Leigh Clarke looks at the line up for this year’s festival season.
There are few things better in the summer than sitting in a muddy field, drinking warm beer and watching a load of great bands. The question is, where best to do this? The rise of live music’s popularity in recent years means there are now far more festivals to choose from, often with very different experiences.
Glastonbury, arguably the most famous of the UK festivals, has struggled to sell tickets this year; many blame the decision to book Jay-Z as a headliner. While obviously not catering for the typical Glasto fan, his set is likely to be entertaining and slick. The rock fans are well catered for by the Kings of Leon, and others such as a reformed The Verve, and it is unlikely considering the sheer size of the Glastonbury line-up that someone couldn’t find something to enjoy over the three days.
It looks likely that hard rock fans will probably ditch Download festival this year (Kiss, Offspring, Lostprophets) for Reading and Leeds (Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, Queens of the Stone Age). The latter, in its first year without Carling sponsorship, has partly returned to its heavy roots with the headliners, but predominantly caters to the average indie fan. The more family friendly V Festival sees sets from Muse, The Verve and Amy Winehouse (if she turns up), while London-based Wireless Festival hosts Morrissey, Fatboy Slim and Jay Z (assuming he survives Glastonbury, that is.) Those who love the amount of reformed bands playing at this year’s festivals will be pleased to know that The Sex Pistols and The Police headline The Isle of Wight Festival.
Yet if the above seem too mainstream, too busy, and too sold-out, then there are the countless smaller festivals on offer. Reformed alternative legends My Bloody Valentine are playing at Isle of Wight’s eccentric, eco-friendly Bestival, while arty Latitude has a strong line-up consisting of Franz Ferdinand, Sigur Ros and Interpol. Other highlights include End of the Road in Dorset and Field Day in London’s Victoria Park. Any alternative music lovers will be enticed by the incredible line-up at Denmark’s Roskilde, which includes a set from Radiohead – something you won’t find at a UK festival this year.
With so much choice there really is something for everyone. So go ahead, experience the joys of spending a music-filled summer’s weekend in a muddy field.