Date: 8-10th June
Location: Donington Park, Leicestershire
Type of Music: Rock/Heavy Metal/Punk
Going since: 2003
Headliners: The Prodigy; Metallica; Black Sabbath
Major acts: Chase and Status; Biffy Clyro; Soundgarden, Machine Head; Tenacious D; Megadeth; Slash feat. Myles Kennedy; You Me At Six; Rise Against
This year will be the tenth anniversary of the hard rocking Download Festival. It is held at Donington Park, which has been dubbed the spiritual home of rock as it previously hosted the Monsters of Rock and Ozzfest festivals before Download. The Download Festival began as a follow up to the Monsters of Rock festival, starting in 2003 as a two day event and becoming a three day festival two years later. This year the main stage has been renamed the Jim Marshall Stage to honour the late Jim Marshall, known as the ‘Father of Loud’ and the pioneer of Marshall Amplification. Marshall unfortunately passed away in April this year and the renaming of the stage will be a tribute to the man responsible for the sounds used by rock bands all over the world. Headlining the Jim Marshall stage will be:
The Prodigy – Electropunk legends The Prodigy are no strangers to Download Festival having played the previous two years, however this is the first time they will headline. Though they are a slightly different type of band than regulars at Download are used to seeing headline, their back catalogue of hits such as Firestarter, Breathe, Voodoo People and Omen will generate great interest and a huge atmosphere.
Metallica – Los Angeles heavy metal icons Metallica headline Download for the third time and the first time since 2006. This year they will play their untitled ‘black album’ in its entirety. The album topped charts all over the world and features hits such as Enter Sandman, The Unforgiven, Nothing Else Matters and Sad but True.
Black Sabbath – After a widely anticipated comeback the Birmingham rockers Black Sabbath make their only UK festival appearance of 2012 on the Sunday night at Download. Fronted by the household name of Ozzy Osbourne they will be delivering all their classic hits such as Paranoid, Never Say Die!, Iron Man and War Pigs.
Date: 8th-10th June
Location: Clunes Farm, Dores, Scotland (near Loch Ness)
Type of Music: Rock/Indie/Dance
Going since: 2006
Headliners: Mumford & Sons; Deadmau5; Biffy Clyro
Major acts: Noah and the Whale; Annie Mac; Friendly Fires; The Drums; DJ Fresh; Zane Lowe; Ed Sheeran; Justice; Knife Party
Taking place on the banks of the world famous Loch Ness near Inverness, the RockNess Festival is known as the only festival with its own monster. In its seventh year, the Scottish festival is also known for the beautiful views at the site. Headlining will be the folk band Mumford & Sons, Canadian electro DJ deadmau5 and Scotland’s own alternative rockers Biffy Clyro.
Beach Break Live
Date: 14th – 18th June
Location: Pembrey Country Park, South Wales
Type of Music: Dance/R & B/Hip Hop/Indie
Going since: 2007
Headliners: Chase and Status; Dizzee Rascal; Friendly Fires
Major acts: The Maccabees; Nero; Wretch 32; Labrinth; Maverick Sabre; DJ Fresh
Beach Break Live comes to South Wales for the third year after Pembrey Country Park became its home in 2010. The student aimed festival has been going since its first Cornwall event in 2007. The organisers had a successful appearance on BBC show Dragon’s Den in 2007 but decided not to take Peter Jones’s money after receiving a better offer from events management company Outgoing Travel. This year’s event is headlined by the sensational drum & bass duo Chase and Status, chart-topping grime god Dizzee Rascal and Hertfordshire alternative band Friendly Fires.
Date: 15th – 17th June
Location: Victoria Park, London
Type of Music: Electric/Dance/Indie/R & B
Going since: 2004
Headliners: Hot Chip; Friendly Fires; Grace Jones
Major acts: Crystal Castles; Emeli Sande; Lana Del Rey; Magnetic Man; Maverick Sabre; Chaka Khan; Groove Armada; Kelis; The Rapture
Lovebox began as a resident club night founded by DJs Groove Armada at the London venue 93 Feet East in 2002. It became an outdoor show in 2003 to celebrate the first anniversary of the night. It moved to Victoria Park in 2005 and with a capacity of over 50,000, it became a three-day event in 2010. Over the years it has progressed from its dance music routes to embrace indie, hip hop, R & B and other genres. This years event is headlined electronic indie band Hot Chip, the mesmerising Friendly Fires and Jamaican singer/actress/model Grace Jones.
Isle of Wight Festival
Date: 21st – 24th June
Location: Seaclose Park, Isle of Wight
Type of Music: Rock/Indie/Alternative Rock/R & B
Going since: 1968 (1st run) 2002 (current run)
Headliners: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers; Pearl Jam; Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
Major acts: Primal Scream; Elbow; Biffy Clyro; Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds; Example; Tinie Tempah; The Vaccines; Groove Armada; Magnetic Man; The Darkness
This year the Isle of Wight Festival is moving from the usual early June dates to the latter end of the month that is normally occupied by Glastonbury, which is taking a year off. The move is to make way for the Golden Jubilee but despite the move in date, this year should prove to be the same relaxed event with a great mixture of genres. The Isle of Wight Festival is known for its old school legendary headliners, with the likes of Paul McCartney, The Sex Pistols, The Police and The Rolling Stones all playing throughout the previous five festivals. This year isn’t an exception, as the headliners are:
Tom Petty & The Heatbreakers – The rock legends Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers have been wowing crowds since the 70’s and are still going strong. This should be an amazing performance from the Florida group who will be blasting out hits such as Mary Jane’s Last Dance, I Won’t Back Down, Runnin’ Down a Dream, Free Fallin’ and many more.
Pearl Jam – The rebellious grunge group Pearl Jam make their only UK festival appearance of 2012 at the Isle of Wight Festival. They are known for their refusal to adhere to traditional music practises such as producing music videos, as well as their participation in the much publicised boycott of Ticketmaster. Despite their rebellious nature they have managed to become one of the most popular bands of the last two decades and will be in top form with hits such as Given to Fly, Last Kiss, Spin the Black Circle and Who You Are.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Bruce Springsteen is back at a UK festival with his E Street Band this year. The New Jersey rock god continues the Isle of Wight Festival’s trend of legendary headliners and the multi-award winning artist will be performing classic hits like Born in the USA, The River, Magic and Tunnel of Love.
Hop Farm Festival
Date: 29th June – 1st July
Location: East Peckham, Kent
Type of Music: Indie/Folk/Old School
Going since: 2008
Headliners: Peter Gabriel and the New Blood Orchestra; Bob Dylan; Suede
Major acts: Ray Davies; Damien Rice; Richard Ashcroft; George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic; Patti Smith & Her Band; Kool and the Gang; Nitin Sawhney; Primal Scream; My Morning Jacket
Go old school at the Kent based Hop Farm Festival this year with a chilled out mixture of indie and folk music. It prides itself on its ‘back to basics’ formula with no branding, no sponsorship and no VIP areas, so everybody has the same festival experience. Now in its fifth year, it became three day event in 2011. Headlining the main stages will be the ex Genesis lead the singer and prog rock king Peter Gabriel and the New Blood Orchestra, genius songwriter Bob Dylan and nineties rockers Suede.
T in the Park
Date: 6th – 8th July
Location: Balado, Kinross-shire, Scotland
Type of Music: Rock/Indie/Pop/Dance
Going Since: 1994
Headliners: Snow Patrol; The Stone Roses; Kasabian
Major acts: Tinie Tempah; New Order; Florence and the Machine; Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds; David Guetta; Calvin Harris; Elbow; Nicki Minaj; Swedish House Mafia
T in the Park is the largest festival in Scotland and is as star studded as ever this year. It normally runs concurrently with the Oxegen festival, however it stands alone this year as its Irish counterpart is taking a year off. This year the capacity for the Friday has been increased by 10,000 to make it inline with the Saturday and Sunday capacities. There are a number of attractions at T in the Park, such as the fairground, fancy dress Friday and Healthy T areas where you can grab some top quality food. Headlining the event this year are:
Snow Patrol – Irish indie band Snow Patrol will headline the Friday night, just three weeks before performing at the Olympics opening ceremony in London. Frequent headliners at various festivals in recent years, they will be used to the big spot having headlined T for the first time in 2007. They will be performing hits such as Chasing Cars, Run, Take Back the City, as well as tracks from their recently released Fallen Empires album.
The Stone Roses – ‘Madchester’ rockers The Stone Roses reformed last year to a huge response from the thousands of Roses-starved fans. It ended a 15-year hiatus and T in the Park will be their first UK festival appearance since a disastrous set at Reading in 1996. They are yet to release a new album since their reformation, so expect all of the classic hits like I Wanna Be Adored, Waterfall, She Bangs the Drums and Fools Gold.
Kasabian – Get loose with the Leicester indie rockers Kasabian on the final night of T in the Park. Fronted by the swagger of Tom Meighan and backed with the guitar and vocals of Serge Pizzorno, the multi award winners headline T in the Park for the second time in three years. Their last three albums have all hit number one in the UK album chart and you can expect all the well-known songs to be performed, including Club Foot, Days Are Forgotten, Fire and Empire.
Date: 6th – 8th July
Location: Cardigan Bay, North Wales
Type of Music: Indie/Rock/Dance/Rap
Going Since: 2000
Headliners: Calvin Harris; Dizzee Rascal; Ed Sheeran
Major acts: Rizzle Kicks; Katy B; Chiddy Bang; Zane Lowe; Benjamin Francis Leftwich; Flux Pavilion; Annie Mac; The All-American Rejects
Cardigan Bay in North Wales once again plays host to Europe’s largest wakeboard music festival Wakestock. You can watch some of the world’s best wakeboarders compete in various championships during the day and some great bands and DJs at night. You can even try wakeboarding yourself with both beginners and experienced wakeboarders given the opportunity to take part. On the music side of things there will be headline performances from the multi-talented singer/songwriter/DJ/producer Calvin Harris, grime chart-topper Dizzee Rascal and the award winning solo star that took 2011 by storm, Ed Sheeran.
Date: 12th – 15th July
Location: Henham Park, Suffolk
Type of Music: Indie/Pop/World + art/comedy/cabaret/literature/poetry
Going Since: 2006
Headliners: Bon Iver; Elbow; Paul Weller
Major acts: Metronomy, Laura Marling; Ben Howard; White Lies; The Horrors; Wild Beasts
Latitude Festival is more than a weekend of music, it is an event that embraces the world of art. Film, comedy, theatre, cabaret, dance, poetry, literature and art are all on display at this bohemian enthused weekend. The festival is situated by the Suffolk coastline and is in its seventh year. Headlining this year will be American folk band Bon Iver, ballad experts Elbow and the modfather Paul Weller.
Date: 20th – 21st July
Location: Kirkcarswell Farm nr. Kirkcudbright, Galloway, Scotland
Type of Music: Rock/Ska/Northern Soul/Dance/Indie/Folk
Going Since: 2001
Headliners: Scissor Sisters; Texas
Major acts: Levellers; The View; Cast; Newton Faulkner; The Blockheads; Bad Manners
Scotland’s alternative music festival the Wickerman Festival is in its eleventh year with its most star studded lineup ever. This original idea was a local family-friendly festival to counter the reputation gained after the surrounding area was used in the seventies horror film The Wicker Man. Each year this unique festival draws the festivities to a close with the burning of a giant 30 foot Wickerman at the midnight on the Saturday. Headlining will be the colourful nu-disco glam rockers Scissor Sisters and Scotland’s own Texas.
Date: 27th – 28th July
Location: Long Marston Airfield nr. Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire
Type of Music: Dance/House/Electro/R & B
Going Since: 2001
Headliners: Chase and Status; Tinie Tempah
Major acts: Skrillex; Armin van Buuren; Friendly Fires; Afrojack; Labrinth; Maverick Sabre; Nero
Global Gathering is the UK’s largest dance music festival and is an exclusively over 18s event. Since 2001, attendees have been raving to house, drum & bass, trance, dubstep and other electronic genres with the occasional rap and indie artist thrown in. Held at the Long Marston Airfield near Stratford on Avon, there are also Global Gathering events held in other countries around the world, including Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and South Korea. This year will feature the headliners:
Chase and Status – The drum and bass duo Chase and Status have shot to stardom over the past few years and will top the bill on the main stage this year. They have collaborated with the likes of Rihanna, Plan B and Example as well as their co-headliner, and last year their No More Idols album reached number two in the UK album chart. Expect to hear huge hits including End Credits, Blind Faith, Pieces and Let You Go.
Tinie Tempah – London hip hop artist Tinie Tempah will be entertaining the crowd on the Sunday night. He will be performing songs from his Demonstration album, which is due for release in October this year, as well as hits such as Frisky, Miami 2 Ibiza and the number one singles Pass Out and Written in the Stars.
Date: 18th – 19th August
Location: Hylands Park, Chelmsford; Essex & Weston Park, Staffordshire
Type of Music: Rock/Pop/Indie/R & B
Going Since: 1996
Headliners: The Stone Roses; The Killers
Major acts: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds; Snow Patrol; David Guetta; Nicki Minaj; Ed Sheeran; Tinie Tempah
The V Festival enters its seventeenth year and offers a great mix of rock, pop, indie, R & B and more. It is held at two separate venues with the same lineup on alternating days. The northern show is held at Weston Park in Staffordshire and the southern event is in Hylands Park, Chelmsford. The idea for the event came after Pulp’s front man Jarvis Cocker wanted to play two large shows in two days, the idea evolved and eventually a festival was organised and has been held at the same venues every year since the first show in 1996. Headlining the festival this year will be:
The Stone Roses – ‘Madchester’ rock band The Stone Roses are back with a bang and will headline the V Festival for the first time ever. They actually split up during V’s inaugural year and only announced their reformation in 2011, with their first performance as recently as the 23rd of May this year. Fronted by the iconic Ian Brown, they will perform hits like She Bangs the Drums, I Wanna Be Adored, One Love and Love Spreads.
The Killers – The festival goers at V this year will be treated to the only UK festival appearance of Las Vegas rockers The Killers. After a brief hiatus during which frontman Brandon Flowers went solo, they are back and in the process of writing a fourth studio album. Their previous three records all went to number one in the UK album chart and revellers should expect to see hits including: Mr. Brightside, When You Were Young, Somebody Told Me and Human.
Date: 24th – 26th August
Location: Daresbury Estate Halton, Cheshire
Type of Music: Dance
Going Since: 1999
Headliners: deadmau5; Tiesto; David Guetta; Avicii
Major acts: The Chemical Brothers (DJ Set); Example; Calvin Harris; AfroJack; Axwell
Lovers of dance music will descend upon Daresbury in Cheshire for Creamfields once again this year. Entering its nineteenth year, revellers will enjoy some of the hottest DJs and artists in the club scene across a number of stages. The inception of the festival came when Liverpool nightclub Cream decided to branch out into a large outdoor event. The first few festivals were held in Liverpool before moving to Cheshire in 2008. There have also been festivals under the Creamfields banner in a number of cities all over the world from Istanbul and Moscow to Abu Dhabi and Buenos Aires. Headlining this year will be:
Avicii – Swedish house DJ Avicii headlines South Stage on the Saturday this year. He has had top ten hits in over a dozen countries and topped the charts in Scandinavia and Hungary. Expect him to lay down tracks such as Levels, Seek Bromance and this year’s release Silhouettes.
David Guetta – French DJ David Guetta has been around since 1984 but has achieved a string of mainstream hits over the past few years. He has worked with the likes of Kelly Rowland, Snoop Dogg, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Madonna and many more. Over the past four years he has been a chart topping machine in the UK with hits including When Love Takes Over, Sexy Bitch, Gettin’ Over You and Titanium.
deadmau5 – Electro house producer deadmau5 tops the Sunday bill on the North Stage this year. He has been nominated for various Grammies and won a number of dance music awards. Attendees will enjoy hits such as Move for Me, I Remember and Raise Your Weapon.
Tiesto – Dutch DJ Tiesto is back at Creamfields for an exclusive UK festival appearance this year. Making music since 1994, he is recognised as one of the best in the game right now and has released a phenomenal amount of singles throughout his career. He was also the first DJ to perform live at the Olympic Games when he performed at the opening ceremony of Athens 2004.
Date: 24th – 26th August
Location: Reading – Little Johns Farm, Richfield Avenue, Reading, Berkshire; Leeds – Bramham Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire
Type of Music: Rock/Alternative/Indie/Heavy Metal
Going Since: Reading – 1971, Leeds – 1999
Headliners: The Cure; Kasabian; Foo Fighters
Major acts: Paramore; Florence and the Machine; The Black Keys; Bombay Bicycle Club; The Vaccines; Kaiser Chiefs; The Maccabees; At the Drive-In; Justice
The Reading and Leeds Festivals are the last major outdoor festivals of the summer and Reading Festival is the longest running of this year’s top festivals, taking place since 1961. Reading originally started as the National Jazz Festival but became simply Reading Festival after more rock, blues and heavy metal artists started to appear on the bill. Reading was joined by Leeds Festival in 1999 and the two run concurrently with the same lineups on alternating days. Reading and Leeds features some of the best rock and indie bands around, as well as a dance music tent on one of the days and a punk/alternative tent on the two others. Headlining both festivals will be:
The Cure – Alternative rock group The Cure are back at Reading for the first time in three decades, and at Leeds for the first time ever. Producing music since the seventies, The Cure are pioneers in the alternative rock genre and arguably the first band of its kind to achieve mainstream success. With a huge back catalogue and so many hits to choose from, The Cure’s set list is guaranteed to be mesmerising, and you can expect the absolute classics of Boys Don’t Cry, Friday I’m in Love and Just Like Heaven.
Kasabian – Since their first album it seems everything that Kasabian release becomes an instant hit. This is their first time headlining Reading/Leeds and they will top the bill on the Saturday at Reading and close the weekend at Leeds. Their rock sound with neo-psychedelic and electronica undertones has made this band one of the biggest British groups at the moment. Expect them to play all the hits, including Club Foot, Cutt Off, Fire and Shoot the Runner.
Foo Fighters – Reading and Leeds have bagged themselves a UK festival exclusive in the Foo Fighters this year. Fronted by former Nirvana drummer ‘the nicest man in rock’ Dave Grohl, they are undoubtedly one of the biggest rock bands in the world right now. They are playing Reading/Leeds for the sixth time and headlining for the third, their most recent appearance being seven years ago in 2005. The Reading/Leeds Festivals are said to be two of Grohl’s favourites to play and the Foos will no doubt be many attendees’ favourite band of the weekend. Expect a mixture of older hits like Everlong and Monkey Wrench with newer tunes like Arlandria and Rope.
Date: 6th – 9th September
Location: Robin Hill Country Park, Downend nr. Arreton, Isle of Wight
Type of Music: Indie/Dance
Going Since: 2004
Headliners: Florence and the Machine; New Order; Stevie Wonder
Major acts: Hot Chip; Justice; Friendly Fires; Two Door Cinema Club; Soulwax, Orbital; The XX
Isle of Wight’s Bestival is the final big UK festival of the year and has won many accolades at the Festival Awards. Last year it was voted the fan’s favourite festival and the previous year it beat Glastonbury and Reading to win the ‘best major festival’ award. In its ninth year, the theme of the festival for 2012 will be ‘wildlife’ so expect to see thousands of revellers dressed in a variety of wacky fancy dress costumes. There will also be an insect museum and animal-themed tug of war competition. Headlining the event this year will be:
Florence and the Machine – Indie pop group Florence and the Machine have been booked for the Friday headline slot and are sure to have the audience in awe. They have won a number of awards, including multiple BRIT’s and the MasterCard British Album of the year with their chart topping Lungs record. Expect great hits including Dog Days Are Over, Shake It Out and the huge festival anthem You’ve Got the Love.
New Order – ‘Madchester’ post-punk new wave band New Order may not be able to perform at the Hacienda anymore, but they will headline Bestival this year. They formed after the death of Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis, as they had all previously agreed not to use the Joy Division name if any of the members left the band. They have arguably gone on to become even more iconic than their original collective with a number of hits produced by the infamous Factory Records like Blue Monday, True Faith and Thieves Like Us.
Stevie Wonder – A Motown legend that needs no introduction, Bestival have pulled off a great coup in booking the iconic Stevie Wonder. Holding the record number of Grammy Awards for a solo artist is just one of his many achievements that have made his career an unparalleled success. He had his first US number one hit back in 1963 at just the age of thirteen with Fingertips (Pt. 2) and he has produced dozens of further hits over the proceeding five decades. Expect classics like Superstition, You Are the Sunshine of My Life and Higher Ground.