Music festivals can get unbearably messy; before you know it, you have scraggly hair, mud all over you, and a lacklustre DJ set that is completely underwhelming. However, if you want to avoid accidently heading to this year’s equivalent of Fyre Festival, this guide can provide an all-encompassing look at the festival circuit so that you can make an informed choice, avoid the mess, and have a great summer in the sun (hopefully).
1. Forbidden Forest
Date: 6th May 2018
Location: Donington Park Forest, Derbyshire
Complaints about the “stagnation of the dance music festival and clubbing circuit in the UK” have led to the creation of the Forbidden Forest festival. Quite early in the year for summer festivals, this will take place on a Sunday as a 12-hour-long party. Headliners include Solardo, Wilkinson, and Hannah Wants, alongside numerous acts ranging across genres like house, techno, garage and UK bass. Located just down the road in Derbyshire, this is a good one for some revision-break fun.
Website + Ticket Link: http://forbidden-forest.co.uk/
Tickets start from £47.50 (subject to booking fees)
2. Annie Mac Presents Lost & Found
Date: 3rd – 6th May 2018
In case you are planning on leaving the UK for the bank holiday weekend (and freeing yourself of its unpredictable weather), then Annie Mac Presents Lost & Found is your perfect fit. Returning to the stunning Mediterranean island of Malta (always a selling point), the festival promises 4 days and 4 nights of one-of-a-kind parties involving pools, boats, castles, beaches, and a night-time festival site in the outdoors. Headliners include big names such as Jamie XX, Diplo, and J Hus, alongside event curator Annie Mac.
Ticket link: http://bit.ly/Ticket2018
Tickets start from £119, and VIP tickets start from £149 (subject to booking fees)
Date: 9th – 10th June 2018
Location: Heaton Park, Manchester
Manchester’s leading festival Parklife is where everyone outside of London will be heading this weekend. In its 8th edition this year, the festival boasts an impressive total of 16 arenas across the two days of music and fun. The headlining performers are massive, ranging from Manchester’s very own local hero Liam Gallagher, to The xx, grime icon Skepta, Lorde, A$AP Rocky, Bonobo, J Hus, Bugzy Malone, and a long list of even more famous names. This is one festival you do not want to miss.
Ticket link: po.st/PL18
Weekend tickets start from £109.50, and Weekend VIP tickets start from £145 (subject to booking fees)
4. Southport Weekender Festival
Date: 9th June 2018
Location: Finsbury Park, London
The sophomore edition of this London party promises a plethora of house, R&B, garage, and soul music, featuring acts like Sister Sledge, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Jazzie B, David Morales, and many more. If you’re down south this weekend, it’s the place to be.
Website + Ticket Link: http://www.southportweekenderfestival.com/
Tickets start from £45, and VIP tickets start from £70 (subject to booking fees)
5. Balaton Sound
Date: 4th – 8th July 2018
Location: Zamárdi, Lake Balaton, Hungary
A beach theme, a 5-day long vacation opportunity, and a long list of popular headliners, including David Guetta, Martin Garrix, The Chainsmokers, DJ Snake, Eric Prydz, Alesso, Rita Ora, and Big Shaq – dance music lovers in search of star-studded DJ sets should be running for this one.
Ticket link: http://bit.ly/BalatonSoundTickets
5-Day Passes start from €190, and 5-Day VIP Passes start from €305 (subject to booking fees)
6. NASS Festival
Date: 5th – 8th July 2018
Location: Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet
Bringing its unique concept of “action sports and music festival” to the Bath and West Showground, the festival involves a diverse line-up of musical acts alongside international skate and BMX competitions within park, vert, and dirt disciplines. With headline acts like Dizzee Rascal, Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley, De La Soul, Stefflon Don, Bugzy Malone, Vic Mensa, and Andy C, this weekend festival promises to be spectacularly one-of-a-kind.
Ticket link: http://bit.ly/2A0W3EP
Weekend Camping tickets (arriving Thursday) start from £133, and Weekend Camping VIP tickets (arriving Thursday) start from £168 (subject to booking fees)
7. Hospitality on the Beach
Date: 12th – 16th July 2018
Location: The Garden Tisno, Croatia
The first overseas festival put together by Drum & Bass powerhouse Hospitality, this event promises a 5-day holiday with a variety of artists like Andy C, Calibre, DBridge, DJ Marky, and others in the sun-soaked, picturesque Adriatic beaches.
Website + Ticket Link: http://www.hospitalitydnb.com
Tickets start from £159 (subject to booking fees)
8. Reading and Leeds Festival
Date: 24th – 26th August 2018
Location: Richfield Avenue, Reading / Bramham Park, Leeds
The one that needs no introduction, Reading and Leeds is worth a mention in any festival guide (even though the line-up leaves a lot to be desired compared to previous years). Headliners include Fall Out Boy, Kendrick Lamar, Panic! At the Disco, Dua Lipa, and others – and the BBC Radio 1 stage will have Wolf Alice and Skepta, in case you are looking for something different from the main stage extravaganza.
Website + Ticket Link: https://www.readingandleedsfestival.com/
Day tickets start from £69.50 (subject to booking fees)
9. SW4 Festival
Date: 25th – 26th August 2018
Location: Clapham Common, London
If you’re not very keen on attending Reading and Leeds this year, why not try out this one instead? Celebrating its 15th anniversary, this electronic music festival features big names like Chase & Status, Marshmello, and Galantis, among others. It’ll certainly be a weekend to remember.
Website + Ticket Link: https://www.southwestfour.com/
Weekend tickets start from £99 (subject to booking fees)
Date: 24th – 26th August 2018
Location: Haarlemmermeer, near Amsterdam
Maybe you’re just not interested in attending a festival in the UK during the August bank holiday weekend? Well, here is the alternative – Amsterdam’s biggest music festival is pulling out all stops for a spectacular weekend of music and fun. The line-up is star-studded, main highlights including Alesso, Fatboy Slim, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, and Paul Van Dyk. Come on, you know you want to.
Weekend tickets start from € 114.75 (subject to booking fees)
Featured image (SW4 Festival 2017) courtesy of ‘Graham Joy’ via Listen Up.
Article images courtesy of Listen Up and readingandleedsfestival.com.
Image use license here.