With Summer almost here (officially it starts with the Solstice at 12.38pm on 21st June) and the second Spring Bank Holiday done and dusted – it’s time to look ahead to the upcoming season of festival fun.
From big well known events here in London – to some of the more obscure shindigs in the quieter backwaters of the British Isles. From music to food to sports to recreation – everything has a festival element these days. So here is the first in our series of the best festivals in 2015 – so, air guitar at the ready, prepare to twang that virtual six-string like a pro – as we begin with the daddy of them all – Music Festivals….
Music Festivals in 2015
Mention the word ‘festival’ and hazy summer days of music, camping and drinking immediately spring to mind. From Glasto to British Summer Time, from the Isle of Wight to Keswick’s Party in the Valley – the scale and range of venues, genres, styles and artists and can all be a bit bewildering. We’ve separated them out into three handy categories… local to London, within striking distance (a shortish drive) or requiring at least one overnight stay.
Da’aan London Way
There are festivals of one kind or another taking place all year round in London. When it comes to music though, some stand out more than others. Sure, you can buy a ticket to the O2, or Roundhouse to see your favourite act – that’s sure to be an event – but not quite in the same league as spending 3 days in the open air of Hyde park with several hundred thousand other Londoners.
Barclaycard British Summer Time – Hyde Park
If it wasn’t for London’s light pollution you’d be able to see the stars, but a look at the lineup for Barclaycard’s British Summer Time 2015 and everything is still pretty stellar. Taking place over 2 weeks in June (18th – 28th) at London’s Hyde Park, it’s an outdoor festival in the heart of the city.
Blur’s 2015 resurgence continues as they headline the Saturday (June 20th) of the first weekend, whilst Kylie (Sun 21st), The Who, Paul Wellar and the Kaiser Chiefs (Fri 26th) are sure to set the stage alight (metaphorically speaking).
Mid week there’s a stack load of comedy to keep you entertained from the likes of Ed Byrnes and Rich Hall – and it’s all topped off on the Sunday 28th with a big family orientated event including Braniac Live, CBeebies, Horrible Histories and Union J.
For sheer must-see-superstar-of-the-moment pull though, the highlight has to be Taylor Swift (Sat 27th). Her show is already sold out, which rather proves the point. For the full line up and to buy tickets, visit the BST-Hydepark website.
No sooner has BST finished than it’s time for the New Look sponsored Wireless (in fact they overlap a little on 28th June). London’s Finsbury Park is the venue for this one. It’s a much more dance orientated event including the likes of Rita Ora, Nicki Minaj and world-famous dance-DJ-producer superstar David Guetta. Single day tickets for Friday 3rd July have already sold out – so if you’ve got your heart set on bouncing to Drake you’ll need to buy a multi-day ticket.
Find out more about all the acts and book online at wirelessfestival.co.uk
If Classic Rock is more your bag, the Calling Festival is south of the river at Clapham Common on July 4th. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds are headlining, also performing will be Ryan Adams, The Shining and Echo and the Bunnymen. For more information and tickets visit callingfestival.co.uk
A short ride in ‘da Mot-ah (Day Trip)
If you’re contemplating taking time out from the city for a festival day trip – then a nip down the M4, or short hop from Paddington station – might be the perfect thing. The Reading Festival – taking place over the last weekend in August – is established as one of the nation’s greats.
The impressive main stage line-up in 2015 includes hard-rock legends Metallica, folk-rock heavyweights Mumford and Sons and Brit-Rock favourites The Libertines.
Tickets are available from the Reading Festival website.
You’re Well Outa Town Na’ (Overnight stay)
If you’re after a real sense of travelling to get away from it all – the Isle of Wight Festival involves going on a ferry (albeit a short one across the Solent). This years’ event – as ever – takes place at Seaclose Park on the outskirts of Newport.
The list of artists – arguably – even surpasses Glastonbury in 2015 as global superstars Fleetwood Mac are set to headline. It’s the famed ‘Rumours’ line-up as well, with Christine McVie rejoining the band – so it’s set to be a seminal event. Blur are busy as they’re also on the line-up, along with The Prodigy and Pharrell Williams guesting. It’s sure to be a Happy one too.
If you’re a festival first-timer, then you might find our Festival-First-Timers blog a handy read. And if all your festival kit is away in storage for the winter, this weekend is the weekend to come and get it!