Glastonbury and V are missing this year, but the summer festival circuit still has plenty to offer. From rock spectaculars to low-key family affairs and glamping extravaganzas, ADRIAN THRILLS rounds up the best . . .
Donington Park, Leicestershire, June 8-10
For those who want the volume turned up to 11, this summer’s festival season kicks off with the country’s prime rock and metal event.
A festival-goer sits on her friend’s shoulders during Milky Chance’s setLatitude Festival in Suffolk last summer
Donington Park has been associated with all things hard and heavy since the Eighties — and this year’s line-up is no different. Ozzy Osbourne and Avenged Sevenfold headline alongside a reunited Guns N’ Roses, who will bring Sweet Child O’ Mine and the epic November Rain to the Leicestershire countryside.
- Weekend tickets (including booking fee) from £189, downloadfestival.co.uk
ISLE OF WIGHT
Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight, June 21-24
The ‘English Woodstock’ celebrates its 50th anniversary with a stellar line-up. Headliners Depeche Mode, The Killers, Kasabian and Liam Gallagher are hardly flag-bearers for the festival’s hippy heritage, but there’s plenty to entertain festival mums, dads and their teenage children. Rita Ora and Camila Cabello add a poppy edge. Van Morrison plays on Sunday.
- Weekend ticket £223.20, isleofwightfestival.com
Depeche Mode, The Killers, Kasabian and Liam Gallagher (pictured) are hardly flag-bearers for the festival’s hippy heritage
Glasgow Green, June 29-July 8
Launched last year as a three-day event, TRNSMT is poised to take the place that T In The Park used to occupy in Scotland’s outdoor calendar. With T on hiatus, this year’s Trnsmt has grown. It’ll be staged over two weekends with Stereophonics, Liam Gallagher, Arctic Monkeys, Queen + Adam Lambert and The Killers all headlining.
Stereophonics, Liam Gallagher, Arctic Monkeys, Queen + Adam Lambert and The Killers (singer Brendan Flowers pictured) are all headlining
A non-camping affair in the heart of the city, it’s a perfect fit for the Airbnb generation.
- Day tickets from £65.45, trnsmtfest.com
Somerset House, The Strand, London, July 5-15
Another city affair, the Summer Series comprises 11 nights of music in a pretty neo-classical courtyard by the Thames.
Opening on July 5 with the left-field pop of Metronomy, this year’s line-up includes psychedelic rockers MGMT, fast-rising Norwegian star Sigrid and American hip-hop stalwarts The Roots and De La Soul. Roisin Murphy plays the closing night on July 15.
- Day tickets from £31.25, somersethouse.org.uk
BRITISH SUMMER TIME
Hyde Park, London, July 6-15
Now in its sixth year and spread over two weekends, BST is another event for city dwellers who crave the festival experience minus the mud. Veterans Roger Waters, Eric Clapton and Paul Simon all play, the latter performing the only London show of his farewell tour.
The Cure, Michael Buble and Bruno Mars also take top billing. Steve Winwood, James Taylor and Bananarama head an impressive supporting cast.
- Day tickets from £84.55, bst-hydepark.com
Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, July 11-15
A black-tie soiree with all the trappings of the jazz age, Henley has grown from an upmarket classical festival into five nights of diverse entertainment.
Rita Ora, Grace Jones and Nile Rodgers all headline, while jazz vocalist Curtis Stigers is joined by Ronnie Scott’s Big Band for a night of Sinatra. Michelin-starred Angela Hartnett oversees a pop-up restaurant, and there are luxury tents for glampers, plus a family day on Sunday.
- Day tickets from £38.50 (henley-festival.co.uk).
Rita Ora, Grace Jones and Nile Rodgers (pictured) all headline, while jazz vocalist Curtis Stigers is joined by Ronnie Scott’s Big Band for a night of Sinatra
Henham Park, Suffolk, July 12-15
An unashamedly middle-class concoction with music, comedy, theatre and a wellness programme, Latitude is one of the jewels of the UK festival season.
The Killers, Alt-J and Solange headline, along with The Vaccines, Wolf Alice and James. Harry Hill leads the comedy, with Sadler’s Wells overseeing the dance. If ‘disco yoga’ is your thing, Latitude fits the bill.
- Weekend tickets from £213.30, latitudefestival.com
The Vaccines, Wolf Alice and James will perform at Latitude (pictured, Ellie Rowsell of Wolf Alice on stage at St Jerome’s Laneway Festival)
Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire, July 13-15
Having billed last summer’s jamboree as their Fabulous Finale, the organisers of the festival once dubbed ‘Poshstock’ have had second thoughts, and family-friendly Cornbury is back in its idyllic Cotswolds setting for a 15th year.
Alanis Morissette leads Saturday’s strong female line-up, with Mavis Staples, Amy MacDonald and Pixie Lott also playing. Others rubbing shoulders with the Chipping Norton set include UB40, Squeeze and Deacon Blue.
- Weekend tickets from £193.50, cornburyfestival.com
Cranborne Chase, Wiltshire, July 19-22
Swedish sister act First Aid Kit rubber-stamp their ongoing rise by headlining the intimate Larmer Tree festival, which celebrates its 27th year on the Wiltshire-Dorset border.
Klara and Johanna Soderberg’s country-pop harmonies are perfect for a balmy summer’s night, while fellow headliner Jake Bugg also took a country hike when he headed to Nashville for his most recent album Hearts That Strain.
Nadine Shah and Susanne Sundfor also appear.
- Weekend ticket £185.27, larmertreefestival.co.uk
Banbury, Oxfordshire, August 9-11
Curated since 1976 by folk-rockers Fairport Convention, Cropredy is as much of a British summer institution as Glyndebourne.
Fairport open the three-day event with a short set before playing a longer show, accompanied by guests, on the closing night.
This year’s big-name attraction is Brian Wilson, who plays the classic Beach Boys album Pet Sounds in full. Richard Digance, Kate Rusby and Al Stewart are also on the bill.
- Weekend ticket £136, fairportconvention.com
Brecon Beacons, Wales, August 16-19
A bespoke affair for fans of Americana-tinged indie-rock, Green Man brings Fleet Foxes, The War On Drugs, The Lemon Twigs and John Grant to a misty valley in the Black Mountains.
Beer and cider will flow freely and there’s a science area for children. The festival’s Settler’s Pass includes discounts on local heritage sites. Do bring a brolly.
- Weekend ticket £189, greenman.net
READING AND LEEDS
Richfield Avenue, Reading, and Bramham Park, Leeds, August 24-26
The traditional August bank holiday destination for youngsters digesting their GCSE results, Reading and Leeds boast a mix of rock and rap. Both venues will be graced by Kendrick Lamar and rockers Kings Of Leon, with Dua Lipa and Sigrid adding pop sparkle. Expect tales of youthful high-jinks and lost phones.
- Weekend ticket £221.40, readingandleedsfestival.com