If you’re a festival fan, Glastonbury dates will be circled in red on your calendar – but this year the selling out of tickets in a record-breaking 26 minutes left thousands disappointed. Happily, there is a festival in the UK for every kind of music lover – but why keep it local? Here are five of the festivals we’re most excited about.
Way Out West, Sweden (August): Winner of the MTV Most Innovative Festival Award, this three-day festival plays host to a wide variety of artists, but is particularly strong on hip hop, electronic and rock. After music ends in the main festival site, the party continues, with after-hours gigs, art exhibitions and film showings all over Gothenburg. Carnivores beware: an environmentally friendly affair, only vegetarian food is on offer.
Les Vieilles Charrues, France (July): The founding idea of this eclectic festival was ‘to enjoy a good meal, have a sing-along and a couple of drinks’. That was in 1992 and the convivial vibe lives on, playing out on the five stages with 80 artists and 230,00 spectators. The ever-changing line-up of legends and legends in the making keeps young and old coming back each year to see the likes of Iggy Pop, Bruce Springsteen, Pixies and Muse.
Coachella, US (April): Widely regarded as one of the best festivals in the US, music fans from all over the world flock to the Coachella Valley for two weekends of musical bliss in the Californian sun. Established favourites include Outkast and Arcade Fire; rock, funk, dance – you’ll find it all here.
Roskilde, Denmark (June): Spend five days dancing in an 80,000-strong crowd at this long running festival that is famous for its enthusiastic and happy atmosphere. It’s an ethical venture: for 40 years it has been run as a non-profit organisation for development and support of music, culture and humanism. The line up is traditionally a blend of big names, cutting-edge artists from all contemporary genres, crowd-pleasers and up-and-coming Scandinavian names.
Bilbao BBK Live, Spain (July): Celebrating its tenth birthday, 2015’s festival promises to be something special. The location alone is worth the trip: a purpose built complex nestled on the lush slopes of the Arriáiz mountains, known to festival-goers as the ‘music monastery’. Explore Bilbao and enjoy the beautiful beaches – and then get back to your lofty stage to take in the mighty acoustic sound reverberating around the mountains.