The Rest of the Fests

With many of the heavy-hitting festivals (Isle of Wight, Download, T in the Park) already a fast-fading memory of discarded bottles of piddle and waist-high mudbaths, there are still some interesting long weekends left on the calendar. With nary a regard to the medium to long term weather forecasts, let The Music Fix guide you through some of the best of the rest.


When is it? 6-9 September

Where is it? Robin Hill County Park, Isle of Wight

What's it all about? Bestival is like the boutique festival that spread its wings, with some serious headliners including Stevie Wonder and Florence + The Machine alongside cultier, TMF-friendly fare like Kate Nash, 2:54 and Alabama Shakes. Those who prefer the communal spirit of the dance tents are very well catered for with sets from DJ Yoda, Annie Mac and The 2 Bears.

Must sees? Be sure to check out Bat For Lashes as she readies a new album. The return of The xx will cause some serious straining among the skinny jeans brigade.

More info: Bestival


When is it? 9-12 August

Where is it? Matterley Estate, Winchester

What's it all about? Another festival bucking the trend by selling out, Boomtown brings a unique twist to the calendar by adding stuff like a casino, saloons and street theatres to the programme. Also this year, with Glasto having a break, the Arcadia Spectacular will be there to add even more spice to the mix. On the music side, the likes of Reel Big Fish, Zion Train and Dub Pistols jump out from the traditional blend of ska, punk and reggae blend that Boomtown does so well.

Must sees? Blimey - psychobilly legends The Meteors will surely cause some mosh pit mayhem!

More info: Boomtown


When is it? 3 November

Where is it? Leeds University Union

What's it all about? A really scary collection of full-on metal and noise that makes bigger metal fests look like a day trip to the duck pond.

Must sees? Electric Wizard, death metallers Wodensthrone and Pig Destroyer's first UK show for 8 years make for a mouth-watering menu.

More info: Damnation


When is it? 25th – 26th August

Where is it? Undershore, Lymington, Hampshire

What's it all about? The boutique festival personified, with no brands or sponsors in sight - all set within the spiffing New Forest. Headliners this year include Gold Panda and Willy Moon.

Must sees? We've heard good things from our spies north of the border regarding Edinburgh's Bwani Junction.

More info: Festibelly


When is it? 27-29 July

Where is it? Lowther Deer Park, Hackthorpe, The Lake District

What's it all about? Kendal Calling has carved itself out a postion as the north-west's premiere small-sized event, with good organisation and family-friendly facilities. Already a sell-out in a year when others are struggling, it's testament to their reputation that many now make it a regular part of their summer. Headliners this year are Dizzee Rascal, James and Maximo Park.

Must sees? Keep and eye on events at Tim (Charlatans) Burgess' 'Tim Peaks Diner' where all manner of special guests may pull out a guitar ...

More info: Kendal Calling


When is it? 3 - 5 August

Where is it? Dolina Trzech Stawów, Katowice, Poland

What's it all about? A mere 70 Euros gets you a three day schedule of Iggy & The Stooges, SWANS, Battles, Ice Age - that kind of shit, plus The House of Love and The Wedding Present! It makes every other festival line-up look like a wet Sunday in a terrible seaside town.

Must sees? Mazzy MOTHERFUCKING Star!

More info: OFF


When is it? 24-26 August

Where is it? The clue is in the title, dummy.

What's it all about? It's Reading and Leeds, man. You know what it's about: the umpteenth year of delivering big platefuls of indie and rock to kids of a certain age. We have to be honest and say the idea of Foo Fighters headlining just makes us shrug and ask our neighbour 'What year is it again?' but there is, of course, a whole bunch of other stuff while Dave and co. gurn their way through the same setlist they seem to have been playing for a decade.

Must sees? We'll be in the tents catching At The Drive-In, The Joy Formidable and Savages. Oh, and if we have time we'll be tracking down whoever it was put The Hives so far down the bill and giving them a right royal dusting down.

Info: Reading Festival


When is it? 24 - 26 August

Where is it? Tarns, near Aspatria, Cumbria

What's it all about? There are lots of these smaller festivals nowadays, but Solfest have been doing it longer than most - and it shows in the organisation and atmosphere. The undiscovered gem in the festival calendar?

Must sees? Where to start? The Waterboys, Billy Bragg, Adam Ant would be enough for any weekend but The Bootleg Beatles as well? Where do we sign up?

More info: Solfest


When is it? 28-29 July

Where is it? Tatton Park, Cheshire

What's it all about? This year's Picnic Concerts will feature an evening of choral music from the Halle Orchestra but we're more interested in the 80s night on the Saturday. Basically 'cos we're old and stuff.

Must sees? Some of the usual suspects are there (Tony Hadley, Rick Astley) but any bill with Roland Gift, Heaven 17 and Altered Images has got to be worth a Pimms.

More info: Tatton Park

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