Best UK Festivals 2011
The UK’s best festivals
All Tomorrow’s parties
When: May 13-15
Where: Butlins, Minehead
The Vibe: Accepting no corporate sponsors gives this alternative event a cosy DIY feel.
Line-up: Animal Collective, Big Boi, The Frogs, Gang Gang Dance, Lee Scratch Perry, Grouper, Meat Puppets.
Tickets: Start at GBP170-GBP180 including accommodation.
The Great Escape
When: May 12-14
Where: Various, Brighton
The Vibe: It’s Europe’s leading festival for showcasing new talents, so expect fresh vibes and exciting acts.
Line-up: DJ Shadow, Friendly Fires, Sufjan Stevens, Katy B, The Joy Formidable, The Vaccines, Warpaint, Frank Turner, Gang Gang Dance, The Naked And Famous.
Tickets: From GBP22.50 to GBP49.50
When: June 2-5
Where: Bruton, Somerset
The Vibe: It’s known for its relaxed, chilled-out, friendly atmosphere set in the lazy days of early summer.
Line-up: Lamb, The Beat, Shpongle, System 7, The Orb Sound System, Eat Static, Johnny Flynn, Banco De Gaia, Far Too Loud, Babyhead, The Correspondents, Seize The Day, Tristan, Laughing Buddha.
Tickets: GBP108 in advance, GBP130 on the gate.
When: June 3-5
Where: Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucestershire
The Vibe: This hidden gem for indie-rock fans, features an impressive range of styles over three days.
Line-up: The Charlatans, The Waterboys, Ian Anderson Plays Jethro Tull, Cornershop, The Bluetones, Eddi Reader, 3 Daft Monkeys, Robyn Hitchcock, Justin Fletcher, The Travelling Band.
Tickets: GBP135 for weekend tickets and camping.
Isle of Wight Festival
When: June 10-12
Where: Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight
The Vibe: IoW has hosted the likes of The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan And The Band and Jimi Hendrix – go to be a part of rock n’ roll history.
Line-up: Foo Fighters, Pulp, Beady Eye, Kasabian, Iggy And The Stooges, Kaiser Chiefs, Plan B, We Are Scientists, The Courteeners.
Tickets: Weekend ticket with camping GBP175 (Sold out).
When: June 10-12
Where: Dores, Scotland
The Vibe: Taking place on the banks of the Loch Ness, a beautiful festival site, it’s the only one with its very own monster mascot.
Line-up: Kasabian, The Chemical Brothers, Paolo Nutini, Two Door Cinema Club, The Cribs, Glasvegas, Groove Armada present Red Light, Frightened Rabbit, The Wombats, Example, Lissie, Boys Noize.
Tickets: Camping is free, weekend tickets are GBP149.
VIP Options: Perks include VIP camping area with showers and flushing toilets, access to hospitality area, better bar selection, and shorter queues. Weekend VIP passes are GBP189.
The Parklife Weekender
When: June 11-12
Where: Platt Fields Park, Manchester
The Vibe: It’s a weekend-long party featuring good grooves from local, national, and international bands alike.
Line-up: Two Doors Cinema Club, Chase & Status, Kelis, DJ Shadow, Katy B, 2ManyDJs, Doom, Mark Ronson, Sub Focus, Mystery Jets, Skream & Benga, Annie Mac.
Tickets: GBP58.50 for weekend passes.
VIP Options: None
When: June 10-12
Where: Donington Park, Castle Donington, near Derby
The Vibe: No frills, just a good old-fashioned rock show putting some serious power players on the same stage.
The line-up: Alice Cooper, Def Leppard, Pendulum, Korn, Linkin Park, Cult, Darkness, Thin Lizzy, Funeral For A Friend, System Of A Down.
Tickets: Weekend ticket with five-night camping costs GBP190.
VIP Options: For GBP380, you can purchase R.I.P. tickets, which grant you access to the best camp grounds complete with creature comforts.
When: June 22-26
Where: Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset
The Vibe: Glastonbury has everything from chill-out jazz zones to upbeat dance districts with plenty more in between, so it will feel like you’re visiting a small kingdom rather than a festival.
Line-up: U2, Coldplay, Beyonce, Anna Calvi, BB King, Big Boi, The Chemical Brothers, Crystal Castles, Elbow, Everything Everything, Friendly Fires, Fleet Foxes, Gruff Rhys, Janelle Monae, Mumford & Sons, Primal Scream and Warpaint.
Tickets: Sold out.
VIP Options: None.
When: June 22-24
Where: Hill Farm, Steventon, Oxfordshire
The Vibe: It’s an indie response to predictable corporate festivals, a counter-mainstream celebration of all things original.
Line-up: Gruff Rhys, Bellowhead, Graham Coxon, Saint Etienne, John Grant, Truck All-Stars, Philip Selway, Edwyn Collins, The Go!
Team, Johnny Flynn.
Tickets: A pass for the weekend and camping is GBP99.
VIP Options: The “Super-Trucker” ticket costs GBP170. Pre-pitched tipis and yurts, either furnished or unfurnished with bedding and mattresses, between GBP220 and GBP380.
When: June 23, 25, 30; July 1, 12
The Vibe: A series of single-session shows at the Eden Project throughout early summer – all proceeds go towards supporting educational and charity programmes.
Line-up: Primal Scream, The Horrors, Pendulum, The Flaming Lips, The Go! Team, OK Go, Fleet Foxes, Villagers, The Bees, Brandon Flowers, Mystery Jets.
Tickets: GBP37.50 per session.
When: 30 June-3 July
Where: Vicarage Farm, Woodmancott, Winchester, Hants
The Vibe: The best of the small festivals – held in an intimately rural setting.
Line-up: Tricky, Frank Turner, Fenech, Soler, Gold Panda, Delays, I Am Arrows, Summer Camp, Crazy P Soundsystem, Alex Clare, Chad Valley, Subgiant, Dub Pistols, Man Like Me.
Tickets: Weekend tickets are GBP65 (+GBP4.95 fee) with camping.
VIP Options: Accommodation in a luxury, pre-erected, Bedouin-style tent, complete with access to an exclusive cafe and posh loos, is an extra GBP300.
T in the Park
When: July 8-10
Where: Balado, Kinross-shire, Scotland
The Vibe: With Tennent’s Lager as sponsors, it’s beer-fuelled and rowdy.
Line-up: Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Foo Fighters, Blink 182, Pulp, My Chemical Romance, Plan B, Beady Eye, Weezer, Tinie Tempah, Brandon Flowers.
Tickets: Sold out.
VIP Options: Yurts, squirts, tipis come at an added price.
Lounge on the Farm
When: July 8-10
Where: Merton Farm, Canterbury, Kent
The Vibe: A relaxing set of gigs in the Garden of England.
Many big-names got their first start here.
Line-up: The Streets, Ellie Goulding, Echo & The Bunnymen, Example, Katy B, Graham Coxon, Devlin, Jamie Woon, Cornershop, Johnny Flynn, Joy Formidable, Caravan, Bob Log II.
Tickets: Weekend passes will set you back GBP105.
VIP Options: Camp in a stylish tipi or yurt, which are located a comfortable distance from the bustling concert area. Prices start at GBP500.
When: July 8-10
Where: Knebworth House, Stevenage, Hertfordshire
The Vibe: With metal’s Big Four together in the UK for the first time, making this year’s Sonisphere a metalfest to end all metalfests.
Line-up: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth & Anthrax, Biffy Clyro Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, Sisters Of Mercy, Bill Bailey, You Me At Six, Sum 41, House Of Pain, All Time Low, Fozzy, The Mars Volta, Opeth, Killing Joke.
Tickets: GBP170 with camping.
VIP Options: Rock Royalty passes give you the standard debauchery plus a private campsite, free shuttles to the concert area, hot showers, flushing toilets, a pamper parlour and access to the beer garden. Did we mention there’s also a free goodie bag?
Tickets From GBP330.
When: July 14-17
Where: Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk
The Vibe: Latitude is more than just a music festival – it’s a cultural experience.
Line-up: The National, Paolo Nutini, Suede, Anna Calvi, Echo And The Bunnyman, Chapel Club, The Vaccines, The Raghu Dixit Project.
Tickets: Weekend ticket with camping will cost you GBP170.
VIP Options: Leave your camping gear at home and stay in style with boutique camping, which offers pre-pitched tents and pods, access to the best amenities, and a cosy cafe just down the way. Luxury festival packages start at GBP115.
When July 15-17
The Vibe A hippie haven for blues and folk, it’s been called one of the most laidback and friendly festivals of the year.
Line-up James Blunt, Razorlight, Erasure, Public Image Ltd, Peter Andre.
Tickets GBP130 for weekend tix and camping passes with fees.
When: July 15-17
Where: Ferropolis, Germany
The Vibe: The festival is set in a virtual graveyard of out-of-comission 20th-century machinery, perfectly complementing the industrial rock/electronica show.
Line-up: Beady Eye, Boys Noize, Cold War Kids, Crystal Castles, Edward Sharpe & The Magnestic Zeros, Iron And Wine, Katy B, Noah & The Whale, Pulp, Rusko, The Streets.
Tickets: Passes to the three-day festival, camping and garbage disposal comes to GBP106.
VIP: Options Head to Melt!Klub and Melt!Picknick for a star-stocked pre-party.
When: July 28-31
Where: Lulworth Castle, Dorset
The Vibe: Bestival’s “little sister,” a smaller festival targeted at families with young children.
Line-up: Laura Marling, Blondie, Mark Ronson & The Business Intl., House Of Pain, ABC, Clare Maguire, Katy B, Eliza Doolittle, The Wonder Stuff, The Cuban Brothers, Beardyman, Correspondents.
Tickets: Camping with weekend passes are GBP170.
When: July 29-31
Where: Charlton Park, Wiltshire
The Vibe: A true celebration of the musical arts featuring creative and traditional talents from all over the world.
In proper festival spirit, there
are interactive workshops so spectators can get involved.
Line-up: Rodrigo y Gabriela, Baaba Maal, I Am Kloot, Nomfusi & The Lucky Charms, Danyel Waro, Nidi D’Arac, Pacific Curls, Bomba Estereo.
Tickets: A weekend pass with free camping costs GBP135.
When: July 29-30
Where: Long Marston Airfield, near Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire
The Vibe: It’s as close to a good old-fashioned rave-up in the countryside as you can get. Some 150 DJs in 16 arenas … don’t forget your white gloves.
Line-up: Pendulum, Tinie Tempah, Chase & Status, Underworld, Eric Prydz, Axwell, Labrinth, YasmIn, Steve Angello, Professor Green, Beardyman, Jaguar Skills, Sasha, Joris Voorn, Funkagenda.
Tickets: GBP99 for early birds.
VIP Options: For an extra GBP80 you can upgrade for fast-track admission, priority parking, a separate campsite, luxury bathrooms and access to the VIP area at shows.
The Big Chill
When: August 5-8
Where: Eastnor Castle Deer Park, Ledbury, Herefordshire
The Vibe: They don’t call it The Big Chill for nothing. Expect a laid-back groovefest with some thorough entertainment.
Tickets: Details TBC.
The Green Man Festival
When: August 19-21
Where: Glanusk Park, Brecon Beacons, Wales
The Vibe: It’s known for its unique summercamp feel, with bonfires and festive ceilidhs.
Keep an eye out for secret gigs.
Line-up: Fleet Foxes, Explosions In The Sky, The Low Anthem, Bellowhead, Holy Fuck, The Burns Unit, Villagers, Polar, Bear, Robyn Hitchcock, Wild Nothing, Sic Alps, Dry The River, Tweak Bird, The Leisure Society, Lia Ices.
Tickets: Weekend tickets with camping from GBP135.
VIP Options: Make a long weekend of it with a Holiday Ticket, an extra GBP40, which allows you to enter the campsight three days before the start of the festival.
When: August 20-21
Where: Hylands Park, Chelmsford, and Weston Park, Staffordshire
The Vibe: Two stages, two parks, two shows in one – double the festival fun.
Line-up: Eminem, Rihanna, Arctic Monkeys, Plan B, The Script, Dizzee Rascal, Pendulum, Kaiser Chiefs, Duran Duran, Manic Street Preachers, Primal Scream, Chase & Status, Tinie Tempah.
Tickets: Sold out.
VIP Options: V has endless options for glamping that start at GBP1150 and cap off at GBP6000.
When: August 11-14
Where: Standon, Hertfordshire
The Vibe: A themed festival, this year’s being God and Monsters, that encourages the audience and performers to participate. It’s a great chance to see some break-through acts that could be headlining major festivals in years to come. Oh, and there’s a pool.
Line-up: Spiritualized Battles, Penguin Cafe, John Cooper Clarke, Saul Williams, Errors, Caravan Palace, The Correspondents, Born Ruffians, Trophy Wife, Malachai, Brassroots, Raghu Dixit.
Tickets: It costs GBP120 for a weekend pass.
When: August 26-28
Where: Richfield Ave, Reading, and Bramham Park, Leeds
The Vibe: The twin festivals have packed their line-up full of music’s hottest acts for three decades now.
Anticipate solid sets and an amped-up audience.
Line-up: My Chemical Romance, The Strokes, Muse, Elbow, Pulp, The National, Interpol, The Offspring, Friendly Fires.
Tickets: GBP192.50 for weekend passes.
VIP Options: Boutique camping starts at GBP200.
>> readingfestival.com / leedsfestival.com
When: August 27-28
Where: Daresbury Estate, Cheshire
The Vibe: 40,000 clubrats groovin’ to some of the best dance, club, house, dub and techno beats.
It’s the biggest dance event you’ll ever be invited to.
Line-up: Tiesto, The Chemical Brothers, Paul Van Dyk, Eric Prydz, Steve Angello, Annie Mac, David Guetta, Armin Van Buuren, Swedish House Mafia, Calvin Harris.
Tickets: Weekend tickets are GBP115 with camping.
VIP Options: For added comfort, hire a pre-pitched tent or pod.
Packages start at GBP115.
When: September 8-11
Where: Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight
The Vibe: It’s known for quirky gimmicks that earned it a best major UK festival victory in 2010, so expect nothing less than greatness – it is called Bestival, after all.
Line-up: The Cure, Pendulum, PJ Harvey, Primal Scream, Robyn, Public Enemy, Brian Wilson, Fatboy Slim, Village People, Annie Mac, Grandmaster Flash, Kelis.
Tickets: GBP170 for the weekend, including camping.
Larmer Tree Festival
When: July 13-17
The Vibe: Music, comedy, workshops, shows and activites for all ages – it’s been called the most family-friendly festival of the summer.
Line-up: Seasick Steve, Jools Holland, Imelda May, Ozomatli, Asian Dub Foundation, Bellowhead, Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain, Seth Lakeman, Stornoway, Show of Hands.
Tickets: GBP197 for a five-day pass.