With the festival season now in full swing, here's a look at some of the month's highlights
Blessed with many a bank holiday, the month of May has pulled back the brackets of the festival season and let music fans start summer early by raving at Creamfields South or finding the next big thing at The Great Escape.
But now May moves over for the heavy-hitters. Gone are the Mondays off. In are the tents and the Tesco orders. The time is nigh, friends, to pledge allegiance to the metal lords of Download or put a finger in the air for the disco ball gods of The Cambridge Club, for the festival season is now in full swing.
In other words, there’s a lot going on this month. Here are our picks of the best festivals in June, to help get your calendar in order.
Cheltenham’s Wychwood festival is an early highlight in the calendar with a broad appeal. Especially popular with families, it’s not hard to see why with baggy heroes Happy Mondays sitting side-by-side with Scottish soft rockers Travis and the Spaceman himself, Sam Ryder. If dad has one too many drams on Friday night, get him down to Mr. Motivator’s Saturday set and he’ll be right as rain.
Cheltenham Race Course, 2 – 4 June | Get tickets here
Funk & Soul Weekender
No act better embodies the spirit of Margate’s Funk & Soul Weekender than Kool & The Gang, with their galvanising concoction of disco, funk and… what was it… oh yes, soul. It’s pretty handy, then, that they’ve agreed to a rare UK show to bring their own Summer Madness. There’ll also be some contemporary jazz in the form of Nubiyan Twist. Craig Charles, a man that needs little introduction, will be bringing the vibes.
Dreamland Margate, 2 – 4 June | Get tickets here
Fans of metal and/or pyrotechnics have already probably secured their tickets for Download’s 20th anniversary long ago, with the car already packed and the keys in the ignition ready to go. It’s a whopper this year as it extends to four days, giving you two chances to catch Metallica alongside the likes of Slipknot and Bring Me The Horizon.
Donington Park, 8 – 11 June | Get tickets here
Isle of Wight
Historically, the Isle of Wight festival has been seen as the UK’s answer to Woodstock. Firstly, it predates it, and secondly, no not that Woodstock. In any case, this British institution has shapeshifted throughout the years to represent the changing tides of popular music, and this year you’ll be able to find an encouraging mix of old and new – from The Human League and Blur to George Ezra and Robbie Williams.
Seaclose Park, Newport, 15 – 18 June | Get tickets here
It’s not often you’ll find Hot Chip on the same line-up as Sir John Major, but this festival is a little different. As its name envisages, KITE festival is all about being taken away by a gust of ideas and good music; have a boogie to the heady sounds of The Mauskovic Dance Band, alter your vision of the future with Simon Sinek and fly my pretties, fly!
Kirtlington Park, Oxfordshire, 9 – 11 June | Get tickets here
If the name of this festival makes you want to impulsively sing Blur, then you might want to head to another festival. This Manchester weekender is for the ravers, hip-hop heads and those with a taste for anything that rarely drops below 120bpm – though there are always a few surprises with wider appeal. As ever, the names here are massive: Fred Again.., Little Simz, The 1975, The Prodigy, Aitch and Wu-Tang Clan are just a few heading to Heaton Park.
Heaton Park, Manchester, 9 – 15 June | Get tickets here
The Cambridge Club Festival
If you liked the Funk & Soul Weekender, double down and head to Childerley Orchard for more of Kool & The Gang, plus Grace Jones, Lionel Richie, Odyssey and more disco greats. Almost as dazzling as the disco ball is their alternative line-up, including comedy from the likes of Ed Byrne and late night partying from Eats Everything and Dan Shake.
Childerley Orchard, Cambridgeshire, 9 – 11 June | Get tickets here
Any festival that takes a line from John Coltrane for its name better have the jazz chops to back it. Thankfully Lewes’ Love Supreme does and then some. Celebrating its 10th year, it blends jazz from the likes of Marcus Miller and Yussef Dayes with massive acts from related genres. Highlights include Little Simz, Thundercat, Grace Jones and Candi Stanton.
Glyde Palace, West Sussex, 30 June – 2 July | Get tickets here
A whole load of folk, fiddles and pedal steel guitars return to the grassy pastures of Suffolk for Maverick Festival. Born in 2008, the festival was the first in the UK dedicated solely to Americana and its offshoots. The vibe is relaxed and dogs are especially welcome. Don’t be surprised if they’re soon wearing a cowboy hat and chewing on straw.
Easton Farm, Suffolk, 30 June – 2 July | Get tickets here