From Latitude to Lady Gaga: what to see as music venues and festivals reopen

As live music returns, we pick the best artists launching post-lockdown tours and festival dates – with the Eagles, Beck and Bloodstock leading the charge


The latest entrants in the shouty sprechgesang vocals/post-post punk music field – also home to Black Midi and Black Country, New Road – Brighton-based Squid take the spiky, Krautrock-y, occasionally jazz-influenced sound of their acclaimed debut album, Bright Green Field, on the road.
Tour begins Silver Building, London, 5 June

Spiky … Squid Photograph: Holly Whitaker

Blackpool Rocks

Few things suggest post-lockdown life is returning to some kind of normality like the reappearance of large-scale dance events: you can just about have a socially distanced gig, but a socially distanced dancefloor is impossible. Here, Fatboy Slim provides the reliable patented party-starting headline slot, support comes from Radio 1’s Danny Howard and Jaguar, Hot Since 82 and the intriguingly left-field Maya Jane Coles.
Winter Gardens, Blackpool, 26 June


Assuming you’re not sick of the sight of your immediate relations after the last 12 months, Latitude is the kind of festival that encourages families to attend en masse. Lineup details remain a little sketchy at time of going to press, but Bastille, First Aid Kit and Snow Patrol are among those already confirmed. Henham Park, Suffolk, 22-25 July

Standon Calling

Standon Calling
Intriguing stuff … Standon Calling Photograph: Sarah Koury/PA

Another festival geared towards families, Standon Calling’s headliners certainly skew towards those of a certain age – Bastille, Hot Chip, Primal Scream, De La Soul, Sister Sledge – although there’s intriguing stuff to be found lower down the bill: Georgia, Greentea Peng, Billy Nomates, Squid and Bob Vylan among them.
Standon Lordship, Hertfordshire, 22-25 July

Rescheduled … Beck. Photograph: imageSPACE/Rex/Shutterstock


Beck’s last album, Hyperspace, a collaboration with Pharrell Williams, came in two varieties: the original released in 2019, and a remixed “visual album” accompanied by unseen AI footage from Nasa’s space explorations in 2020, which presumably acted as some kind of compensation for his cancelled – and now rescheduled – live dates.
Tour begins Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 6 July

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga’s postponed tour in support of her sixth album, Chromatica – a return to familiar electronic territory in the wake of 2016’s more country-fuelled Joanne and her turn in A Star Is Born – features a one-off British date at the third-largest football stadium in the UK. Expect a grand spectacle.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, 30 July


A very 2020s kind of pop star – gender fluid, polyamorous, frank about his struggles with ADHD and depression, figurehead of a legion of online fans who call themselves the Black Hearts Club – Dominic Harrison topped the UK charts in December last year with his second album as Yungblud, Weird! It’s testament to the slow-building appeal of his pop-facing brand of emo with a slight hip-hop twist.
Tour begins Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow, 3 August

South Facing

A series of themed concerts, ranging from appearances by the English National Opera and modern classical composer Max Richter to rappers Dizzee Rascal and Ghetts, the former performing with an orchestra. Sleaford Mods head up a bill that includes Baxter Dury and Fat White Family on 7 August, while Corinne Bailey Rae and Soul II Soul offer a more chilled-sounding 8 August show. Crystal Palace Bowl, London, 5-29 August


Judas Priest.
Headliners … Judas Priest. Photograph: Charlie Steffens/Zuma Wire/Rex/Shutterstock

All your metal needs are catered for at Bloodstock’s 20th anniversary outing, from old-school – Sunday brings headliners Judas Priest as well as Saxon and Diamond Head – to extreme (black metallers Dimmu Borgir, Napalm Death) and experimental: over on the Sophie Lancaster stage you can find the intriguing-sounding Seething Akira attempting to blend metal with drum‘n‘bass.
Catton Park, Derbyshire, 11-15 August


It’s a surfing-related festival, but this year’s Boardmasters has a really strong musical lineup: Gorillaz, Foals and Jorja Smith headline, but the rest of the bill offers everything from well-chosen house DJs (Honey Dijon, Eats Everything) to rap (Kojey Radical, Slowthai) to alt-rock from the Big Moon and Alla-Lahs. Newquay, Cornwall, 11-15 August

Declan McKenna

Declan McKenna.
Glam … Declan McKenna. Photograph: Vaughan Pickhaver/Rex/Shutterstock

Declan McKenna’s second album, Zeros, was one of 2020’s low-key delights, a subtle updating of Hunky Dory-era Bowie and sundry early 70s glam influences, its commercial impact possibly muted by the endless, pandemic-related delays to its release. Live, he’s got considerable star quality.
Tour begins Junction, Cambridge, 23 August

All Points East

Two days of the four-day All Points East Festival are already sold out, which leaves you to choose between Friday – London Grammar, Jorja Smith, Celeste, Daphni, Floating Points and nu-jazz titans Sons of Kemet, among others – and the more indie-fuelled Monday, when Foals headline over a bill that also features Bombay Bicycle Club, Nadine Shah, The Magic Gang and Daphni’s Dan Snaith reappearing in his Caribou guise.
Victoria Park, London, 27 and 30 August


Big blockbuster heritage rock tours are noticeable by their absence in the immediate future: there’s not much happening until autumn or early 2022. The Eagles – now featuring the late Glen Frey’s son Deacon in the lineup – are the exception, performing the Hotel California album in its entirety, “plus all the hits”.
Wembley Stadium, London, 28-29 August


Alexis Petridis

The GuardianTramp

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