Arts and Entertainment Joyce DiDonato will star at the Last Night of the Proms

American mezzo-soprano dedicates performance of 'Over the Rainbow' to LGBT community

Grimethorpe Colliery Band left brassed off by music festival snub

When it opened its doors in 1904, St Luke the Evangelist in Grimethorpe declared itself as "a church built by miners for the miners". An appearance by the South Yorkshire village's renowned colliery band at the church's annual music festival would then have been an obvious way to celebrate a shared heritage.

Ones to Watch: Holy Fuck

Introducing the top bands making a splash at the festivals

Late-night downpour dashes all hope of a mud-free Glastonbury

They said this was the year it wouldn't happen, but Glastonbury wouldn't be the same without a downpour. And so, for the third year running, its name became mud, as revellers at Britain's largest music festival again found themselves drenched and wading through the sludge in their wellingtons.

Music festivals: What's on summer 2008

The ultimate guide to this year's best British music festivals

Leading article: Another weekend, another festival...

The summer festival season kicks off in earnest this weekend with the annual musical jamboree on the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for those in attendance, the weather forecast is for showers. Some argue that the outlook is just as depressing for the great British festival tradition.

Thousands of tickets for Glastonbury remain unsold

There may be just over two weeks to go before the first act strikes up from the Pyramid Stage but thousands of tickets still remain unsold for this year's Glastonbury Festival.

A new craze takes summer music festivals by storm: Peace and quiet

It is being hailed as the sound of summer 2008 but you might be forgiven for not having heard it. For this year the nation's festivals, clubs and concert venues are about to reverberate to a growing craze – the sound of silence.

Setting the scene: How to become a stage manager

From theatrical work to music festivals, good stage management is vital.

Hear hear! Summer's top music festivals

From opera to rock, jazz to blues, there are plenty of music events to enjoy this year. Adrian Mourby offers the highlights

Photographing the festivals: A really 'in tents' experience, man

The sports photographer Stuart Roy Clarke swapped football for festivals, attending 37 last year alone. In a sneak preview of his new book, e sets the scene for 2008’s summer of love

Bunny Chow: Know Thyself (NC)

A highly contemporary comedy, about a trio of stand-up comics spending a weekend at a rock festival and messing up their sex lives in various ways.

Events calendar

Here are the highlights we’ve picked out for the next five months, have a look to see whether you fancy sitting in the cinema or a big, muddy field…

Janet Street-Porter: You've got the wrong target, Margaret

Margaret Hodge, the Minister of State at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, attacks the Proms, claiming they do not make people from different backgrounds "feel at ease", and whingeing that the world's biggest classical music festival does not strike the right note in multi-cultural Britain. This is presumably because the audience is overwhelmingly white and the televised antics of those dinner-jacketed twerps on the Last Night send around the globe completely the wrong messages about our cultural values.

Deborah Orr: If exceptions can be made for the very rich, do the same for the very poor

Blair himself has done much to encourage the demonisation of those who are excluded
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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness