Spring is in the air and that means one thing – it’s time to buy your festival tickets to guarantee a summer of music, mayhem and the inevitable mud.
Line-ups are being drip-fed to fans and building excitement, with one Glastonbury headliner still to be revealed.
There’s something for everyone, whether you prefer kicking back at a more chilled-out event or partying till the wee hours, have a young family to entertain or fancy a boutique get-away with mates, are passionate about rock music or have more acoustic tastes.
Those of you wanting (almost) guaranteed sunshine could consider heading abroad to one of the many European festivals, but for the rest of us staying on British shores, here’s our pick of the best.
When? 24-28 June
Where? Worthy Farm, Glastonbury, Somerset
Who’s playing? Kanye West, Foo Fighters and Lionel Richie are the only confirmed acts so far, with the full line-up due out in April
Why go? Now cemented in British culture, Glastonbury is the largest greenfield festival in the world and the Pyramid Stage is iconic in itself. If you’ve missed out on tickets, why not volunteer and catch some bands for free?
How much? Weekend camping costs £220, glastonburyfestivals.co.uk
When? 10-13 September
Where? Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight
Who’s playing? Underworld, The Chemical Brother, Duran Duran, Ella Eyre, Jungle, Jamie XX, Lianne La Havas Tame Impala and more
Why go? Rob Da Bank’s festival is so much fun it has a designated fancy dress theme each year. This time around it’s ‘Summer of Love’, so get prepping your best hippie outfits.
How much? A four-day adult pass will set you back £195 but you can pay in instalments if you don’t want to take the hit, bestival.net
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When? 3-6 September
Where? Portmeirion, Wales
Who’s playing? Grace Jones, Belle & Sebastian, Kate Tempest, Young Fathers, Ghostpoet, King Creosote, Stornoway, Rae Morris and more, plus a range of arts and culture performances
Why go? Set by the sea surrounded by magical mountains and forests, it’s hard to beat this for location. Tantalising food and drink stalls replace standard festival fare too.
How much? Loyalty weekend camping tickets are available to those who’ve been before for £150, with general adult passes starting at £160, festivalnumber6.com
T in the Park
When? 9-12 July
Where? Strathallan Castle, Perthshire
Who’s playing? Kasabian, The Prodigy, The Libertines, Sam Smith, David Guetta, Avicii, Hozier, Mark Ronson, Stereophonics, The Script, Rudimental and more
Why go? Scotland’s biggest musical festival is always an energetic affair. The 80,000 strong crowd bring their loudest singing voices year after year, attracting top acts to entertain them.
How much? Weekend camping costs £194 and day tickets are £82.50 each, tinthepark.com
The Isle of Wight Festival
When? 11-14 June
Where? Newport, Isle of Wight
Who’s playing? The Black Keys, The Prodigy, Fleetwood Mac, Pharrell Williams, You Me At Six, Paolo Nutini, Counting Crows, Jessie Ware and more
Why go? Jimi Hendrix and The Who played at the inaugural festival back in 1970 and the line-up hasn’t disappointed since. It’s not just about the music either, with a Champagne Garden, treasure hunt and real beach all adding to the enjoyment.
How much? Weekend camping costs £195 with student concessions available for £180, isleofwightfestival.com
When? 28-30 August
Where? Daresbury, Cheshire
Who’s playing? Avicii, The Chemical Brothers, Armin Van Buuren, Annic Mac, Alesso, AN21, Martin Garrix, Steve Angello, Above and Beyond and more
Why go? If you’re dance fan, this is the festival for you and best of all it takes place over August Bank Holiday when school’s out. It’s been held in the likes of Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Istanbul and Mexico City too.
How much? Weekend camping costs £200 with day tickets starting at £85, creamfields.com
When? 20-23 August
Where? Brecon Beacons, Wales
Who’s playing? St Vincent, Hot Chip, The Staves, Goat, Father John Misty, Jane Weaver and more
Why go? Set in the most beautiful location, at the foot of the Black Mountains and a bargain price compared to many other festivals. Expect ceilidhs, bonfires and secret gigs in the woods.
How much? Weekend camping costs £165 with students offered tickets for £140, greenman.net
When? 16-19 July
Where? Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk
Who’s playing? Portishead, alt-J, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, James Blake, Laura Marling, Wild Beasts, Jon Hopkins, The Vaccines, SBTRKT and more
Why go? The pretty site has a river running through it and for the first time this year you’ll be able to swim in it. Relaxed and fun for all the family.
How much? Weekend camping is priced at £200.50, latitudefestival.com
When? 12-14 June
Where? Donington Park, Derby
Who’s playing? Slipknot, Kiss, Muse, Marilyn Manson, A Day To Remember, Lamb of God, Rise Against, Motley Crue, Enter Shikari and more
Why go? It’s metal, metal, metal at Download with no pesky pop acts to dilute the heavy rock vibe. The genre’s biggest acts have this festival firmly penned into their diaries.
How much? Weekend camping costs £215 but you can add an extra two nights on for £225, downloadfestival.co.uk
Reading & Leeds
When? 28-30 August
Where? Richfield Avenue, Reading and Bramham Park, Leeds
Who’s playing? Metallica, Mumford & Sons, The Libertines, Bastille, Kendrick Lamar, Jamie T, Royal Blood, Limp Bizkit, Azealia Banks, Deadmau5 and more
Why go? Where else can you see Mumford & Sons and Metallica on the same line-up? There’s a great blend of rock and indie here.
Secret Garden Party
When? 23-26 July
Where? It’s a secret!
Who’s playing? Jungle, The Cat Empire, Caravan Palace, Public Service Broadcasting, Angus & Julia Stone, Kate Tempest, Palma Violets and more
Why go? Like Bestival, there’s a theme, and we like themes. This year it’s ‘Childish Things’ and organisers promise a “100 acre toy box of a party, complete with jelly, ice-cream and sprinkles”.
How much? Weekend camping costs £190.50 and there’s the Litter Bond initiative which sees £10 added on to each ticket that can be redeemed at the end if you hand back two bin bags full of litter, secretgardenparty.com
When? 22-23 August
Where? Hylands Park, Chelmsford and Weston Park, Weston-under-Lizard
Who’s playing? Calvin Harris, Stereophonics, Kasabian, The Script, Ellie Goulding, Paloma Faith, Olly Murs, Sam Smith, Clean Bandit, Hozier and more
Why go? V is unashamedly mainstream and all about the pop. If you fancy a dance in the mud with your mates and don’t mind all the commercial stuff, you’ll have a blast.
How much? Weekend camping requires you to fork out £189 and day tickets are £89, vfestival.com
When? 6-7 June
Where? Victoria Park, East London
Who’s playing? Caribou, Ride, FKA Twigs, Patti Smith, Django Django and more
Why go? It’s a festival in the city and the perfect way to escape for a weekend without really going anywhere.
How much? Weekend tickets cost £83 while day passes start at £38.50. Note that this is a non-camping event, fielddayfestivals.com
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