Summer peaks with an almighty bang as a jam-packed August rolls around. Here are our picks of some of the best festivals on offer
Photo credit: James Bridle
August is traditionally the final hurrah in the festival calendar, the “go big or go home” month. Lately though, September has started showing up, boldly declaring that “It’s still warm enough, you know”, buying swim shorts in the autumn sales and booking an outside table with shameless bravado.
August bank holiday weekend though? That’s all your buses, a taxi discount code and a free helicopter ride coming at once. It’s not if you should go to a festival, it’s which one to choose from. Here are 11 of our favourites lining up to make the most of the last month… sorry September… the last official month of summer.
The very definition of a boutique festival, Wilderness is as much about spoiling your mind and body as it is about the music. Not that the music is to be sneezed at, what with everything from Underworld to the fabulous Ibibio Sound Machine to a right good ceilidh going on. Check out our deep dive into the soul-soothing activities here. Oxfordshire, 4 – 7 August
The historic, natural amphitheatre in Crystal Palace Park continues its resurgence through the early part of the month with three nights of big names. Richard Ashcroft, Becky Hill and Bombay Bicycle Club headline with Ride, Jordan Rakei, Nilüfer Yanya, Jodie Harsh and more rounding out the bills. Crystal Palace, 5 – 7 August
It’s all happening in Edinburgh this month. Simple Minds, Travis, Tom Jones (twice!), Lionel Richie and Michael Kiwanuka all head to Princes Street Gardens in August for a series of outdoor gigs that promise great music and a fairly stunning backdrop. Edinburgh, 7 – 14 August
Back to Edinburgh, or rather the outskirts of, for this two-day festival at Linlithgow Palace. There’s a rough theme to each day with the first having a decidedly 90s indie feel and the second skewing more pop. Ocean Colour Scene, Del Amitri, The Human League, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Marc Almond top the bill. Linlithgow, 13 – 14 August
The original Dorset-based family festival has got a new sibling this year. The music on offer is vast and eclectic (headlined by Rag N’ Bone Man, Becky Hill and Fatboy Slim) but the entertainment doesn’t stop there, with CBeebies and CBBC favourites live on stage and more activities on offer than a redcoat on a coffee buzz. Shropshire, 18 – 21 August
Victoria Park’s annual blow-out returns, featuring the long-standing, dance-centric Field Day sandwiched in between huge bills that include headliners Gorillaz, The National, Disclosure, Tame Impala and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. The smaller-print names are no less enticing, including Glasto highlight Turnstile, Aussie psych merchants King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Radiohead/Sons Of Kemet side project The Smile. London, 19 – 28 August
What was just Creamfields is now Creamfields North with the addition of the Chelmsford weekend for 2022. This year marks the festival’s 25th birthday, cementing its position as one of the most established weekends on the summer calendar. The line-up is dizzying: Guetta, Cox, Tong, Harris, Tiesto, Camelphat, Van Dyk, Oakenfold, Fatboy Slim, Van Buuren, Prydz, Example… it’s easier to name who’s not playing. Daresbury, 25 – 28 August
One of coolest line-ups of the year descends on the Royal Highland Showgrounds for three days of cutting-edge indie, electronica and more. Headliners include The National, IDLES and The Chemical Brothers and the rest of the bill is a treasure trove of treats, from homegrown heroes Twilight Sad, Mogwai and Idlewild to the buzzworthy likes of Self Esteem, Holly Humberstone and Little Simz. You’ll find us front and centre when Ride turn up to play their debut Nowhere in full. Edinburgh, 26 – 28 August
One of the biggest weekends in the festival calendar, the twin city rager returns with some exclusive treats, including Arctic Monkeys’ only UK dates of the year, Glasto limelight-stealers Wolf Alice, Halsey, Bring Me The Horizon and grime superstar Dave. If there’s nothing for you on the bill then you don’t like music. Reading/Leeds, 26 – 28 August
Right, everyone back to Alex’s gaff for food and tunes. Blur bassist Alex James has made his farm a place of pilgrimage for those who like filling their bellies while they fill their ears (with music that is. Don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear). The line-up includes Anne-Marie, The Human League and Stereophonics while Tom Barnes, Thomasina Myers, Ching He Huan and more will be rustling up the grub. Cotswolds, 26 – 28 August
Pop across the Irish sea for the biggest dance event to hit Ireland since Graham Norton did Riverdance in a caravan on Father Ted. Peggy Gou, Disclosure, Eric Prydz, Patrick Topping and more will keep 20,000 revellers on their toes over two days in Belfast. Belfast, 27 – 28 August
Get tickets to these and more great summer festivals on our Festival Finder