Going back to its roots as a one-day event – and now adding vast, hangar-like indoor space The Barn to its roster of stages (headlined by electro supremo Aphex Twin, no less) – this is the only London fest at which you can engage in quaint village pursuits like tug of war and three-legged racing. If for whatever reason that’s not your thing, you’ll just have to make do with HMLTD, Death Grips, Julia Jacklin, Joe Goddard, Lady Leshurr, King Gizzard, Loyle Carner, Omar Souleyman, Run the Jewels, Sinkane and the esteemed Dr John Cooper Clarke. So yeah, you’ll be fine.
3 June, Victoria Park, London, £71.95, fielddayfestivals.com
Still not done partying in Victoria Park? Well head back there the very next day for this pop extravaganza with Years & Years, the resurgent All Saints, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Will Young, Girli, Fleur East and Raye bringing the glittery drag vibes to the Sink the Pink stage, and S Club Party and Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon providing guilty pleasures at, well, Guilty Pleasures. Add a bouncy castle, a giant ball pit and enough food and drink to diffuse even the most stubborn hangover, and you’ve got the perfect, poppy Sunday.
4 June, Victoria Park, London, £39.50, mightyhoopla.com
A deliriously varied itinerary blows the hypothetical roof off Heaton Park this year: the 1975, Jess Glynne, Rag’n’Bone Man and George Ezra represent the charts; Frank Ocean, Boy Better Know and A Tribe Called Quest embody the eclecticism of rap and hip-hop, while Carl Cox, Seth Troxler and Fatboy Slim do the same for dance, plus Bicep, Rat Boy and Hannah Wants.
10-11 June, Heaton Park, Manchester, day tickets £65.45, weekend tickets £131.45, parklife.uk.com
The elder statesman of UK shindigs and the biggest date on the festival-goer’s calendar. Headliners Radiohead, Foo Fighters and Ed Sheeran are only a tiny fraction of the story: Stormzy, BBK, Father John Misty, Chic and hundreds more mean there’s truly something for everyone. Bored of bands? Subculture paradise Block 9 celebrates its 10th birthday, there are the Kidzfield and Theatre & Circus areas, a thriving comedy itinerary and new for 2017, a metal stage in the Shangri-La. The old adage that it’s possible to attend and not see a band is truer now than ever. Top tip: wander off the beaten track. It’s where all the best stuff happens.
21-25 June, Pilton, Somerset, £243, glastonburyfestivals.co.uk
The throwdown that’s always the place to be for the biggest names in hip-hop, rap and grime alongside more mainstram fare, and this year is absolutely no exception: Chance the Rapper, the Weeknd, Skepta, Rae Sremmurd, Young Thug, Fetty Wap, Wiley, Tyga, Sean Paul, Big Narstie, Travis Scott and Bugzy Malone are just some of the acts bringing the party to north London. Get down to get down.
7-9 July, Finsbury Park, London, day tickets £55-£62, weekend tickets £110-£160 (all plus booking fees), wirelessfestival.co.uk
With its woodland setting, Farr is another boutique event with a focus on creating curious spaces and environments to explore. The 6,000-capacity fest spreads acts across six stages, which this year includes Brilliant Corners – the east London audiophile bar now bringing the finest hi-fi quality sound on tour. Big names in underground clubbing are also involved: NYC party Mister Saturday Night, London club series the Hydra and Amsterdam’s Red Light Radio; while artists range from Todd Terje to Red Axes, Omar-S to Tama Sumo.
13-15 July, Bygrave Woods, Hertfordshire, day tickets £43.20, weekend tickets £107, farrfestival.co.uk
The glow-stickiest and shape-throwiest of city fests, east London’s two-day dance love-in turns 15 in proper style this year, with two of the most enviable headliners in Frank Ocean and Solange Knowles, plus huge sets from all corners of dance music from Chase & Status, Jamie xx, Kano, Seth Troxler, Ricardo Villalobos, Eats Everything, Bicep, Jess Glynne and Annie Mac among the scores of artists appearing across the site’s six stages.
14-15 July, Victoria Park, London, day tickets £72.25, weekend £126.25, loveboxfestival.com
Wales’s biggest music event prides itself on its non-corporate, ethical approach – and it takes place in the rolling bucolic splendour of the Brecon Beacons. This year it celebrates a decade-and-a-half with a lineup leaning towards social responsibility: Billy Bragg, Irvine Welsh and Charlotte Church talk shop alongside the usual rich and indie offering of comedy, film and literature, and PJ Harvey, Kate Tempest, Sleaford Mods, Ryan Adams, Future Islands, Angel Olsen, Field Music, Conor Oberst, Michael Kiwanuka, Hinds and Saint Etienne ensure the hills really will be alive with the sound of music.
17-20 August, Brecon Beacons, Powys, £189, greenman.net
End of the Road
A festival that always pulls together a strong bill of folk, indie and Americana, this time featuring indie darlings Father John Misty and Bill Callahan, alt-country singer Lucinda Williams and slurry New York garage rockers Parquet Courts. One treat on the bill is Malian duo Amadou and Mariam, while the festival also has a programme of films, comedy, literature and workshops. With a capacity of around 11,000, it’s great for those eager to avoid the exhausting scale of some events and take the time to stumble across the little details, like free books on a shelf around a tree stump. Stick around for the silent disco after dark, too.
31 August-3 September, Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset, £189, endoftheroadfestival.com
Rob and Josie Da Bank’s end-of-summer staple is no longer held on the Isle of Wight, having swapped its home of old for the Jurassic Coast, which means, thankfully, no arduous ferry trips back and forth. But in every other way it’s still the woodlandy, fancy dress bacchanalia of old, this year with the xx, Jamie T, Pet Shop Boys, Blossoms, DJ Shadow, the Prince themed Purple Rave Orchestra and more.
7-10 September, Lulworth Estate, Dorset, £181, bestival.net
The best of the rest
Ava is a conference by day, featuring talks from artists, DJs, producers, labels and more. At night, the party starts with a lineup including Marcel Dettman, Midland and Jeff Mills & Guillaume Marmin.
2-3 June, T13, Belfast, day ticket £40, weekend £65, avafestival.com
Amid the rugged idyll of Angelsey, north Wales, Gottwood is a boutique music festival that pulls together the work of some of the UKs best underground club brands. Headliners include Antal, the Black Madonna, Helena Hauff and Matthew Herbert.
8-11 June, Holyhead, Anglesey, day tickets £55, weekend £176.50, gottwood.co.uk
Isle of Wight
On first glance, Isle of Wight’s lineup seems a little scattershot, but really it’s strength is in its eclecticism. Where else could you see David Guetta, Arcade Fire, Rod Stewart, Bastille and Zara Larsson on the same bill?
8-11 June, Isle of Wight, day ticket £77.50, weekend £197.50, isleofwightfestival.com
Download has long been considered the home of rock. This year System of a Down, Biffy Clyro and Aerosmith headline and add to that legacy, with the rest of the bill basically a who’s who of the heaviest names in music (including, back for 2017, Slayer!).
9-11 June, Donington Park, Leicestershire, day tickets from £75, weekend from £195, downloadfestival.co.uk
If Alt-J, Orbital and Pixies aren’t enough, Bluedot offers an intergalactic program mixing bands with science, arts and space exploration.
7-9 July, Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, day ticket £59, weekend £159, discoverthebluedot.com
Having ushered in the modern era of boutique festivals offering fine food, craft ale and homespun activities alongside the music, it makes perfect sense Mumford & Sons are staging a takeover of Latitude this year. The 1975 and Fleet Foxes also headline.
13-16 July, Henham Park, Suffolk, day ticket £77.50, weekend £197.50, latitudefestival.com
An independent festival known for its creative, handmade site and eccentric atmosphere. Among the stages are a steel castle, a church and a working men’s club, but the real treat is the Toil Trees stage, a beautiful venue among pine trees. Sleaford Mods, Trentemøller and Lee “Scratch” Perry appear.
14-16 July, The Ribble Valley, Lancashire, £144.70, beatherder.co.uk
Since launching in 2006 with a capacity of 900, Kendal Calling has grown into a nine-stage event for 12,000 people. If, however, you wish it was still 2006, you’re in luck – this year’s headliners are Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers and Franz Ferdinand.
27-30 July, Lowther deer park, Lake District, from £135, kendalcalling.com
At this Oxfordshire idyll, the likes of Yotam Ottolenghi, Nuno Mendes and Thomasina Miers (wo)man the kitchen. If you can stop eating for long enough be sure to catch music from Two Door Cinema Club, Grace Jones and Bonobo.
3-6 August, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, from £180.25, wildernessfestival.com
When Lee Denny’s parents went on holiday in 2006, they told him, under no circumstances, was he to have a party. Instead, he organised a festival in the garden. Things have grown since then, with 2,500 people attending in 2016. This year Jake Bugg, Wild Beasts, Annie Mac and Kate Tempest top the varied lineup.
10-12 August, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, day tickets from £20, weekend £109, leefest.org
Boomtown looks like it’s the set of Van Helsing and is big on dub, psy-trance, bass and beats that bang. A treat this year, however, are shows from MIA and roots reggae artist Protoje alongside DJs called things like “Phat Sam”.
10-13 August, Matterley Estate, Winchester, tickets from £170, boomtownfair.co.uk
New for this year and curated by London club Fabric’s resident Craig Richards, Houghton takes place at a grand country manor, with a classy range of electronic music and jazz artists spanning Ricardo Villalobos, Nicholas Jaar, Floating Points, Tony Allen and Yussef Kamaal.
11-13 August, Houghton Hall, King’s Lynn, from £151, houghtonfestival.co.uk
Let’s face it, V has a bit of a reputation. It is, after all, the place where Danny Dyer got into a scrap with that one from Towie. But if the guestlist isn’t up to much, the lineup is positively A-list. This year’s no exception, with P!nk and Jay Z headlining.
19-20 August, Hylands Park, Chelsmford; Weston Park, Staffordshire, day ticket £89, weekend £189, vfestival.com
If you want a festival that takes you away from everyday life into an enchanted woodland world of wellness, this is for you. There’s music from Moderat and De La Soul, comedy, archery, and the season’s best food from the likes of Hawksmoor.
24-27 August, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, weekend £160, lostvillagefestival.com
Crate diggers of the jazzified kind will want to spend the bank holiday in this country park, watching music from the likes of Roy Ayers, Black Grape, 808 State, Gilles Peterson, Mad Professor and D&B king Roni Size.
25-27 August, Stockport, Greater Manchester, from £65, moovinfestival.com
Reading & Leeds
Once known as the hardest rocking festival on the calendar, these days you’re more likely to see throngs of 18-year-olds having a blowout after their A-levels. This year Kasabian, Muse, Eminem, Haim, Bastille and Major Lazer are among the bill.
25-27 August, Reading and Leeds, day ticket £72, weekend £213, readingfestival.com / leedsfestival.com
Nestling in the stunning forests of south-west Scotland, Electric Fields boasts an typically diverse bill. Frightened Rabbit, Dizzee Rascal, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Real Estate, Temples, Band of Horses and Arab Strap all appearing.
1-2 September, Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries and Galloway, £104.50, electricfieldsfestival.com
Field Maneuvers is a club-sized festival made by clubbers for clubbers, and takes place in a secret spot just outside London. This year’s lineup features Octo Octa, Shanti Celeste and Ryan Elliott.
1-3 September, 60 mins north-west of London, from £118.90, fieldmaneuvers.com
Festival No 6
There aren’t many festivals that take place in an Italianate village in north Wales, once used in the Prisoner. On that score, Festival No 6 is probably in a field of its own. If you’re not a fan of the architecture or cult 60s TV, at least go for the music, with headliners Flaming Lips, Bloc Party and Mogwai.
7-10 September, Portmeirion, Gwynedd. From, £180, festivalnumber6.com