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
Arts and Entertainment
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Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
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Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

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George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Sport
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Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
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Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
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British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
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Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
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We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
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Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album