Best UK music festivals: From Field Day to The Great Escape - where to find new bands in 2015

Music festivals aren't just about the headliners

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Complaints about the bigger summer festivals being mainstream are about as predictable as the lineups for the festivals themselves, yet there is a veritable smörgåsbord of options for the more discerning music fan.

Sound City

Where: Docklands, Liverpool

When: 22 - 24 May

Who's going: A super strong lineup features Belle and Sebastian, Gaz Coombes, The Flaming Lips and Everything Everything.

Festival director Dave Pichilingi says: New talent is the heartbeat of what we do and around 50 per cent of the line up is new music, which is why we were one of first festivals to showcase artists like Jake Bugg, Mumford & Sons, Ed Sheeran and Florence and the Machine."

Look out for: Circa Waves, and their infectious summery hit "Weather"

Field Day

Where: Victoria Park, Hackney, London

When: 6 - 7 June

Who's going: Caribou, Ride, Patti Smith, Chet Faker, Baxter Dury, Django Django, FKA twigs... the list goes on.

Field Day founder Tom Baker says: We've got a big range of new and upcoming acts lined up this year, including Bad Breeding, Honne, Ghost Culture and Rae Morris.

"One thing we're doing to get these acts exposure is working with a Portuguese site, which lets fans interact and vote to get their favourites a slot at the festival."

Who to look out for: Hooton Tennis Club


Truck Festival

Where: Hill Farm, Oxford

When: 17 - 18 July

Who’s going: The Charlatans, Saint Raymond, Darwin Deez and Basement Jaxx

xTruck Festival Day 1 (c) Ross Silcocks_21.jpg
Truck Festival

Festival director Matt Harrap says: One of Truck Festival's core beliefs is about promoting new music, this goes back years by showcasing acts like Foals, The XX, Two Door Cinema Club and many others before they all went on to be world beaters.

"Alongside this we run a band application process for 20 slots on the line-up for unsigned and local bands. This year’s winners will be hand picked by artists Lucy Rose and Pulled Apart By Horses, BBC Introducing and independent record labels Alcopop! and Big Scary Monsters.

"Truck 2015 has so many awesome new bands on the bill, we're expecting kick ass sets from Fat White Family, Slaves, Rae Morris, Spring King, Brawlers and All We Are. With many more acts still to be announced it is going to the the biggest Truck ever."

Look out for: Fat White Family, who will continue to cause trouble with their on and off-stage antics


Festival No. 6

Where: Portmerion, north Wales

When: 3 - 6 September

Who’s going: The first wave of acts include headliners Grace Jones and Belle and Sebastian, as well as the excellent Kate Tempest, DJ Harvey, Ghostpoet and King Creosote.

Festival organiser Luke Huxham says: "Supporting local emerging talent is very important to us. Last year we worked closely with Horizons, a scheme developed by BBC Cymru to support and promote up and coming talent in Wales.

"This is our biggest and most diverse line up yet and we still have a lot of exciting artists to announce, including a third headliner. 

"We're very excited to have the iconic Grace Jones play which is set to be a pretty spectacular show, but the highlight for me and many others is seeing our resident Welsh male voice choir, the Brythoniaid, cover classics from past headliners to a packed out Piazza in the Village."

Watch out for: The Bohicas, for outrageously fast-paced, endlessly evolving, fuzzy indie rock


No Tomorrow

Where: Wollaton Park, Nottingham

When: 6 - 7 June

Who’s going: Jessie Ware, Nick Mulvey, Gorgon City, Blonde and Bondax

No Tomorrow Festival Programmer Alex Kirkland says: "We look to curate events that feature established talent alongside our favourite new artists. At the time of our 2014 artist announcement, the smaller acts on the lineup such as Sam Smith & Jess Glynne were still relatively unknown, but have since become household names.

"This year's No Tomorrow lineup features the likes of James Bay, Blonde & Karen Harding who we believe are on course for similar commercial and critical acclaim."

Look out for: The exquisite JP Cooper


Y Not?

Where: Pikehall, Derbyshire

When: 31 July - 2 August

Who’s going: This year’s line up is as strong as ever. Nick Mulvey, We Are Scientists and Johnny Marr are all set to appear, along with headliners Snoop Dogg, Basement Jaxx and Primal Scream.

Look out for: Black Honey for their dreamy, ironic pop-rock


The Great Escape

Where: Brighton

When: 14 -16 May

Who's going: Everyone, basically

Look out for: SOAK, the teenager from Northern Ireland who was already making waves aged just 16. Two years on she has a huge year ahead of her and a very promising career.

NB: In The Woods would have been included but has sadly been cancelled for 2015. Organisers say it will return in 2016 for the festival’s 10th anniversary.