UK’s best metropolitan festivals


While festival season is synonymous with incredible music, good friends and life-affirming experiences, it’s also associated with muddy fields, sleepless nights, and days and days without a wash. It’s for these reasons that the metropolitan festival is becoming increasingly popular throughout the UK. The chance to see a whole host of bands without having to pitch a tent or sleep on the ground is an attractive looking prospect, so if you want to avoid the mud this year, take a look at our rundown of our favourite metropolitan UK festivals.

1. The Great Escape Festival

Widely renowned to be Europe’s leading new music festival, The Great Escape is the festival which journalists and bloggers flock to in order to scout out the ‘next big thing’. The three day event takes place across over 30 venues in the beautiful seaside city of Brighton, and features over 300 acts, all vying for the attention of the thousands of attendees. Kelis and Wild Beasts have already been announced as two of the headliners, but take a trip down to Brighton and you’re sure to find plenty more hidden treasures.

When? 8th-10th May
Where? Brighton
How much? £49.50

dot to dot festival 20142. Dot to Dot Festival

Dot to Dot is a one day festival which happens across venues, and across cities, each year. The same line up performs in Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham across the May bank holiday weekend. Championing new music, the festival has in the last few years featured emerging talents including Ed Sheeran, Bastille, SBTRKT and Jake Bugg. Top tips for this years event are Laura Welsh, Betty Who and Sivu. Don’t just take my word for how good it is; last year Dot to Dot was announced as the Best Metropolitan Festival at the UK Festival Awards.

When? 23rd-25th May
Where? Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham
How much? £20

3. Tramlines

Curated and organised by local venue owners and promoters, Tramlines is now in its sixth year. Taking place across 70 venues and four main stages in Sheffield, this could be the perfect way to explore the city. 2014’s festival will feature Annie Mac, Katy B and The Cribs on an extensive line-up which features a healthy mix of local and national acts. Having previously been a free festival, prices have been ramped up, but this means that bigger and better acts are on the way, so keep an eye out for further imminent act announcements.

When? 25th-27th July
Where? Sheffield
How much? £28

liverpool sound city 20144. Liverpool Sound City

Founded in 2008, Liverpool Sound City is like the Great Escape of the north. Showcasing a whole range of emerging and exciting talent alongside influential keynote speakers, previous performers include Florence and the Machine and The Maccabees. Over 300 bands typically play at the festival, with this year’s line-up boasting sets from Jagwar Ma, Gruff Rhys and Chlöe Howl. In an iconically musical city, this could be the perfect festival to discover some of the most innovative musicians the world has to offer.

When? 1st-3rd May
Where? Liverpool
How much? £55

5. Live at Leeds

Held across several venues in Leeds on the first bank holiday weekend in May, the festival began in 2007 to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the city. Since then it has gone from strength to strength, growing each year, with incredible acts across four days for a bargain price. More than twenty venues will play host to acts including Clean Bandit, Nina Nesbitt, Albert Hammond Jr. and The Midnight Beast, amongst others. The main day of music will be the Saturday with over 100 bands performing, making Live at Leeds suitable for a day trip or a weekend break.

When? 3rd-6th May
Where? Leeds
How much? £25


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