Impact’s Guide to the Best British Festivals

Have a look at what festivals our contributors recommend you venture to this summer.


Where? Larmer Tree Gardens, North Dorset

When? 2nd-4th September

Who? Joanna Newsom, Beirut, and Mogwai will appear as headliners. Joining them at the Dorset bash will be Midlake, Laura Marling, Lykke Li, Best Coast, Emmy the Great, Drum Eyes, Caitlin Rose, Dan Mangan, Health, Tinariwen, White Denim, Health, The Leisure Society, Megafaun, The Fall and Wild Beasts.

Why? Described as a “bucolic paradise” by the Guardian, the intimate End of the Road Festival offers some of the best folk music – handpicked by the organisers themselves – whilst paying careful attention to the ‘little things’ such as good food (organic and local where possible) and beer.



Where? The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, Kent

When? 1st-2nd July

Who? The Eagles and Morrissey will headline, plus Lou Reed, Iggy And The Stooges, Newton Faulkner, Noisettes, Death Cab For Cutie, 10cc,

Why? Hop Farm brings music festivals back to its roots providing a unique folk-enthused event with no VIP areas, no branding or sponsorship; in short, a festival for festival goers.



Where? Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk

When? 14th-17th July

Who? Suede, The National and Paolo Nutini will headline this summer’s Latitude Festival in addition to Foals, Kele, Bright Eyes, Anna Calvi, Hurts and The Naked And Famous.

Why? For anyone who likes their festival to include multicoloured sheep wandering by a lake, Latitude is a must! Often considered as a ‘mini-Glastonbury’, Latitude encompasses everything from the best bands, comedy acts, literary readings and cabaret.



Where? Donington Park, Leicestershire

When? 10th – 12th June

Who? System of a Down, Linkin Park and Def Leppard are this year’s headliners. Other notable performances include Avenged Sevenfold, Pendulum, Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie and Bullet for My Valentine.

Why? A freshly reformed System of a Down will be playing…need I say more? Oh, and it’s also just a £2.70 Indigo bus ride away from Nottingham!



Where? Knebworth, Hertfordshire

When? 8th – 10th July

Who? Metallica, Biffy Clyro and Slipknot are set to headline. Also present will be Slayer, Limp Bizkit, Weezer and Motoröhead.

Why? With its third birthday this year, Sonisphere is a relatively new mainstream metal festival. Nonetheless, as the line-up shows, it’s a worthy contender to the mighty Download.



Where? Hyde Park, London (and at various other locations around the country)

When? 1st-3rd July

Who? Black Eyed Peas, Plan B, David Guetta, Example / Chemical Brothers, Katy B, The Streets, Chase & Status, Nero / Pulp, Foals, Grace Jones, TV On The Radio, The Horrors

Why? They’ve pulled some real treats out the bag this year: a rare appearance by Aphex Twin on Saturday and Pulp’s triumphant return on Sunday being but two.



Where? Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire

When? 29th-31st July

Who? Rodrigo y Gabriela, Baaba Maal, I Am Kloot, Nomfusi & The Lucky Charms, Danyel Waro, Nidi D’Arac, Pacific Curls, Bomba Estereo.

Why? Until you’ve been, it’s quite incomprehensible just how relaxing, rejuvenating and inspiring the worlds of music, arts and dance can be. Welcome the sunrise with a yoga class, learn flamenco dancing for lunch, and relax amongst the trees to a solitary soul singer as the stars slip past at night.



Where? Near Huntington, Cambridgeshire.

When? 21st-25th July

Who? Leftfield, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, Mystery Jets, Blondie. 360 artists and over 50 DJs.

Why? “Reality leaves a lot to the imagination” – John Lennon. I don’t need to say any more really. Basically the British Burning Man with less petrol fumes and more fireworks.



Where? Pembrey Country Park, South Wales.
When? 16th-20th June

Who? Tinie Tempah, Prof. Green, White Lies, Example, We Are Scientists, Magnetic Man, Katy B.

Why? 20,000 make this festival one to remember, Example has even claimed this is ‘easily the best festival site I’ve ever played in the UK’. Sun, sand, mates and great music – what’s not to love?



Where? Platt Fields Park, Fallowfield, Manchester

When? 11th-12th June

Who? 2manyDJs, Seth Troxler, James Holden, James Zabiela, Jamie XX, Boys Noize, Mount Kimbie, DJ Mehdi…to name but a few!

Why? This is the sort of line-up you’d expect to pay big bucks for, but at Parklife you can see all of these amazing acts and more for under £60…cha ching.



Where? Various locations across Nottingham.

When? 29th May

Who? We Are Scientists, The Naked And Famous, Guillemots, The Joy Formidable, SBTRKT, Dom and lots more.

Why? Well, it’s on our doorstep for a start. Dot-to-Dot really is a great day out and the perfect way to celebrate the end of exams.



Where? Clune Farm, Dores, Scotland.

When? 10th, 11th & 12th June

Who? Kasabian, The Chemical Brothers and Paolo Nutini will headline, plus Two Door Cinema Club, Katy B, Frightened Rabbit, Annie Mac, Glasvegas, Boys Noise, Zane Lowe, Brother, Magnetic Man, We Are Scientists, Simian Mobile Disco etc.

Why? Winner of NME’s ‘Best Small Festival’ award last year, this gem is situated in front of Scotland’s beautiful Loch Ness, with undisputed full marks for atmosphere. The festival has previously featured the likes of Fatboy Slim, Razorlight, Biffy Clyro, Blondie and Chase & Status. Students also get £14 off with a valid NUS card.



Where? Hill Farm, Steventon, Oxford.

When? 22nd, 23rd & 24th July.

Who? The Go! Team, Gruff Rhys, Philip Selway (Radiohead), Johnny Flynn, Graham Coxon (Blur), Tunng, Admiral Fallow, Trophy Wife, Dry The River, Sea of Bees, Fixers, Treefight for Sunlight.

Why? Renowned for its friendly and relaxed atmosphere, Truck Festival is set in the heart of rural Oxfordshire with the main stage constructed from a large flatbed truck. Previous acts include: Foals, British Sea Power, The Futureheads, Biffy Clyro, Mystery Jets and Laura Marling. A weekend ticket is under £100!



Where? Victoria Park, London

When? 6th August

Who? All the J’s…Jamie Woon, Jamie XX, James Holden and James Blake, alongside the likes of Warpaint, Willy Mason, Erol Alkan and loads more.

Why? Easily one of the best line-ups in terms of day festivals this year: James Blake, Jamie XX, James Holden AND Willy Mason…wow! It’s also incredibly cheap.



Where? Eastnor Castle Deer Park, Hertfordshire

When? 4th – 7th August

Who? The Chemical Brothers, Kanye West, Jessie J,  Four Tet, Submotion Orchestra and plenty more musical treats.

Why? Amazing location and Mr KANYEEEEE…need we continue?



Where? Clapham Common, London

When? 27 th & 28th August

Who? James Zabiela, Loco Dice, Underworld, Pendulum, Richie Hawtin, Guy Gerber, Simian Mobile Disco, M.A.N.D.Y and loads more.

Why? For those of you that love the thought of Creamfields and Global but don’t fancy sleeping in muddy camping fields, then SW4 is for you. With an amazing line-up, SW4 looks to be a fun-filled weekend of electronic madness.


With thanks to Matt Bryant, Rebecca Hutter, Charlotte Krol, Rosie Kynman, Matt Lambert, Ellen Newton and Gabriel Szatan for helping compile this guide.


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