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Manchester International Festival

2 – 19 July Manchester

Posted: 9th July 2015 11:47

Manchester International Festival is the only festival in the world primarily focused around showcasing new and original pieces across the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and even pop culture.  Launching in Manchester, these never-before-seen shows are often taken on tour around the world in major cities such as New York and Paris.  As well as boasting a large number of world premieres, the programme also includes unique concerts and one-off events that are exclusive to MIF.

Now entering its fifth festival in 10 years, MIF remains as committed as ever to helping artists to develop their art forms and at times foster connections between different art forms.  Sure, you can go to a number of festivals to see Damon Albarn roll back the years with Blur or Gorillaz, but you will not see the Britpop favourite provide the soundtrack for, a hit musical delivering a modern twist on Lewis Carroll’s iconic Alice in Wonderland, anywhere other than here.  Likewise MIF is the only place you will find Mercury prize-winning composer Jamie xx collaborating with a contemporary ballet inspired by Foer’s novel The Tree of Codes.

MIF takes place at venues all over the city and draws on the city’s role in music and performing arts.  Throughout MIF15, Manchester’s Albert Square becomes Festival Square, home to the Pavilion Theatre, Festival Pavilion, The Glass House and MIF Box Office.  As well as hosting a programme of club nights and free DJs, innovative comedy, guided walks and exclusive talks, Festival Square offers a place to eat, drink, relax, socialize and soak up the MIF experience.

10% of tickets for all shows across the Festival are available at £12 to Greater Manchester residents on or below the national living wage, with the aim of making more of the Festival more accessible to local people on a lower wage.  The £12 ticket scheme was introduced in 2013 and has doubled this year from 5% to 10%.  Book tickets online at or call the box office on 0844 871 7654.

Blissfields Festival

The Horrors – John Grant – Simian Mobile Disco

3 – 4 July

Vicarage Farm, Winchester

Weekend Tickets £95

This small but thriving music festival evolved from a live music event at a farm in Bradley in 2001 to become one of the UK’s most intimate pop and folk festivals.  Headliners on the main stage this year includeneo-psychedelic rock band The Horrors, electronic and tech house duo Simian Mobile Disco and the unique Public Service Broadcasting.

The Singularity, the main stage at Blissfields, is nestled in the curve of the farm’s valley, surrounded by scenic parklands.  In the day, the main stage is the perfect place to chill out in the sunshine, whilst night is the time to join the excited crowds for chartbusting headline acts.  The Singularity this year will see international and national acts come together to dominate the outdoor stage.  The Den, a smaller stage, is dedicated to local acts looking to break into the festival scene and runs long into the night with live dance acts.

Wireless Festival

Drake – Avicii – David Guetta

3 – 5 July

Finsbury Park, London

Weekend Tickets £££

London’s most popular music event, Wireless Festival, is back for another instalment in Harringay’s famous Finsbury Park, with a line up packed with top performers.  After his unfortunate cancellation in 2013 and his even more unfortunate cancellation in 2014, Drake has a lot of making up to do at Wireless this year, where he will be headlining on Friday.  Major Lazer, the innovative electronic music act featuring American DJ Diplo and English producer Switch will follow the super star rapper with a set dedicated to moombahton and electro house.

Up and coming Swedish DJ Avicci will be headlining on Saturday, along with Kendrick lamar, the American hip hop sensation straight out of Compton.  Rap and pop diva Niki Minaj will perform with all of her assets on Sunday and will hopefully convince festival goers that she is more than just a large bottomed tabloid facade.  French DJ David Guetta will be wrapping things up with a highly anticipated dynamite set expected to send Wireless off with a bang.

Godiva Festival

Fun Lovin’ Criminals – The Wombats – Embrace

2 – 4 July

War Memorial Park, Coventry


Get your Scooby Snacks at the ready because this year’s event is set to be headlined by Fun Lovin’ Criminals.  Having sold 20 million albums worldwide across their two-decade long career, Huey Morgan and co are set to bring their hip hop, blues and funk fusion to the Friday night main stage. 

Having attracted record-breaking crowds of 125,500 visits over the three days in 2014, the city’s War Memorial Park will once again play host to the country’s biggest free family music festival.  Recent years have been plagued with rumours that Council budget cuts will put the kibosh on the annual events future so music lovers have long been making the most of each year in case it is the last.

Now entering its 17th year, Godiva Festival has long been successful in helping launch the career of many popular acts including Kasabian, The Fratellis and local favourites The Enemy.  In keeping with tradition this year is set to be no different with punky garage duo Slaves set to perform fresh off the release of their debut album Are You Satisfied? in June.  Indie favourites The Wombats will headline the main stage on the Saturday and All You Good People hitmakers Embrace will bring the festival to a close on the Sunday.

There is no camping allowed at this festival but the War Memorial Park is ideally situated within walking distance of the train station and hotels in the city centre.  Along with the usual mix of live music, the festival includes family attractions, entertainment and a fun fair over the three days.  The event also continues the annual Godiva Procession, a 300 year long tradition which re-enacts the story of Lady Godiva.

Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul Festival

Sugar Hill Gang – Roy Ayers – Gregory Porter

10 – 12 July

Moseley Park, Birmingham

Weekend Tickets £94

This three day open air event will see hip hop legends Sugar Hill Gang & Furious Five bring a touch of Rappers Delight to the 11-acre woodlands in the heart of Moseley Village. The stellar line-up will also see Grammy Award winner Gregory Porter and jazz-funk pioneer Roy Ayers complete the headline slots.

It can be a bit of a gamble attending a music festival with these genres because you might wind up in amidst hoards of middle aged Radio 2 listeners, but that is not the case with Mostly Jazz. Think more New Orleans Mardi Gras without the beads and you have got the atmosphere and entertainment down to a T.

Once again the official afterparty is the place to go once the music has wrapped up at the festival for the night. On the Saturday join Craig Charles (of Red Dwarf, Robot Wars and Coronation Street fame) for a funk & soul DJ set at the Moseley Dance Centre. This festival does not have camping but there are a number of hotels, hostels and guest houses in and around Moseley.

Brownstock Festival

Basement Jaxx – Example – Sub Focus

10 – 12 July

Morris Farm, Essex

Weekend Tickets £££

This intimate festival in Essex is a unique blend of the biggest names in dance music and the most acclaimed DJs across Europe, in an atmosphere brimming with originality and rammed with personal touches.  Brownstock Festival has over 6,000 visitors, spanning across six thriving stages and strikes the perfect balance between a close knit gig experience and show stopping theatrics. 

The Good Shed is the ideal place to experience some of the best DJs in the world.  Rap and electro house sensation Example will be performing such hits as Not So Pretty alongside musical collaborator DJ Wire.  The Stumble Inn in contrast is dedicated strictly to house music and here Basement Jaxx will be showcasing the best of electronic dance. 

Brownstock Festival has a quaint charm, scattered with hand built areas such as The Treehouse stage; built from the nearby Oak trees with giant birds nest seats.  The Saloon Bar is another focal point, complete with swinging doors and saddle seats for a distinctly wild west feel.  Culinary highlights include festival burgers made from beef reared at Morris Farm itself.

T in the Park

Kasabian – The Libertines – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

10-12 July

Strathallan Castle, Perthshire, Scotland


A first in the festival world, Scotland’s most major music festival will be held in the historic Strathallan Castle this year.  This heritage site, located in the heart of the beautiful Perthshire countryside, dates back to the 13th century and is one of Scotland’s cultural icons.  Despite the antique surroundings however, festival goers can still expect chic headliners at T in the Park 2015. 

Kasabian will be headlining on Friday, bringing their unique Leicester style of indie and neo psychedelic rock.  Other highlights include sets from Rudimental, Fatboy Slim, Hozier and Sam Smith will be closing the show with his soulful vocals.  Swedish DJ Avicii will be kicking off the show on Saturday with smash hits Wake Me Up and I Could Be The One, amongst others.  The Libertines are returning to the stage on Saturday night and showcasing their chaotic sets of garage, punk and indie with trademark Doherty flare.  Old-school Welsh legends The Stereophonics will also perform on the main stage on Saturday, fresh from their Royal Albert Hall performance this year.  Oasis’s Noel Gallagher will be performing his solo material on Sunday, a set free of Mancunian sibling rivalry but nevertheless full of northern flare. 

T in the Park has it all this year, with a nightclub style atmosphere of booming bass and top light spec in Slam Tent for those looking to mix it up away from the main stage.  The infamous King Tut's Wah Wah Tent, an offshoot of the famous Glasgow live music lounge is also making a comeback this year.

Larmer Tree Festival

Tom Jones – Rodrigo Y Gabriela – Bill Bailey

15 – 19 July

Larmer Tree Gardens, Salisbury

Weekend Tickets from £174

Reputed as the quirkiest festival in the land, the Larmer Tree Festival is a music and arts festival near Tollard Royal in the Wiltshire-Dorset border.  The festival has remained sponsor free since its creation in 1990 and has managed to keep its originality and intimate spirit.  The result is a festival with warm roots in the community, featuring top acts and delicious local food.

This year, the Larmer Tree Festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary and has an extra special line up of classic and new artists.  Tom Jones, Wales answer to Elvis Presley, is returning to the Larmer Tree Festival on Tuesday after his electric set last year and festival goers are in anticipation for an even more powerful performance.  The Welsh icon needs no introduction, having sold more than 100 million records during a career spanning more than 50 years.  Comedian, musician and actor Bill Bailey will also be performing a cheeky musical set inspired by West Country humour and the wacky theatricality that has made him a household name across the country.


Alt-J – Portishead – Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds

16 – 19 July

Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk

Weekend Tickets from £££

Taking their place at The Obelisk Arena, L.A. four-piece Warpaint will make their Latitude debut at this year’s 10th anniversary edition, as will Santigold and the reformed The Boomtown Rats. Celebrating the 15 year anniversary of Badly Drawn Boy’s Mercury Prize winning album The Hour of Bewilderbeast Damon Gough will be performing songs including the much loved singles Once Around the Block, Pissing in the Wind and Disillusion.

New for 2015, DJs from around the world will take over the In The Woods stage, weaving their magic and providing the most eclectic music selection the woodlands have ever heard. Each night will focus on a different theme, with genres jumping from funk, to disco, to reggae, to Motown at a moment’s notice. Across the long weekend, each DJ will take the helm in the most inimitable of surroundings, providing you a party like no other. Expect the late night beats to lure you in and never let go until deep into the night.


Hozier – alt-J – The Chemical Brothers

17 – 19 July

Marlay Park, Dublin

Weekend Tickets from £149.50

Longitude returns for its third outing at the beautiful Marlay Park on the outskirts of Dublin having picked up the award for Best Medium Festival at the Irish Festival Awards for two years running.

The little sister of Latitude Festival, Longitude features a handpicked line-up of incredible bands, solo acts, DJs and producers from the Suffolk-based event including alt-J, SBTRKT and James Blake. Not content with merely following in its footsteps however, Longitude is carving out a name for itself with a solid cast of its own.

Friday will welcome home Grammy nominated Hozier following a sold out tour of Europe and the USA. Bringing the festival to a close are the original big beat pioneers of dance music The Chemical Brothers. For the past 20 years, the duo have redefined the idea of live electronic music, evolving from humble beginnings in dank London nightclubs into one of the most in demand festival headline sets in the world.


Rudimental – Snoop Dogg – Cypress Hill

17 – 18 July

Victoria Park, London

Weekend Tickets from £98.45

It started with a box of records in the only stowage available – a heart shaped box – which would become affectionately known as the Lovebox.  Today it is one of London’s most eagerly awaiting summer festivals, with an emphasis on epic headline acts and great food. 

Lovebox 2015 will be the best so far, with top modern performers and old-school classics.  Hip Hop’s most iconic and inimitable name, Snoop Dogg will be making an appearance this year, performing tracks from his debut solo album Doggystyle, which went platinum four times and spawned the classic singles What’s My Name and Gin and Juice.  Hip Hop lovers are in luck this year as Cyprus Hill, superstars of the 90’s will also be headlining.  Other highlights include Little Dragons, De La Swing, Marc Maya, Mario Biani, and Jessie Ware. 

The only thing that can match the great music at Lovebox is the huge range of food options – chic but infinitely wholesome.  Popdogs is a fresh take on the classic German hotdog, whilst Mama’s Jerk Station remains loyal to its Caribbean tradition.


The Specials – James – Bananarama

18 July

Wollaton Park, Nottingham

Tickets from £37.40

A festival held at an Elizabethan manor needs an experience which can match its grandeur, and as its name suggests Splendour delivers on this and then some.  Held at the regal Wollaton Park, Splendour has in the past attracted the likes of Madness,The Pet Shop Boys and Tom Odell and this year continues its tradition of bringing the best artists around to Wollaton Hall with Ska legends The Specials, Manchester Rockers James and feta-level cheese artists Bananarama all included in the line-up. 

Designed as a fun day for the whole family, Splendour offers music, comedy acts and children’s entertainment to suit all ages.  The festival allows guests to bring along their own food and drink (though alcohol is strictly prohibited), as well as offering stalls and bars on-site for patrons who’d rather leave the cooking and cleaning to a professional! A short distance from Nottingham city centre, Splendour is ideal for those who yearn to enjoy a festival without travelling too far afield.

Greenwich Music Time

Ray Davies – George Benson – Sir Tom Jones

22 – 26 July

Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London

Weekend Tickets £94

What truly sets Greenwich Music Time apart from other music festivals is the unique setting from which you get to enjoy it.  Situated outdoors in the magnificent surroundings of the Old Royal Naval College, music lovers get to watch some of the biggest international artists in a magical setting against the backdrop of the River Thames, lit by the big city lights of Canary Wharf.

With over 100 studio albums between them and a combined career span of 165 years there are few names quite as legendary in the music industry as the three main headline performers at this year’s Greenwich Music Time festival.

Ten-time Grammy Award winning artist George Benson will dip into his extensive catalogue of hits to entertain the masses during a rare UK festival appearance.  Ray Davies will really get you going during a show that will include a flurry of singles by The Kinks, a band he fronted for more than 40 years, on what will hopefully be a sunny afternoon.  The festival will be drawn to a close by Sir Tom Jones; a man that has sold over 100 million records and even received a knighthood for his services to music.

Secret Garden Party


23 – 26 July

Abbots Ripton, Cambridgeshire

Weekend Tickets £185

Secret Garden Party might be the worst kept secret but it is undoubtedly one of the best garden parties.  Set in an expansive landscaped garden, bordering a river and lake, The Secret Garden is a raucous ensemble of musical euphoria combined with hedonistic pleasures to be enjoyed by all.

Attractions are multi-faceted across the Secret Garden Party site with highlights including a 24-hour woodland party and the legendary ‘Make a Rainbow’ paint fight.  Each year the festival follows a set theme and this July the organisers will unleash a 100-acre toy box of a party, complete with jelly, ice cream and sprinkles, so you can release and realise your inner child.  With the theme announced as Childish Things, revellers will escape the world that wants us to grow up (and behave); and explore what we all left behind.

With the full line-up still to be announced what we do know is that Jungle, Kate Tempest and Marika Hackman will be among those performing at the Huntingdon festival.  Previous headliners have included Public Enemy, Orbital and Faithless.

De La Soul - Bellowhead - Tinariwen

24 – 26 July

Charlton Park, Malmesbury

Weekend Tickets £165

Womad or ‘World of Music and Dance’ to give it its full title, has long been a fine purveyor of what is commonly referred to as ‘World’ music.  People with too much time on their hands, who hang around inordinately long in record shops annoying the employees, like to smugly argue that all music from this planet could be classed as such; and until somebody manages to book Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes (Google it) those people can remain pedantically right.  In real terms what this actually means is that the acts appearing over the weekend tend to cover a much wider spectrum than those on offer at most other festivals.  Past years have seen African rhythms sit comfortably alongside French rappers and an Iranian-Jewish songstress.  Purveying this year’s headliners should give an idea of the quality and diverse styles that will be represented; hip-hop pioneers De la Soul will no doubt have the crowd enthralled with their lyrical poetry and beats masterclass; Tinariwen will induce a euphoric trance with their hypnotic guitar led desert blues; and Bellowhead are arguably the most forward thinking folk revivalists performing anywhere on the festival circuit right now.

Rewind Scotland

Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey – Hue and Cry – Jimmy Somerville

24 – 26 July

Scone Palace, Perth

Tickets: £57.50

After a tremendous reception at last year's Rewind South, his first gig in 27 years, The Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey has decided to head north of the border to see how the Scottish festival compares, with his newfound fervour for Rewind.  Bailey will be performing hit singles You Take Me Up, Doctor Doctor, Hold Me Now and Love On Your Side, along with a few undisclosed treats just for Rewind Scotland. 

Also headlining is Scottish born pop singer songwriter Jimmy Somerville, who exploded on the scene in the synthpop trio, Bronski Beat, with such classics as You Make Me Feel Mighty Real, Never Can Say Goodbye, and Don’t Leave Me This Way.  Bailey will be performing inventive takes on disco classics from his new album Homage, a nostalgic admixture of blues, ‘gay’ disco and acoustic songs that prove that the 80’s is still a wave of music that can emotionally inspire.  Hue and Cry will add to the Scottish themed accolade with their smash hit singles Labour of Love, Violently and Looking for Linda.

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