Where to find yourself a music festival

This weekend join V97, which debuted last year, in an increasingly competitive field, as European Festival of the Year. It will cover two sites: Hylands Park, Chelmsford and Temple Newsam, Leeds (information: 0171-734 8932/ 0113-244 4600). The Indie clan will perform on the NME stage with headliners, Blur, Kula Shaker, Ash, Mansun, Echobelly and Beck! Or enter the dance zone in the Muzik tent, housing the busting beats of Prodigy, Daft Punk, The Chemical Brothers, Dreadzone, Bentley Rhythm Ace and Propellerheads.

The Reading Festival over August Bank Holiday weekend (22-24), is at the bottom of the festival time scale (and usually has the mud to prove it), muddling together a menu of indie, comedy, dance, rock and skating competitions. Headliners this year are, Suede, Cast, James, Manic Street Preachers, The Orb, Metallica and Terrorvision (information: 0181-963 0940).

For worldwide music on one site, check out the Womad festival at Morecambe (29-31 August). Having started out under the conceptual wing of Peter Gabriel in 1982, the festival had the aim of uniting the best musicians from all over the world. For the fourth year running it will be sponsored by North West Water and includes a gala night with proceeds going to the charity Wateraid, free artist workshops and a free event on Saturday between 12pm and 4pm (information: 01225 744494).

Celebrating the unique "pink space" in Manchester is The Village Charity Mardi Gras, a four-day-long event between 22 and 25 August. Events include DJs, cabaret, fireworks, carnival parades, a Coronation Street Party and Dance Nights at the Granada Studios Tour (information: 0161-237 3131).

Meanwhile, in America, the wave of dance-mania has fully made the journey across the Atlantic and is "larging it" in The Big Top tour between 27 August-13 September. Acts include BT, 808 State, Grooverider and Headrillers.

In Holland over the Bank Holiday weekend the Lowlands Paradise Festival takes place (information: 00 31 573 255 220). This offers a mixed bag of beats, ranging from been-around-the-block Indie-meisters, Dinosaur Jr and Lemonheads, running the full dance gamut with Grooverider, Laurent Garnier and Darren Emerson and popular headliners Chemical Brothers, Blur and Kula Shaker. And, for a cool namedrop, there's the Pukkelpop festival 22-23 August in Kiewit - Hasselt, Belgium (information: 00 32 11 40 22 67). Fortunately, headliners are not nearly as obscure, with Bush, Metallica, Blur, Foo Fighters, Fluke, Sneaker Pimps, Gus Gus and Baby Bird.

Jennifer Rodger

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