Author: Jake McGloin
It’s getting to the that time of year again, soon enough Glastonbury will give us a “surprise” shock headliner, tents and camping gear will flood the supermarkets and Reading & Leeds are recycling the big names from recent festivals, again. It’s almost time for festival season already and what’s not to love; your favourite bands, sitting round the campfire with your friends, that one dickhead who brought a guitar that only knows the opening to Wonderwall and drinking all night, these are the things that make our summers great packed into one muddy, sleepless weekend. But more and more what should be a celebration of music and good times is being invaded by lad culture (no I don’t want to buy a canister of laughing gas for £20), big sponsors (why on earth would I be thinking about buying a car at a festival) and quite frankly, dickheads (no you didn’t think this was your tent now drop my wallet). Despite all these factors the festival scene all over the world has boomed over recent years, which has paved the way for smaller and alternative festivals to blossom. So if you’re fed up of swimming through mud to get a £10 burger or just want to try something new, here are five alternative festivals you should check out this year:
Liverpool Sound City (22nd-24th May):
In the heart of one of the countries best musical cities is a festival and conference that’s becoming a staple for music lovers. Gracing the stage are the likes of legendary psyc-rockers Flaming Lips, Manchester rising stars Blossoms and killer girl duo Honeyblood. Amongst speakers is The Falls Mark E Smith along with great networking opportunities. If you’re looking for an urban location festival with big names including The Vaccines, then this could be your best bet.
Catch The Flaming Lips headline the saturday:
Dot to Dot (22nd – 24th May):
Dotted across three cities, Manchester, Nottingham and Bristol, and headlined by the brilliant Saint Raymond, Dot to Dot see an array of fantastic artists showcased across some of these cities best venues. Expect Prides, Best Coast, Swim Deep with a load more superb acts that aren’t even all announced yet. Now celebrating its 10th year prepare for a massive party across which ever city you end up in.
Don’t miss Honeyblood at Dot to Dot:
MIDI Festival (7th-9th May):
Fancy an over seas festival? This year held in the south of France, MIDI festival set across multiple venues, including a beach and an arts centre, see’s a great hose of artists including Horsebeach, Culture Ghost and The Garden. A musical holiday to the city of Toulon on the Mediterranean coast, I promise there will be less mud than Glastonbury.
Jib Kidder is one not to be missed at MIDI festival:
Festival No.6 (3rd-6th September) :
In September the multi-award winning small festival celebrates it’s fourth year. Set in the picturesque Welsh fantasy village of Portmeirion its entertainment spans thought music, arts and culture and everything in between. This years see’s Grace Jones and Belle & Sebastian headline the event, but also exciting sets from Mercury winners Young Fathers and one of music’s brightest prospects in the form of Kate Tempest. September may well be the end of the festival season but No. 6 will fell like the heart of it. It’ll be well worth taking those extra holidays to make it to “A Festival Unlike Any Other”.
Ghost Poet is one of the most exciting acts at this years festival, not to be missed:
End Of The Road (4th-6th September):
Traditionally the last festival of the season, End Of The Road sees its 10th birthday celebrations kick off this September. Known for regularly hosting a stellar line up, this year is no different, with what promises to be stunning performances from headliners War On Drugs and Sufjan Stevens, but also lower down the bill Washington garage trio Ex Hex and Shoplifters favourites Alvvays will be making waves.
Don’t Miss Du Blonde to wrap up your summer: