25 of the Best UK Music Festivals

Music festivals in the UK are huge, but which ones are worth the money? 

There are literally hundreds of music festivals in the UK this summer, from village park folk jobbies to epic events with tens of thousands on the guestlist. I've gone through the summer's offerings with a fine toothcomb and chosen my favourites based on popular opinion and that of my own…

**All dates are for 2013!**


May Festivals

Noisily*

24-27 May

Where: Noseley Hall, Leicestershire

Sleep: Camping

Top 3 Line Up: Perfect Stranger, Plump DJs, Avalon

Go if: You enjoy artwork, performance and participation, oh, and crazy electronic dance music.

Price: £70

Field Day

25 May

Where: Victoria Park, London

Sleep: In your own bed

Top 3 Line Up: Solange, Animal Collective, Django Django

Go if: You're a beautiful hipster with skinny jeans and crazy hair.

Price: £54.50

We Are FSTVL

25 May

Where: Damyns Hall Aerodrome, Upminster, Essex

Sleep: In your own bed

Top 3 Line Up: Riccardo Villalobos, Sven Vath, Joy Orbison

Go if: You're well into your techno, techno.

Price: £40.50+ (goes up the closer it gets)

Flamingo Festival

As One in the Park  

26 May

Where: Victoria Park, London

Sleep: In the city

Top 3 Line Up: Rita Ora, Katy B, Union J

Go if: You're LGBT, or not. It's been announced as an ‘LGBT-friendly festival' – aren't they all?

Price: £35

Sunrise Festival*

30 May -2 June

Where: Bath, Somerset

Sleep: Camping

Top 3 Line Up: Dub Pistols, The Beat, Krafty Kuts

Go if: You want to spend your money on an ethical festival that takes you to another world.

Price: £115

Wychwood Festival*

31 May-2 June

Where: Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham  

Sleep: Camping

Top 3 Line Up: The Human League, Kate Nash, some talking ponies

Go if: You like your festival experience more chilled out and enjoy a good healing garden and poetry workshop. 

Price: £120

Crowd at summer festivals


June Festivals

Parklife

8-9 June

Where: Heaton Park, Manchester

Sleep: In your own bed

Top 3 Line Up: Plan B, Jamie Jones, Rita Ora

Go if: You want to go to the Warehouse Project outside.

Price: £69.50

Isle of Wight Festival*

13-16 June

Where: Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight

Sleep: Camping

Top 3 Line Up: The Stone Roses, The Killers, Bon Jovi

Go if: You enjoy a good mix of 90s music with all that modern day stuff too.

Price: £185

Book now!

Download Festival

14-16 June

Where: Donington Park,

Sleep: Camping

Top 3 Line Up: Slipknot, Iron Maiden, Rammstein

Go if: You like to rock out and you're into eyeliner.

Price: £195

Glastonbury Festival 

26 June

Where: Glastonbury, Somerset, England

Sleep: Camping

Top 3 Line Up: None confirmed as yet

Go if: You're one of the lucky ones who managed to bag a ticket last October, otherwise you have no chance.

Price: £190


July Festivals

Partying at the summer festivals

T in the Park

12-15 July

Where: Balado, Kinross-shire, Scotland

Sleep: Camping

Top 3 Line Up: Mumford and Sons, Rihanna, The Killers

Go if: You love a bit of chart music and the Scottish accent.

Price: £194

Wireless Festival

12-13 July

Where: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Sleep: In your own bed

Top 3 line up: Justin Timberlake, Jay Z, Frank Ocean

Go if: You didn't get to check out the Olympic Park last year, or you want to see the almighty JAY Z!

Price: Currently sold out, but they say there's more.

LeeFest*

12-14 July

Where: Warlingham, Surrey

Sleep: Camping

Top 3 Line Up: None confirmed as yet

Go if: You want the coolness of a London Festival, but without all the OTT hype.

Price: £70

Book now! 

Mud at Bestival

Lovebox Festival

19-21 July

Where: Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, London

Sleep: In your own bed

Top 3 Line Up: None confirmed as yet

Go if: You want the festival experience, but with a proper bed in the city at the end of it.

Price: £32.50ish

Latitude Festival

18-21 July

Where: Henham Park, Southwold, Surrey

Sleep: Camping

Top 3 Line Up: None confirmed as yet

Go if: You just want to hear the music maaaan.

Price: £183

Global Gathering

26-27 July

Where: Long Marston Airfield, Stratford-Upon-Avon

Sleep: Camping

Top 3 Line Up: None confirmed as yet

Go if: You want a, and I quote, ‘Glastonbury for the dance music masses'

Price: £105


August Festivals

Band at a festival

Eastern Electrics

2-4 August

Where: Knebworth Park, Knebworth

Sleep: Camping

Top 3 Line Up: Ralph Lawson, Claude Von Stroke, Joy Orbison

Go if: You're cool, know your choons and hail from Shoreditch.

Price: £115

Standon Calling

2-4 August

Where: Standon, Hertfordshire

Sleep: Camping

Top 3 Line Up: De la Soul, Band of Skulls, Bastille

Go if: You want an intimate festival experience, with a swimming pool.

Price: £99

Boardmasters Festival

7-11 August

Where: Newquay, Cornwall

Sleep: Camping

Top 3 Line Up: The Vaccines, Ben Howard, Basement Jaxx

Go if: You like surfing, boarding and skating, or you like to watch people that do.

Price: £116

Homelanz Festival

10 August

Where: Boston Manor Park, London

Sleep: In your own bed

Top 3 Line Up: Prime Circle, Kora, Alex Lloyd

Go if: You're Australian or Kiwi.

Price: £35

Music festival in the UK

V Festival

17-18 August

Where: Hylands Park, Essex, and Weston Park, Staffordshire

Sleep: Camping

Top 3 Line Up: Beyonce, Kings of Leon, Stereophonics

Go if: You like pop music and people from Essex.

Price: £185

Reading and Leeds Festivals

23-25 August

Where: Bramham Park, Leeds, and Richfield Avenue, Reading

Sleep: Camping

Top 3 Line Up: Eminem, Alt-J, System of a Down

Go if: You like your portaloo tipped over while you're in it.

Price: £197.50

Creamfields

23-25 August

Where: Daresbury, Cheshire

Sleep: Camping

Top 3 Line Up: The Prodigy, Avicii, David Guetta

Go if: You can't get enough of those sweaty raves

Price: £121


September Festivals

Bestival festival

Bestival Festival

5-8 September

Where: Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight  

Sleep: Camping

Top 3 Line Up: Elton John, The Knife, M.I.A.

Go if: You like to wear fancy dress and hang out in bouncy castles.

Price: £190

* equals a special announcement, coming soon! 


Further Information

For more information on incorporating festivals in with your travels check out the Music, Festivals and Travel section on the site.

Need a friend to go with? Jump on the message boards and you might even find a fellow gapper to join you.


About the Author: Victoria Philpott

Victoria Philpott

Victoria is the content and community manager at gapyear.com. She's travelled through Europe extensively, dropping in on a few festivals and picking up work as she went. She's an advocate of slow travel and has worked at camp in America for two summers before releasing the pressure in the clubs of Cancun. She's toured Australia, explored the Serengeti and backpacked through Morocco. A wise man once told her, 'In the pursuit of seeing everything, we see nothing', and she tries to recite this to tame her wanderlust, but it's not working.