Any of you who have read more than a few posts on my blog will know my obsession with live music, and thus festivals are a huge point of my year. Ever since my first festival in 2008 (Reading) I have been to quite an array of them ranging from my annual Reading pilgrimage to Glastonbury/ V/ Hevy/ Sonisphere/ Groezrock in Belgium etc. When I left retail in 2014 festivals became a lot more accessible for me because I didn’t need to book as much time off work for them and last year saw me head to a few. 2016 though is the year that I push festivals to the max.
I was going to do a complete rundown of my summers’ festivals but realised it would be so long that I’ve split it into 2 parts. Here is my May- June selection and keep your eyes peeled for July- Augusts’ post soon.
28th-29th May- Slamdunk
It’s quite unusual for festival season to start so late for me as there’s usually a nice one-dayer to break me in but sadly Takedown and Hit The Deck have both disappeared from existence this year *RIP*. Slamdunk is a one-day festival but repeated over three days across Bank Holiday Weekend. Saturday 28th is held in Leeds City Centre across a number of indoor venues and outdoor stages, Sunday 29th is being head at the Birmingham NEC across a number of stages, and Monday 30th is being held at Hatfield University.
I have been going to Slamdunk for years and years and the line-up never fails to impress me, year on year which is why I have done 2 dates for the last few years. Leeds is the original Slamdunk and a lovely city centre so I couldn’t turn that down and Birmingham is so easy to get to from Leeds on the train (with a straight train home for me the next day) so I chose these as my two options. I love the fact that there is such a mixture of rock music from pop-punk to metal so I’m always in my element. This festival is the start of five weeks on the trot so got to start in style.
Bands I can’t wait to see: Panic! At The Disco, Yellowcard (Ocean Avenue In Full), Issues, Of Mice And Men… the list could go on
3rd-5th June- Rock Im Park
I have always lusted over the Rock Im Park/ Rock Am Ring lineup but as it’s in Germany it’s never really been that practical to go to. But this year as my friend is moving back home there we’re going to use it as an excuse for me to come over and see her. I don’t have a lot of knowledge of the festival but the people I do know who have been, have said it’s super chilled out, the people are really nice and it’s a well laid out festival so I am really excited.
The line-up itself is really strong and I think it takes the best bits from UK rock festivals and merges them. I’m also looking forward to seeing some proper German bands that my friend will show me! Hopefully we can grab a cheap hotel as well as anyway I can get out of camping is good with me!
Bands I can’t wait to see: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Biffy Clyro, Bring Me The Horizon
10th-12th June- Download
Download Festival for me is pretty much a rite of passage. I’ve been going most years since 2009 and have been there as press for the last three so it’s one of those festivals where I go even when I wouldn’t if I was a paying punter. There’s always loads of people for me to catch up with her from other writers and photographers to PR’s and it’s always a pretty fun festival. That is unless there’s a torrential downpour like last year.
I am going to be heading to Donnington Park just for the three days of the festival, arriving early Friday morning and departing Sunday evening which means just two days camping *phew* I’m really excited as they have some wrestling there this year which will certainly be interesting and looking back at the lineup there are a bunch of bands I do love (or haven’t got round to checking out yet) who I want to catch.
Bands I can’t wait to see: Bury Tomorrow, All Time Low, Rammstein, Twin Atlantic, Black Peaks
18-19th June- Stone Free Festival
This weekend was originally meant to be my calm relaxing weekend in the midst of festival season but I spotted a festival which is playing across two days at the O2 Arena called Stone Free. This is the first year for the festival and Alice Cooper is heading Saturday which was enough to win me over. I missed out on seeing Alice Cooper at Download a few years’ ago against an awful bunch of headline clashes so I am lucky to have another chance.
It’s going to be a far more chilled out festival vibe and it will be nice to go home afterwards to a bed, and be able to get a pre or mid show Nando’s (a girl has to dream).
Bands I can’t wait to see: Alice Cooper, The Darkness, The Lounge Kittens
23rd-26th- Glastonbury Festival
I am seeing June off in style with Glastonbury, a festival which absolutely everyone has heard of. I have only been to the festival once before as it’s quite a commitment with four days off work (Wed- Mon), a long drive and expensive hard to get tickets. Each year I have tried to convince friends that we need to go and finally I did it and here we come.
Five of us are heading to Worthy Farm this summer and we’ve only gone and booked a camper van! Yes it’s a massive expensive but it’s warmth on cold nights, dryness in damp weather and real beds. Glastonbury is more an experience than a festival as yes there are hundreds (if not thousands of bands playing) but there’s talks, debates, arts, crafts, fitness, raves, absolutely everything you can image. I want to stay up and watch sunrise over the stone circle, wonder around and stumble into some random raves and dances and just put the music second for once.
For me the headliners’ aren’t my cup of tea, although I can see why they’re headlining. Muse I might catch just because their live show is set to be epic, Adele I do not want to see but my friends will be dragging me to and Coldplay I won’t see because A) I dislike them and B) Bring Me The Horizon are headlining the second stage at the same time!
Bands I can’t wait to see: Ellie Goulding, Bring Me The Horizon, Jess Glyne, Cyndia Lauper, Bastille and The 1975