Summer sounds: 15 of the best UK music festivals in 2016
Done Reading, Leeds, Isle of Wight, Glastonbury, T in the Park and all the other major UK music festivals? Well we've got something a bit different for you this summer. Here's our killer line-up of the best music festivals the UK has to offer this year, including trendy London weekenders and the cream of British independent festivals like Green Man.
The Masked Ball, 20th - 22nd May 2016
Cornwall’s immersive and theatrical festival The Masked Ball celebrates its tenth party in customary style this May with a line-up of world class DJs and acts including Jungle, Basement Jaxx, Julio Bashmore, Mike Skinner and more. A kind of modern circus-come-stately home, complete with stunning clifftop location, themed tents like the Scullery and the Grand Ballroom and costumed staff who might have just escaped from Wonderland, the Masked Ball promises a unique experience full of invention and dare-we-say-it, debauchery.
Location: Porthleven, Cornwall Line-up: Basement Jaxx (DJ Set), Jungle (DJ Set), Julio Bashmore, Mike Skinner (DJ Set), Ben Pearce, Paul Woolford, B.Traits, PDR Streetgang, Robert Owens, Horse Meat Disco Tickets: From £85 + BF Website: maskedball.net
We Are FSTVL, 28th - 29th May 2016
Award-winning dance music event in Upminster, Greater London that features a staggering 14 stages across the electronic music spectrum. Five new production concepts will take you from Saturday morning to Sunday night, including the South American-themed Favela Fiesta where you catch appropriately up-tempo acts and the Ancient Realm, an 'unearthed temple' site hosting the likes of Fatboy Slim and Armando Van Helden in 2016. Expect exciting visuals and state of the art sound to accompany some of the biggest names in electronica.
Location: Upminster, Essex Line-up: Craig David, Sigma, Kurupt FM, Danny Howard, MK, Hannah Wants, Loco Dice, Amine Edge & DANCE, Mistajam, Richie Hawtin, Sven Vath, Sam Divine, Jamie Jones and more Stage partners: Defected in the House, Glitterbox, Jamie Jones’ Paradise, MK Area 10, Cocoon Tickets: From £99 + BF Website: wearefstvl.com
Junction 2, Saturday 4th June 2016
The debut festival from promoters LWE, who have been throwing parties across London for over six years. Junction 2 will be an intimate, one-day festival based solely on techno and curated by The Hydra, Drumcode and Closer. LWE are famed for their cool choice of venues, from warehouses to disused tube stations, and Boston Manor Park will not disappoint fans, combining a thoroughly modern mix of open-air greenery and brutalist design.
Location: Boston Manor Park, Brentford Line-up: Adam Beyer, Alan Fitzpatrick, Âme (DJ), Carl Craig presents Modular Pursuits, Dense & Pika, Dixon, Ida Engberg, Mano Le Tough, Marcel Dettmann, Move D, Mr. G (Live), Nina Kraviz, Pan-Pot, Scuba Tickets: From £35 + BF Website: junction2.london
WILD LIFE, 11th - 12th June 2016
The second edition of Parklife’s sister festival, curated by top music acts Disclosure and Rudimental. Snagging the 'Best New Festival' award at the UK Festival Awards last year, Wild Life grew out of live shows at world-famous festivals like Glastonbury and a residency in Ibiza. A cocktail of dance, indie, pop and hiphop ensues, with much-anticipated sets in 2016 from Busta Rhymes, BBC Sound of 2016 winner Jack Garratt and DJ Ez.
Location: Brighton City Airport Line-up: Disclosure, Rudimental, Ice Cube, James Bay, Skepta, Carl Cox, Annie Mac, Bastille, Busta Rhymes, Jack Garratt, DJ EZ, Andy C, Flume, Four Tet, Stormzy, Kaytranada, Pusha T, De La Soul, Kurupt FM Tickets: From £105 + BF Website: wildlifefestival.com
Parklife, 11th - 12th June 2016
The UK’s fastest-growing festival from the team behind The Warehouse Project, which is now in its seventh year at Manchester's legendary festival site, Heaton Park. Like it's younger sibling Wild Life, Parklife offers an eclectic line-up that spans dance, indie, pop and hip-hop from The Chemical Brothers to Brit Award winners, Bastille. Keep an eye on the website for details and tickets for the renowned 'Afterlife' after parties.
Location: Heaton Park, Manchester Line-up: The Chemical Brothers, Major Lazer, Ice Cube, Jamie XX, Jess Glyne, Years & Years, Septa, Bastille, Annie Mac, Diplo, Jamie Jones, Andy C, MK, DJ EZ, Wold Alice, Circa Waves, Busta Rhymes, Jack Garratt Tickets: From £95 + BF Website: parklife.uk.com
MADE Birmingham, 30th July 2016
Set in the heart of Birmingham’s industrial quarter, MADE brings together a world class electronic music line-up and combines it with the cream of local visual and street artists, designers and food vendors. This one-day event is put on with The Rainbow Venues, responsible for some of the second city's most atmospheric arenas, so expect the stage to be set in and around former industrial yards, derelict railways and Victorian warehouses.
Location: The Digbeth Triangle, Birmingham Line up: Rudimental (DJ), Stormzy, Andy C, Noisia, Chris Lorenzo, Low Steppa, Monki Tickets: From £35 + BF Website: facebook.com/wemadethis
South West Four, 27 - 28th August 2016
A two-day city festival that takes place over the August bank holiday, and is firmly established as one of the UK’s most important and influential electronic music festivals. Carrying some suitably massive headliners, including 'godfather of house' Armand Van Helden and the only London festival date for Grammy award winners, Nero, SW4 is set to put on another memorable show for 2016.
Location: Clapham Common, London Line-up: Chemical Brothers (live), Booka Shade (live), Cirez D, Joseph Capriati, Paul Kalkbrenner, Sasha, Sven Vath, Recondite (live), Hunter / Games (live). Tickets: From £115 + BF. Website: southwestfour.com
Download Festival, June 10th - 12th 2016
Five days of pure rock and metal, Download has grown to mammoth proportions over the last 13 years. Based in the 'spiritual home of rock', Donnington Park, home to historic events like Ozzfest and Monsters of Rock in previous years, greats like Iron Maiden and Korn are topping the bill this year. Revellers can keep the party going after-hours at the campground's fun fair, cinema and numerous stalls until 2am over the weekend.
Location: Donington Park, Leicestershire, UK Line up: Black Sabbath, Atreyu, Deftones, Iron Maiden, Korn, Rammstein Tickets: From £82.50, including BF Website: downloadfestival.co.uk
2000trees, July 7th - July 9th 2016
Tucked away in the picturesque Cotswolds, 2000trees is a local festival with an emphasis on all things independent, including new, up-and-coming and underground bands, as well as crate-loads of regional ciders and beers to keep you going throughout the three days. Frightened Rabbit, Frank Turner and Wolf Alice have all graced the stage since the festival's inception in 2007, and this year's hotly anticipated acts come in the shape of We Were Promised Jetpacks and Welsh punksters Neck Deep.
Location: Gloucestershire Line up: Twin Atlantic, Refused, Neck Deep, We Were Promised Jetpacks Tickets: From £40 day tickets, and from £79 for weekend camping, + BF Website: twothousandtreesfestival.co.uk
Dot to Dot, May 27th - May 29th 2016
The city festival that spreads across three locations and multiple venues over the course of a weekend, Dot to Dot started in Nottingham back in 2005 and has been throwing new indie, hip hop, dance and alternative acts into the limelight ever since, including The xx, Jake Bugg and Florence and the Machine. 2016 sees the Mystery Jets headlining, as well as outstanding newcomers like Lauren Aquilina and The Hunna.
Location: Manchester, Bristol, Nottingham, UK Line up: Mystery Jets, Augustines, Rat Boy, The Temper Trap, The Sherlocks Tickets: From £11 (early bird) + BF Website: dottodotfestival.co.uk
Belladrum, 4th – 6th August 2016
Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival takes place on the incredibly scenic Inverness estate of Belladrum, so it's no wonder that it attracts an ever-growing army of fans every year. Variety is the big appeal here, with a programme of arts, film, theatre and food to please all ages, as well as music from Celtic rock and blues to roots, dance and indie. And as if you needed another reason to go, Belladrum runs sponsored activities and appeals before, during and after the festival for The ARCHIE Foundation, a charity raising money for sick kids in the north of Scotland.
Location: Beauly, Inverness Line up: Madness, Two Door Cinema Club, The Darkness, Circa Waves, Arrested Development, Turin Brakes Tickets: From £77 + BF (day ticket) Website: tartanheartfestival.co.uk
Belsonic, 9th - 29th June 2016
Mixing big hitters like the Stereophonics, Faithless and Ellie Goulding with emerging local artists like Walking on Cars, Belsonic is Northern Ireland's foremost music bash, this year spread over three weekends throughout June. It's been going for nearly a decade now, but with a brand new location at Belfast's vast, super-modern Titanic building, 2016 is set to be the biggest Belsonic to date.
Location: Titanic Belfast Line up: Faithless, Ellie Goulding, Rudimental, Duke Dumont, Paloma Faith, Stereophonics, The Coronas, Bastille Tickets: From £29.50 + BF (day tickets sold only) Website: belsonic.com
Green Man, 18th - 21st Aug 2016
Wales' ethically-minded festival returns with a menu of music, arts and creatively themed zones but true to Green Man's mission, absolutely no corporate sponsorship. You will however, find a cinedrome, a children's jungle paradise and the Mountain's Foot area, where you can watch your favourite bands in the shadow of the Black Mountains. Expect otherworldly pop, indie, folk and leftfield music of all kinds. Just check into the Nature Nurture area for a massage if it all gets too much.
Location: Brecon Beacons, Wales Line up: Belle & Sebastian, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Wild Beasts, War Paint, Grandaddy, The Unthanks Tickets: From £60 + BF Website: greenman.net
ButeFest, 29th to 31st July 2016
Another family favourite, ButeFest's romantic island location in the Scottish Hebrides is actually less than two hours from Glasgow. Younger campers can pick from puppet shows and bedtime storytelling, while for the grown-ups, there's a great local selection of craft beers and ciders to accompany well-established pop, rock and folk acts like Tom McRae and Idlewild.
Location: Isle of Bute Line up: Idlewild, The Magic Numbers, The Rezillos, Skerryvore, Tom McRae, Recreations (formerly ‘Get Cape.Wear Cape.Fly’) Tickets: From £40 + BF Website: butefest.co.uk
Fusion Festival, 3rd - 4th September 2016
Now four years old, Fusion is moving from Birmingham to Liverpool this year, in honour of the city's new status as a UNESCO City of Music and its outstanding musical heritage. This year will also see stars of the charts like Olly Murs, Tinie Tempah and the reformed Busted performing on the River Mersey, as well as the return of Fusion regulars The Vamps.
Location: Liverpool Line up: Jason Derulo, Olly Murs, Tinie Tempah, The Vamps, Craig David's TS5, Busted Tickets: From £48.50 Website: thefusionfestival.co.uk
Find out where the party's at this year, with more suggestions on things to do in 2016:
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Want to know where's hot in October? Looking for a city break in May? We've got ideas for a full 12 months of trips right here.