Following the incredible All Points East festival in London’s Victoria Park last week, which saw the likes of LCD Soundsystem, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and The National all headline sensational lineups, we can just about announce, that festival season is upon us!
TFFT are also here to bring you our annual festival guide for what we believe to be the season’s finest events! So take in our lineup tips, ideas for extra fun activities and much more, to help you put together your Summer plan…
Black Deer Festival
Eridge Park, Kent
With no Glastonbury this year, Beverley Folk Festival being cancelled and Isle Of Wight’s 50th Anniversary looking like a bit of a letdown, we’re going to kick things off with a brand new event, in the form of Black Deer. The team behind this independent festival describe it as being ‘on a mission to bring the real Americana & Country music, and way of life, to the UK’. Sounds right up our street and the lineup ain’t too shabby either. With headliners in the form of Iron & Wine, Passenger, and Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, as well as acts such as Wilwood Kin, Coco’s Smugglers and John Moreland, this should be a helluva lot of fun. Away from the music stages, punters will also be treated to a ‘celebration of a way of life’ – aka BBQ, motorbikes and much more paying homage to the cultural heritage of America
Shepherd’s Bush, London
Bushstock returns this Summer for it’s annual bash in multiple venues around London’s Shepherd’s Bush. The likes of Peace, Billie Marten, Matthew & The Atlas and Flyte are set to play, as well as a host of new bands to discover across the seven stages. With the lineup highlighting Bushstock as another opportunity to see established names alongside some of the most exciting up-and-coming musical talent in intimate west London surroundings, this should be another belter from the Communion gang
Hyde Park British Summer Time
Hyde Park, London
Returning with another bunch of incredible lineups, BST is a staple in the one-day festival calendar, and this year is no exception. Headliners include Rogers Waters, The Cure and Eric Clapton, all with incredible support acts, but we have our eyes firmly fixed on the final night. With Paul Simon set to hang up his guitar for good, this could be the very last chance to see the legend play live in London. What’s more, he’s picked an almighty cast to set him up, including the glorious James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt and Johnny Flynn. There are a few tickets left for this one, so we recommend you grab you quick, before they go!
The Feis Irish Music Festival
Festival giant Vince Power is bringing The Feis to Liverpool this Summer, featuring some of the biggest names in Irish music, both contemporary and traditional. Taking place on Liverpool’s World Heritage Waterfront on July 7th, everyone’s favourite Belfastard Van Morrison will headline, with support from Shane MacGowan, Chieftains, Imelda May, Foy Vance, Hudson Taylor and many more. The Feis forms part of the Liverpool 2018 events programme which marks the tenth anniversary of European Capital of Culture and will celebrate Liverpool’s unique Irish heritage. This should be great fun and hey, a Northern festival at last!
Granted, Henley Festival isn’t our normal go-to, with its strict black-tie policy and glamorous, boutique style, but they have such an eclectic mix, including a decent folk and world stage, as well as a brilliant jazz lineup. In addition to headliners Nile Rodgers & Chic, Rita Ora and the English National Opera, Henley Festival are also showcasing the likes of Coal Porters, Against The Grain, Son Yambu, Megan Henwood and Curtis Stigers & The Ronnie Scotts. There’s also some top notch comedy, which can be enjoyed with some high-class grub from Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett MBE. Pretty good!
Henham Park, Suffolk
Possibly this year’s most exciting biggie, what with Glasto having a year off, Latitude Festival returns once again with a stellar lineup of music, comedy, arts and literature (plus loads of other good stuff!) Headliners include Solange, Alt-J and The Killers, but away from these three, one can enjoy a whole lotta love from the likes of Tune-Yards, Belle & Sebastian, Juanita Stein, Bryde, Jade Bird and tons more. Then you’ve also got James Acaster, Bridget Christie, David O’Doherty and Dylan Moran, plus QI Live, Table Manners with Jessie Ware and Adam Buxton, and Reasons To Be Cheerful with Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd! Oh, and of course a super-exciting performance from Laura Marling & Mike Lindsay’s new project LUMP on the Music & Film Stage – and this is before all of the dance, theatre and family fun. In the immortal words of Alan Partridge, ‘Ooo you’re gonna have a good time!’
Gunnersbury Park, London
Just in case England don’t make it to the World Cup final, you might want a backup for the evening of Sunday 15th July, and if you’ve not been lucky enough to grab a ticket for Latitude, then Citadel is a pretty bloomin’ good alternative. This one day event sees Tame Impala taking the headline slot, with Chvrches, The Fat White Family and the wonderful Leon Bridges all in support. There’s also Sunday Papers Live, Yoga and highlights from the British Film Institute. For just £50, this could very well be the best-priced day-out this Summer!
Underneath The Stars
Cawthorne, South Yorkshire
This little lovely, set in the glorious Yorkshire fields, looks set to be a beautiful weekend for big and little kids. Music this year features performances from Steve Earle, Kate Rusby, Lau and Grace Petrie, along with some other really interesting shows. These include best-selling author Joanne Harris, most famous for her novel ‘Chocolat’ (who will be presenting a special audio-visual show combining original music, songs and stories) and The Adventures of Andy Kershaw, a one-man audio-visual show from the legendary broadcaster and foreign correspondent. This is much more than just a music event, and is also incredibly family friendly – there are lots of activities and workshops for the little’uns!
Larmer Tree Festival
Larmer Tree Gardens, Salisbury
Larmer Tree Festival is looking particularly brilliant in 2018, with TFFT faves First Aid Kit, Nick Mulvey, Tune-Yards, Songhoy Blues and Roo Panes playing, alongside Jake Bugg, Ryley Walker, The Wandering Hearts, The Barr Brothers, Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker, plus many more! They’ve also got comedy from Stuart Goldsmith, Sara Pascoe and Mark Watson, as well as theatre, poetry, talks, workshops and Cbeebies for the kids! This should be a truly-joyous weekend for all
Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire
Looking ahead of the big-hitters – Nile Rodgers & Chic, Bastille and Justice – there are some equally awesome acts taking to the stage at this year’s Wilderness, including the mighty Kamasi Washington, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, Son Of Dave and Meadowlark. There’s also No Such Thing As A Fish and Letters Live, performances we’re particularly excited about, as well as a ton of fun activities including Boozy Olympics, Synchronised Disco, Pop Song Singalong and Giant Jenga!
Cambridge Folk Festival
Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge
Always a sensational weekend of folky goodness, Cambridge Folk Festival is set to host another beautiful lineup, with First Aid Kit, John Prine and Patti Smith topping the bill. There’s plenty of other TFFT favourites too, including John Moreland, Stick In The Wheel, Darlingside, John Smith and many more. Away from the music, there’s a variety of workshops and talks for festival-goers to take part in, T’ai Chi and all things therapeutic, plus plenty of family-friendly entertainment for the little folks. Oh and don’t forget to head to the Club Tent – as the organisers say, ‘You’re sure to encounter something that’s weird and plenty that’s wonderful!’
Green Man Festival
Brecon Beacons, Wales
Ah Green Man, our lovely friend. Always TFFT’s favourite weekend of the year, the Welsh Black Mountains are set to rumble once again with the sounds of Fleet Foxes, Courtney Marie Andrews, War On Drugs, Grizzly Bear, John Grant and Anna Calvi. What’s more, thanks to Green Man’s love for showcasing highly-exciting new bands, we’ve got the likes of Snail Mail, Whyte Horses, Jade Bird, Haley Heynderickx, Stella Donnelly and plenty more on show. Comedy highlights come from Phil Wang, George Egg and Mark Olver, whilst Peggy Seeger, Annie Nightingale and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are all in conversation in the Talking Shop. And don’t forget to visit the always fascinating Einstein’s Garden, whilst sampling some delicious Welsh produce and booze
Thame Showground, Oxfordshire
Another little beauty, Towersey welcomes The Shires and The Proclaimers as headliners of their lovely weekend, with Beth Orton, Richard Thompson, Honeyfeet, and Martin Simpson all in support. There’s also 24hrs of Ceilidh, which we think sounds wonderful if not knackering! Workshops, kids entertainment, storytelling, comedy and street theatre are also on offer, making this a great time for all involved
End Of The Road Festival
Larmer Tree Gardens, Salisbury
30th August-2nd September
Vampire Weekend, St. Vincent, Feist, Yo La Tengo – not a bad set of headliners! And EOTR have plenty more on show, with Jeff Tweedy, Jonathan Wilson, Big Thief, Josh T. Pearson, This Is The Kit, Hiss Golden Messenger and loooads more heading to Larmer Tree Gardens in late Summer. It’s an absolutely cracking list and we can’t wait to get stuck in. Comedy and literature comes from the likes of Andy Zaltzman and The Bugle, Angela Barnes and Alice Fraser, whilst a trip to the Workshops and Healing Fields are sure to bring the chilled vibes!
The Long Road
Stanford Hall, Leicestershire
This festival of Country, Americana and Roots is looking particularly exciting this Summer, and sees a touch of the Wild West brought to Blighty. Ward Thomas, The Shires, Billy Bragg and Lee Ann Womack are all playing, with support from The Wandering Hearts, Jess & The Bandits, Treetop Flyers and plenty of other faves. The experience also continues away from the music stages, and punters can learn to square dance, make crafts with leather or woodwork, go lake swimming, toast marshmallows by the fire bowls and head to the honky tonk bar for some tasty tipples – sounds awesome!
Manchester Folk Festival
These final two come a little later in year, but as we’re Mancunians, we’re stretching the festival season a little further to include these in our list! Manchester Folk Festival returns with HOME as its central hub, and Gorilla, The Ritz and The Anthony Burgess Centre also hosting gigs throughout the fest. Celebrating the best of English folk and acoustic roots music, this is a truly-exciting urban festival and sees over 16 concerts featuring over 30 artists in a mix of intimate, large scale, indoor and outdoor venues. Highlights include This Is The Kit, Billy Bragg and Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band, as well as Bird In The Belly, Beans On Toast, Sam Lee, Tunng and many more
Off The Record
The Northern Quarter, Manchester
OTR is a multi-venue live music event and conference in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter and champions only new and emerging bands and artists, picked by trusted curators. This year the likes of Everything Everything, Huw Stephens, Rob Da Bank, Ana Matronic, Fickle Friends and The Orielles are amongst the nominators, and as always the lineup will only be revealed 24hrs prior to the day! With the spotlight being on over 40+ budding artists, music lovers will have the chance to see blossoming bands and talented artists perform in eight legendary music venues all within 5-minute walk from each other. The last two years have been incredible, and we’re expecting even more from this year’s event!