Festival season is finally returning for another year. Last summer, the UK was treated to a slew of groundbreaking events that welcomed some of the best live sets to grace the stage in recent years. For example, 50 Cent took to Manchester’s Parklife, while Wizkid shut down London’s very first Yam Festival.
Now, there’s a new and intriguing batch of talent to be discovered, along with new places to discover them. It’s no secret that festivals from past years have been ruled by those who have accumulated the most sales and achieved the highest chart positioning, however, the live music industry is now offering fresh and new platforms that champion all music, irrespective of so-called “commercial popularity.”
From hip-hop, UK rap, and drill to Afrobeats, soul, and R&B, the old-school era of gate-keeping has expired and now’s the time to experience new music festivals and talent; stars in the making that are ready to break the mold and create memories for you, that will last forever.
With this in mind, Hypebeast has listed a selection of the best UK-based music festivals you should attend this year. Check out the full scoop below.
Hosted in Peckham, London, GALA is a community-driven festival that was born out of the organic, soulful, and two-stepping sonics that dance music was built on. The event, which spans three days, celebrates the originators and the heroes who defined club culture.
Now, seven years on since its inception, GALA is opening its doors once again to the very best in electronic music. Offering pulsating selectors, cannoning speakers, and a family-like feel throughout the venue, GALA also stands up for the environment and fundraises for causes that the festival is most passionate about.
NTS ‘One Day’
London-based music platform NTS is launching its brand-new festival in the heart of South London for it’s debut showing on the circuit this summer..
Following NTS’ inception from an intimate Hackney-based studio just over a decade ago, NTS now broadcasts its radio shows to over 50 cities worldwide. And as its worldwide recognition has continued to grow, NTS’ ethos of championing the best of underground music has never been more present.
With this being said, the same ethos will be live and direct on May 27 at London’s Burgess Park where a diverse line-up of artists and DJs across two stages will lead a new era for the station.
The likes of JPEGMAFIA has been announced as one of the first international stars to grace the stage, with his experimental and energetic style soon to be followed up by the likes of rising post-punk band Dry Cleaning, while jazz expert Nala Sinephro will also perform to bring a sprinkle of further versatility to the event.
All Points East/Field Day
East London’s All Points East is returning for its fifth year this summer and it’s welcoming its most versatile line-up yet as it prepares for two star-studded weekends in August.
This year, The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Haim, and UK grime star Stormzy are headlining the bill, while the likes of Girl in Red, Tove Lo, Lizzy McAlpine, Amyl, the Sniffers, and Angel Olsen will also be taking to the stage, making the full roster arguably the festival’s most varied since its inception.
A week before Haim’s All Points East Show, Stormzy will headline the first date of the double-weekend festival, with the rapper hosting a full day – called “This Is What We Mean Day” – with the likes of Kehlani, Lucky Day, Ms. Banks, Knucks, and Sampha supporting Big Mike throughout the day.
Project 6 is an all-new festival that is being introduced to bring music lovers together with a unique day-to-night offering. Beginning in South London’s Brockwell Park, the beginning of the event will be followed by a series of late-night and early-morning parties across venues throughout England’s capital.
The Project 6 stages will host a stacked line-up of industry-shaking artists, with genres spanning across the sounds of drum and bass, techno, rap, and grime. Meanwhile, evening sets will open the dancefloor across London’s biggest venues, partnering with some of the industry’s most-known labels, collectives, and programmers.
Founded by British electronic musician Craig Richards – who also produces the classic Gottwood – Houghton festival has continued to dance under the radar as one of the go-to electronic music festivals in the UK.
With more than 200 acts already announced for this year’s event, the festival will welcome non-stop music from Friday to Sunday, with acts coming from the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, Ben UFO, Helena Hauff, Object Blue, and Shy One.
Houghton’s unique selling point is that it has a 24-hour license to play music, meaning the party never truly stops and the sets are much longer than your average. Additionally, the event will also welcome sculptures and artwork through the gardens of the estate where the festival is held.
As one of the best-known festivals in the UK, Manchester’s Parklife is opening its doors once again in Middleton’s Heaton Park.
This year, Parklife is welcoming a slew of world-renowned stars, stretching across genres such as UK rap, grime, indie, house, drum and bass, and much more. The highlight sets this year, however, are expected to come from hip-hop legends Wu-Tang Clan, while UK rap front-runner Little Simz will be joining Manneh’s very own Aitch who takes one of the prized headline slots.
We Out Here
If you’re looking for a more laid-back festival, packed with family-filled energy, then We Out Here is the one for you. The award-winning, four-day festival celebrates best-in-class music while also offering further family and cultural activities.
Founded by Gilles Peterson, We Out Here gives a platform for genre pioneers and emerging artists to share. Celebrating genres such as soul, jazz, electronic, techno, hip-hop, and everything in between, the event promises the best of pretty much everything.
Lost Village is a UK dance festival hosted in an abandoned forest in Lincolnshire. And while the event prides itself on its two-stepping dance synths, Lost Village offers immersive experiences away from music, too.
Since its first event in 2015, Lost Village has expanded its offering into things such as comedy, surprise performances, and much more. For example, this year, attendees will be able to check out interviews, debates, and lessons scattered throughout the weekend for when they want to escape from the bright lights and loud speakers.
As one of the biggest festivals in Europe, Love Supreme welcomes the very best in jazz, soul, and blues to its home of Essex.
Taking inspiration from the North Sea Jazz and The Montreux Jazz festivals, Love Supreme welcomes a plethora of top-drawer music along with workshops, well-being classes, vintage markets, tasty food, and drink stalls.
Additionally, its huge kids’ area gives parents and guardians an excellent opportunity to keep the children entertained while taking in some of the best live music you can experience.
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