Isle of Wight Festival
Isle of Wight Festival takes place annually in Newport and was originally a counterculture event held from 1968 to 1970.The event continues to pull in the big names: George Ezra, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Fat Boy Slim are all headlining this year’s edition, as well as Lily Allen, Sigrid and Sam Fender Harking back to its early days, this year’s festival theme will celebrate 50 years since the ‘Summer of 69’, when Bob Dylan, The Who, Elton John, John Lennon and Keith Richards all played and attended. Time to dig out those flares.
Line-up highlights: George Ezra, Biffy Clyro, Fat Boy Slim
Newport, Isle of Wight; 13th-16th June
One for jazz and soul fanatics, the line-up for this year’s Love Supreme is one of its best yet – Lauryn Hill and Gladys Knight are set to headline the festival’s seventh outing. We recommend paying a bit more for the Supremium VIP tickets: this’ll get you access to a stage-side seating area with its own bars, food trucks and nicer loos. The Lazy Bird Banqueting Kitchen will be serving up long table, supper-club style breakfasts, lunches and dinners throughout the festival, while yoga, swimming in East Sussex’s oldest pool and after-parties in the woods are all essential experiences.
Line-up highlights: Lauryn Hill, Gladys Knight, Jamie Cullum
Glynde, East Sussex, BN8 6SX; 5th-7th July
Scotland’s TRNSMT Festival returns in 2019 for its third year with acts such as Stormzy, Catfish and the Bottlemen, George Ezra and Snow Patrol all set to take to the stage in one of the UK’s most musically revered cities. Taking place in Glasgow’s city centre, the 2019 line-up includes Mystery Jets, Jess Glynn, Sigrid and The Kooks, plus Jade Bird, Fontaines DC and Circa Waves. In just two years, TRNSMT has become one of the biggest events in the Scottish music calendar and brings people together to discover their favourite new acts and sing along to the ones they already love.
Line-up highlights: Stormzy, Bastille, Years & YearsGlasgow Green, Glasgow, G1 5DB; 12th-14th July
Lana Del Ray, Everything Everything, Snow Patrol and Underworld are just some of the big names set to play the Suffolk festival this summer. But this weekender is about much more than music. Art highlights for 2019 include a celebration of the National Theatre’s tenth anniversary, with a live War Horse screening and performances from Sadler’s Wells and Dance Umbrella. Readings, debates, discussions and poetry will be held in the Speakeasy, lake swimming is a must, and food from all your favourite traders at London food market Street Feast will round off proceedings. Remember to keep an eye out for the famous spray-painted sheep.
Line-up highlights: Lana Del Ray, Primal Scream, George Ezra
Southwold, Suffolk, NR34 8AQ; 18th-21st July
The magnificent Lovell Telescope at the Jodrell Bank space observatory makes a fine backdrop for this family-friendly festival of exploration up north. Back for a fourth outing, the festival is set to open with the premiere of Lift Off, where the Halle Orchestra will perform a variety of the universe’s most-loved sci-fi themes and tracks set to bespoke visuals. Musical line-up standouts include Hot Chip, Kraftwerk and New Order. Away from the tunes, a wellness area and gastronomy village will be bolstered by science talks, immersive installations and the opportunity to stargaze with scientists.
Line-up highlights: Hot Chip, Jon Hopkins, Jarvis Cocker
Jodrell Bank, Macclesfield, SK11 9DL; 18th-21st July
Come the end of July, the masses descend on Cornwall for Port Eliot festival. This year is no different – Saturday is already close to selling out. Set within the grounds of the vast Port Eliot estate, the grand 18th-century house is the backdrop for a host of cool up-and-coming musical acts, plus comedy, literature and outdoor pursuits such as axe throwing, astronomy and wild swimming. This year sees a focus on intimate food demos with festival-goers enjoying an up-close-and-personal experience in Port Eliot’s centuries old Big Kitchen and at the Open Fire stage in front of the house: expect appearances from Honey & Co, Normal Russell and Olia Hercules.
Line-up highlights: Lily Allen, Charlotte Church’s Pop Dungeon, Beak
St Germans, Saltash, PL12 5ND; 25th-28th July
This year Bestival is taking a break. Thankfully, Camp Bestival – the team’s more family friendly offering – will return to Dorset. The acts we’re most looking forward to include 80s acts Nile Rogers & Chic, The Human League and, ahem, Mr Motivator, while 90s nostalgists should make a beeline for Vengaboys, East 17 and Goldie. Kids are king at this festival – there’s an avalanche of activities for children of all ages: at BigTopMania kids can learn circus skills, the Lower Kids' Garden is packed full of entertainment for slightly older children (this year you'll find the Insect Circus, vintage fairground rides and face-painting) and they’ll be spectaculars galore in The Greatest Tent On Earth.
Line-up highlights: Nile Rogers & Chic, The Human League, Jess Glynn
Lulworth Castle, Dorset, BH20 5QS; 25th-28th July
Yes, this is more a food festival than a music festival (one look at the line-up confirms this – hello Robyn, Tom Odell and Erol Alkan) but we can't get over the culinary offerings, which have always been outstanding at Wilderness. This year food vendors will include Patty & Bun, Temper, Cornerstone’s Tom Brown, The French House’s Neil Borthwick and Sabor’s Nieves Barragan, while the weekend’s feasting table hosts will be Angela Hartnett, James Knappet, Yosi Elad and Petersham Nurseries. Book ‘em now – they always sell out (as do the wood-fired hot-tub sessions. Don’t forget your bathing suit).
Line-up highlights: Robyn, Bombay Bicycle Club, Groove Armada
Cornbury, Oxfordshire, OX7 3DG; 2nd-5th August
In the foothills of the beautiful Brecon Beacons, this Welsh festival has managed the progression from boutique festival to main-player without compromising anything that made it so great in the first place. With a line-up that focuses on Americana – this year’s headliners include Father John Misty, Sharon Van Etten and Eels – this fun weekender mixes a laidback vibe with green credentials. Hot tubs, woodland walks and spa treatments all collide with visual arts, literary talks (we’re looking forward to Caitlin Moran and Jarvis Cocker) and films (last year we watched Mindhorn as it poured outside). Trust us, it’s worth the trek.
Line-up highlights: Broken Social Scene, Idles, Marika Hackman
Brecon Beacons, Wales, NP8 1LP; 15th-18th August
Relatively new on the scene, Lost Village is an immersive festival experience set in an abandoned woodland village. Returning for its fourth year, the boutique weekender invites guests to dance in the grounds of the Abandoned Chapel, feast at the Tribal Banquet, learn new skills on Forger’s Lane and expand their minds in the Institute of Curious Minds. This year’s musical headliners include Little Dragon and Maribou State, plus a raft of acts yet to be announced. A spa, massages and hot tubs will all be on hand for any post-party recovery that may be needed.
Line-up highlights: Todd Terje, Little Dragon, Black Honey
Norton Disney, Lincolnshire, LN6 9QF; 22nd-25th August
End of the Road
End of The Road always has one of the coolest music line-ups across the UK festival scene – and this year is no different: Low, Metronomy, Baxter Dury, Parquet Courts, Michael Kiwanuka, Beirut, Courtney Barnett, Goat Girl, Sleaford Mods… we could go on. The comedy and literature tents are always packed with top-notch authors, comedians and rapt audiences, while mysterious late-night art installations and secret acoustic sets by big-name bands continue to make this Wiltshire festival unmissable.
Line-up highlights: Metronomy, Low, Parquet Courts, Sleaford Mods
Larmer Tree Gardens, Salisbury, SP5 5PY; 29th August-1st September
Victorious is a family friendly festival for music lovers, a stone’s throw from the sea. A day festival located on the picturesque Southsea Seafront, the festival takes place over the August bank holiday weekend. Southsea Castle and lighthouse, which once belonged to Henry VIII, plays host to the festival’s Summer Champagne Bar. Here, guests can climb the ramparts and enjoy the views of the Solent with a glass of bubbly while listening to an amazing line-up of DJs, or head to the main stage for Razorlight, James Bay, The Vaccines and Clean Bandit. There are plenty of places to stay locally including, the Victorious offsite campsite.
Line-up highlights: New Order, Rudimental, Bloc Party
Southsea, Portsmouth, PO5 3PB; 23th-25th August
Truck Festival is an annual independent music festival in Oxfordshire. Nicknamed ‘the Godfather of the small festival scene’, Truck is one of the UK’s longest running and most popular small festivals – it’s been shortlisted for ‘Best Small Festival’ by the UK Festival Awards in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. The organisers pride themselves on being the ‘anti-major festival’ festival: it gives its food takings to the local Rotary Club charity and likes to mix household names with the very best emerging talent. In more recent years, glamping has been an option. We like the look of the Luxpad – a wooden-walled super tent, complete with a real bed, cosy bedsheets, towels, table and chairs, plus extras such as lanterns, a locker box and plug sockets.
Hill Farm, Oxfordshire, OX13 6AB; 26th-28th July
Line-up highlights: Foals, Wolf Alice, Two Door Cinema Club
All Points East
A new kid on the block in 2018, this ten-day festival will take over Victoria Park once more at the end of May. Occupying the former home of Field Day festival, the park will be host to pop-up bars, street food from east London local Sourced Market and various entertainment from acts appearing on the main stage – think The Vaccines, James Blake, Hot Chip and Christine And The Queens. Even better, ‘In The Neighbourhood’ will be a free-entry weekday programme of activities including cinema, music, arts, street food and bars, taking place between the two weekends of All Points East.
Line-up highlights: The Chemical Brothers, The Strokes, Bon Iver, Mumford & Sons
Victoria Park, London, E3 5TB; 24th May-2nd June
This three-day urban music event has been kicking around since 2005. With a strong focus on hip-hop, rap and grime, the festival continues to sell out year after year. This summer looks set to be no different, particularly as the line up includes the likes of A$AP Rocky, Cardi B, Future, Travis Scott, Rae Sremmurd and Migos. Those wanting a premium experience should buy tickets for Bohemia, a VIP area which includes oh-so important luxury loos, table service, a complimentary meal and unlimited drinks. There will also be a huge screen, live streaming all the action from the main stage.
Line-up highlights: Cardi B, Travis Scott, A$AP Rocky
Finsbury Park, London, N4 2DA; 5th-7th July