UK Music Festivals: The 20 Best UK Festivals + Travel Packages

UK music festivals are hard to rank, because there are literally dozens of UK festivals popping up each new summer alongside the veteran festivals in the UK that have been around for years. The United Kingdom has proved itself as at the forefront of the European Festival scene, taking up a majority of the top spots for the most popular and best festivals in Europe.

There are UK music festivals for every imaginable genre, all over the country. From Scotland to Wales to the south coast to London you’ll find festivals from House + Techno to EDM to Drub & Bass to Rock. These UK festivals have you covered for any need you may have – and to think that this is only the top 20 and that there there are (many) more!

Festicket shared with me their data for the highest revenue-generating UK festivals, meaning the ones that the most people go to and are buying tickets for. So these UK music festivals quite literally are the ‘top 20.’ I’ll do a post eventually on more off-the-beaten-path UK festivals (Lost Village is one of my favorites), but for how, here are the bona-fide 20 best festivals in the UK (plus a few bonuses) with info on any and all travel/accommodation packages you can book to save money.

1. Leeds Festival

Where:

Leeds

When:

Aug 25-27

Genre:

multi – electronic, rock, pop, indie

 

Leeds is one of the most popular festivals in the UK. It’s actually one of the most well-known festivals not only the UK but in Europe (and the world?) and is sort-of like a right of passage for UK festival goers – nearly all of them will have been to Leeds or its sister festival, Reading.

What began as a rock festival has not expanded to nearly every genre imaginable. You’ll still see huge names in the rock and alternative scene as well as house, techno, pop, trap, hip hop… and basically everything. Some previous headliners have been Bastille, Kings of Leon , Dillon Francis , Bicep, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and Muse.

There is also a great lineup of comedy and cinema for when you aren’t out chasing different artists at different stages!

 

 

2. Parklife

Where:

Manchester

When:

8-9 June

Genre:

Mixed – hip hop, house, indie

Parklife has long been regarded as one of the finer UK festivals. The lineup is always mind-blowingly massive (like many festivals in the UK), but there are also funfair rides, interactive performers, busking, cabaret, and more art.

The XX, Skepta, Eric Prdydz, Jamie Jones, and A$AP Rocky have been previous headliner of this awesome two day festival. You can expect big names across all stages all day – it might be hard to decide where to go, but all options will be awesome!

3. Creamfields

Where:

Daresbury

When:

22-25 August

Genre:

House, Techno, EDM, Grime

Creamfields is another one of the iconic UK music festivals that are well-known and well-established. Creamfields is specifically a dance music festival, and the UK’s biggest at that at 70k people.

Creamfields has different stages for the different genres under the large ‘electronic’ umbrella, and big names such as Carl Cox, Armin Van Buuren, Green Velvet, Andy C, Above & Beyond, Alesso, and MK, just to name a few! You can guarantee that there will be a great lineup all weekend at each stage here.

4. Wireless Festival

Where:

Finsbury Park, London

When:

5-7 July

Genre:

Hip Hop/Grime/Urban

Wireless is the UK’s most popular urban/hip hop centered festival. With previous headliners like Post Malone, DJ Khaled, Cardi B, Chance the Rapper, and Fetty Wap, it’s sure to be a shoe-in for anyone who is into that kind of music scene. It’s held just outside on London in Finsbury Park and is easily accessible.

 

 

5. Isle of Wight

Where:

Isle Of Wight, off England’s South Coast

When:

13-16 June

Genre:

Mixed: Indie, rock, pop

Having started FIFTY YEARS ago (you read that right), Isle of Wight is much more than a music festival. Expect games, performances, theater, cinema, comedy, and more at this 4-day family-friendly festival.

It brings in a massively diverse lineup from lots of different genres, from big names to local up-and-coming’s. To name a few, Depeche Mode, The Killers, Jessie J, Wheatus, and even Queen and Jay-Z have been to Isle of Wight.

5. TRNSMT Festival

Where:

Glasgow, Scotland (Glasgow Green- City Center!)

When:

12-14 July

Genre:

Indie, Rock

TRNSMT is a festival held within walking distance of anywhere in central Glasgow, and has a great lineup of fun rock, alternative, and indie bands. TRNSMT has seen the likes of the Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead, London Grammar, The Kooks, Two Door Cinema Club in the heart of Scotland.

One of the cool things about TRNSMT is that most people head out to parties and bars in Glasgow afterwards to keep the party going. It’s a great way to experience great music and Glasgow in one weekend.

6. RiZE Festival

Where:

Hylands Park, Chelmsford, Essex

When:

Aug 16-17

Genre:

Mixed Electronic, Indie

 

It would be impressive to see the new RiZE festival in the top 10 best UK festivals if you didn’t know that it actually took over the reigns from the hugely popular V Festival. V was a big player in the Uk music festival game for many years, and now we have the diverse RiZE in its place.

RiZE saw the likes of Years & Years, Sean Paul, Example, Bastille, Craig David, and Disciples before, and shows a lot of promise for the future.

 

 

7. Lovebox Festival

Where:

Gunnersbury Park, London

When:

12-13 July

Genre:

Multi-Genre: House, Techno, Hip Hop, Grime/Urban

Lovebox is a popular weekender which grew from a tiny show at a strip club to a massive park affair moving through different parks in London as it grew. Now in the lovely Gunnersbury park, Lovebox will be back for its 14th edition and possible biggest lineup yet.

Lovebox in the past has seen the likes of Annie Mac, Childish Gambino, Diplo, Jamie XX, Bonobo, N.E.R.D., Loco Dice… you can see the sheer variety by just those artists! It’s also known for its art installations, fun themed bars, and even a roller disco.

8. Reading Festival

Where:

Little John’s Farm, Reading, UK

When:

23-25 August

Genre:

Multi-Genre: historically rock, now with electronic, house, hip hop, and more

Reading is the equally famous sister festival to Leeds, which share the same lineup and weekend as each other. It’s up to you which location is more convenient! Obviously Reading is a bit more convenient to Londoners and Southerners, while Leeds may be easier for Northerners.

Reading has of course also seen some of the most massive names in the music sphere, from Muse, Major Lazer, Flume, Blink 182, Paramore, Arctic Monkeys, Arcade Fire, Andy C, and more. If you haven’t been yet, you need to go at least once to experience it!

 

 

9. Download Festival

Where:

Donington Park, Derby, UK

When:

14-16 June

Genre:

Punk, Rock, Metal

Download is the UK’s quintessential rock and punk festival, for all the headbangers out there who enjoy the live bands or the screamo! This festival is definitely at the forefront of the world in terms of rock festivals as well, and can guarantee to sell out with the big names it pulls in on the racetrack each year.

It will see/has seen the likes of Def Leppard, Slipknot, Die Antwoord, Ozzy Osborne, Avenge Sevenfold, Guns N Roses, System of a Down, and Sum 41 – which anyone will agree are the most massivge names in the industry, along with lots of up-and-comers. You can expect rocker-type side shows and comedy along with markets and lots of food.

10. Latitude Festival

Where:

Henham Park, Southwold, UK

When:

18-212 July

Genre:

Folk, Alternative, Mixed

Latitude is so much more than a festival; it’s a center for culture surrounding music, art, poetry, cabaret, theater, comedy, and wellness. Between some pretty massive headliners you can catch live art or roaming theater performances, or you can always do some yoga amongst the trees. For these reasons, Latitude os quite popular among families and can be quite laid back if that’s what you’re into.

Previous headliners have included The 1975, The Killers, Alt-J, Mumford & Sons, Jack Garratt, Milky Chance, and Glass Animals, along with an entire loineup for the theater, poetry, film, cabaret…. you get the gist!

 

11. Fusion Festival

Where:

Otterspool Promenade, Liverpool, UK

When:

Sept 1-2

Genre:

Pop, EDM

Not to be confused with the Fusion Festival in Germany, Fusion UK has quickly become one of the top UK music festivals in the popular genre. All kinds of artists famous for their top 40 songs frequent Fusion fest each early September on the beautiful seaside Otterspool promenade.

Fusion keeps it simple with one stage as not to confuse attendees as to who they should be watching. Past editions have seen the likes of Jess Glynne, David Guetta, Shawn Mendes, Zara Larsson, Clean Bandit, Little Mix, Tinie Tempah, and Jason Derulo.

 

 

12. Field Day

Where:

Meridian Water, North London

When:

7-8 June 2019

Genre:

Mixed: Electronic, House/Techno, Hip Hop

Field Day is a two day well-known weekend festival now residing in North London. Going since 2007, Field Day has grown to be one of the best UK Festivals in London and pulls in a lineup to please any attendees as well as a diverse range of workshops and activities. The festival has moved to a bigger and better venue for 2019 which will allow later and louder music, which will please lots of festival-goers in the capital.

Field Day has seen the likes of Four Tet, Thundercat, Helena Hauff, Fever Ray, Mount Kimbie, Zhu, Caribou, Run the Jewels, and Nicolar Jaar. Next year is sure to be even bigger and better!

 

13. Bestival

Where:

Lulworth Estate, Dorset, UK

When:

26-29 July

Genre:

Miced – hip hop, garage, house, techno, alternative

Claiming ‘the most colorful show on earth,’ Bestival is always going to be a fun, crazy, and expressive party drawing all kinds of crowds. Bestival is much more than a festival, with crazy circus acts, fun and interactive art installations and structures, comedy, theater, and anything you can imagine going on inside Lulworth castle.

Each year has a different theme, which encourages festival-goers to dress up even more than your standard festival. The lineup is also crazily diverse, with stages and artists in every genre imaginable. Past headliners have included London Grammar, Honey Dijon, Mura Masa, Grace Jones, Charlotte De Witte, MIA, Chaka Khan, Rudimental, Amelie Lens, The XX, Pet Shop Boys, Annie Mac, Maceo Plex….. I think you get the diversity point, don’t you? ????

 

 

14. Sundown Festival

Where:

Norfolk Showground, Norwich, UK

When:

30 Aug – 1 Sep 2019

Genre:

Pop, bass, grime

Sundown brings in the best in pop, bass/drum & bass, and house music, with lineups ranging from Zara Larsson, Clean Bandit, and John Newman to Sigala, Sigma, and Amine Edge & Dance, to Disciples, CamelPhat, and Hannah Wants. So, there’s a bit of everything to enjoy.

When you aren’t deciding what music genre you want to experience, you can take a ride at the fairgrounds or wander through the trees finding secret stages and art installations to entertain you.

15. Community Festival

Where:

Finsbury Park, London

When:

30 June

Genre:

Indie, Rock, Alternative

Community Festival is a one day fest in the heart of London that has grown massively in popularity over the last 3 years it has run. Bringing in names like The Kooks, Kate Nash, The Amazons, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Nothing But Theives, and more.

With just two stages you aren’t too spoilt for choice as to where to enjoy some great rock music in the sunny London summer – it’s very affordable, too!

16. Mint Festival

Where:

RAF Church Fenton (Leeds Airport), Leeds, UK

When:

21 September 2019

Genre:

Electronic, house, techno

MiNT is the end-of-summer house  + techno party in Leeds, held across some very industrial warehouses, hangars, and sea containers in an area of Leeds airport. Alongside some hard-hitting house and techno baselines, you’ll find a funfair, hot air balloons, and street food.

Expect names such as Adam Beyer, Moodymann, Gorgon City, Dixon, Eats Everything, Patrick Topping, and Joseph Capriati at this unique one-day celebration. It’s also much more affordable than it’s many other 3 or 4-day counterparts.

 

 

17. Love Supreme Jazz Festival

Where:

Glynde Place, Lewes, UK

When:

5-7 July

Genre:

Jazz

 

Love Supreme is a unique 3-day jazz camping festival in a large green park in Lewes – the only one of its kind in the UK. Love Supreme combines the camping and extra activities aspect of music festivals and combines with with jazz, funk, and  soul music for an all-around awesome weekend for jazz-lovers. They even have classic album playbacks along with interesting panels, dance classes, film, and even a kids area so parents can have their fun too.

The lineup has seen groups like Earth, Wind, and Fire, Tom Misch, Elvis Costello and the Imposters, PP Arnold, Portico Quartet, Orphy Robinson Allstars, Herbie Hancock, Robert Glasper Experiment, and more!

18. Elrow Town London 2019

Where:

Olympic Park, London, UK

When:

17 August

Genre:

House + Techno

 

If you don’t already know what Elrow is, you’d better get on your game. Started in Barcelona, Elrow is surely the craziest party out there with the most colorful assortment of confetti, streamers, blow-up toys, crazy costumes, and actors in costume doing crazy things through the crowd (think, people in chicken suits crowd-surfing on rafts). It’s an awesome time.

Elrow lineups are always on point, with house and techno giants like Waff, Paul Kalkbrenner, Richy Ahmed, Steve Lawler, Claptione, and Fatboy Slim attending the last edition of Elrow Town London. It’s one of the most fun and unique UK music festivals for sure.

19. Blue Dot Festival

Where:

Jodrell Bank Discovery Center, Macclesfield, UK

When:

18-21 July

Genre:

Pop, Electronic, House

Bluedot is a very unique arts, science and music festival at an actual science center in Macclesfield. It’s got live science experiments, discussions, debates, film screenings, panels, and fascinating workshops (think, robots, astronomy, and more) alongside am alternative/electronic lineup. How fascinating is that?! I truly haven’t seen such a unique festival experience before!

Alongside its interesting science and cosmic classes, Blue Dot has seen artists like the Chemical Brothers, Helena Hauff, Little Dragon, Future Island, and The Flaming Lips at its last few editions. If you happen to like science and music, this might be your holy grail.

 

 

20. Wilderness Festival

Where:

Charlbury, UK

When:

1-4 August

Genre:

House, Electronic, Pop/Rock

Wilderness is one of the most well-known UK Music festivals, and it’s famous for its nearly Alice-in-Wonderland type vibe with whimsical decorations, themes, colors, and costumes within, well, the Wilderness. Like tons of UK festivals, Wilderness has a totally immersive vibe with workshops, yoga, wellness areas, theater, art, and more scattered throughout its grounds. Oh, and they take lots of pride in their amazing food and drink as well!

Lineups for Wilderness have always been great, with a focus on more popular/indie and also electonic. It’s seen the likes of Bastille, Nile Rogers, Peggy Gou, Groove Armada, Bjork, Empire of the Sun, Damian Lazarus, Sam Smith, Two Door Cinema Club, and Bonobo.

Author: Anna Johnson

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