Tent? Check! Wellies? Check! Sun cream? Check! While we can’t account for the weather, we can guarantee that 2019 will be another huge year for British music festivals. To help you discover the perfect destination for an unforgettable weekend this summer, we’ve rounded up the very best events across the UK.
All Points East
When: 24 May - 2 June
Headliners: The Chemical Brothers, The Strokes, Christine & The Queens, Bring Me The Horizon, Mumford & Sons, Bon Iver
A newbie to the UK’s blossoming festival scene after an impressive debut in 2018, All Points East pulls in a host of exclusive alternative acts for a series of one-day events in east London’s Victoria Park. As part of the festival, they also offer a midweek programme of free events, including children’s workshops, an outdoor cinema, yoga sessions and a street food market.
When: 8-9 June
Headliners: Cardi B, George Ezra
Head up to Manchester this June and you’ll find Parklife – a festival that represents the city’s musical identity to a tee. Hosting an eclectic mix of artists, both internationally renowned and underground, revellers are spoilt for choice across eight immersive open-air stages. Famed for its dusk-till-dawn party atmosphere, 2019 promises to be another electric year for the Heaton Park event.
Isle of Wight
When: 13-16 June
Where: Isle of Wight
Headliners: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, George Ezra, Biffy Clyro
Isle of Wight Festival has deservedly become a British institution since its inception back in the late 60’s, where record-breaking numbers flocked to the then free-of-charge coastal event. Doffing its cap to the original festival’s rock leanings, this year’s bash welcomes Noel Gallagher, Biffy Clyro and more, but there’s also plenty of room for pop, courtesy of stars like Sigrid and Jess Glynne. Aside from music, this family-friendly festival boasts a ton of campsite entertainment, including funfair rides and cabaret performances.
When: 14-16 June
Headliners: Def Leppard, Slipknot, Tool
For those who like their music on the heavier side, Donington Park is the place to be this summer – with a packed bill of non-stop metal, punk and classic rock action. But there’s more than just music on offer, with punters able to experience side-splitting comedy and WWE wrestling. Yes, wrestling. And for those who need a bit of downtime, 2019 sees the launch of the festival’s first mindfulness area – with activities including sound-driven meditation and breath work.
When: 26-30 June
Headliners: Stormzy, The Cure, The Killers
The mother of all festivals. After taking a break in 2018 to give Worthy Farm some much-needed recovery time, Glastonbury returns this summer in glorious fashion. All it takes is a quick glance down the stellar line-up and there’s plenty to be excited about – with headline performances on the iconic Pyramid Stage from Stormzy and The Killers, plus appearances down the bill from the likes of Tame Impala, Kylie and more. It’s as eclectic as ever, and with over 100 stages on offer, there truly is something for everyone at the weird and wonderful world of Glastonbury.
When: 13-14 July
Headliners: Jamiroquai, Rag’n’Bone Man
Made to be enjoyed by families, this two-day south London festival promises a laid-back atmosphere, a generation-spanning musical offering and entertainment for punters of all ages. They also go big when it comes to food, hosting a market of culinary delights courtesy of London’s Street Feast. Tasty.
When: 26-28 July
Headliners: Wolf Alice, Foals, Two Door Cinema Club
What began as a humble boutique festival in Oxfordshire has now evolved into one of indie music’s premier weekends – welcoming massive headline acts and an undercard stacked full of hidden gems. Plus, with weekend tickets almost half the price of a major festival, it’s also the perfect destination for music lovers on a budget.
When: 9-12 August
Headliners: Lauryn Hill, Prophets of Rage, The Streets
Dubbed as Glastonbury’s younger sister, Boomtown brings all the thrills of the hallowed weekender, but on a slightly smaller scale. Transforming a patch of Hampshire countryside during August, revellers can explore immersive, themed districts – boasting eye-popping stage setups that must be seen to be believed. If your idea of a festival is all about escapism, this is the ticket.
When: 22-25 August
Headliners: Calvin Harris, Deadmau5, Swedish House Mafia
This huge August Bank Holiday festival claims to have the ‘world’s biggest electronic line-up’ – and it’s hard to disagree after browsing the monster bill. A who’s who of the biggest global DJ acts, Creamfields is a staple for all dance music worshippers in the UK. It also boasts some of the epic light shows around, so this is the place for you if you can’t help but Instagram all your weekend escapades.
Reading & Leeds
When: 23-25 August
Where: Reading and Leeds
Headliners: The 1975, Post Malone, Twenty One Pilots, Foo Fighters
Another iconic mainstay on the UK festival calendar. While this dual-site event earned its reputation in the noughties as the go-to scene for fans of alternative and heavier music, the festival has since expanded its remit to cater for almost every musical taste. Rock, indie, hip-hop, grime, techno and more. You name it, Reading & Leeds has it sorted.