Tuesday, 13 September 2011


June 22-26, Worthy Farm, Pilton, Glastonbury

Getting in may not be quite the labyrinthine task of near impossibleness it once was but Uncle Eavis’ annual shindig down on Worthy farm is sure to be full come opening day as 2012 sees the cows getting the run of the place while the partying takes a year off. Get past the shock and bore of U2 AND Coldplay both headlining and root around for the likes of techno’s new white hope Nicholas Jaar and the wonderful Omar Souleyman and come rain or shine it will be worth the trip. If there are any tickets left you can get hold of them and all other info at glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

October 21-23, The Custard Factory, Birmingham

Who said festivals had to be in the middle of August? The UK’s best avant-metal festival gives the plethora of summer festivals the bird and returns to the Custard Factory for another round of all things heavier than everything else in fittingly grim October. Dorset doom legends Electric Wizard head up the bill with the undercard proving typically strong and including a one off collaboration between David Tibet of Current93 and Italian trio Zu and the welcome return to these shores of Steve Moore’s Zombi project. Tickets, lineup and the rest at capsule.org.uk

Stop Making Sense
August 12-14, The Garden, Petrcane, Croatia

OK, so you could either go and drink warm Carling on a strip of mud just outside Reading one-way system and watch Muse and My Chemical Romance OR you could spend a weekend on a wooded peninsula on the Adriatic coast in a country where you can live for a week on what it costs to go to the cinema in Leicester Square. The fact that a smorgasbord of all that is currently good and exciting in electronic music, from Martyn to Floating Points via Chad Valley, will be playing is also not to be sniffed at. Tickets as well as travel and accommodation advice can be found at sms-2010.com

Hop Farm
July 1-2, Paddock Wood, Kent

Like some benign festival dictator Vince “I made Reading what it is today” Power insists on sticking his name above what has actually been a consistently great festival for the last few years as long as you were born between 1935 and 1955. Last year it was Dylan this year it’s The Eagles, Bryan Ferry, The Human League and some young whippersnapper called Brandon Flowers. Tickets are £130 for the weekend or £70 per day. Find out more at hopfarmfestival.com

July 14-17, Benicassim, Spain

Somehow Benicassim has sprawled into a being a marathon of a festival with four “official” days sandwiched between various pre and after parties. If six days in the sweltering Spanish sol doesn’t seem too big an ask then you get a valedictory performance from The Streets, a James Murphy solo show and Primal Scream doing Screamadelica while you’re at it. Tickets for the very long weekend are £177.50. Get those and all other info at fiberfib.com

Southwest Four Weekender
August 27-28, Clapham Common, London

For one weekend only one of London’s prime cruising spots ends up being filled with more dance music figureheads than the bar at the W hotel during the Miami Winter Music Conference. Everyone from the old order (Underworld, Digweed, Sven Vath, Richie Hawtin) to the young pretenders (Magnetic Man, Joker) will be down there so if you are in to dancing to repetitive beats don’t sleep on it. Weekend tickets are £95, day tickets are £45 and you can get those and find out more at southwestfour.com

Get Loaded In The Park
June 12, Clapham Common, London

There are now so many festivals that the fact that a band are only playing one of the damn things in London is now seen as a major selling point. If you want to be sold Razorlight as that band then look no further! Get Loaded In The Park is your one-day piss up sent from on high. British Sea Power and Babeshadow make things seem a little less bleak. Tickets are £37.50. Get those and all information at getloadedinthepark.com

End Of The Road
September 2-4, Larmer Tree Gardens, North Dorset

Along with Green Man and Latitude, the End Of The Road festival completes the triumvirate of boutique-festivals-aimed-at-Uncut-and-Mojo-subscribers-and-their-kids-wot-done-good. While it may be a whole lot bigger than years gone by End Of The Road can’t be faulted on lineup. From former Lift To Experience fella turned lonesome crooner Josh T. Pearson to Joanna Newsom to Mogwai via Wooden Shjips and a solo appearance from Gruff Rhys it’s basically good things at every turn. Weekend tickets are £145 and you can get those and find out more at endoftheroadfestival.com

The Secret Garden Party
July 21-24,
Near Huntington,

The not so Secret anymore Garden Party has cemented itself as one of the most popular festivals of the entire season particularly amongst people who like dressing up as ladybirds and discussing recycling as opposed to watching live music. If you do find yourself there and are so inclined you could do worse than watch Blondie or Martha Reeves & The Vandellas. Tickets are £155 and available from secretgardenparty.com

June 10-12, Donington Park, Midlands

Aside from Pendulum bizarrely being billed above Korn, this years Download is even more of a trip down metal-memory lane than usual. Def Leppard, System Of A Down and Linkin Park headline and elsewhere The Cult, Alice Cooper, Twisted Sister and Cheap Trick pretend the last 20 years didn’t happen. Dig deeper though and the bill yields a few gems: NOLA sludge supergroup Down make a rare UK appearance and rare doesn’t even cover a show by Danzig, which is probably worthy of admission alone. Weekend tickets are £155 and day tickets are £82.50. Get those and anything else you need to know at downloadfestival.co.uk

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