OUR FESTIVAL PICKS
June 24th, 2015
G L A S T O N B U R Y
Worthy Farm, Somerset
June 25th - 29th
The likelihood of getting a ticket now are basically non-existent but if you are one of the lucky bunch you are in for a treat. Probably the only festival imaginable to have the Dalai Lama himself announcing that he will be giving a talk on the Sunday morning. Almost anything is possible at Glastonbury, so who knows who will be joining Kanye West for his controversial headlining spot on the Saturday night? Perhaps Rihanna, but more likely Paul McCartney, though always expect the unexpected at Worthy Farm. Whether you love or hate the man, at least Kanye is guaranteed to put on a show.
With just about every name you could think of on the line up and from every genre imaginable. From Mary J Blige, Pharrell, 80s legend Lionel Richie to Indie kids Alt-J, The Maccabees, Jamie T and Catfish and the Bottlemen. Dance legends, The Chemical Brothers competing with The Who on the Pyramid Stage following Paul Weller live. To the ultimate female power performers, FKA Twigs, Patti Smith, Florence and the Machine and Andreya Triana.
Every house and techno dj imaginable can be found at the legendary Block 9 - an entire village dedicated to dance music and fashioned to look like an actual city. NYC Downlow is a must and can be spotted from miles away with drag queens pouring out of its windows enticing punters in. To get in you must be wearing a moustache in true YMCA fashion. Followed by lounging around at the even more iconic Stone circle, where people congregate after a long day and night of dancing. With a range of some of the best food largely sourced from local farms, there really is something for everybody at Glastonbury.
S E C R E T G A R D E N P A R T Y
July 23rd - 26th
The production of this festival alone is reason to go. Every detail is considered from the extravagant ship that is burnt at the end of the festival in true Pagan style to an entire stage and surrounding area made of real haystacks, strong enough to dance and stomp around on. The Pagoda stage is the true highlight, although queues to get onto the pier can be dire it’s worth the wait. The stage stands on the lake overlooking the ship with people in row boats scattered all across the water, along with hosting the best djs on the line up plus some surprise acts. Your view could not be more picturesque.
There’s always a mixed bag on the line up ranging from The Cat Empire, Jungle, Gentleman's Dub Club, Ben Pearce to Angus and Julia Stone so there will be someone for everyone. But I would advise to do no planning and to just wander and go with the flow. Stumbling into The Living Room stage, which is quite literally like your grandmother’s living room, to catch Lianne La Havas perform an intimate early morning set was a particular highlight for me. Keep your eyes peeled for Detroit DJ Seth Troxler roaming around in between performances. Two years in a row he hosted a secret women’s lingerie party where even the man himself could be found on the decks in nothing but suspenders and strategically placed underwear.
O U T L O O K
September 3rd - 7th
With the 6 week summer holidays long behind us and the 20 day Annual paid holiday the future for the majority of us young professionals, the summer is the time you get the most out of your holiday. So what more could you want than a festival abroad. Sun + music + a few days of recuperation. With the option of camping in probably the nicest campsite I have stayed in or getting an apartment, you could make this trip as luxurious or not and with the exchange rate being pretty damn good you can live nicely.
For those who are lovers of "Sound system" and “Bass” culture - this is the one! This year will be the 8th year of the festival with a 15,000 plus crowd. The 8 arena festival situated in the quaint Croatian town of Pula welcomes its arm to some legends of the the sound system and bass world. This year's line up is phenomenal with it including Beaniman, Pete Rock, Shy Fx, Madlib, Jurassic 5, Sbtrtk, Stormzy, Norman Jay, DJ Ez and the list goes on… And keeping to their tradition the opening concert will be held in a 2000 year old Amphitheatre.
The pebble beach in the Campsite is the perfect place to catch some rays and charge up for the night ahead and if you are a 24hr party person then there are always a number of boat parties. What is great about this festival is that it doesn’t come with the pretense/bouji feel that a majority of UK festivals have now indulged in. You won’t be able to get a pair of crazy cool (yet overpriced) sequin leggings and a feather jacket that you will only wear 3 days out of the 365 of year. And the urge to douse yourself in glitter is a personal choice and not a uniform for uniqueness for this festival. The focus is the music and you can see that with their tailored lineup and of course there sistering electro festival Dimensions.
The downsound of being a brit abroad at a festival is being pinpointed for petty crime or even worst being exploited, and trust me you will get both in Croatia so make sure you have your wits about you.
W I L D E R N E S S
August 6th - 9th
Usually food at a festival is the last thing on my mind let alone a 3pm Yoga class followed by a dip in a serene lake. Though this is what Wilderness gives you. I must admit I did fall in love with Wildness last year and I was unsure if it was because of the quirky yet chilled daytime vibe that you don’t usually get at festival or the roucas dance off all throughout the night in the Hidden Valley stage. Whatever it was, I liked it and would definitely be up for round 3 this year….
Set in the picturesque Oxfordshire Cornbury park, this crowd has more of a mature feel and this can be seen by how the curators have created a family getaway with a dash of festival enchantment. I feel like it would be wrong for me to describe this festival as a music festival because though they do have a great lineup, from previous experience it was not the musical escape that me and my friends were flocking to. Though this year's line up mixes the renowned artist Bjork gracing the stage along with Lapsley, George Clinton, Parliament Funkadelic so this will be extra bonus on top of the lectures, activities and eating that takes place.
There is not 1 or 2 banquets but 4 all curated and made for you by Michelin star chefs from across Europe. And of course there is a dress up that comes with fine dining with an extra fee and booking your spot months in advance. For those who don’t want to fork out an extra £70 for a seat at the banquet there are always the quirky independent and chain food stalls with the likes of HIX opening its bell tent to the masses and not forgetting our good friends Patty and Bun which serve a mean burger with a special that would get the taste buds going.