Introduction Welcome to festival preview week from The 405! With summer just around the corner and lovely weather currently matching this, it seems like a good time to get all excited about a summer of music and sweaty tent habitation. Every day this week our team of writers will be previewing a variety of festivals, including bands to watch out for, general tips, and plenty of frothing at the mouth. So, if you’re still weighing up your options, fighting it out with friends whilst flexing your musical muscles in heated conversation, or just curious about what’s to come, stick around. And what wacky catchphrase will sweep through the campsites? Our money is on “STEPHEN!”. Feel free to add to proceedings and recommend artists to see, things to do, beer to drink, good/bad experiences, and comment away. For today, we take a look at some of the main players in the festival season: Glastonbury Dates: Wednesday 24th - Sunday 28th June Place: Worthy Farm, Somerset Website: http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/ So what is there to write about Glastonbury that hasn’t been written already? That it’s crap. But of course, that’d be a massive lie. The monster festival with the highest profile on the calendar has undergone something of a transition of recent, maturing some would argue. Now sold out fully unlike last year, the first year not to do so, it features the return of Blur, surely one of the highlights of the festival season. A typical eclectic Glastonbury mix of bands, stages and events will appease all generations and musical persuasions, from Bruce Springsteen (a DILF according to my female sources) to Animal Collective, Black Eyed Peas to Rolf Harris. If you're not excited at the prospect of The Boss strutting around the Pyramid Stage with tens of thousands of others singing 'Born To Run' in harmony, a sectioning is what you need. Now at four days long, stock up on wellies, waterproofs and possibly a rowing boat. Although Michael Eavis has installed a multi-million pound drainage system for this year. See you on the Cider Bus! *Update* Full line-up just announced! Main picks: Blur, Bruce Springsteen, Animal Collective, Echo and the Bunnymen, Kasabian, Bloc Party, Madness, Franz Ferdinand, Tom Jones, The Prodigy, Neil Young, The Maccabees Other 405 Picks: Yeah Yeah Yeah's, Fleet Foxes, British Sea Power, Regina Spektor, The Whip, Spinal Tap (Really!), Jarvis Cocker, WhoMadeWho, 2 Many DJ’s, Broken Records, Metronomy, Alessi's Ark Reading/Leeds Festival Dates: Friday 28th - Sunday 30th August Place: Little Johns Farm, Reading and Bramham Park, Leeds Website http://www.readingfestival.com/home/ Another festival brimming with musical history and column inches, this year sees possibly a less heavier, less ‘Metal’ line-up than 2008. Held over the bank holiday weekend closing the summer, this year the main pull being the only festival Radiohead will be playing in the UK this year. Tickets sold out instantly as per usual Reading wise, though Leeds did take a lot longer to go than previous years gone by. Expect the usual mix of excitable school leavers out of their parents’ site for the first time running riot, over-priced beer, and general festival atmospheric electricity, carnage and tent fires. It features a solid indie friendly line-up on Saturday’s main stage in particular, such as Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vampire Weekend and Bloc Party. The traditional ‘Rock Day’ seems to have been highly watered down this year, artists such as Lostprophets and Gallows shifted to the NME/Radio 1 stage, and Deftones a lot lower in the bill on Friday. Main Picks: Radiohead, Kings of Leon, Artic Monkeys, The Prodidgy, Bloc Party Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Friendly Fires, Glasvegas. Dananananaykroyd self confirmed. A lot more to be announced, so no 405 picks here quite yet... Latitude Festival Dates: Thursday 16th - Sunday 19th July Place: Henham Park Estate, Suffolk Website: http://www.latitudefestival.co.uk/home/ 405 festival favourite Latitude continues to grow from strength to strength, it’s reputation for providing something different and general loveliness spreading through word of mouth in recent years. An experience not purely about the bands playing, providing an eclectic festival mix featuring a Poetry Tent, Comedy Arena, Pimms Island, films being shown constantly, pink sheep, and even a Disco Shed. Yes, that’s exactly what it sounds like. A must see! There’s so much to see and do, you'll be spoilt for choice. Of course, it partly is about the line-up, and 2009 features a strong range of bands – arguably focusing more on a slightly older generation than of last year; acts such as Pet Shop Boys and Grace Jones given headlining slots on the Obelisk Arena. Though anything from this year would fail to top Sigur Ros’ set from underneath the stars in 2008, breathtaking. Never seen a whole crowd left speechless post a performance in quite a way, everyone exuding a glowing feeling. On top of established artists as mentioned, emerging talent such as Fight Like Apes and the folky goodness of Slow Club can be found. !!! will be a site to see live. A very strong selection of non-musical performers are on offer too, including the ever funny, affable and funny chap (Yup, funny twice, that good) Adam Buxton, with his BUG show. See below for more. Main Picks: Pet Shop Boys, Grace Jones, Regina Spektor, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Editors, Patrick Wolf, Doves, White Lies 405 Picks: Bat For Lashes, Spiritualized, !!!, Slow Club, Wild Beasts, Mew, Fight Like Apes, Bombay Bicycle Club. Non-musical picks: Dave Gorman, Mark Steele, Robin Ince, Adam Buxton, Jo Brand, Marcus Brigstock, Sean Lock, Danny Wallace Tomorrow, we take a further look at the main contenders. Do stick around!