Now we take a look at some of the alternative festivals this year. These are places that break from the conventions of normal festivals for various reasons and are really worth checking out if you want to try something a little different. There are hundreds we could have included. These are just some of our favourites.
The Great Escape Festival
Where?: Over 30 different venues in Brighton
When?: 16th-18th May
How Much?: £56.50 (3-Day pass)
Who?: Billy Bragg, Bastille, Everything Everything.
TGE festival offers a truly unique festival experience that you’d be absolutely mad to miss out on. Over the three days, 300 new bands descend on Brighton city centre to play a whole host of shows in all sorts of venues whilst still having time to play street shows in some of the kookiest places you’re likely to ever see a band. With shows from midday right the way through until 1am there’s plenty to see with a huge diversity of genres being represented—so you’re likely to find something for everyone. It’s the ultimate festival for band discovery and you can even guarantee entry to the headline shows by topping up the wristbands– so you can see absolutely everything. If you want to go to a festival where every moment of the day will be occupied by something and you want to walk away having discovered some obscure Polish folk-band, then TGE is the essential.
Rating: 4/5 (By Nátt Day)
When?: 15th – 17th August
How much?: £139 for 3 day ticket, £70 for single day (Friday sold out)
Who?: Eminem, The Prodigy, The XX, Nine Inch Nails, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Franz Ferdinand
So the headliners might not be quite as grand, in my opinion, as last year’s Stone Roses and Foo Fighters, but Pukkelpop prides itself in its range of musical acts. From the legendary likes of Eminem, to more recent heroes such as The XX and Imagine Dragons, Pukkelpop promises to have something for everyone. Chase and Status will be there to present their new album, DJ Fresh will be coming along to get the crowds moving and if you fancy something that’s more likely to soothe your aching head than worsen it then go and discover Crystal fighters or Local Natives.
Provided there’s not a repeat of 2011, and no-one dies from a stage collapse, ticket buyers are destined for an insane few days in Belgium. Festivals are better in the heat and getting to Belgium is cheap, making this festival more than worth your money.
Rating: 3.5/5 (By Emily Webb)
Where?: Huntingdon, UK
When?: 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th July
How much?: £185
Who?: Bastille, Django Django, Soalwax, Big Youth, The Strypes, Wolf Alice
Genuinely like a garden party, but a very big, very wild garden party. Set in magnificently scenic surrounding, this music and arts festival is like no other. If the sun decides to make an appearance to complement the assortment of acts, festival-goers will get the delights of being able to splash around in the lakes and rivers to cool off. Despite big headliners not being the key selling point of this festival, there’s more than enough music to keep all attendees happy. David Icke will be in the garden along with several other non-musical acts to keep everyone entertained. Activities run throughout the whole weekend for adults and children alike; it’s worth noting this is a family festival.
Rating: 3.5/5 (By Emily Webb)
Where?: Matterley Estate, Winchester
When?: 8th – 11th August
How much?: £149
Who?: Parov Stelar; Toots & The Maytals; Mad Caddies; The Skints; Gentlemans Dub Club.
Described as ‘The UK’s Maddest City’, Boomtown is a truly unique experience. Every year, a small town is erected just outside of Winchester and it plays host to some of the best reggae, ska, dub, folk and gypsy music that you’re likely to hear. This certainly caters for an acquired taste but it looks bloody brilliant! There’s not really much I can actually say. If you’re in to this music too, then look it up and be blown away!
Oh, and did I not mention the GIANT FIRE-BREATHING ROBOT SPIDER?!
Rating: 3/5 (it’s just too niche to be 5/5) (By Andrew Ovenden)
Where?: Budapest, Hungary
When?: 5th – 12th August
How much?: £170
Who?: Blur; David Guetta; Everything Everything; Dizze Rascal; Tame Impala; Hadouken!; The Bots; Seeed; Enter Shikari.
We throw around the phrase ‘something for everyone’ a lot when describing festivals. But, seriously, at Sziget there is something for everyone! Ranked as one of the top 5 festivals in Europe this incredible event takes place for a week in August on a small island in the middle of a river in Budapest – the gem of Eastern Europe. Your festival ticket also allows you to travel in and around the city. It’s hard to hold back from referring to this as the perfect festival, but really… it is. With the average temperature being about 21°c and a surprisingly cheap festival ticket. There’s nothing to dislike about Sziget!
Rating: 5/5 (By Andrew Ovenden)