Music festivals are a hobby for many, the magical worlds that exist for a weekend, even a week long, the music, the stages of varied musical taste, it’s a great experience. Here are the top six festivals around the world that you MUST go to!
Reading & Leeds Festival
WHEN: August 22nd-24th 2014
WHERE: Reading & Leeds, UK
Where most young music-lovers go to celebrate their examination results, to take in their first proper music festival (it was mine!), or just to enjoy the likes of Foo Fighters, Eminem, Green Day or any of the other countless, varied rock, rap and indie acts that have headlined the Main Stage at both sites.
The festivals serves both the North and South of the country, with myself personally favouring the ‘glamourous’ North site at Leeds, but the unofficial ‘best’ site is supposedly down at Reading, just outside of London. With the stage numbers growing each year, a rap and dance stage were added just last year, the site is widening its variety, but has strong roots in the rock music that brought it so much success. As I said, it is usually full of young people wanting to celebrate, drown their sorrows or just have a laugh! It has a great vibe and manages to overcome even the most adverse summertime weather the UK can throw at it.
T in the Park
WHEN: July 11th-13th
WHERE: Kinrosshire, Scotland
Scotland’s premier music event, T in the Park, manages to grab massive acts year after year, on account of Scottish exclusivity, plus they have been known to take chances on wildcards like Calvin Harris and Rihanna, to great effect, Harris in particular’s set proving to be one of THE highlights of the summer last year.
Sure, some may say that rap and pop have taken over, with Snoop Dogg, David Guetta and Rita Ora all appearing high up on the schedule, but again the organisers know where the heart of the festival still remains, and there is more than enough to entertain indie and rock fans.
Plus, it is the only time that many of the world’s biggest acts come to Scotland, making it a must-see for all those of a northern disposition!
WHEN:25th-29th June, 2014
WHERE: Worthy Farm, Pilton, UK
The grandaddy of festivals full-stop, and regularly regarded as the best in the WORLD nevermind the UK, Glasto is a huge cultural event for us Brits. Yep, the majority of the world’s biggest acts have played there in its 43 years of running, with this year seeing Arctic Monkeys, The Rolling Stones and Mumford & Sons take to the famed Pyramid Stage.
But music isn’t the only thing on offer at Glastonbury. No, the sprawling fields of Worthy Farm, also play host to comedy, cabaret, dance, theatre and even a circus! It really is a mini-city come June, with the fields often taking a year or two off, every now and then to give them a chance to fully recover, and allow the residents nearby to also. Still 175,000 people attend each year, and next year’s tickets have sold out already, after 30 minutes of being available!
It’s an incredible event and one that every reputable music fan must tick off their bucket-list one day.
WHEN: September 4th-7th 2014
WHERE: Isle of Man, UK
A festival with a difference, Bestival, set up by Rob & Josie Da Bank a decade ago, has grown and grown with each passing year, starting out with the likes of the Bees and Basement Jaxx in 2004 and culminating with Snoop Dogg and Elton John last month. It’s not the biggest festival in the world, but offers a great experience, with it embracing a ‘green’, ‘non-corporate’ vibe.
There are inflatable churches where you can marry a stranger, the local WI supply the festival with refreshments, and there’s a more chilled out vibe at the Isle of Man site. Musically, it is very diverse, as Fatboy Slim, Franz Ferdinand and Wu-Tang Clan don’t usually appear on the same festival line-up!
It’s a place I very much want to visit one day, as I’ve heard only great things about it.
WHEN: August 2014
WHERE: Chelmsford & Staffordshire, UK
The UK’s biggest pop music festival, shouldn’t be ruled out JUST because of its chosen genre to focus on. It’s a hugely popular event, and like Reading & Leeds, a rites of passage for thousands of young people every year, often becoming their first festival ever, too.
Mega-acts like Rihanna and Beyonce mix with the likes of The Killers and The Kings of Leon, showing that indie-rock bands is still pretty prevalent, and a sign that there is still some ‘hope’ for the purists who despise pop music. However, it is nice to have an alternative to the glut of rock and roll, dance and hip-hop, so why not have a pop haven for the mainstream masses!
WHEN: June 13th-15th 2014
WHERE: Donington Park, Leicestershire
Probably the loudest festival going on these small isles of ours, Download is a proper rock/metal festival. Sure it can suffer from the problem of repeat bookings, but everyone who goes, goes to rock out, and manages it in spades.
The festival is just down the road from me, based at a race-circuit. Interesting, right? Well it often floods, and ends in the above scenes. Whilst there isn’t too much variation in the music on offer, and the stages are small but plentiful, the likes of Metallica, blink-182 and Iron Maiden are regulars, and right down the line-up there is nearly something for every rock fan to get their teeth into.