Festivals Worth Bothering With
Many believe that festivals are purely for new-age hippies, drug-loving psychonauts, and those that generally think nothing of not having a proper shower for up to a week, but anyone that has actually been so any good festival knows that this is only half, if not a mere third of the story. First and foremost, festivals are about the atmosphere. Whether you go with a group of 30 of your friends for just a few of your closest mates, the right festival is a welcoming event where you will meet like-minded people who are there for one reason above all else: to simply have a great time. Due to the sheer quantity of people involved at most festivals, you are bound to run into many that share your musical tastes with whom you will be able to connect and generally have a great time with, regardless of your age or pretty much any other variable. And so we come to the festivals themselves: there are so many of them, so which are the most worthy of your free time and not-so-free money? This list of the best UK music festivals is in no particular order but there is something for everyone and if they appear here, they are almost definitely worth bothering with.
This one really goes without mentioning in terms of noteworthy festivals in the UK, but I thought I’d mention it anyway for those that aren’t aware. Glastonbury Festival for many is synonymous with the classic image of the music festival: mud in the rain, happiness and warmth in the sunshine, the biggest and best music artists mixed with many from the underground scene, and an atmosphere that cannot be matched by the rest of the festivals on this list put together. Situated each year on Worthy Farm in Somerset, Glastonbury is the ultimate festival experience, and is one of those festivals that people really want to say that they have been to. At £210 a ticket and a requirement to register with a clear passport-sized photograph of yourself just to be eligible for one, it’s no cheap affair, but the 2000 performances crammed into 3 days and a 5 day total, this one is simply a must-go for most.
This one is for those willing to travel for their festival funtimes, but boy is it worth the trek. With huge names like Elton John and Snoop Dogg having played in the past, Bestival attracts some fairly significant names as well as plays host to many less well-known artists as well. This is by no means a mainstream music festival and the crowd consists mainly of those who don’t mind dressing up for the fancy dress events and also a good deal of students as well.
Rocking out at Download is the highlight of most heavy music fans’ year, and with acts like Slipknot and old-school German insanity musicians Rammstein, it’s difficult not to enjoy yourself here if you’re a fan of the heavier music. I’ve never cared for the festival itself but I enjoy the music at least, though its £165 price tag is more attractive than many festivals.<
Here’s one for those that are tickled by musical acts that can be described as being less mainstream than most. Often seen as one of the more civilised affairs of festival life, Latitude has been host to artists like Bloc Party and Foals in the past and will offer a great (if a little bit pretentious) deal of fun to many
Isle of Wight
Expect to pay around £185 for tickets to this great festival that specialises in rock and indie and is situated quite obviously on the Isle of Wight.
Secret Garden Party
If you’re a fan of art and creativity, then the Secret Garden Party is definitely for you. A 32,000 capacity makes it one of the smaller festivals around, but considering that it is situated in a 220-acre garden that is a scenic as it is large, you are going to have a great time regardless of musical taste.
I’m no hipster (in fact I hated them before it was cool) but V is for the mainstream music lovers out there. There’s nothing wrong with mainstream music of course, it just isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, though it is most people’s, otherwise it wouldn’t be called mainstream. Beyonce and Kings of Leon were among acts to play earlier this year, so expect big names and big crowds next time as well.
These were once great festivals but have declined in attractiveness in my opinion, though many rock, indie, alternative, punk, and metal fans would disagree. It’s a standard 3-day affair with 90,000 people but lacks the wonderful atmosphere of many festivals.