With so many amazing festivals on offer, it can be difficult to work out exactly where to spend your money. Whether you’re looking for a chock full line-up of your favourite acts, a sunny holiday or some fancy dress in the good old British countryside, we’ve rounded up some of the best festivals from the UK and Europe to help you decide.
You want to: Go bat shit crazy as the bass drops… again and again and again
The festival for you: Detonate
With a seriously huge line-up, Nottingham’s Detonate Festival seriously delivers for any bass fan. Names like Kano, Sigma, Chase and Status, Wiley, Ghetts and Wilkinson sit alongside more headsy names Ivy Lab, Alix Perez, Cazenza and way more across two days. Plus - note to Southerners: Nottingham isn’t as far away as you might think!
You want to: Step into an industrial utopia and experience heavyweight sound levels
The festival for you: Junction 2
Set under the M4 in London, music lovers will be glad to hear that noise from the motorway flyover enables sound levels to be turned way up. By far the loudest festival you’ll encounter in the UK, it’s also a feast of house and techno with Adam Beyer, Joseph Capriati, Ben Klock, DJ Koze, Andrew Weatherall, Daniel Avery and Recondite just some of the names on the bill. There’s also a stage hiding in the woods somewhere, with Jane Fitz, Praslea and Janeret. Will you be able to find it?
You want to: Watch an epic sunrise surrounded by friends old and new, soundtracked by blissful house and techno
The festival for you: Dimensions
Dimensions is a Croatian festival that more than delivers on the sunrise front, whether you’re on a dance floor, a beach or at the camp site, there are ample opportunities to catch the day’s first rays, provided you can stay awake long enough! Grace Jones, Moderat, Yussef Kamaal, Theo Parrish and Dekmantel Soundsystem are some of the world class names on offer this year.
You want to: Don the glitter, raid the fancy dress box and get merry in a field
The festival for you: Standon Calling
It’s the UK’s premier family friendly festival and probably the friendliest too. Blowing a huge raspberry at the corporate festival template, it’s proudly independent and hosted on the Standon Lordship in Hertfordshire. Expect well built stages, lashings of Pimms, serious attention to detail, tons of colour and people of all ages. Orbital, Kate Tempest, Grace Jones, Gary Numan, Laura Mvula and The Cuban Brothers are some of the names to catch this time around.
You want to: Dance for days to all the biggest names in house and techno
The festival for you: Sonus
Line-up is key at Sonus. Think “Timewarp on Sea”, it’s virtually a roll call of all the big names in European techno. The biggest problem you’ll have during your week in Croatia will be the best way to negotiate line-up clashes. Adam Beyer, Apollonia, Jamie Jones, Jackmaster, Joseph Capriati, Marco Carola, Rhadoo, Ricardo Villalobos and Richie Hawtin are billed to play, and the list goes on…
You want to: Get sporty and have a go at Glamping in style
The festival for you: Eroica Britannia
Set in the picturesque Peak District, this is a sporting festival for cycling enthusiasts – based on the original L’Eroica cycle ride held every year in Gaiole, Tuscany, a celebration of the “heroic” days of good old-fashioned cycling before carbon fibre, power meters and energy gels. It offers camping, food, bars, music, film, a fairground, retro bike stands and vintage clothes stalls - as well as various types of Glamping and a series of rides through the glorious British countryside. Norman Jay headlines with more names to be announced.
You want to: Attend a classy festival, for a change
The festival for you: IMS
Set in a UNESCO World Heritage site, IMS Dalt Vila is high above the picturesque Ibiza Town, and peaks at dusk while the sky is pink. Chill out by day in your boutique hotel, grab some world class Mediterranean food and climb up to the fort for a one day only show not to be missed. Also serves as the opening of the Ibiza summer season – why not make a week of it?
You want to: Marvel at mind blowing production and dance until dawn with European electronic music fans
The festival for you: Melt Festival
Location, location, location. Ferropolis is a Mad Max inspired former open-air mining site nicknamed the “City of Iron” - thanks to the 30metre high cranes towering above the site. The festival’s eight different stages all have a vibe of their own and won’t leave you disappointed. There’s a beach, a lake, and plenty of heavyweight electronic acts including Bonobo, Dixon, MIA, Modeselektor and a whole lot more.
You want to: Be a massive fangirl/boy alongside fellow music and fashion geeks.
The festival for you: Field Day
If you’ve loved Aphex Twin since he was just a twinkle in his father’s eye, don your (designer) poncho and head to Field Day. One of London’s best known festivals, it’s had it’s ups and downs, but this year sees the arrival of a new stage that promises to be an epic experience. Death Grips, Clams Casino, Abra, Flying Lotus, Moodymann, Nicolas Jaar, Omar Souleyman, Loyle Carner and Whitney are some of the diverse acts on this year’s line-up.
You want to: Embrace soundsystem culture whilst soaked in sunshine
The festival for you: Outlook
Located on the same site as Dimensions, Outlook is the festival of 'bass music and soundsystem culture' on the beautiful Adriatic coast of Croatia. Grime, dubstep and funky are easily fitted in alongside reggae, dancehall, soul, hip-hop, jungle and a sprinkling of techno. It’s a ‘no filler’ style line-up, with every act there on it’s own merit and not to sell tickets. Dizzee Rascal, Skepta, Chronixx, Ghostface Killah, AJ Tracey, Giggs, The Bug, Elijah & Skilliam, Akala and Calibre are some of the artists on the line-up this year.