, optimism and romance of their new album, ‘Head First’, to the stage as well as highlights from a truly stellar back catalogue. Also making an appearance is Friendly Fires who teeter on the edge of the indie-dance continuum with a sound that blends disco influences with their own take on indie-pop, the perfect band to get the dance heads singing along at LED.
The 13th Truck Festival takes place at Hill Farm, Steventon on July 23rd – 25th 2010. Truck is one of the UK’s best and longest standing independent small festivals, “a village fete meets Woodstock” with a cutting edge musical policy free of any sponsorship or corporate agenda.
This year’s headliners Mew and Teenage Fanclub will be joined by Los Campesinos!, 65daysofstatic, Stornoway, Darwin Deez, Good Shoes and La Shark, to name but a few. They’ve got six stages at Truck, offering a musical cornucopia of everything from Indie-Rock to Americana, Country to Post-Rock, and from earnest singer-songwriters to the bleeps, beeps and dirty bass at the Cowshed rave.
There will be a great selection of food, from bacon sandwiches to curries and Truck’s famous hangover cure, Banana Smoothies. All the food is cooked by The Rotary Club and all the profits go to charity. The bar will be stocked with great local beers and ciders, and “manned” by cross dressing bar-staff. What more could you want?
Once again at the legendary Knebworth House, the Sonisphere festival is turning it up to eleven from Friday 30th of July to August 1st! This summer’s headliners include unstoppable, anthem-king Alice Cooper, kicking off the festival on Friday with his legendary “Theatre of Death”, the utterly mental Teutonic, arsonists Rammstein on the Saturday and bringing the festival to a close on Sunday none other than the biggest heavy metal band in the world: Iron Maiden.
Also boasting UK festival exclusives from Pendulum, Slayer, Placebo, Iggy and the Stooges and Bring me the Horizon, Sonisphere 2010 continues the festival’s already established tradition of a great mix of genres and tastes, mainstream and alternative.
New this year is the comedy tent featuring a highly anticipated performance from rising star and rock n roll nerd Tim Minchin and a show from the denizens of the decadent and joyously perverse “Bizarre” magazine. As usual Sonisphere provides something for the whole family!
Frequently acknowledged as the UK’s best festival, Glastonbury is definitely one of the most varied. It embraces all forms of art, with poetry readings, circus acts, cabaret and parades of mutant vehicles spicing up this 900 acre festival. The infamous ‘Demon or Doppelganger’ stand allows punters to indulge their own creative urges in clay. The vast array of entertainments, stalls and international food stands draws a vibrant and diverse crowd, and fantastic fancy dress. Of course, the emphasis will always be on the music, and headliners of Gorillaz, Muse and Stevie Wonder, with Scissor Sisters, The Dead Weather, and The Flaming Lips elsewhere in the line-up, this festival will not disappoint.
Reading & Leeds Festival
As can be seen from the line-up, this festival is very much orientated towards rock and indie music. The headliners are impressive: Guns ‘n’ Roses, Arcade Fire and a recently-reunited Blink 182 taking the stage, to great anticipation. With other acts including the brilliant Biffy Clyro and Queens of the Stone Age, many a rock fan will find the price of £180 worth paying. Inevitably, however, it will be a select crowd, and usually predominantly teenage. With notoriously terrible toilets – the majority of which are long-drops – limited entertainment besides the music itself and a genuine fear of fire on the Sunday night, this is for the hardcore rock fan only.
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