The UK festival circuit ups its game every year, with new independent festivals popping up out of nowhere seemingly by the week. While the likes of Glastonbury or Reading and Leeds continuing to pull in the big ones -Ed Sheeran, ahem-, but even now, more than ever before, some of the country’s newest music events manage to snag some very respectable names. From the South West, to the North, to London, to the Isle of Wight, here are some of the most exciting festivals of 2017.
Love Saves The Day 2017
When: 27th – 28th May
Who: Little Dragon, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Kano, Shy FX
Price: £82.50 (weekend ticket, no camping)
Loves Saves The Day is a two-day non-camping event based in the South Western city of Bristol- my hometown. In a city bursting with culture, a city that boasts the likes of Massive Attack, Portishead, Roni Size and Banksy, a festival of equivalent quality has been needed for years. Finally coming to the rescue in 2012, Love Saves The Day has previously boasted headliners such as Bonobo, Dizzee Rascal, Chase & Status and Hot Chip. This should give you a good barometer of what kind of music to expect, with mainly (but not limited to) electronic genres on display. Some notable names at this year’s event include celebrated live performers, and Sunday night headliners Fat Freddy’s Drop, jazz quartet BADBADNOTGOOD, the Grammy-nominated Nao, and grime stars Kano, Novelist, and AJ Tracey.
Where: Lulworth Estate, Dorset
When: 7th – 10th September
Who: The xx, A Tribe Called Quest, Pet Shop Boys, Justice
Price: Tier 3 price- £195 (weekend ticket, including camping)
Over the last five years, Bestival has rapidly become Glastonbury’s closest rival, and a festival for newbies to model themselves on. Every year Bestival reveals new plans to help the festival-goer’s experience, the locals, the environment, or its supporting charities, last year it was a click and collect beer service, this year it’s a £10 litter deposit. An even meticulously planned with everyone concerned in mind, Bestival is easily the best organised event out there. That aside, Bestival continues to offer the best artists around, acts that the likes of Reading or Glastonbury continue to miss out on, those of which have included the likes of Outkast, Elton John, Underworld, A Tribe Called Quest, and The Cure.
El Dorado Festival 2017
When: 30th June – 3rd July
Who: Groove Armada, Bondax, Shy FX, Gentleman’s Dub Club, Dusky
Price: £99 (including camping)
FEl Dorado Festival is a fresh-faced new festival organised by infamous party-planners Cirque Du Soul. Following its inaugural year in 2016, in which boasting acts such as Basement Jaxx, Kano, and Craig David, El Dorado looks set to return once again in 2017, returning with over 80 different live acts and DJs. Tipped as an ‘intimate and enchanting boutique festival’, El Dorado promises to celebrate each corner of the arts, promoting a multitude of acrobatics, arts and crafts, performances, and of course music.
Where: Victoria Park, London
When: 14th – 15th July
Who: Chase & Status, Frank Ocean, Jamie xx, Kano
Price: £93.50 (no camping)
While my preference for festivals is to have camping across the weekend, city-based non-camping events are also a very attractive alternative. For all the Londoner’s out there, or for those who can’t be dealing with sleeping in a tent, Lovebox should be high on your list for this summer. Taking place at Victoria Park on the 14th and 15th of July, Lovebox boasts one of the most complete and diverse lineups of 2016. So for a festival boasting the likes of Frank Ocean, Chase & Status, Kaytranada, Jamie xx, Kano, Solange, and Andy C, a ticket can be yours, all for under £100.
Camp Bestival 2017
When: 27th – 30th July
Who: Mark Ronson, Madness, Brian Wilson
Price: £197 (weekend adult ticket camping included)
Sister-event to one of the UK’s biggest festivals, Camp Bestival is the slimmer, and more family-friendly version of Bestival. Known for championing a whole host of offerings beside musicians, this year Camp Bestival has offerings from all of the kids’ favourites, including Dick and Dom, Mr Tumble, as well as a performance from the critically acclaimed School of Rock The Music. Normal festival offerings are also in abundance, with headlines slots from Mark Ronson, Madness and Brian Wilson, as well as other sets from the likes of All Saints, Leftfield, David Rodigan, and Kate Nash.
Boomtown Fair 2017
When: 10th-13th August
Who: The Specials, M.I.A., Cypress Hill, Ziggy Marley, Frank Turner
Price: £202 (incl. camping)
Having narrowly missed out on Best Festival of the year, Boomtown was the worthy recipient of the our best festival experience for 2016. Renowned for its extravagant appreciation of all art forms- this isn’t just a few stages in a field, and Boomtown isn’t just a cool name. Split up into nine different ‘districts’, each more elaborate than the last, Boomtown’s fields and stages each carry a theme, aura, vibe and execution, from ‘the mosaic of senses’ found at ChinaTown, to the Mad Max-recalling Scrapyard. With each district or stage featuring a intricately curated lineup to fit the vibe of the area, each part of the festival is a completely new experience in itself.
Field Day 2017
Where: Victoria Park, London
When: Saturday 3rd June
Who: Aphex Twin, Run The Jewels, Flying Lotus, Moderat
Price: £65 (no camping)
For those of you who shudder at the thought of sleeping in a leaky Argos tent, city festivals are a very attractive alternative. And so for those of you, as well as all the Londoners out there, Field Day should be high on your list for this summer. Field Day is renowned for often being ahead of the curve, and recognising and championing tomorrow’s talents before anyone else. Foals, Florence and The Machine, The xx, Warpaint, and SBTRKT are just a handful of names who have previously performed at Field Day, and this year’s event boasts not only Run The Jewels, Flying Lotus and Jon Hopkins, but also, the legendary Aphex Twin.
Where: Hampshire, UK
When: 6th – 8th July
Who: Metronomy, The Cinematic Orchestra, Shura, Lady Leshurr
Price: £105 (incl. camping)
Another low-key weekend event based in rural Hampshire, Blissfields has been quietly operating since as early as 2001. Renowned for its easy-going and welcoming aura, the two-day festival is a festival that particularly pertains to families, with attractions and facilities laboured over for all walks of life. On offer at this year’s event are headliners Metronomy and The Cinematic Orchestra, as well as DJ Luck & MC Neat, Delta Heavy, Dub Pistols, Tom Grennan, and Sundura Karma. What’s more, a ticket can be yours for as little as £105, which includes camping.
Common People 2017
Where: Southampton and Oxford
When: 27th – 28th May
Who: Sean Paul, Pete Tong, Groove Armada, Goldie
Price: £69 (weekend, non camping)
Common People is a 2 day city festival organised by the guys at Bestival, and based in both Oxford and Southampton. Now in its third year, in the past Common People has hosted the likes of Fatboy Slim, Primal Scream and Grace Jones. This year, the headliners are dancehall legend Sean Paul, and Pete Tong, who brings his classical house orchestra for their first festival outing since playing Albert Hall back in December. Also booked in to play Oxford is a rare Foals DJ set, while at Southampton you’ll find outings from Loyle Carner and Tom Odell. Best of all, Common People is one of the most affordable festivals around, with a ticket yours for under £70.