So you want the best summer you’ve ever lived? Heck, the best summer anyone has ever lived. Cool.
Well, look no further than deep within yourself. Ask yourself those burning questions you’ve never had the courage to ask. Find your purpose. Find the real you and then take that to the world.
In the meantime, here are some wicked festivals that are coming up and the lesser know artists that you have to discover. The introspection can wait.
Glastonbury (21st-26th June 2023)
It needs no introduction, it needs no explanation. A ginormous beast of this calibre can’t be described. With so many layers to it, an unfathomable amount of good acts and a deep history, this has likely been on your list for many years before and many years to come.
Experience all of it.
More info available at https://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/
Bilbao BBK Live, Spain (6-8th July 2023)
Next up, we have this lesser-known Spanish festival that pedestals a monumental lineup.
Perched on Mount Cobetas in Bilbao, you’ll have that mountain energy before anything’s even started. However, when it does start, you can expect that energy to amplify 10X as you sink your teeth into the impressive selection of activities.
Aside from the impressive roster including; Arctic Monkeys, Florence and the Machine, Pavement, Phoenix, M83, Jamie XX and IDLES, they have a series of side events nestled within the city that encompass the local setting to make you feel at home- if home is a fun-loving hedonistic wildfire.
It’s a way to incorporate a deeper dive into your Spanish travels and it’s a destination people travel from far and wide to get to.
More info and tickets available here: https://bilbaobbklive.com/en/
Kaleidoscope, London (15th July 2023)
Alright, let’s bring it back home. This day festival over at Alexandra Palace will reignite your love for London again and make you wonder why you ever followed my previous tips of travelling to Spain.
Let’s say you’ve just returned from BBK and you’re missing those lofty views. Well, Alexandra Palace isn’t too far from Mount Cobetas (or so I’ve heard).
Although the lineup doesn’t feature the biggest names in dance music, I can assure you that it’ll deliver a phenomenal party on London’s mountain that’ll have you dancing and laughing throughout the day. With Hot Chip always supplying the heavy dancefloor hitters, Erol Alkan turning your eyes into mirrorballs with his disco set and Barrioke because why not? It’s a London highlight, for sure.
More info and tickets available at https://kaleidoscope-festival.com/
Super Bock Super Rock (13-15th July 2023)
Lisbon’s always fun. Festivals are always fun. Smash ‘em together and you’re blitzed in some field having the time of your life putting your GCSE language skills to the test with all your new European pals.
It’s a throwback with The Offspring and Wu-Tang Clan as headliners, but also an edgy groove fest with the likes of Steve Lacy and KAYTRANADA making a feature.
It’s also close to the water and who doesn’t want that?
More info available at https://superbocksuperrock.pt/international
Blue Dot, Jodrell Bank (20-23rd JULY 2023)
We’re all nerds at heart, let’s admit it. As a nerd, you’ll find no better place to let loose than Blue Dot stationed at the Jodrell Bank Observatory. It says it’s on Earth, but it won’t feel like it when you’re there.
With talks on space and science from notable talkers, cosmic culture workshops, and art installations that will blow your mind, you’ll be forgiven if you forget the also incredible music lineup in store.
It’s one of the few festivals where you might leave a smarter person than when you arrived – even if you do spend it just dancing to Deep Space Disco.
More info available at https://www.discoverthebluedot.com/
Body Movements, Hackney Wick (July 29th, 2023)
Immerse yourself in the ultimate queer celebration this summer as you join Body Movements Festival for its third edition. Set in the vibrant Hackney Wick, this day-long festival will take you on a journey across a maze of indoor and outdoor venues, filled with the infectious beats of various LGBTQI+ crews from the underground dance music scene.
Get ready to dance, connect, and embrace your true self as you experience an unforgettable lineup featuring renowned artists like Saoirse, HAAi, Taahliah, Gideön, Roi Perez, Partok, and more. Let the music of techno, house, and eclectic genres guide you through this immersive celebration. Join in supporting London Trans Pride as the festival’s official charity partner, uniting the community and fighting for the freedom of trans lives. Don’t miss out on this major event – secure your ticket through RA resale and get ready to experience a day filled with music, family, unity, fashion, and endless dancing at Body Movements Festival.
More information at https://bodymovements.co.uk/
Wilderness Festival, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire (3rd-6th August 2023)
A lot of Londoners know and swear by this festival being one of the best- and I can see why.
If you’re looking for an escape from the city with more activities than getting steaming in front of the main stage and forgetting where your tent is, then look no further.
Describing itself as ‘wholesome hedonism’, you can expect a wide range of art, well-being, and dining experiences to accompany the already impressive music lineup. There’s truly no limit to the escapism here, there’s even a lake you can take a dip into shelter from this heatwave.
It’s likely one of the only festivals you’ll return from feeling rejuvenated, but with that, the post-festival blues will hit pretty hard. I’d say take the risk.
More info and tickets available at https://www.wildernessfestival.com/
Boardmasters, Newquay (9-13th August 2023)
With Liam Gallagher’s UK festival exclusive. Although he seemed to be everywhere last year, he’s remained elusive this year. He plays more Oasis each time, and on a sunny beach in Cornwall, I’m not sure you can get much better.
Florence and the Machine are another one on people’s list, with nearly everyone I speak to either saying she was brilliant or they really wish they’d have the chance to see her. Well, here it is.
Other lesser-known must-sees are Connie Constance, Wunderhorse, and Chappaqua Wrestling.
More info and final remaining day tickets here: https://boardmasters.com/
Sziget, Budapest (10-15th August 2023)
Now, this one clashes with Boardmasters, but if you’ve ever dreamed of catching a festival abroad, this is as wild as they come. Situated on Óbudai-sziget, a 108-hectare island in the middle of the Danube, it’s reality’s version of Pleasure Island minus turning into a donkey (if you take it easy…).
As one of Europe’s more prominent festivals, it boasts an impressive line-up with many UK acts like Sam Fender, Florence & the Machine (no need to worry about the Boardmasters clash, this is your third opportunity) and Foals. It also exposes you to performances from artists across the globe so you’ll come back not only broken but cultured x
More info and tickets available here: https://szigetfestival.com/en/
All Points East, London (18-28th August 2023)
I must admit that each year some days have stood out as clear winners on the line-up front. This year, not so much. So much so that I was going to list the ones to see, but it was just a copy of the full lineup. Across six days, they’re hosting some of the biggest names in electronic, rock and hip-hop/rap. We’re talking; The Strokes, Stormzy, Jungle, Bonobo, Haim and Dermot Kenedy – and these are just the headliners.
Nested within East London’s Victoria Park, it’s an escape from the city within the city, not too dissimilar to playing in a fantasy land in your wardrobe as a kid. And I don’t want to jinx it, but every time I’ve been, the weather has been beaut.
Tickets are sold as day tickets, so you’ve still got a couple of months to decide which ones to pick, although I know it’s going to be tough.
More info and tickets available here: https://www.allpointseastfestival.com/