Loved, loathed, or that peculiar combination of both that the UK festival experience has become fondly known for; festival season is upon us again. Coachella kicks things off overseas, but what’s brewing in next few months for us? Here are the festivals Debut can’t wait for, and forecasts range all the way from glitter explosions to unintentional (but equally fun) mud masks:
Where: Clapham Common, London
Why: Celebrating its 15th year, SW4 is teaming up with Capital.FM to bring a fast and furious lineup to us over a weekend in August. Headliners will include Chase & Status, Marshmello and Idris Elba (nope, you’re not dreaming). For those looking for a light-impact festival experience, the event is daytime-only, so there’s no chance of classic camping complications.
Where: Gunnersbury Park, London
Why: Acts performing at this two-day extravaganza in July are hot topics and chart-toppers! Expect SZA, Childish Gambino, MuraMasa, N.E.R.D., Kali Uchis, Annie Mac and much more. Since debuting in 2005 LoveBox has been spreading the love and going from strength to strength. As another non-camping fest, a hotel or house is a must.
Where: Heaton Park, Manchester
Why: This independent festival boasts a huge lineup over 48 hours, placing it towards the higher-impact end of the scale for weekend adventures sans-tents. It will host a wide variety of genres, so you can expect to see Bonobo as well as A$AP Rocky, and Lorde as well as Liam Gallagher! It’s one to go to for sampling musical legends, without needing your Glasto-approved wellies or wilderness survival kit.
Where: Matterly Estate, Hampshire
Why: On the other side of the coin, Boomtown is an immersive, eclectic, often mud-drenched city of tents in an endless expanse of fields. Camping is the only way to go, and the festival lasts for four days in August, so first-timers be warned! Structured like an ersatz Disneyland and certainly not for the faint of heart, Boomtown’s headliners include acts such as Gorillaz, Limp Bizkit and Lady Leshurr. Keep a sitemap on you. It’s fairly mindblowing.
Why: Another multi-day camping trip, Shambala is a softer alternative for those who get tense in tents. Not sorry. Offering more options along Folk and Indie genres but no less of a bejewelled, glittering dance-a-thon, it’s family friendly but well-known for its night-time scene and chilled-out atmosphere. Activities aren’t limited to watching musical acts, either; there are performances, workshops, and even a spa!
Strawberries and Creem
Where: Haggis Farm, Cambridge
Why: A rare one-day festival, Strawberries and Creem is perfect for partying without the whole “til you drop” part. In a single day of music in June, this year’s headliners are acts such as T-Pain, Shy FX and Ghetts. The concept was born from a group of friends planning a get-together that evolved into this whole-day celebration! The party atmosphere will be intense, short and sweet.
We Are FSTVL
Why: Held over three days in May, this festival is another that requires camping coordination. With a gorgeous rainbow carnivalesque aesthetic, We Are FSTVL is a colourful wonderland. This year’s lineup features names like Pendulum, Gorgon City, Sub Focus, and Big Shaq! There are backstage deals and VIP passes available too, so your experience can be exactly as luxurious as you deserve.
Words by Esmeralda Voegele-Downing