British festivals are very much weather-focused, as with British conversations and life in general. Asking someone whether or not they enjoyed Reading festival 2018, they’ll probably tell you about the torrential rain and swampy conditions before they mention any acts. Whereas asking about Reading festival 2016, you might hear about the odd sunburn but are more likely to hear about the performances of Fall Out Boy, Twenty One Pilots and Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Despite our unpredictable weather, Britain still manages to host some great festivals, with Glastonbury taking the ultimate crown. With the likes of Dolly Parton, Beyoncé, David Bowie, Stormzy, The Smiths, and many more performing throughout the years, and Diana Ross and Taylor Swift set to play this year, it comes as no surprise that this is the Coachella of the UK.
But do Glastonbury and other British festivals really compare to their international competitors? Impressively, we offer a wide range of genre-festivals, from the dance-focused Boomtown to jazz festival Love Supreme, right up to a relaxing weekend away at Lost Village. Whatever music or scene you are into, you will find a music festival for you across the UK. However, international festivals have the advantage of better weather and often crazier setups. Obviously, Coachella comes to mind whenever festivals are mentioned, boasting impressive line ups throughout the years including Prince, Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg, Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande – the list is full of pretty much every big name you can think of. This Californian musical weekend away is notorious for its glitter make-up and summer-chic fashion, but does this really compare to the muddy welly-boot camping that UK festivals offer?
If you’re after a festival that submerges you in all-things-jazz, the UK can offer your Love Supreme, as mentioned above. Set in the South Coast of England, Love Supreme 2020 has so far announced the likes of TLC, The Isley Brothers and Sergio Mendes. In previous years, Lauren Hill, Earth, Wind and Fire, Grace Jones, Elvis Costello and many more big names have performed, making it a must for British jazz fans to attend. Though, with festivals such as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, can Love Supreme really compare? Naturally, any jazz lover would jump at the chance to be surrounded by jazz in the heart of where it’s known to have originated, regardless of the line up. Yet, it does still boast big names this year like Lenny Kravitz, Lionel Richie, Stevie Nicks and even Lizzo, stating that although it’s a jazz fest they celebrate R&B, Cajun, Rock, Blues and Gospel music, making this sunny fest in the heart of jazz even more appealing.
So, if the ‘festival experience’ is what you’re after, and you’re keen to whip out the wellies, sneak in some bevvies, and go to sleep to the sounds of tent passers screaming “oh Jeremy Corbyn”, then British festivals will certainly be your cup of tea. However, if you’re more interested in getting a tan all whilst listening to big names, than an international festival may be more your style.