We separate the wheat from the chaff to bring you the best festivals which should be on your list this year
BoomTown Fair 2018
If you get the chance to go to this festival then we highly recommend it. General release tickets are sold out so you may have to beg steal or borrow your way there this year or hold out for some re-issue tickets. It's a truly immersive experience, unlike anything we've ever seen before. The effort they go to creating an alternative reality for you to explore is mind-boggling. I've been to this festival two years running and it's always a great weekend. It's a huge festival with many separate sectors and districts and each area has provision for camping, so you have loads of choice over where you camp. The music is heavily biased toward electronic dance music, but also has a massive reggae stage and smaller areas for other niches. There are about 80 stages across the site, so there really is something for everyone and some stuff that you never even knew you wanted along the way. Go immerse yourself in one of the most outrageous towns in the world.
Rize is the reincarnation of V Festival. It's got Liam Gallagher and the Stereophonics as headlining acts and offers probably the most mainstream lineup of all of the festivals in our top picks. It's the first year of the festival in this guise so we expect them to make a big impression as they find their feet without the underpinning of Virgin's sponsorship.
Womad is well known as the world music festival offering a window into traditional and modern music from around the globe. It's a very mature offering celebrating its 36th year in the UK and 26th year in Australia. Womad put on a number of festivals around the world, but we're focusing on the UK one. It's a very relaxed festival which focusses much more on the music than the hedonism and is a firm favourite for people with kids in tow. This year has an exciting line up with artists like Thievery Corporation, Herbaliser featuring Rodney P, Leftfield and loads of inspiring world music.
This is one of the festivals we're most excited about this year. Head down the rabbit hole of fun and frolics. Famed for its hedonistic party atmosphere and attention to detail to create a truly unique experience. There is lots to like about this year’s line up with artists like Orbital, Morcheeba, Pete Tong and Soulwax making an appearance over the weekend. Check out our interview with Jez from Utah Saints in this issue who is performing and has helped curate a stage at the festival for many years. See you there!
Farr Festival is yet another party vibe festival which focusses on DJ performances and electronic music primarily. We've been reliably informed that the sound level issues they faced last year have been resolved and this year it's going to be banging! This festival is a short trip out of London so great for those based in the capital. Artists include Dixon, MoodyMan, ShyFX.
Nozstock celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year. The theme this year is nostalgia and boy are there some nostalgic acts to look forward to. Goldfrapp, Grandmaster Flash, the Blockheads and our favourite fruit and veg pusher Macca B! It's all based on a working farm and is small enough to be inviting and big enough to get lost in!
It may have gained a bit of a reputation for being the playground for gin-swigging yummy mummies and the middle-classed masses, but Latitude has lots to offer everyone. It's certainly a much more civilised affair than many on this list, but don't let that put you off. Artists include - The Killers, Rag'n'Bone Man, The Charlatans, Wolf Alice and alt-J plus lots of comedy, literature, arts and cinema. With Glastonbury off the agenda this year this is going to be a very popular option!
One-of-a-kind: a lovingly crafted, top notch, very English open-air party, tailor-made for the whole family.
Like the best of England, The Cornbury Music Festival is civilised, charming and irresistible – a homespun melting pot where music-lovers share pies and a glass of champagne with superstars, toffs, rockers, crooners, Morris dancers, farmers, urbanites, fashionistas, gourmet chefs and little old ladies who make exceptional cakes.
In short, The Cornbury Music Festival represents classic summer entertainment for a friendly crowd from all walks of life. A country fair with a rock ‘n’ roll twist; a farmers market with a dancefloor; a local carnival with a classic contemporary soundtrack.
Artists include UB40, Alanis Morissette, Stereo MCs and Pixie Lott.
This is a very well-established dance music festival which requires no introduction. It's got a massive lineup of acts and DJ's including Fat Boy Slim, The Chainsmokers, Annie Mac, Faithless (dj set) and Major Lazer.
Last but not least, we want to highlight the smallest festival in our selection for 2018. Field Maneuvers is described by its organisers as "an intimate festival organised by a group of friends. The sort of party we would want to attend ourselves." With under 700 attendees, you can be sure by the end of the weekend you'll be familiar with most of them if not on first name terms! With acts like Grooverider and Billy Nasty on the line up it's got some reputable talent behind the decks too. If you went to a rave in a field in the 90's then you may find this particularly nostalgic!