Music Blog: Which UK Festival Should I Go To?

It’s only the start of February and I’m already aboard the Festival hype train. Choo choo! There’s been a shit load of brilliant announcements already and whether you’re a festival veteran or a complete n00b; it’s going to be a hard decision to finalise which one you’re going to invest your money in.

Personally, I cannot fault Leeds Festival or Download Festival, but hey, a leopard never changes it’s spots…

When it comes to UK Festivals you’re covered for pretty much any genre – from Punk Rock to Folk and a sprinkling of Jazz.

But there are so many more to take in to consideration, so here’s your quickie guide to some UK festivals and great music coming to a field near you this summer. Let’s start with the big ones, which cover a bit of everything, for everyone:

Glastonbury 2017

Where: Glastonbury, Somerset 
When: 21st – 25th June 
What: Pretty much everything you can think of in one big ol’ field. Tag-lined at the Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, it makes me think of a big family fun day… But on mind bending drugs and lasting for a good few days, in a much larger space. With ZZ Top, Adele, Wolf Alice, Cyndi Lauper and even Billy Bragg making an appearance, there’s literally something for everyone. Not only is there music, but there is also a range of areas which hold bars, cinemas and all-round entertainment.

Leeds and Reading Festival 2017

Where: Bramham Park, Leeds and Richfield Avenue, Reading
When: 25th – 27th August
What: Leeds and Reading are a mixture of indie, dance and some punk and metal on the alternatives stages. Once again, with a little bit of something for everyone, if you’re not interested in the music itself you can always potter around the campsites spotting people who are being sick in their shoes, or head to the bars and parties going on all around the little villages of tents. This year there is Kasabian, Muse, Jimmy Eat World, At The Drive In and Korn(!) announced, with many more to come as the acts start coming through. 

Latitude 2017

Where: Henman Park, Suffolk
When: 13-16th July 
What:  Latitude is a more family friendly festival, where you can enjoy a waterfront view, sheds of stories, faraway forests and so much more! One which is on my festival bucket list, that I still have’t experienced, Latitude appears to be all the fun of the actual fair, with music thrown in for good measure. Perfect for your first festival experience, due to the family friendly atmosphere; this year there have been no official announcements yet, but in the past Latitude goers have enjoyed the likes of The Maccabees, Chvrches and Daughter. What I like to call ‘Radio 1 indie’….

But what if you’re not in to the family or indie vibes and want something a bit more gritty? There’s also a ton of rock, metal and punk festivals in the UK this year and here’s a few to get you started…

UK Rock, Metal and Punk Festivals 2017

Download Festival 2017

Where: Castle Donnington 
When: 9 – 11 June
What: Rock music, of course. Despite a rather rainy Download Festival last year, that didn’t detract from the full metal experience. This year the announcements already include Biffy Clyro, System of a Down and Aerosmith, alongside a load of announcements yet to come. Not only is the music itself amazing (for a little mosher like me), but the festival site is also something to experience. Based on an actual race track, this means that even if it’s muddy as sin you can still feel some solid ground beneath your feet.

Ramblin’ Man Fair 2017

Where: Maidstone, Kent
When: 28 – 30th July
What:  One for the more mature rockers amongst us, Ramblin’ Man Fair features ZZ Top, Saxon and load more classic and prog rock bands. If you’re looking for a festival which doesn’t have the traditional camp sites, and opt for a more ‘glamping’ style, then Ramblin’ Man might be the one for you. As it’s based in a metropolitan town centre there isn’t camping available on site, but there’s a range of alternatives available.

Slam Dunk 2017

Where: Birmingham, Leeds and Herfordshire
When: 27th – 29th May 
What:  If camping festivals just aren’t your thing full stop, but you still want your fill of punk rock music, then Slam Dunk is the one to go and get Slam drrrrunk at. Dodging the mud, you can head to Slam Dunk at multiple locations throughout the UK and so far Don Broco, Reel Big Fish and Neckdeep are on the bill. If you like a good skank, over the traditional mosh, then this is a good one to get your ska punk on to fo’ sho’.

If none of the above are for you and you’re feeling a bit daunted by the larger festivals, then there are some more relaxed, smaller, festivals, which are perfect for first timers…

Y Not Festival 2017

Where: Pikehall, Derbyshire
When: 27th – 30th July 
What: One of the smaller festivals, Y Not is the PERFECT festival for anyone who’s never experienced one before. The weather tends to be nicer, so less mud, and the campsite and arenas are small enough not to get too lost in! This year we have Maximo Park, Two Door Cinema Club and The Vaccines to look forward too. It’s also incredibly affordable and set in the more picturesque location you’ll find in Derbyshire.

2000 Trees 2017

Where: Withington, Cheltenham
When: 6th – 8th July
What: SLAVES and Pulled Apart by Horses are high on the bill for 2000 Trees 2017, but I do doubt they will come anywhere near to the experience of seeing Refused last year! However, 2000 Trees is definitely still totally worth going to.  With the campsite literally a stone throw away from the stages, you can enjoy a nice swift can of lager whilst you relax watching the bands. Established in 2007, this year marks the 10th anniversary of 2000 Trees, so it’s certainly going to be a party atmosphere for all involved.

Kendall Calling Festival 2017

Where: Lowther Deer Park, Lake District
When: 27th – 30th July 
What: Already a sell out(!) Kendall Calling is set in the beautiful surroundings of the Lake District. Manic Street Preachers, Editors, Jake Bugg and Tinie Tempah are all making an appearance, Kendall Calling also features a ‘Tim Peaks’ area – which is the creative brain child of former Charlatans’ front man Tim Burgess (fun fact; he also makes coffee and the name Tim Peaks is totally a take on Twin Peaks). Keep a look out for any further ticket releases closer to the date as this one appears to be a festival that’s not to be missed!

There are, of course, a million other festivals to experience in the UK this year, with so many more coming on to the radar with each search! There are loads more announcements to come and I’ll be covering as many as possible in the run up.