Look Forward: Our top music festival tips for 2017

Well, hello 2017! As we welcome another year, we look forward at another jam-packed season of music extravaganzas.

As ever, 2017 promises a host of individual music festivals. Be it one day events, whole weekends, or a series of exciting headline shows, the festival roster over the coming months is already bursting at the seams.

In the final of our Look Forward series, we’ve pulled together some of the most exciting festivals already confirmed for 2017.

For all of our Looking Back and Looking Forward features, head here.

Download Festival

This year marks the 15th year for Download Festival, and the first with Biffy Clyro taking headline duties on one of the days. They are flanked by System Of A Down, who return for their third headline performance following 2005 and 2011, and Aerosmith who have taken the top spot in 2010 and 2014.

The festival has long prided itself on its broad love for alternative rock, welcoming everyone from rap-rock infused Astroid Boys to thrash metal pioneers Slayer on the 2017 bill. And that’s with a whole load of bands still left to be announced.

The festival will run from 9 – 11 July 2017 at its usual home at Donnington Park. [Tickets]

Did you know? The location previously played host to Monsters Of Rock between 1980 and 1996, and has fast become the annual home of rock.

Aerosmith - Cryin' (Official Music Video)

Reading and Leeds Festival

Back in 1961, Reading Festival began life as the National Jazz Festival. It became the contemporary beast it is now shortly thereafter, establishing itself as one of the world’s leading rock and heavy metal in the 1970s. Now hosted in both Reading and Leeds, with an almost identical line-up across both (one or two bands and DJs have been known to only play one), it has broadened to welcome artists across basically all musical genres.

This year’s announced acts to date include headliners Muse, who last headlined in 2011 playing their exceptional Origin Of Symmetry in full, as well as underground hip-hop hero Danny Brown, a return of technical rock wizards At The Drive-In, electronic trio Major Lazer, and more.

The festival runs from 25 – 27 August 2017 in both Reading and Leeds. [Tickets]

Did you know? Back in 1992 Nirvana played one of their final UK shows at Reading Festival, which saw Cobain wheeled onto stage wearing a medical gown as an apparent mockery of rumours about his mental health.

Muse - Sing For Absolution - Video

Isle of Wight Festival

Isle Of Wight Festival was revived in 2002, having made its original mark back in the late 1960s. It was introduced as a counterculture protest, and still celebrates a similar vibe. Back then it welcomed the likes of Jefferson Airplane, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix.

Fast forward to 2017, and the festival has confirmed headliners David Guetta and Run DMC sharing duties on the Friday, with Arcade Fire and Rod Stewart on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Other confirmed acts include George Ezra, Bastille and Jack Savoretti, as well as man of the moment Rag ‘N’ Bone Man.

The festival runs from 8 – 11 June 2017 on the Isle Of Wight. [Tickets]

Did you know? The original festivals led Parliament to pass the Isle of Wight County Council Act 1971 which prohibited overnight open-air events with more than 5000 people without an agreed license.

Arcade Fire - We Exist (Official Music Video)

Lovebox Festival

Only one artist has been confirmed for Lovebox Festival 2017 to date, and it’s a big one. Frank Ocean will be playing a London festival exclusive at the event, taking place at the city’s Victoria Park.

The festival began as a resident club night at 93 Feet East in England’s capital, founded by Groove Armada. It then moved outside to celebrate its first anniversary, featuring Groove Armada themselves alongside Norman Jay, The Blackbyrds, Movement and more.

The festival takes place from 14 – 15 July 2017 at London’s Victoria Park. [Tickets]

Did you know? Lovebox Festival has grown out of its dance roots into a multi-genre event that has welcomed the likes of gypsy punks Gogol Bordello, The Flaming Lips, Ellie Goulding, Kelis and more. Still, founders Groove Armada played every festival until 2010, although returned for a performance in 2012.

Field Day

Despite reducing down to one day for its 2017 outing, Field Day promises to be bigger than ever. Organisers have added a state of the art second stage indoor arena, The Barn, which will see Aphex Twin take on headline duties.

They have since added a whole host of underground talent, celebrating the best in a broad range of alternative music. The likes of Death Grips, Flying Lotus, Julia Jacklin, Mura Masa and Whitney will also perform across London’s Victoria Park.

The festival takes place on Sunday 3 June 2017. [Tickets]

Did you know? Field Day hosts an annual village fete as part of the festival, including games, bake sales and more. There’s loads of brilliant food and drink too.

Aphex Twin - CIRKLON3 [ Колхозная mix ]


Emerging out of the Cream nightclub in Liverpool, Creamfields has been bringing dance music to the masses since 1998. Taking place in Daresbury, Cheshire, the festival has confirmed back-to-back performances by deadmau5 and Eric Prydz, headlining the Steel Yard on Friday 25 August.

The rest of the line-up is yet to be announced, with the full event running from 24 – 27 August 2017. [Tickets]

Did you know? The UK Creamfields festival is one of a whole host of international dance events spawned from the Liverpool club. Over the years, fans have also enjoyed events in Chile, Uruguay, Czech Republic, Portugal and more.

British Summer Time Hyde Park

A festival in its own right, British Summer Time at London’s Hyde Park welcomes a series of high-profile headline performances come June and July. The headliners confirmed already are Phil Collins, Green Day, Justin Bieber, Kings of Leon and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

All will see Hyde Park transformed with a whole host of entertainment, bars and food, as well as the all-important music.

It all kicks off on the 30 June 2017, with tickets available for individual dates. [Tickets]

Did you know? Some absolutely huge names have appeared at British Summer Time, including The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, Arcade Fire, Tom Jones and Bon Jovi.

Tom Petty - Free Fallin'

South West Four

South West Four Weekender 2017 is set to return to London’s Clapham Common. The dance orientated festival is yet to announce any of its line-up, but promises to bring some of the biggest names to England’s capital this summer.

This year’s event will take place on the 26 – 27 August 2017. [Tickets]

Did you know? South West Four have been nominated for a whole host of festival awards since its inception.

The Great Escape

The Great Escape plays host to a huge amount of bands, all on the up. This year’s line-up includes a spotlight show by the rapidly rising Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, with more to be announced. For the first year, all festival goers will have the opportunity to register for access to the main headline shows.

There’s loads more too of course. The current line-up includes some of the biggest names in new talent, from Abattoir Blues to Yonaka.

The Great Escape runs from the 18 – 20 May 2017. [Tickets]

Did you know? The Great Escape takes place in over 30 venues across Brighton. It’s pretty much impossible to move around without bumping into somebody with a wristband or lanyard.

Rag'n'Bone Man - Human (Official Video)


The Festival Internacional de Benicàssim celebrates a huge international reputation for being one of the best. Hosted in Benicàssim, Spain, it welcomes a host of artists across the rock, pop and electronic genres.

This year sees headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Weeknd joined by Foals, with loads more still to be announced. Now hosting more than 150000 punters, the festival sees the bands play throughout the night.

Benicàssim takes place runs from the 13 – 16 July 2017. [Tickets]

Did you know? Benicàssim opens its campsite on the Monday, with bands kicking off on the Thursday. That’s loads of time to soak up the Spanish sun before the party starts.

The Weeknd - Starboy ft. Daft Punk (Official Video)

Celtic Connections

Hosted in Glasgow since 1994, Celtic Connections is a metropolitan festival that celebrates its musical roots. It’s more than just music too. The event hosts talks and workshops as well as performances by some of the best folk, roots and world artists.

There are a load of artists already confirmed for the festival, which runs from 19 January until the 5 February 2017. [Tickets]

Did you know? Much of Celtic Connections is built around education, with free morning shows available to school groups in order to discover their musical heritage.


No news on who’s playing Latitude Festival just yet, but it’s always one of our highlights of the year. Nestled away in Suffolk, at Henham Park, the event has previously welcomed headline performances by the likes of The Maccabees, Portishead, Bloc Party and The National.

It mixes elements of art, theatre, comedy, poetry, politics and dance, as well as its many music acts, to offer a truly immersive atmosphere.

The festival will take place from 13 – 16 July. [Tickets]

Did you know? Latitude Festival started as it meant to go on, boasting a particularly eclectic set of headliners for its first outing in 2006. Snow Patrol were joined by Antony and the Johnsons (since releasing music under the ANOHNI) and Scottish post-rockers Mogwai.

Latitude Festival 2016 Highlights

As we welcome in 2017, check out our Festival Guide for more. Find it on