You're probably sat at your desk right now pretending to send a report at work or kidding yourself that you're going to finish a deadline-looming uni assignment; instead you're online, browsing sandals and sun cream or wellies and waterproofs. If you're a proper muso then you may even have constructed a colour-coded Excel spreadsheet, which has left you biting your finger nails due to a potential Swans / Shellac clash.

Welcome to the 405's 2013 Festival Guide. Over the coming weeks, we're going to preview some our favourite festivals, both in the UK and abroad, from the small to the gigantic, with insider tips and personal recommendations. Each festival preview will also come with a corresponding Spotify playlist to get you in the mood and nudge you in the direction of some awesome bands you may not have heard yet. - John Morrison

Live at Leeds

You know what's good about city festivals like Live at Leeds? Not camping. Camping sucks. You get dirty, you don't sleep well, and if you're unlucky enough, your stuff gets stolen.

But Live at Leeds means you can crash with friends, or book a hotel; way more comfortable. For the last six years, the festival has been putting on a wide variety of bands across an equally wide variety of venues, most of which are all within walking distance of the train station.

The main event on Saturday May 5, will see over 100 bands grace Leeds' stages. Live at Leeds' ethos has always been to celebrate the best in new and local talent alongside bigger, more established bands, which is how you end up with bands like Leeds' own Sky Larkin playing at the same as Melody's Echo Chamber or Everything Everything. Luckily, the festival's site has a pretty handy schedule to help you plan everything out. Previous years have seen the likes of Mumford and Sons and Bombay Bicycle Club grace the festival's stages.

Taking place from May 3-6, the festival also includes separated ticketed events, such as the Vaccines on the Saturday. Bank holiday Monday sees bands take part in a football tournament; this year many spectators will be waiting to see if the Pigeon Detectives, who won two years ago, will reclaim their trophy. Also part of Live at Leeds is the Unconference, a music industry seminar with advice and talks from a host of industry professionals. Bigger highlights this year include AlunaGeorge, Laura Mvula, Theme Park and Rudimental, but you also check out: Dutch Uncles, London Grammar, the Crookes, Maybeshewill, Wet Nuns, and everyone else we've already mentioned. There's a wide range of genres on show, so there's bound to be something to please everyone. - Coral Williamson

Tickets for the Saturday, which are exchanged for a wristband, are available from a range of sites, all nicely collated on the Live at Leeds site, and cost £22.50 (plus booking fees).

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect

The Great Escape

Brighton's annual Great Escape festival is fast becoming an event to compete with the big dogs. It's got a valuable reputation as a place to showcase new and up-and-coming artists of all genres, often helping launch the careers of burgeoning acts, as there are a plethora of industry execs crawling around. It's garnered an international reputation as well, luring musicians from around the world and tipping overseas outfits. Part of the appeal is the industry convention which takes place, featuring representatives of many publications, prominent figures and other relevant speakers: the festival is part creative conference, part noisy pub crawl, with the festival stages dotted around Brighton's city centre.

It's a unique experience, though not dissimilar to a scaled-down SXSW. There's plenty going on, and if you're not keen on a band, you can pop over to one of a multitude of other venues to catch something else. You'll be hard pressed find boredom, or something you don't love. Previous acts have included chart-pummelling songstress Adele (way back in 2007), Iron & Wine, Crystal Castles, Japandroids, Frank Turner, Warpaint and Groove Armada.

There's plenty of acts to catch, but we've cherrypicked a few that will be very worth your while: Arlissa, Halls, Empress Of, Rainy Milo, Brooke Candy, CHVRCHES, Crystal Fighters, Etta Bond x Raf Riley, Mausi, Eye Emma Jedi, Parquet Courts, Glass Animals,, Is Tropical, Wolf Alice, Moddi, Chloe Howl, Oyama, Iggy Azalea, Phosphorescent, Findlay, Sega Bodega... It's difficult to condense how many acts you should see into one small list, so listen to our Spotify playlist below for more recommendations. - Larry Day

Grab your tickets now for Great Escape here and make sure you don't miss out on what is set to be the biggest collection of rising talent this side of the Atlantic. The festival takes place 16th-18th May across Brighton's best venues.

Listen to our Spotify playlist to hear a taste of what to expect

Primavera Sound

Britain was once considered a fortress for festival exposure but in the last few years, it seems to some that it has been lagging behind. Of course, it might be a matter of perception; in the view of some of today's 14 – 18 British youths Reading and Leeds are probably still represent being freed from parental shackles and into a weekend-long taster of debauchery. But for older more *ahem* esteemed festivalgoers, looking abroad has never been more appealing. No mud puddles or murky portaloos (at least we assume), but more sun, beer and the all-important ingredient – quality music. This festival guide looks at Primavera Sound. Located at the heart of Catalonia in a place known more for its Spanish football than its music - Barcelona.

Formed back in 2001, its earliest line-up had DMX at his gruffest, Adam Green at his folkiest and Peaches at her rudest. And testament to its beginnings, this year's line-up – by fortuity or chance – is a well-emulsified mix of the best of the present and nostalgic treats. On one end, we have Tame Impala, Wild Nothing, Local Natives and Crystal Castles who have all released their second – and acclaimed – albums in the past year. And on the other we have the revered Blur, the Postal Service, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, My Bloody Valentine and Wu-Tang Clan. - Michelle Kambasha

Primavera Sound Festival is held in Barcelona, Spain and runs from May 22 – 26. The tickets are a cool 160€ and can be purchased here. They also have a sister festival, Optimus Primavera Sound, located in Porto, Portugal which runs a week later.

Listen to our mini-Spotify playlist of Primavera Sound musical joy

ATP I'll Be Your Mirror (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)

I derive great pleasure from imagining Karen O, Yeah Yeah Yeahs' enigmatic front woman, brainstorming (while seated at an expansive boardroom table) for this year's London addition of I'll Be Your Mirror. In my potentially warped mind, she's sporting a vivid gold suit, vertigo inducing heals, the classic robo-bob hair doo, and brandishing one of those glittery, scented pens we loved/found stupid as kids. With it she's zealously scrawling a disproportionate mind-map on sugar paper, as guitarist Nick Zinner looks on from the corner, cool as one million cucumbers. The whole image is golden, and I pray it holds even a scrap of truth.

I'll Be Your Mirror is the sister event of the All Tomorrow's Parties Festival, run by the London-based, fingers-in-all-the-pies promoters/festival organisers of same name (ATP). It takes place in a few different locations across the globe (there was one in Melbourne earlier this year), and each event is curated by a selected act – with previous guest curators including Mogwai and Portishead.

As I less than subtly stated, this year's event is curated by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and once again takes place at Alexandra Palace, renowned for just being the nicest place ever (especially if you're a fan of lush gardens, decorative Cornices and expansive east wings).

It takes place on the 4th of May (just the one day) and tickets are still available from ATP's website.

It looks like a huge amount of care and attention has gone into sculpting the line-up, which features, to name a choice few from a great bunch; Black Lips, America's fun-loving grunge dudes, Dirty Beaches, code-name for Alex Zhang Hungtai and his Cinematic, noir-tinged rock'n'roll, Anika, Portishead-esque, quasi-electro punk, K-Holes, with their gruesome, wacky grunge and The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, whose name is essentially self-reviewing. Mick Harvey, previously one of Nick Cave's Bad Seeds and superb multi-instrumentalist, will also be reimagining a collection of Serge Gainsborg tracks, a pretty exciting ordeal, and the final idiosyncratic cherry topping a very appetising collection of acts. Afterall, it's a pretty rare occasion to have such an eclectic array of beyond-the-usual artists simultaneously rocking the same soil (and that the soil is British).

With the music accompanied by cinema, spoken word, DJs and a fine array of gourmet foodstuffs, and the event set across three stages (and a rose garden), it all seems pretty tasty. There's even mention of performing magicians, which on a personal level at least, takes the event to new heights. - Fred Stuart

You can check out the full line-up and garner further details here.

Listen to our Spotify playlist to hear a taste of what to expect

Field Day

Camping at festivals can be a treacherous undertaking. Sure, it's a music lover's ritual, but trudging through endless mud and potentially getting trenchfoot in the process can leave you with a sinking feeling – sometimes literally. If only somebody was smart enough to take the best bits of a festival and cram them into the space of one day, wouldn't that would be sweet?

Early every summer, Hackney becomes the destination to see a stellar line-up of music, and you can even get there on the tube. This year's bonanza in Victoria Park is set to be - for lack of a more fitting term - a right old Field Day.

The line-up packs a right welly this year, with highlights including oddball outfit Animal Collective, Mount Kimbie, Solange, and Everything Everything. There are really too many fantastic bands to list, so check out the full line-up here.

There's plenty of new exciting bands too; with hotly tipped Chvrches, Savages, Metz, and Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs all on the bill. You can also catch the spellbinding East India Youth, who played at our birthday party recently!

And if that wasn't enough to convince you, the electronic offerings are just as good. Four Tet will be gracing Hackney with his psychedelic brand of lo-fi, and Disclosure, Daniel Avery and trap superduo TNGHT promise to deliver storming sets too. - El Hunt

Field Day tickets are priced at £49.50. To buy, and to find out more about the festival, head here.

Listen to our Spotify playlist to hear a taste of what the festival has to offer

Optimus Primavera Sound

It may only be celebrating it's second anniversary this year, but the offshoot from Spain's Primavera is offering plenty to get excited about. Optimus Primavera, held in Porto, Portugal, is returning in 2013 boasting some of the hottest Iberian acts, mixed with some more familiar names. It's held the week after the Barcelona event, and there's the opportunity to party at both with a special combined ticket on offer for revellers wanting the festival experience to last more than a few days, or watch even more of the music on offer.

The line-up is astounding, with many legendary acts performing over the weekend, like Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Blur, Dinosaur Jr. and My Bloody Valentine. However, it's not just the gargantuan names on offer here; whilst you're there, make sure you check these cracking artists out: Rodriguez, Metz, Local Natives, Swans, Savages, James Blake, The Breeders (playing their classic record Last Splash in full), Titus Andronicus, Wild Nothings, Fuck Buttons, Merchandise and Dan Deacon. - Larry Day

Optimus Primavera will be held just outside of Porto (at the Parque de Cicade) from 30th May until 1st June – tickets are getting snapped up fast, with the sister event in Barcelona already selling out. Grab tickets whilst you still can right here.

Listen to our Spotify playlist to get a gist of what to expect

The Governors Ball

This festival really does cover many musical genres, which is exactly what us paying customers expect from our wonderfully-curated festivals these days, as you will learn from the incredible line-up below.

The Friday of Governors Ball is the day which you know exactly what you're going to get: 12+ hours packed full of reliable, dreamy and unmissable sets from Kings Of Leon, Feist, Beach House, Local Natives, Best Coast, Of Monsters And Men, Poliça, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Crystal Castles and St Lucia, to name a few.

Whereas the Saturday is more of a mixed bag, with acts which won't fail to shake your hangover blues, let's just hope Axl Rose will keep his wig on after bratty displays at their 2010 Reading headline slot. Saturday acts include: Guns N' Roses, NAS, Kendrick Lamar, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Dirty Projectors, Animal Collective, Azealia Banks, Alt-J, Fucked Up, Wild Nothing.

And finally, the Sunday is also rather mixed, and includes some much-anticipated sets from some very big names: Kanye West, The xx, Bloc Party, Grizzly Bear, The Lumineers, Beirut, Yeasayer, Cold War Kids, The Vaccines, the list goes on…

All in all the festival is overwhelmingly promising! - Molly Turnley

Governors Ball runs from Friday 7th-Sunday 9th June, at Randall's Island, New York. Unfortunately regular 3-day tickets and day tickets have sold-out on the official website, but there are still 3-day VIP and Friday VIP tickets available so grab them while you still can!

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect

The Parklife Weekender

Taking notes from its sell-out last year, Parklife returns this time round with an all new location boasting more acts and stages than ever before. After notorious concerts from the likes of Oasis and The Stone Roses, the historic Heaton Park takes over where Platt Fields left off in 2012. Manchester's biggest weekender chooses not to focus on the usual festival woes of flooded tents and those germ pits that some claim to call showers. Instead, it strives to deliver exactly what it's hosting city loves most - one gargantuan, all-encompassing, unrivalled summer party.

Presented by the Warehouse Project, you'd expect there to be a massive dance undercurrent running through the line-up, right? Correct. The Saturday kicks off with stages from Hospitality, WHP vs. Now Wave & 10 Years of Metropolis to name but a few. If an uninterrupted run of Daphni, Baauer, AlunaGeorge, Four Tet & Disclosure doesn't sate the appetite (surely nothing will) there are sets around the site from Maya Jane Coles, Netsky and Sub Focus. The Parklife Weekender shouldn't be classified as a Dance music festival though. Jessie Ware and The Maccabees dominate the Main Stage, and then things get a little bit more relaxed with a Sunday line up that can hold its own against any other all-dayer in the UK.

Once again, the highlights come from prolific Manchester promoters Now Wave. Their stage boasts sets from all girl outfit Savages, a cross atlantic appearance from Toro Y Moi and a headline slot for The Horrors. They've thrown in a decent helping of Johnny Marr too, just incase you weren't already sold. Rivalling that is the Curated by Hudson Mohawke stage, with a live performance from TNGHT promising to be unmissable. And then there's Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. And Erol Alkan. Simian Mobile Disco, too. Shy FX. Jurrassic 5. Benga… Jesus Christ. - Mike Emerson

The Parklife Weekender takes place on 8th & 9th June in Heaton Park, Manchester. Be sure to get a ticket before they all fly out, priced at just £69.50 for the full weekend. For more information, head over to their site.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect


Bushstock has, over the years, gained a near-mystical reputation for being on the forefront of breaking new talent; Looking over past line ups throws up a plethora of bands who have gone on to do big, big things; including the likes of Daughter, Bastille, Lucy Rose and Michael Kiwanuka. Now in its third year, 2013 looks set to maintain the incredibly high standards that patron’s of this incredible one-day festival have come to expect.

Curated by the fantastic team over at Communion, this was their West London response to music events going on in other areas of the Capital: Stag and Dagger in the East, and Camden Crawl in the North. The event is based across four diverse venues in the heart of Shepherd’s Bush, including a pub (The Defectors Weld), a church (St. Stephen’s), a club (Ginglik – which is also a former public toilet!) and the beautiful Bush Hall, allowing it’s crowds to experience an array of different sounds in some really special spaces.

For fans of up-and-coming artist, with a leaning towards indie, folk and electronica this is an event not to miss. The line-up is really strong this year, but some of our highlights are: Theme Park, Willy Mason, Bear’s Den, Fyfe, Sivu, Marika Hackman, Roo Panes, Story Books and Dutch Uncles. - Aled Schell

Early bird tickets are now sold out, but there are still standard tickets available at the very reasonable price of £27.50. Note, this is an 18+ event and you will need to bring I.D to pick up your ticket. Find out more information about the festival, or get your ticket here.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect

Sónar 2013 (Barcelona)

Sónar, contrary to popular mythology, is not merely a haven for ravers and techno heads. It may be billed as the world's foremost festival of "Advanced Music and New Media Art", but the organisers have never been afraid to showcase the esoteric and exotic, something that continues with this, the 20th Anniversary edition of a Barcelona institution. Part of Sónar's appeal lies in discovering artists that you wouldn't normally expect to see alongside DJs and the experimental, and while there's no one quite as leftfield as Lana Del Rey this year - she was stunningly good, by the way - there’s plenty of surprises for those willing to explore.

Unusually for an urban festival, Sónar is split between two separate sites with two distinct timetables - imaginatively titled Day and Night. The former shifts for the first time from its tradition home at the MACBA museum to the larger Fira de Barcelona, a custom built trade fair site at the foot of Montjuïc, a move designed to increase capacity and allow for a more flexible layout of stages. Bringing the afternoon vibes this year will be the sample-heavy industrial hip-hop of TNGHT, Chromatics ice-cool synth-pop, Mykki Blanco's glam rap, and Liars' unique blend of dance-punk and experimental rock. Add in AlunaGeorge, Gold Panda, Sébastian Tellier, and Darkstar, and those sunshine beers have quite the soundtrack.

In contrast, Sónar Night is home to the grittier, bass-loving end of dancefloor spinners and EDM kings, but that doesn't mean it's all one-man-two-decks laser show freakery. Bat For Lashes, Two Door Cinema Club, Soulwax, and Jurassic 5 line-up alongside headliners the Pet Shop Boys and Kraftwerk in providing an alternative to Sonar mainstays such as Richie Hawtin, Diplo, Nicolas Jaar, and Laurent Garnier. It'll also be interesting to see the reception afforded devisive dubstep king Skrillex and exactly how Major Lazer's guest-laden fusion of club and dancehall translates to a live setting, but one thing's for sure: it's a suitably impressive line-up for such a significant milestone in Sonar's illustrious history. - Derek Robertson

Sónar takes place in Barcelona and runs from the 13th – 15th June. Tickets can be purchased for the whole weekend, for both nights, or for individual Day and Night sessions by heading here.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect (here for the 'Night' edition)

ATP Festival curated by Deerhunter

The much loved ATP weekender returns once again for the summer, and this time it's Deerhunter's turn to join the ranks of previous curatorial alumni Mogwai, Tortoise, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Devendra Banhart, Dirty Three, My Bloody Valentine, Matt Groening, Pavement, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Animal Collective and Jeff Mangum.

Still sneezing from the National's ATP in December, we're pretty excited about this late June date, which is a first for ATP. Located in Pontins Holiday Park Camber Sands, the festival is but a short walk away from a long sandy beach, so you'd be best advised to bring along with you your finest beach attire.

And when you're not on the beach eating ice cream and trying to dig tunnels to Australia (though if you did, you'd be well placed for ATP's Release the Bats in Melbourne) you could try out some go-karting, swimming, Deerhunter-curated cinema and CD swapping at ATP's mixtape swap.

Deerhunter are set to perform three of their albums over the weekend; Cryptograms, Microcastle and Halcyon Digest, which is a very good thing. The lineup also so far includes Atlas Sound, Panda Bear, No Age, Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks, Dan Deacon, Black Dice, Black Lips and Pere Ubu, with more artists to be announced shortly. - Jacqueline Bowerman

ATP Weekend 2 curated by Deerhunter takes place on 21st - 23rd June. You can visit the ATP website for tickets and further information.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect


Returning after its Olympic Games accommodating hiatus is one of the worlds most famous festivals of all, Glastonbury.

Its 33 years since Michael Eavis first opened his fields for revelers to enjoy live music and unbelievably it will be this year that sees a Glasto debut given to one of the worlds biggest bands of all time The Rolling Stones. Jagger and co. will headline the Pyramid stage on the Saturday, while the Arctic Monkeys and Mumford and Sons will top the bill of the event's premier stage the other two evenings.

A total of 135,000 people will descend on Worthy Farm this June and the eclectic line-up will have plenty to offer for every one of those ticket holders. Of course it's not just music, there is so much going on from performance art, plays, circus acts and poetry that any expectation of keeping to a plan is as futile as as any thought of enjoying a cold can of cider in your tent come the second day.

I've been asked to pick 20 acts I'm most looking forward to over the course of the three days and I've ended up with a fair few more than that... surprise, surprise.

Starting with the pyramid stage, it's safe to say that aside from the not to be missed Rolling Stones the headliners are pretty weak this year, with the Arctic Monkeys failing to impress on large open air stages and Mumford and Sons being, well, Mumford and Sons it will give you a chance to enjoy the other stages in the latter stages of the Friday and Sunday but I'd still recomend sticking around for the likes of Elvis Costello, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Primal Scream, Dizzee Rascal, First Aid Kit and Haim.

To the Other Stage and Amanda Palmer and her new band are playing so if you contributed to her Kickstarter campaign you might like to go and ask her for a rebate. Or you could find something better to do elsewhere and just stick around for The xx, Foals, Tame Impala and the, never to be missed live, Hives.

The West Holts Stage has got some strong vibes this year with The 405 favourites BadBadNotGood and Toro Y Moi appearing along with The Weeknd and hip-hop legends Public Enemy, while another rap star in the truest sense of the term, Nas, takes on the Silver Hayes stage with AlunaGeorge, The 2 Bears and Gold Panda.

Some more alternative hip-hop stars Tyler, The Creator and Earl Sweatshirt are likely to cause a scene or two on the John Peel Stage this year while the line-up remains as eclectic as its namesake with Phoenix, Hurts, James Blake and Frightened Rabbit all standing out.

The Park Stage boasts Cat Power, Solange, The Horrors, Fuck Buttons and Teleman with highlights from the Acoustic Stage and Avalon Stages including, Martha Wainwright, Lucy Rose and Stornoway.

For the full line-up, and for ticket information (though sadly they're all sold out) head over to the official site.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect

Isle of Wight

The Isle Of Wight festival is widely regarded as the starting point of the festival season, with the four day event taking place early June on the the 'Festival Isle' – a nicknamed earned through numerous annual music festivals, including Bestival, which traditionally ends the festival season. It's an event steeped in sonic history. The original late 60s/early 70s incarnations were graced by acts like The Who, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and The Doors; the gatherings got so overcrowded with revellers (the 1970 festival attracted 600,000 people, roughly six times more than the entire population of the island itself) that Parliament actually banned congregations of more than 5000 people at any one time on the Island.

Resurrected by John Giddings in 2002, it's gone from strength to strength, from a tiny 8000-capacity mini-fest to a sprawling shindig with almost 55,000 partygoers heralding the summer and Britain's favourite modern pastime, festival season. Since the rebirth, headliners have included Jay-Z, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, David Bowie... Basically, it's a legendary event.

However, it's not just behemoths of rock that are attracted to the festival. This year, there's a more pop-oriented approach: Ellie Goulding, Emile Sandé and Little Mix are performing, Example is headlining the Dance Tent. It's expanded so that it combines elements of Glastonbury and V Fest – there's something for everyone.

There's a hoard of amazing acts performing at the event this year. Here are some you should probably check out: The Maccabees, The Boomtown Rats, Benga, (reformed exclusively for the festival), Bloc Party, Everything Everything, The Killers, Ghostpoet, Lianne La Havas, I Am Kloot, A-Trak, Imagine Dragons, Bastille, Willy Mason, Laura Mvula and Ben Howard. - Larry Day

The Isle Of Wight festival takes place 13th-16th June, at Seaclose Park on the Isle Of Wight. Tickets are available here, and you do need to get a ferry. You can't swim the Solent, it's more difficult than it looks. Fortunately, they do some package deals including travel.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect


I'm pretty sure I don't know another festival in the world that appreciates, looks after and loves its bands as much as Roskilde in Denmark. It's an institution in the Scandinavian country, with tonnes of dedicated punters decorated with tattoos of the festival's famous main Orange Stage. When in progress, Roskilde (the festival site, not the town) becomes the third largest city in the country.

This year the festival's line-up was announced via a 40 minute video, in which the organisers explained why they love every band (of the 180-ish announced) on the line-up, and why they booked them. It was different and inspired, and was a personal touch that went far, far beyond the usual blandly announced line-up poster. You can watch the video here.

The line-up, thankfully, is as brilliant as the announcement.

Highlights include The National, who will be touring their sixth record 'Trouble Will Find Me', Rihanna, Sigur Rós, Slipknot, Kraftwerk in 3D, Queens of the Stone Age, and Henry Rollins, who will be performing a spoken word set on each of the festival's four days.

As well as the big headliners, we think you should go and see: METZm Fidlar, James Blake, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Bots, Ingrid (a Lykke Li, Peter, Bjorn and John and Miike Snow featuring supergroup), Azaelia Banks, Pissed Jeans, Savages, Joey Bada$$. - Will Richards

Roskilde Festival is held in Roskilde, Denmark (half an hour from Copenhagen, and an hour and a half from Malmo, Sweden, where Ryanair fly to!), and runs from 3rd-7th July. Tickets can be bought here, and include an extra week's camping before the music starts!

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect

Lounge On The Farm

Nestled into Kent’s idyllic rolling countryside, multi-award-winning Lounge on the Farm festival is set for its 8th year. Beginning life with a chance meeting between a farmer, a DJ and a foodie, LOTF has gone from strength to strength, going from being a gem in the local music calendar to becoming one of the top boutique festivals in the country.

Musically it's a hugely diverse affair, with the team cherry-picking some of the biggest acts, and best up and coming talents, from a multitude of genres. This diversity is ever apparent in the event's three headliners which sees blues stalwart Seasick Steve open proceedings on Friday, before the prodigious talents of soul-pop songstress Jessie Ware takes the stage to headline Saturday, and finally R&B-funk outfit Soul II Soul play out the festival on Sunday.

On top of the sensational line-up of bands the festival boasts, they also spoil their punters with an incredible array of DJs and spoken word acts, as well as the best from the worlds of cabaret and comedy. As any festival goer knows, 'an army marches on its stomach', and Lounge on the Farm takes this sentiment very seriously. Moving away from the usual festival slop offered by some of its counterparts, LOTF provides its patrons with an amazing mix of gourmet offerings from across the globe. The way they like to describe the whole event is "its liking popping to your favourite local restaurant for a bite to eat and finding a legendary artist standing on a table belting out hits." Perfect.

There are so many acts on the bill which are worth your while, but we’ve picked out a few of our favourites: Willy Moon, Tribes, Lucy Rose, Sivu, Farewell JR, Jessie Ware, Rae Morris, Beans on Toast, Treetop Flyers, Seasick Steve, Pale Seas, Eliza and the Bear, JP Cooper and Marika Hackman.

Early bird tickets are already sold out, but there are still weekend tickets available for £100 here. Lounge on the Farm takes place from the 26th – 28th of July on Merton Farm in Kent.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect


Best overseas festival winner of 2012, Benicassim attracts a range of spectators with its tricolon of mind-blowing music, magnificent weather and marvellous beaches. No mud or rain ponchos here.

The increasingly popular festival has seen past headliners in the form of Gorillaz, Bob Dylan, The Stone Roses. This year, Vince Power has kept up the high headliner expectations with Queens of The Stone Age, Beady Eye, Arctic Monkeys and The Killers.

The festival is easily accessible from Valencia (55 min), Barcelona (2hr 30min), Alicante (2hr 35min) and Madrid (4hr 30min) with affordable coach, taxi and train services. Benicassim offer a range of day, weekend and VIP tickets and there’s even an additional option of tent renting. With one of the cheapest festival tickets, (only £150 for the weekend) Benicassim is an incredible festival alternative that offers a holiday and festival all in one. Easy on your ears, eyes and wallet… maybe not on your pale English skin though. - Joanie Eaton

For more information regarding the line-up and tickets, head here.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect


Lovebox was established just over a decade ago by superstar DJs Groove Armada. It was sparked by demand for the club night of the same name that they once ran in Brick Lane's 93 Feet East during the early 2000s. Initially a festival based primarily around their passion for dance music, it has subsequently developed into a much more diverse event. Now embracing a wider range of tastes and musical genres than ever before, Lovebox has continued to evolve during its 11-year existence, reflecting its expanding capacity, estimated to currently be around the 50,000 mark. So many people require so much entertainment, and consequently the festival will this year host its biggest line-up ever in London's Victoria Park. They promise us a "kaleidoscopic circus of delights siphoned from London’s cultural melting pot" - a sentence even Boris's spin doctor would deem PR-worthy.

Picks to kick off the festival include Radio 1's Annie Mac, hip hop royalty Jurassic 5, Azealia Banks (who might actually turn up this year), Foreign Beggars, and Flying Lotus. Additionally, godfather of reggae David Rodigan MBE (recognised by QEII herself) will be bringing us his Ram Jam in the sunshine on the Friday. A take-it-or-leave-it recommendation also for Friday would be Wiley - I know, I know, but having witnessed how he managed to rev up the crowd unbelievably during a hungover Saturday lunchtime at Bestival last September, he's worth a look. There's no point pretending you don't wanna join in when he drops 'Wearing My Rolex'. For Saturday's choices, there's DJ/Production outfit Greenmoney, AlunaGeorge, Mark Ronson, Plan B, Danny Byrd, and Grammy-winning soul crooner D'Angelo. Festivalgoers on Sunday will get to see Goldfrapp back on stage for the first time in a while. Also not to be missed are top German DJ Paul Kalkbrenner but most importantly, legendary American house music producer Derrick Carter, whose set on the final day of Lovebox 2013 will be the most highly anticipated of all. - Yolanda Leask

For more information regarding the line-up and tickets, head here.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect


Latitude is one of the truly British festivals, embracing the rich countryside whilst dying the sheep all sorts of colours and hanging fairy-lights all along the river, and almost any other place they can drape them from. This is Latitude at a glance. But there are so many factors which make Latitude one of the best British festivals, and maybe one of the best Worldwide.

Every year Latitude's line-up really pulls it out of the bag. It always manages to nab obscure and amazing acts which usually find themselves in the spotlight the following year (which is why you should always check out the smaller stages at festivals, to give you some unique and memorable experiences).

It's not just the music which should be taken into account when choosing a festival to attend this year, and Latitude has an impressive array of other stages: comedy, poetry, theatre/dance, cabaret, artists, literary and film. Some of these may not be your cup of tea but festivals are essentially weekends of freedom and hippy-style open-mindedness so you'd be silly not to go and have a nose around!

Anyway, back to the music, one of the headliners this year is Kraftwerk, who will be performing a 3D show. I anticipate that the whole ordeal may feel slightly like an acid trip, but definitely an unmissable, one-of-a-kind set. Bloc Party and Foals will also be headlining the festival, with huge sets which are sure to get your blood rushing and pump you up for the amazing late night entertainment on offer around the site, (the stages turn into dj sets and the bars into dance floors).

The rest of the line-up is equally as incredible: Alt-J, The Maccabees, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Hot Chip, Grizzly Bear, Jessie Ware, James Blake, Disclosure, Local Natives, Modest Mouse, Beach House, Villagers, Daughter, Laura Mvula, the list goes on and on… - Molly Turnley

The festival is held on Thursday 18th-Sunday 21st July 2013, at Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk. Weekend tickets are still up for grabs, at £190.50. And it is the perfect family holiday festival as accompanied teen tickets (aged 13-15) are £140.50 and child tickets (aged 5-12) are just £6.50. There are also day tickets available at £84.50. Head here for more information.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect


There is always something exciting about a new festival, especially when it's held in awesome Dublin which now more than ever seems the cool place to be when it comes to music.

The first ever edition of Longitude, a brand new music and arts festival organised by promoters MCD will take place the same weekend as Suffolk's Latitude Festival from Friday July 19th to Sunday July 21st. The location is Marlay Park in the backdrop of the Dublin mountains.

If Oxygen is hosting more dance/hip hop and pop acts this year, Longitude's lineup seems a good mixture of rock and electronic artists.

First day is headlined by French indie rockers Phoenix and Oxford lads Foals, preceded by folktronica champions Django Django and other interesting artists such as Jake Bugg, Alunageorge and Jessie Ware. Saturday's main acts are Vampire Weekends and local indie folk darling Villagers. Don't miss The Maccabees, Local Natives, Kodaline and Gold Panda!

German electronic music's kings Kraftwerk and never - disappointing Yeah Yeah Yeahs are headlining the last day. Other acts set to appear are Hot Chip, Modest Mouse, Mark Lanegan and Japandroids. It's a 'no camping' event, so that you can just go straight back to your home or hotel for a shower and a good night sleep after all the fun! - Eleonora Collini

The price of 149.50 € for the whole weekend or 54.50€ for a day ticket is quite reasonable, especially considering the line-up. For more information, head here.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect


As us Brits become more and more spoilt for choice with music festivals appearing from nowhere and onto our over-indulgent radars, many of these festivals have been tirelessly brought to life from a single light-bulb moment. This is exactly the story of 2000trees festival; after having been founded by 6 friends who'd had enough of paying far too much for 3-inch hotdogs, and 7 mile hikes to the 'closest' stage.

2000trees has grown in size every year, boasting a capacity of 4,500 this year, which is a great achievement for an independent festival. The festival has a slightly more handmade and personal feel to it, bringing a sense of security and homeliness, which is why it's a perfect family festival, as well as a great getaway for friends. The line-ups for 2000trees remain loyal to their rock and progressive rock origin, but the curators always bring diversity in with new and experimental acts.

The line-up this year consists of Frank Turner, King Charles, Mystery Jets, Stornoway, Funeral For A Friend, We Are The Ocean, Adebisi Shank, Stealing Sheep, And So I Watch You From Afar, and many more.

2000trees also boasts a difference to other festivals as it runs from Thursday-Saturday, giving you the Sunday as a recovery day before the bleak Monday morning descends, but let's not thinks about those evil Mondays just yet! I think the 2000trees curators knew exactly what they wanted when putting this wonderful package together, and will not fail to get your noses wrinkling and heads-banging along to the guitar solos. - Molly Turner

The weekend runs from 11th-13th July 2013 at Upcote Farm, Gloucestershire. Weekend tickets are a modest £72 and children 0-10 go free! For more information, head here.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect


Wireless Festival has brought huge names to London's Hyde Park since 2005; with Basement Jaxx headlining in 2005, The Who, Massive Attack, the Stokes in 2006 and The White Stripes, Daft Punk and Faithless in 2007. Although always having been a commercial and heavily sponsored festival, we have seen its line-ups become more and more filled with currently commercial acts, more mass-popular chart-based headliners, such as Drake and Rihanna last year.

But, although these two guys are quite obviously riding shotgun in the Bentley of current and commercial success (yes, both sharing one seat), they may just be the most refreshing headliners Wireless has booked in a while: Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake.

Timberlake has just burst back onto the scene, after a much-publicised come-back with his new album The 20/20 Experience. And although some of us may find it hard to admit, we have missed his surprisingly impressive vocal range, first brought to our attention through his infectiously likeable debut Justified.

And the man himself - Jay-Z - requires no introduction; no paragraph in which to convince you of how fantastic his performance will be. Jay-Z is one of the few current performers with such a great track record in encapsulating the entire audience and owning the stage in live performances; and I'm sure by the end you will unashamedly want to be him!

Anyway, enough about wanting to be Jay-Z, you may have heard of some of the others on the line-up too - Snoop Dogg, Frank Ocean and Sub Focus on the Friday, Emeli Sandé, Rita Ora, Kendrick Lamar, Iggy Azalea and Flux Pavillion on the Saturday, and the Sunday – A Tribe Called Quest, NAS, A$AP Rocky and Jessie Ware, to name a few.

The Sunday will see the first of many collaborative performances with Jay-Z and Justin, before they embark on their huge 'Legends Of The Summer' stadium tour. The Wireless Sunday performance is sure to be huge, with many suprises and memorable tracks brought to London's new Olympic park stage! - Molly Turner

This year the location will be the brand-spanking new Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London, from 12th-14th July. There are no 2-day or 3-day tickets remaining for the festival, but there are (arguably the best day) Sunday tickets still available (disabled tickets also) so grab them while you still can! There are also many VIP packages still on sale. Head here for more information.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect

Secret Garden Party

Now in its ninth year of existence, Secret Garden Party has come a long way since its debut year which saw an attendance of a little over 1000 people. Whilst the crowds have grown exponentially in size, its core values of creativity, participation and adventure still remain. Set on the breath-taking backdrop of a 10 acre farm in Cambridgeshire, the site comes dotted in art installations and even its very own river.

This year, the festival takes place from 25th-28th July and already, an impressive string of acts have been announced. The likes of Youth Lagoon and Regina Spektor will be joined by Django Django and Soulwax and whilst these big names will ensure tickets will go flying out, up-and-coming acts like Childhood, Jamie N Commons, The Staves and Willy Mason will also gain the attention of potential 'gardeners' in their own right.

With that said, SGP is about so much more than the music and activities that have already been announced include; naked trampolining, mud wrestling, paint fights, giant parades, dance off battles, badger dating (whatever that is), fire shows and a mysterious naked pool of wonder. - Max Sanderson

Tickets are currently priced at £191 and the nice people at SGP even offer a very reasonable deposit system (£98.50) for those who would prefer to pay in instalments. Hurry though as their tiered system means tickets may go up in price at any point. Head over to their website to find out more about the festival, line-up and ticket prices.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect


Tramlines festival is huge. Well, maybe it's not that well-known, but it really is. Last year saw 80,000 people fill Sheffield's many, many venues, and the year before it won 'Best Metropolitan Festival' at the UK Festival Awards. Not bad for a festival that's only celebrating its fifth birthday this summer.

With over 70 venues and a bunch of main stages, as well as special little extras like the Buskers Bus and the Blues and Ale Trail (both as fantastic as they sound), Tramlines is one of those festivals that really isn't lying when it says it has something for everyone. If you've been before, you'll know that half the fun is in wandering into a pub and finding something amazing that you never would've expected.

This year, though, there are some changes. Since 2009, Tramlines has been free, but for various reasons they're charging the measly sum of £6 per day to see some of the best music around. It's only £15 for the whole weekend if you sign up early to become a Tramliner, which sounds like a mix between a tram and a massive boat. So for not much more than a couple of pints each day, you can spend your weekend seeing Slow Club, Veronica Falls, Lulu James, Tall Ships, Witch Hunt, Sky Larkin, and a whole bunch more. Like dance music? Sheffield's own Toddla T curates the dance programme; this year the Saturday of Tramlines boasts something special called

Toddla T Brings You: Sheffield vs. Carnival, featuring Dub Phizix, Strategy, Dre Skull, Toddla T himself and more. There's still a whole bunch of acts to be announced, but judging from the 50+ already on the website, it's going to be another good year for Tramlines. As well as everyone else we've mentioned, check out: Wet Nuns, Cheatahs, Theme Park, Misty's Big Adventure, Thumpers and the Crookes. - Coral Williamson

Tramlines takes place 19-21 July. Tickets cost £15 for the weekend if you're a Tramliner, or £6 per day. For more information, head here.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect

Truck Festival

Truck, on the one hand, can feel like a music festival for the settledowners, the come-of-age pining for a little light music and a two-day a chill in a field. There's attractively-priced real ale. Alt-country by the vanload. Not too massive an area to lose your toddler in. Ever filled with the slow-creeping terror that music festivals are starting to put too much emphasis on empty spectacle, and not enough on actual music (and what's all this electronic rubbish about anyway)?! Never fear. Truck's your guy.

I'm being cute, of course. Because on the other hand, Truck is a wondrous playground for the sort of nichey band-obsessives who care deeply about things like 'the local scene' and went into a huff when Biffy released Puzzle. Or indeed, for that rare breed of festival-goer who doesn't feel like plunging through two miles of swamp to catch half a set before having to strike out into the goop once more to catch another half a set, and so on. Those crazy guys. So here's why I'm looking forward to being on Hill Farm between the 17th and the 19th of July this year, notwithstanding the general lack of mud ( - Rob Hollamby):

And So I Watch You From Afar – Belfast's premier post-rock export trod on a few toes with the release of third full-length All Hail Bright Futures earlier this year, owing to the fact that…well, they aren't playing post-rock any more. I don't really care though, because 'Big Thinks Do Remarkable' is probably the sunniest slice of lemon-yellow fun I've heard all year. And if their live reputation is anything to go by, ASIWYFA absolutely fucking destroy, so, yeah. Looking forward to that.

Bo Ningen – They're from Japan, they live in London, and they're playing The Barn on Friday. I'm a new convert to this particular church. But clear your mind, sit down, and listen to 'Henkan' on headphones. Tell me you don't think that it's going to be the most monstrous, throbbing, fearsome hunk of strobes-on-fire rock music when witnessed in the flesh. Go on. Tell me.

Crash Of Rhinos – I normally get a bit carried away when I write about Crash Of Rhinos, so I'll sum things up with a nice, sober series of numbered points:

1. Their first record Distal, which came out a couple of years ago, is like some kind of flawless subgenre manifesto in which everything gets done right. Big, hearty, roaring songs about friendship and loss. I think.

2. At the start of their set last year at Truck, I felt like I was about to die (maybe). By the end, I was grinning like an absolute goon and everything was OK again.

3. They have now recorded and mixed the follow-up to Distal, so where better to hear the new songs than with some beardy fellas in a shitstinkin' barn in the Oxfordshire countryside?!

So, yes, you need to see this band as a matter of urgency. Post-haste.

Dry The River – C'mon, they're the Mumfords it's OK to like! They've got hair and tattoos and their guitars go loud sometimes! They've got luxuriantly verbose songs that sound like they were written in the 1800s! Debut Shallow Bed, in all seriousness (and there's a song on there about alcoholic parents, so it is pretty serious) was one of my favourite records of last year, and having had the pleasure of witnessing Liddle and co onstage around then, I can attest that for all the sombre gravity, their live show is a whole heckin' load of air-punching brilliance.

The History of Apple Pie – Pop songs in heavy syrup. Yeah, there're days when I think it's just too soon to start cribbing off the nineties as well, but when it's done with this much sneer and searing fuzz, it's hard to disagree.

The Physics House Band – Resident musicians for an entire arm of science! Fancy that! They have songs with names like 'Abraxical Solapse', which sounds exactly like you'd expect a song called 'Abraxical Solapse' to sound. So a heroic dose of Volta and more rhythmic changes than you could shake a supercollider at. Which is stupid. You could never lift a supercollider, not with those arms.

Spiritualized – When I was fifteen I babysat this kid while his parents were at a Spiritualized concert. They came home at two in the morning, pink-eyed and giggling, bearing for me a token of their appreciation – a list of stage times upon which someone had scrawled in wobbly, childlike script:

'To Rob,

High times

Don't go to school.

Space man.'

Thanks for the advice, Jason. See you in two months.

Tall Ships – I like Tall Ships a lot. Last year I pronounced their Truck performance 'as close to a perfect “live music experience” as one could want', and that's because they're chuffin' rad. Rock, loops, harmony, noise, happiness. Playing second-to-last (just before Rolo Tomassi) in the Barn on Saturday.

Wounds - Rip-your-throat-out-good punk rock from Dublin. They got serious teeth, man. Fresh off tour with Billy Talent (I know, right?!). Kind of like everything I wanted Gallows to be. Watch your jugular.

Truck takes place on Hill Farm, Steventon (that's in Oxfordshire), between the 17th and 19th July 2013. For more info, go here

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect

Pitchfork Festival

What impresses me most about Pitchfork Music Festival this year is its line-up. Many, many festivals now define themselves as independently-run, eco-friendly embracers of local businesses and vendors. These festivals also seem to fill 90% of their websites with their passionate efforts to promote walking or cycling to the festival, and healthy-eating. Although reducing your carbon footprint and eating healthily are of course important human choices, I just think the music should come first when choosing which festival to attend this year!

The festival really does embrace culturally-diverse musicians, and culturally-diverse attendees for that matter. The Friday line-up is topped with the Icelandic-beauty Björk. I always smile to myself when seeing Björk at the top of a festival poster, because the mixed reactions from a festival crowd at her sets are just wonderful – the loyal fans are simply mesmerised, and the rest of the crowd are very intrigued, slightly confused, and also mesmerised - it's fantastic to watch.

The rest of the Friday consists of multi-talented American Harpist Joanna Newsom, England's-own post-punk band Wire, Woods, Mikal Cronin, Angel Olsen and Trash Talk.

If you don't already adore Belle and Sebastian then you will after their Saturday night set. Eight albums in and their dreamy, literal-approach to songwriting is still so admirable. Imagine a slideshow of photographs from your teenage years, of first lovers and crazy friends, both good and bad, this is the band who'd be playing in the background. Saturday will also consist of Solange, hotly-tipped guitar-based girl band Savages, The Breeders and Merchandise.

Sundays at music festivals should always provide the attendee with a good balance of nostalgia-fuelled pick-me-up acts, and spacey yet soothing acts, and this is exactly the approach Pitchfork have gone for. R Kelly is your Sunday night headliner, whose set is sure to get heads swaying from side to side. MIA will surface your more primal dance moves. Other Sunday acts include Yo La Tengo, Toro Y Moi, Sky Ferreira, Chairlift and Blood Orange. - Molly Turnley

Pitchfork Music Festival is at Union Park, Chicago, IL. Ticket prices are very reasonable. The 3-day pass is $120 and day tickets are $50. For more information, head here.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect

End Of The Road and Outside Lands will be here on July 8th.

Electric Picnic

In years past Electric Picnic had been one of the two biggest festivals on the Irish music calendar but now it's main competition Oxygen has taken a different direction and filled it's line-up with Hip Hop and electronic acts aimed at taking in a younger audience. A tactic which doesn't so far seem to paying off, judging by comments in various media lately.

This has left Electric Picnic as the biggest other Camping event of the summer. With a large amout of tickets to shift the top half of the bill is quite reliant on big name acts. Even some which have not been actively been releasing material lately, but it's the big names that lots of festivals turn to to get the punters in.

If this is what you're interested in then you'll be well served with Fatboy Slim, Bjork, Arctic Monkeys, and Robert Plant all headlining. Next to these will be My Bloody Valentine, The Knife, Franz Ferdinand and David Byrnes project with St. Vincent.

If newer music is your thing then look further down the bill for Chvrches, Polica, Palma Violets or the 1975. You may have read or heard some of the bands from their good showing at this year's SXSW events. One of these was a local Irish band Little Green Cars and following a successful American and UK tour their debut album ‘Absolute Zero' went to No.1 on its release. They played a very small show at the Picnic last year but this year will have a much bigger crowd.

There is a good mix of electronic and alternative, guitar type acts throughout the line-up as well as good representation of other Irish acts. One of these is Mano Le Tough who made his name as a DJ and producer in Belgium but recently has released his own album and solo shows which followed.

With multiple music stages, comedy, chill out and other areas this is a festival which probably will have something for everyone. Whether you want to get stuck into the big names, new music or just lie in a field for a weekend they'll have you covered here. - Chris Ledwidge

Electric Picnic Takes Place at Stradbally Estate, Co. Laois, Ireland between August 30th and 1st September. Before May 27th weekend tickets will be €189.50, discounted to €169.50 if you can prove you've been to Electric Picnic at least once before and discounted to €149.50 if you've been three or more times. Between May 28th and July 28th weekend tickets will be €189.50 and after July 28th this will increase to €229.50. One day tickets are available for €85.00. Details of how to book and other line-up changes can be found at their website.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect

Rock En Seine

Puntastic three-day rocker Rock En Seine (the name plays on 'rock en scène', lit. 'rock on stage') is fast becoming the go-to festival for outdoorsy Parisians looking for big-name musical fun to cap off their long summer breaks. And for good reason. Nuzzled away in the picturesque Domaine National de Saint-Cloud, a beautiful park to the west of Paris, it's always a thoroughly sundry affair, cobbling massive headliners together with hard-to-get rappers, underground electro and the best in Francophone indie. It's telling that previous editions have included names as diverse as R.E.M., Rage Against The Machine, Bjork, Arcade Fire, Eminem and the Pixies.

Now in its 11th year, the lineup is (almost) as impressive as ever. Taking pole position are the unassailable Phoenix, Paris' second biggest musical export, for sure, alongside legendary metalheads System of a Down and German techno DJ Paul Kalkbrenner. Skim through the undercard, though, and you'll find the usual mish-mash of wonderful musical types: that new generation of egocentric rappers (Kendrick Lamar, ASAP Rocky and Mac Miller) crossing paths with festival staples like Franz Ferdinand, Tame Impala, Alt-J and Nine Inch Nails (who, let's be honest, should probably be headlining.) Further down the billing, you'll find the best in up-and-coming hype and flair, from P4K babies Savages, Parquet Courts and DIIV, to promising pop talents Laura Mvula, Chvrches and MS MR. Oh, and there's a still another huge announcement to be made. We're holding out for Daft Punk. - Huw Oliver

Sound good? Tickets are relatively cheap (169 euros including on-site camping), whilst transport to and from the site is quickly found and easily navigated: the nearest metro link is Boulogne – Pont de Saint-Cloud, only five minutes from the site. If you take the Eurostar, you'll be able to get from St Pancras to the festival within 3 or 4 hours. For more details, head over to their website.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect

Green Man Festival

It's hard for us to be impartial when it comes to Green Man, and for one simple reason - it's beautiful. From the surroundings (it makes Latitude look like a dump), to the people and the air you'll breathe in during your visit - everything about it is perfect. It's also rare for a festival of its size to keep its integrity when it comes to growth, which is just another reason why you should attend this festival.

You're probably wondering what the line-up is like, right? Well put it this way, it's pretty special. Here are our top picks:

Band of Horses, The Pastels, Sam Amidon, Julia Holter, The Horrors, Low, Lord Huron, Phosphorescent, Local Natives, Fuck Buttons, Moon Duo, Thought Forms, Girls Names, Swans, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Woods, Melody's Echo Chamber, Mikal Cronin, Flamingods, Jon Hopkins and Veronica Falls.

Green Man Festival takes place near Crickhowell in the Brecon Beacons, August 15-18th 2013. For more information, head here.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect


To say this will only be its second year, Beacons is fast becoming one of the hottest festivals in the UK. Set in the Yorkshire Dales, it holds an appeal for serious musos and families alike, without once coming across snobbish or dull. Add that to the fact that its main contender up North would be the plenty commercialised Leeds fest, and Beacons' appearance as the Art Boutique weekend gets ever the more appealing.

There is a hearty focus on the artisan, with installations dotted alongside pop up theatres and workshops, however the festivals true strength lies solely on its spread of brilliant music. Targeting innovative performers and the very best of buzz bands, Beacons produces a line-up that is truthfully exciting - a much appreciated breath of fresh air in this current age of retired comebacks. Headlines acts include Ghostpoet and Django Django, as well as a full performance from the creator of one of the most beautiful albums released this year, Bonobo. Savages sit alongside recent addition Gold Panda to ensure the Saturday keeps things flowing, with a special appearance from Beyonces infinitely cooler sister Solange promising to steal the show on the final day.

I could sit and write detailed paragraphs of praise for 95% of the music on offer the line-up is that good, but other acts not to be missed include East India Youth, Kult Country, Hookworms, Dutch Uncles, Bondax, Wolf Alice, Egyptian Hip Hop and Stealing Sheep. The breadth of genres on offer is unbelievable, and the talent on show for the price of their tickets makes Beacons one of the highest value for money festivals going. - Mike Emerson

Beacons runs from 16th-18th August in Skipton, Yorkshire. Tickets are priced at a wonderful £99.50, click here for more information.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect

Camp Bestival

Starting in 2008, Camp Bestival was only ever meant to be the 'little sister' of Bestival but in the years since then, the youthful sibling has become so much more. Similar to its elderly counterpart, Camp Bestival is curated and run by BBC Radio 1's Rob Da Bank but unlike Bestival, is aimed primarily at a family audience, winning consecutive 'Best Family Festival' awards in 2009 and 2010.

With that said, this family-centric approach takes nothing away from the festival experience, if anything, it might just make it better. The extensive list of theatres and shows, which includes a Horrible Histories stage show and a Dinosaur Exhibition, sounds like the perfect daytime cure to any hangover. On top of these, spaces for dancing, painting, science and jousting mean to be bored at Camp Bestival is surely impossible.

Oh, and then there's the music; Richard Hawley, The Proclaimers and Toots and the Maytals will all grace the stage alongside Kid Creole and the Coconuts, David Rodigan and even a set from Craig Charles to name a few.

The festival takes place at the idyllic Lulworth Castle in Dorset from 1st-4th August 2013 with tickets are priced at around £180 for the weekend (including camping). With that said, the lovely organisers offer children and student discounts, as well as a 5 week payment plan.

Tickets are selling out fast so head over to their website for more details about the line-up and tickets.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect

Standon Calling

With a handful of open minds and a box full of face paints Standon Calling will provide you with the rest of the ingredients for a memorable weekend of fun and frivolities.

The festival is another originating from a group of friends wanting to throw an outstanding birthday party; soon transforming into a much more organised and popular ordeal.

Standon Calling has seen such acts brace its luscious countryside stages as Florence + the Machine, Mumford & Sons, Friendly Fires, Metronomy, Bastille, and many other infectiously likeable, multi-award winning acts.

This year Standon has called upon the huge sounds of Digitalism - the talented electronic-duo from Germany, Band of Skulls - the Southampton band with an almost Southern American sound (fans of Jack White and The Black Keys should have a listen) and Del La Soul - the massive 80s/90s hip-hop masters, to headline this year's festival. Other acts on the bill include Bastille, The Joy Formidable, Alunageorge, The D.O.T, Dutch Uncles, Public Service Broadcasting, King Charles and TOY.

The festival also features late-night stages for those wishing to carry on the party into the early hours, but also provides for the family festival-goers with kids under 13 going free and areas specifically for kid's activities. - Molly Turnley

Standon Calling's theme this year is 'Running Away from the Circus' and runs from 2-4th August in Standon, Hertfordshire. Early bird tickets have sold out but there are still plenty of weekend tickets still available for just £99 (from here).

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect

Reading/Leeds Festival

Despite being considered the 'Rite of Passage' festival, Reading/Leeds is a powerhouse event. Every need is catered for (musically speaking) - plus you'll be kept up all night by people that will make you feel much younger than you probably are. Which, to us, is a good thing.

Highlights from this year's line-up include Deftones, Foals, A$AP Rocky, Deap Vally, Tame Impala, Modestep, Azealia Banks, Haim, AlunaGeorge, Wavves, Jagwar Ma, Charli XCX, Sick Of It All, CHVRCHES, MØ, MS MR, DIIV, Lucy Rose, Savages and Mount Kimbie.

Not bad, right?

Reading and Leeds festival takes place 23-25th August. For more information head here.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect

Oya Festival

Oslo's legendary Oya Festival has grown from a tiny 1,200-person event in 1999 to almost 90,000 in recent years – it's fast becoming Norway's premiere outdoor music event. Held in Middelalderparken (which contains the ruins of an 11th century medieval church and the ancient Oslo Fjord shoreline) each August, it's described as a 'boutique festival', so you can surely expect all kinds of eco-friendly gourmet treats, artisan scenery and lots of pretty fairylights strewn amongst the firs. It's a picturesque site to hold a weekend of frivolity. Oya strives to be the greenest festival in the world, and are strict about littering and carbon footprints, but surely that just leads to a better environment for everyone anyway – who wants to keep tripping over old cups and half-chewed burger?

Among the artists that have graced the Sjøsiden, Enga, Vika and Odden stages are Kanye West, Morrissey, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Wilco, Pavement and Yoko Ono. Alongside a plethora of US/UK artists, Scandinavian staples Björk and Sigur Rós have also performed. The festival is generally adept at showcasing some of the best up-and-coming artists from the Nordic nations. This year, be sure to catch Truls, Alfred Hall and Carmen Villain – soon to be massive contenders in Top 40s around the globe.

Big acts to catch at the festival are sure to include Blur, Kendrick Lamar, Wu-Tang Clan, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and The Knife, but there's more than enough artists performing over the weekend to keep you scurrying between stages, including: Solange, Grimes, Phosphorescent, Haim, Cat Power, Metz, Efterklang, Nils Bech, Jenny Hval, Iceage, Dirty Beaches, Beach House, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Goat. There are also still plenty of names to be added before the event gets underway. - Larry Day

Oya Festival takes play August 6th - 10th in Middelalderparken, Oslo, Norway. Tickets are available here. Listen to our playlist below to get pumped for what is sure to be a calendar highlight.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect


It may be getting harder and harder for festivals to survive in such harsh economic climes, but that doesn't stop those with a vision, passion, and a little ingenuity from trying. Boutique gatherings have been particularly successful at bucking the trend, offering a more personal and affordable experience where quality is placed above quantity, curated to appeal to a more discerning crowd. Celebrating its fifth birthday, LodeStar is one such event.

Held on vast flat fenland just 15mins from Cambridge city centre on one of the best weather weekends of the year, the family-friendly festival includes comedy, theatre, a wide variety of market stalls, quality local catering and even some sport. LodeStar has gained a reputation as one of the most relaxed, chilled boutique festivals in the UK, where affordable prices don't diminish the quality of the acts involved.

Headling this year are Welsh rockers the Joy Formidable, Canadian eletro-poppers Dragonette, songstress Eleanor Freidberger, and El Perro Del Mar's only UK festival appearance. Add in the roughhouse indie of Hatcham Social, the alt-pop of Thumpers, and a host of other up and coming acts and talents, and it's certainly not lacking popular appeal. More acts are still to be announced, but the 2013 edition certainly looks like shaping up to be their best yet. - Derek Robertson

Tickets are available now from £35 for day passes (tickets here).

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect

Way Out West

Set within the beautiful Slottsskogen park, which translates as 'Castle's Forest', Way Out West can stake a serious claim for 'Most Beautiful Festival Location' (if such an award exists). It also packs a pretty impressive line-up for a relatively young festival.

From Neil Young and Alicia Keys, to Miguel and Angel Haze, it seems to have all the bases covered too. Check out our top picks:

Austa, Angel Haze, Danny Brown, Cat Power, Bat For Lashed, Deptford Goth, Ducktails, Goat, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Haim, Grimes, James Blake, Julia Holter, Kendrick Lamar, Miguel, Local Natives, Money, Solange and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

Way Out West festival takes place August 8-10th in Göteborg. For more information, head here.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect


Bestival is a magical place. Rife with all manner of eccentric wonders, it's a festival like no other. There's an inflatable church holding wedding ceremonies, roller discos, parades, boutique cabaret, horror shows and a cheeky bit of burlesque. This year boasts an enormous model of Lionel Richie's head, which for a fee, you can sleep inside. Surreality reigns supreme at the one, the only, Bestival. Creator Rob Da Bank prides himself on cultivating a experience like no other – and boy, does he succeed.

There's always a mammoth fancy dress competition – this year's theme is 'nautical' – and Bestival broke the Guinness world record in 2010 for most people in fancy dress at a single event. This year, for the 10th Birthday Extravaganza, there promises to be a host of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, including, but most definitely not limited to: shipwrecked pirates, drag queens, Edinburgh Fringe stalwarts, films in the forest with live soundtracks (including East India Youth's revitalised score of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea), household Olympics, urban tribe visual arts, something called GutterSlut, karaoke, a traditional Indian circus, lectures, stand-up comics, sketch troupes, actors, singers, performance poets, dancers, artists, singers, DJs and all manner of avante-gardists who find themselves at home only at Bestival.

Of course, the main draw of the event is the music. Headlined this year by dance legend Fatboy Slim, rap megastar Snoop Dogg and pop icon Elton John, it's set to be a raucous party. However, as with every year, the main stage card is only the tip of the iceberg – with dozens of stages, you'll never find yourself with a spare minute. Expect the likes of Franz Ferdinand, Bombay Bicycle Club, Wu-Tang Clan, The Roots, Jessie Ware, Angel Haze, James Blake, Tom Odell, Chic (feat. Nile Rodgers), The Strypes, Jagwar Ma, Swim Deep, Jon Hopkins, Is Tropical, John Newman, Chloe Howl, London Grammar, Disclosure, M.I.A., Belle & Sebastien and The Flaming Lips. Whoa.

The festival is held at Robin Hill Country Park in Arreton, on the Isle Of Wight from 5th-8th September 2013 with tickets are priced at around £190 for the weekend (including camping and Thursday entry). Mr. and Mrs. Da Bank also offer student prices, child and teenager tickets and, if you were lucky enough to utilise it, the first weekly payment plan for a UK festival. Tickets are still available here, but bear in mind you need to get a ferry to the Isle Of Wight. You don't need a passport, and the currency is pound sterling. We also drive on the left here. It's very similar to the rest of the country, really, despite the rumours. The one about webbed toes is true though.

Listen to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what to expect