Festival Guide 2012: As Glastonbury rests, rival festivals look to raise their game

With the daddy of them all taking a fallow year, 2012 is a chance for smaller festivals to show off their charm and diversity

Santigold plays to an ecstatic crowd

Why SXSW is a voyage of discovery

Bruce Springsteen, Fiona Apple, barbecue – who needs them? Not Gillian Orr, who went off-piste in search of new acts to get excited about at the biggest and best music festival in America

Whistles' gold owl pendant, £35, Whistles.co.uk

Music festivals face a lean 2012

Rock and pop stars gearing up to play at British festivals this year may be playing to one man and his dog as festival-goers desert in their droves, according to new research.

Feeling mud: Have festivals like Glastonbury lost their allure?

Are our field days over?

Interest in the Big Chill has cooled, Glastonbury is too now commercial... Summer festivals need to get creative andreinvent themselves if they hope to survive, says Lena Corner

Feeling mud: Have festivals like Glastonbury lost their allure?

Music festivals: are our field days over?

Interest in The Big Chill has cooled, Glastonbury is too commercial... Summer music festivals need to get creative and reinvent themselves to survive

BBC 'value for money,' says executive

A BBC executive said the corporation was "delivering value for money" on the day it published expenses claims showing senior staff claimed thousands of pounds for taxi journeys and entertaining.

Rihanna to headline Wireless Festival

The 'Only Girl (In the World) hitmaker will make her only UK performance of 2012 at the London event, topping the bill on the final night of July 8. 

Man About Town: Fake tan at the M&S ready meal of music festivals

For entertainment journalists, covering a music festival is as close as most will come to war reporting.

Eavis calls for ban on Chinese lanterns at Glastonbury

Glastonbury Festival organiser Michael Eavis has called for Chinese lanterns to be banned nationwide. Revellers smuggle them into the festival site and send the paper, wire and lit wax candle lanterns into the sky.

A rainbow nation in a field of Cath Kidston tents – must be Womad

The chilled-out world music festival, now in its 29th year, has never tried to be cool, and it's all the better for it

Radio 1 boss Andy Parfitt to stand down

Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt is to leave his role at the station after 13 years.

Far from the madding crowd - the alternative Glastonbury

There’s far more to Glastonbury than the main stages, David Taylor discovers

Michael Eavis predicts end to Glastonbury

Glastonbury festival organiser Michael Eavis thinks the event could end in "three or four years".

Footballers: We know what you did this summer...

From Glastonbury to Las Vegas to Jakarta, Jack Pitt-Brooke investigates how our Premier League players have been relaxing as they return for pre-season
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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

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The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
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Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

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